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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 24 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  It strikes me odd that with the success of Dominaria we're going to have a set come out so soon after its release.  I know the schedules are made in advance but I feel Dominaria deserves more time to grow and be in the spotlight before another set comes out.  Perhaps Battlebond won't keep down the hype for Dominaria and that'll be great, I just feel a little sad about it.  I am excited for Battlebond and I can't wait to play multiplayer Magic as it's currently my favorite way to play the game.  For a lot of people Magic is a game that starts out as a way to play with friends and have a good time, and I hope Battlebond helps to recreate some of that feeling with all players.  There are pros/cons to Commander as the primary multiplayer format, but when you get down to it being able to play with friends is always a good thing.  I highly doubt multiplayer Battlebond will come out on Magic Online but if it does I'll certainly try it out.  Otherwise I'll jam some drafts in paper while I stick to Dominaria draft online.  Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule before we dive into this weeks action:

  •  Today - 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
  • 6/14 - Dominaria Draft League #8, Dominaria Sealed League #3 videos, Dominaria Sealed League #4 videos

Dominaria Draft League #5

I started out the draft with Settle the Score and the follow up was a Cast Down so I felt I had a good inclination to be in black until I saw a reason to venture into another color.  I picked up a dash of red in Ghitu Chronicler with thoughts of being a B/R Midrange deck but the red didn't really pan out the way in envisioned after pack 1.  I got a Garna, the Bloodflame and I was happy about my choices but then I got passed a Slimefoot, the Stowaway in an otherwise medium pack.  I took the Slimefoot on the chance I splash it and I saw both red and black begin to dry up quickly.  I ended pack 2 with a lot of black cards but very few red and green cards, so I was open to not choosing between the two until I had a reason to do so.  I opened Territorial Allosaurus and that along with the Slimefoot I had was enough to push me into green and splash the Garna as my only red card.

I squeaked out a 2-1 in this draft and I'm quite happy about that.  I don't think the deck is very strong and it can get run over pretty easily since I don't really have anything to do on turns 1-2, and turn 3 is a bit sub-optimal if I have to cast Krosan Druid as a 2/3 on turn 3.  This type of deck is only possible in a format where two mana creatures aren't very important/powerful, so if this was Ixalan draft I'd be run over fairly frequently with this style of deck.  If I can get to the later turns of the game with a stable board I feel I have a chance at winning, but if I'm there and on the back foot then it'll be difficult to come back from behind.  I do think I took the right approach in game 3 of the final match where I tried my best to play the aggressor in a matchup where I felt I was not going to win going long.  I can't deal with Cold-Water Snappers that have enchantments on them so if it gets to the point I lose no matter what, so why not try to win before that?  If I can't and my opponent has a flying turtle then I wasn't winning anyway, but playing the game differently gives me a chance to win.  Sometimes all you need is a chance and regardless of the outcome you play better because of it.

Dominaria Sealed League #3

This pool is a bit lackluster in my opinion even though I have the option to play three colors without it being a big concern.  White and blue both have playable cards but not enough depth to them to consider them a maindeck color.  Black, red, and green all have some merit to be a maindeck color but they also have flaws as well.  Green as finishers but not enough things going on early in the game.  Black has some removal but mediocre creatures and you can say the same about red.  Red has the most cards but when you cut the unplayable and marginal cards you've cut about half the cards you started with.  This is all further compounded by the fact that most of my rares just aren't playable.  I have two Thran Temporal Gateways that are very very niche, a Cabal Stronghold that is only Constructed playable, and two legends in Teshar and Marwyn that are underwhelming on their own.  Steel Leaf Champion is my only real rare and there's a fair amount of ways to beat it.  The GGG cost is a bit prohibitive and likely comes down on turn 4 or 5, and at that point the opponent should be able to beat a 5/4.  I'm not too sure if I should be RGb or BGr but I do feel I have to be base green in order to play creatures that can actually win the game.  What do you think?

Dominaria Sealed League #4

Can I open something other than Mox Amber please?  It's a little funny how in four sealed leagues I've opened 3 Mox Amber.  It's not too much to ask to open 3 Karn, Scion of Urza instead right?  It would make me feel a bit better about the curve that the pool has overall.  I have very little to do early on and a massive glut of spells at either 4, 5, or 6 mana depending on the build you make.  This means that I'm often going to be casting only one spell a turn and have multiple spells stuck in my hand because they're so expensive.  While the format is slow it's not so slow that you can wait awhile to start casting spells on turn 4, and even then you're not emptying your hand as fast as your opponent is.  

Black is likely my best color as I have multiple removal spells and some big creatures to win the game with but again curve is the issue.  I can make functioning decks but nothing I feel confident in playing if I'm having to worry about curve.  I could in theory splash red, blue, and white in a B/G shell and play with all my best cards if I'm going to have a bad curve no matter what, and that deck isn't the worst I've seen.  It has powerful cards but the mana is very awkward since my only real fixing is Llanowar Envoy.  That's not the best way to do it, I'd rather have Grow from the Ashes or a Skittering Surveyor to help with my mana issues.  What do you think?  Should I stop worrying about curve and play the best two color deck I have?

Conclusion

Currently my record in Dominaria draft is 11-4 which is good for a 73% win rate in my drafts so far.  That's a very high win percentage with the caveat that I've been drafting mostly green decks in this format.  I've drafted non-green decks in paper and I've had a similar amount of success but I feel the most comfortable when green is my primary color and I'm able to splash other colors if I find myself picking powerful cards in those colors.  There is a danger to this in that if green isn't open I'm forced to draft a deck that I might not be familiar with, but that's a bridge I'll cross if/when I get there.  I did 3-0 with U/R Wizards so I have that going for me.

I'm not too sure how my sealed pools are going to turn out but it's something we'll both find out next week as I get into the matches.  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 can find all my videos out early along with some exclusive content only for the channel.  I haven't been consistent with the extra content but I'll make sure to get on a regular basis on that.  

Thanks for reading/watching!