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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 17 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Dominaria has been receiving more and more hype as a great draft format and I couldn't agree more.  Nothing feels overpowered and there's a lot of neat decks you can build, giving every draft a different feel and making the games seem fresh even weeks after the prerelease.  You could draft tribal Wizards one week and then the next have a grindy The Mirari Conjecture control deck or a Champion of the Flame deck that uses Arcane Flight to beat down quickly.  The colors seem balanced and the inclusion of a legendary in every pack means there's a good chance you start your deck off with a powerful card/effect and that always is appealing to any player who wants to have fun.  Win percentages aside I enjoy this as much as I enjoyed Kaladesh block and Modern Masters 2017 and that's a high bar to reach in terms of my own personal enjoyment.  I'll try to enjoy it as much as possible while it lasts given the fact that we have two sets coming out in the next two months.  I highly doubt Battlebond will come out on Magic Online, but my store has a good multiplayer community so I imagine Battlebond drafts will take over once the set releases.  Thankfully I'll still play Dominaria until Core 2019 hits Magic Online.  Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule to see how much Dominaria I'll be playing, then let's get into the games!

  • Today - Dominaria Draft League #4, Dominaria Sealed League #1 videos, Dominaria Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/24 - Dominaria Draft League #5, Dominaria Sealed League #3, Dominaria Sealed League #4
  • 5/31 - Dominaria Draft League #6, Dominaria Sealed League #3 videos, Dominaria Sealed League #4 videos
  • 6/7 - Dominaria Draft League #7, Dominaria Sealed League #3 video, Dominaria Sealed League #4 videos

Dominaria Draft League #4

Taking Benalish Marshal still feels correct to me even though I basically abandoned it the moment I saw Grow from the Ashes and started to venture towards a green based deck.  The commitment to Benalish Marshal is very high as you need to be heavy white in order to reliably cast it turn 3/turn 4 and if I don't see good white cards to follow then I don't have a good reason to stay in that color.  The commitment to Grow from the Ashes is low, gives me a high ceiling, and allows me to potentially be W/G and have a bit of an easier time casting Benalish Marshal in a two color deck.

I'm comfortable drafting/playing green in this format so when I don't know what to do my first instinct will be to gravitate towards green if I'm in a position to do so.  This explains my Wild Onslaught pick, and with two kicker cards I decide that Ghitu Chronicler allows me to play a R/G Kicker deck so I try to position myself in that direction.  Opening Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar cements me in green and that gives me a solid foundation even if I decide to venture into another color if I don't see myself playing red.  Red starts to dry up a little bit and seeing a Deep Freeze 7th pick makes me wonder how much I'm really invested in red as a color.  I have two Grow from the Ashes and a Cold-Water Snapper so I could entertain a blue splash even with my red cards, so it's not too far a stretch to also have Deep Freeze on the splash.  I end up taking Deep Freeze and sort of ending the pack wondering what color am I playing besides green.

Serra Angel has me for a moment considering a straight W/G deck but in the end I opt for a green build splashing both blue and white with an Adventurous Impulse and three Grow from the Ashes to fix my mana.  The deck didn't seem great and that's my fault for not choosing a second color and sticking with it, but at the time it didn't seem like there was a viable second color that was strong from the start.  All that said a 2-1 record is definitely okay with me given that I didn't think the deck would do too well given the lack of synergy or removal.

Dominaria Sealed League #1

From 3-0 to 3-2 wasn't the finished I was hoping for but there wasn't much I could do about it as I lost to two better decks and that's fair.  The first match I was too slow in game 1 as all I did was cast The Mending of Dominaria and Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar while I was behind on board the entire game.  The hand I kept was reasonable but my deck decided I needed to draw lands/expensive spells and not let me curve out to keep up with my opponent.  Game 2 was much closer of a game and I felt I had the edge before I got wrecked by Jaya's Immolating Inferno and  after that they had a Demonlord Belzenok so they had a strong draw in the second game as well.

The second match my opponent cast TWO Demonlord Belzenok in game 1 and have Soul Salvage after I expended resources to get rid of both of them.  Even after drawing my Multani, Yavimaya's Avatar I quickly saw the writing on the wall and knew I had no chance of winning the game and conceded before showing my opponent any more cards.  I made changes to make my deck faster for game 2 as I didn't see any way I could grind the deck with two Demonlord Belzenok and ways to recur them.  I took an early lead in the second game but I was halted and the game started to slowly slip out of my grasp and I couldn't do anything about it.  THREE Blessed Lights and a Demonlord Belzenok later I finally conceded and ended the league at 3-2.  Sometimes your opponents have really strong decks and that's that!  Overall I'm happy with the performance and would much rather have a winning record than a losing one.

Dominaria Sealed League #2

Starting off with a loss wasn't how I wanted to kick off the last stage but a loss was inevitable in my opinion.  Game 1 I got color screwed and was under heavy pressure from a Traxos, Scourge of Kroog and I couldn't recover fast enough to make any headway in the game.  The second game I had a better board presence but I let my opponent hang around too long because I didn't have enough pressure and I died out of nowhere by a Karn's Temporal Sundering giving my opponent an extra turn to deal 16 points uncontested.  

The first two games of the second match were both one sided as I took the first game with my opponent missing land drops and my opponent took the second game when I had a bit of a slower start and they were able to punish me for it.  The match all came down to the final game where we both traded off resources early on to get an edge but when the board finally stabilized I had more cards in hand than my opponent did.  This game me more options and when my Kazarov, Sengir Pureblood went uncontested it put my opponent in a tough bind and I was able to cast more meaningful spells and take the victory.

Final match was an easy win for my opponent as they had quite a bit of pressure on me in game 1 and I was able to clear some of the board away but I couldn't deal with a Pegasus Courser and it helped my opponent deal the last points of damage needed to take the game.  Game 2 I was able to get a mana advantage on my opponent as they had 4 mana to my 9 mana but my lack of pressure meant that the cards they had in hand were still live to affect the game.  My opponent was able to start casting all their spells while I was trying to form an offense, and they were able to cast Rite of Belzenok and have the token plus an Icy Manipulator in play to control combat.  I was put on tilt by my laptop restarting on me during the final turn of the game and passed instead of playing to the out of my opponent misplaying.  They made the right attack and I lost.  Going 7-2 overall is still great given everything that I said about the pool at the beginning of the league so I'm quite happy about that.

Conclusion

I went 3-5 overall in matches played today but still ended with positive records in all the leagues I played in.  I currently have a 9-3 record in Dominaria draft and a combined 10-4 record in Dominaria sealed.  This has been quite the good start for a new format and I hope to continue my winning ways in the new leagues I enter.  It'll be interesting to see how I look at the new sealed pools given everything I've learned so far these past few weeks.  I'm sure it'll be exciting to see new pools and make new decks.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here where you'll find all the videos for this article series posted early along with some exclusive content for the channel.  I'm working on making videos for Magic Arena and possibly playing some Modern.

Thanks for reading/watching!