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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Oct 04 2018 11:00am
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You may have noticed a lack of articles from me lately. Well, that's because life sometimes gets in the way - which it did in this case. So much so, in fact, that I have barely kept up with Magic for the last month. 

What this means is that I haven't even managed to look at a spoiler of Guilds of Ravnica yet! I have, however, played a sealed event on Arena, so have seen some cards. I feel that this lack of experience may hinder me a little bit, but I'll do my best!

I chose Izzet for my Guild pack for this event, and this was the pool I opened:

 

 

 

 As you can see, by choosing Izzet I ended up with a bunch of blue and red cards. Blue/red spells is my favourite limited archetype so I wanted to see if I could make that work. I began sorting my deck by just looking at these two colours. After I first pass, I had a deck, though I wasn't sure if it was any good or not:

 

 

12 creatures, 8 instants/sorceries and 3 other cards. I don't think this deck is necessarily bad, but I decided to look at my pool a little more in depth.

I started by sorting my pool out as normal, looking firstly for bombs, the best creatures (often with evasion) and removal spells. It looked like there might be a green/white deck that I could make, but it fell short. Pairing it with black helped, but I was still 4-5 playables short.

However, it soon became apparent that red/blue was easily my two best colours, so I went back and had a second look at those two colours. In my first pass at the deck, I threw in what I thought were the best cards. Now it was time to refine it a bit. Blue/red spells is often about tempo; attacking with your creatures and using spells to let them through and provide incidental buffs to cards like Wee Dragonauts. With that in mind, I settled on the following build:

 

 

The plan with this deck is to simply attack when able, using the six two-drops to get hopefully get ahead early. If the game starts to go long, I have cards such as Murmuring Mystic, Inescapable Blaze, and Expansion / Explosion to hopefully get the job done.

Round 1

My opponent was on five-colour. In game one, my opponent played two early Nightveil Predators and an Underrealm Lich, both of which were impossible for me to deal with. After losing that game easily, I sideboarded in some counter spells, but it wasn't enough; the two Nightveil Predators once again defeated me easily.

I can already see I am going to hate this card. 

 

Round 2

My opponent for this round was on black/green. I got off to a fast start with a couple of two drops; my opponent missed their third land drop then drew and played a Guildgate, letting me get ahead early. I managed to win game one thanks to Leapfrog and a bunch of spells. It was also at this point that I noticed that Gravitic Punch only targeted players - I thought it hit creatures too. I took it out of the deck and added Disdainful Stroke.

Game 2 started with a mulligan to 6 and my opponent removing my early creatures. However, thanks to a Smelt-Ward Minotaur and Electrostatic Field I was able to get some attacks in, eventually getting my opponent down to 1 life before they stalled the board. I just need a spell, as the Electrostatic Field would kill the opponent; of course, I drew lands and creatures. My opponent started playing multiple copies of Vigorspore Wurm and I couldn't withstand the onslaught.

Game 3 was another mulligan to six, but I had some early plays. Again I was able to remove blockers out of the way to attack, this time with Sonic Assault, and after countering my opponent's Lotleth Giant they conceded.

 

Round 3

In this round I was paired against a blue/black opponent. Again, I got off to a quick start and was able to beat my opponent down before they could stabilize. Games two and three were different stories, though. My opponent had Ertrata, the Silencer in both games, and I couldn't deal with it. They also had Mephitic Vapors in game 3 after I had committed to the board; I didn't know this card existed, and at common as well, and there was no coming back from that.

So after the first three rounds, I have a modest 1-2 record, with 3-5 in games. The existence of a common sweeper makes me want to move away from all the x/1s I have now. I opened my next booster and revaluated. I got Etrata myself in this pack; it seems to be a bomb, and with a Nightveil Predator in my pool, I decided to look into blue/black. That didn't look great, though, so instead I looked at black/green. Again, there wasn't a lot of playables, and I think my strongest cards are in blue, so I looked to splash that. This is what I came up with:

 

 

I'm hoping this might serve me better. Let's find out.

 

Round 4

This round saw me facing another mostly black/green deck, though my opponent was splashing white. These games were very grindy, with the two games we played putting both of us down to two minutes left on the clock. Nightveil Predator was the all star here, winning me both games, though even my Hired Posioners did a lot of work, holding back an Arboretum Elemental. The deck worked well and I took the match 2-0.

Round 5

This opponent was also on black/green, using a very synergistic Undergrowth deck featuring Izoni, Thousand-Eyed. The first game went for a while, with my opponent slowly grinding me down and me unable to find any answers. Game 2 was much quicker; after mulliganing to 5 and keeping a hand of four land and a Bartizan Bats, I drew 5 land in a row and conceded.

Round 6

My opponent for this match was on five-colour good stuff, running Underrealm Lich and Chamber Sentry. They were removal heavy as well, and I never really stood a chance. I lost 0-2.

I decided at this point that it wasn't worth playing the rest of the matches and dropped from the league. I'm not sure if I had a bad pool, or my unfamiliarity with the cards is what caused my abysmal performance, but honestly the games pretty much all felt hopeless.

 

Postscript

After writing the article, I went in to another sealed. Again, my pool felt extremely weak. I ended up building a Boros Aggro deck and somehow went 7-2. I'm not sure about this format; I'm hearing people like it, but I'm really unsure. I've never been a huge fan of Ravnica sets, so it may just be my personal preference. Time will tell.