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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Oct 14 2015 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Honestly, I completely forgot that this article would be the 100th article in this series, so unfortunately I won't be doing anything special this week.  I suppose that writing about Limited for 100 articles is something special on its own, especially since at some point you start to run out of new things to talk about once a format become fully explored.    I am thankful for the opportunity to keep writing this series because even though I've been doing this (almost) every Tuesday for 2 years now, nothing is ever guaranteed and I'm very aware of the chance I have at making myself (slightly) heard in the Magic world.

2 years ago I started this article series to help prepare myself for a GP that I didn't end up going to and it's amazing to think of how far I've come since then.  Theros-only Limited proved to be my best format ever with a staggering 70%+ win rate over ~7 Daily Events where I used one entry fee to pay for multiple Daily Events just by virtue of winning so much.  I've grown quite a lot as a Limited player and feel really confident sitting down and drafting/building sealed pools and expect to do well while playing the games.  That isn't to say that there is no room for improvement, it just means that I've learned a lot in the past 2 years and it's all because I've been able to write down my thoughts and have to prove myself every single week. Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully we can keep this going for as long as possible.   With that said, let's crack some packs!

Battle for Zendikar Prerelease Pool #3

I did this pool on Magic Online because it was easier for me to point and click to add cards as opposed to copying image urls and making sure I resize them all so they fit on the screen.  I was quite happy with this pool since I had 2 nice options to go with: the BR Landfall deck and the UB Control deck.  Normally you don't get 2 good options to go with, you normally see pools where you have 2 1/2 good colors and you can sideboard into half of a color if the matchup calls for it.  I think that if it weren't for Drana I would have gone UB, but Drana is a card that can represent a huge snowball effect that the free win potential is enough to where I have to try it for myself.

Drana feels/looks like Goblin Rabblemaster from last Standard.  Goblin Rabblemaster was so good that every deck had to have an answer for it otherwise it would take over games.  This is why Goblin Rabblemaster felt so bad for at least the back half of last Standard: it was dying all the time! Of course, Rabblemaster had to die otherwise it would end the game on the spot.  First it's 1 damage, then 6 damage, then 8 and after that there wasn't another turn!  Drana on her own isn't as good, but if you stick a threat before you play her and keep pressure up after you attack with her, she easily outpaces a lone Goblin Rabblemaster.

Battle for Zendikar Draft 

I wasn't really happy with the way this draft ended up panning out.  I do think I had a good deck, but it wasn't enough in draft where players are better aware of the archetypes that are able to be drafted and can draft accordingly.  My BR deck from the prerelease did also have some underwhelming draws that had me playing 2/1s and 2/2s against my opponent playing 0/6s and 0/5s.  The key with that deck however is that I had Drana and Guul Draz Overseer so even if I stalled a bit I had 2 fliers that could beat down relatively well on top of being able to boost my team on offense.

My draft deck felt a little slow at times and had some gimmick plays like Natural Connection and Swell of Growth that only worked when I was attacking and ahead, so they were win more plays as opposed to solid plays.  I definitely needed something with a little bit more power to give me a fighting chance when my creatures got outclassed past turn 4.  I'm also willing to admit that I drafted/played incorrectly if that's the case.  I'm usually not the best at drafting aggressive strategies since I tend to be more of a midrange/control player valuing removal over cheap threats.

Something that came up during the games is: what kind of hands are keepable if you're the Landfall deck?  Are you supposed to mulligan and hope to find your Landfall creatures if you open on 3-4 drops in your opening hand?  Do you mulligan that hand even though it's a reasonable keep because you know your draws past turn 2 are going to be pretty poor?  Or do you take that chance and hope to draw 2 drops right away?  Can you keep a 2 lander on the play/draw?  I feel like you can't win if you miss your 3rd land drop so if that's the case is a 2 land keep on the play a bit of a risk?  You're 71% to get there if you keep a 2 lander on the play, but if you need to hit your first 4 land drops (draw 2 land in 3 tries), you're only 43% to hit that!  So I guess that means that if you need to hit land drop #4 on turn 4 with 2 lands on the play you're taking a huge risk in keeping that hand.  The funny thing is that you go up 20% if you keep that hand on the draw!

Conclusion

This week is a little short since all I really did was do a draft and that didn't end as well as I would have liked.  Regardless of the outcome I hope you learned something as I tried to navigate my first BFZ draft ever.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below!  Next week I'll be back with a Release Sealed event and possibly another draft.  

Thanks for reading/watching!