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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 05 2016 11:00am
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  This week triple Time Spiral drafts come out, but this article will be submitted before I'm able to record videos, so that's something to look forward to for next week.

However, something that has me worried is the possibility of having to upgrade my .NET framework.  I believe right now I have v4.0 and they want an upgrade to 4.5.2, so we'll see how that goes.  Previously I "upgraded" to Windows 10 on my laptop and that was a bad change for me so I reverted back to Windows 8 since with that version I was/am able to use Magic Online and my recording software.  I suppose tomorrow I'll find out if I need the upgrade and whether or not it's something I can get used to.

SOI Complexity

Shadows over Innistrad Limited has to the most complex format I've encountered so far.  Deck construction and draft picks aren't as simple as drafting synergistic cards and playing the best ones you open.  When you're drafting you have to take into account how the games play out and how you sequence your spells.  If you're drafting G/R Werewolves then you have to find the balance between not letting your cards flip because you need to commit to the board and having instant speed plays so your wolves can transform without you wasting a turn.  What if you're G/B Clues?  You can play cards that investigate to draw cards but if you play too much of that effect all you're doing is drawing cards that draw cards.  If you don't find the right balance of card advantage and win conditions you'll find yourself either having too much or too few of one and it'll make your deck synergies weaker.

I think the biggest offender of complexity in this set would have to be Delirium.  We're used to having instants, sorceries, and creatures in the graveyard but it hasn't mattered in any point of the game for quite some time.  We're not used to caring about having a fourth type in the graveyard and that's sometimes a little harder to actually achieve unless you're going out of your way to make it happen.  What if you open a sealed pool that has ways to get three types in the graveyard but the fourth type is difficult to do so?  Do you play the Delirium cards or not?  If you do, how hard do you go to make sure you have enough types in your deck to make it work?  Usually not having either sorceries or instants isn't a problem because as long as they do the effect you want you're not concerned about the card type.  In Shadows over Innistrad a pool without playable instants may be a huge concern if you build a Delirium deck.  How do you overcome the lack of that card type?

I've found in this format that I'm always checking graveyards.  Which of the two of us has Delirium?  How close are we to achieving it and is it a concern?  Do I need to watch out for a Dauntless Cathar or Gryff's Boon?  In other Limited formats the graveyard isn't a concern unless you're keeping track of what cards they've played.  Going on a sideways tangent from graveyards I've also found myself trying to play around common cards my opponent can discard at instant speed.  Madness cards that have the instant type aren't the issue here, it's when you can play an instant speed Twins of Maurer Estate or a Murderous Compulsion that can make combat more difficult than it needs to be.  Open mana + discard outlet + cards in hand makes for some tough turns if you're trying not to get blown out in combat.

I don't believe that complexity in a card game is a bad thing, I just don't like it when there are multiple complex mechanics in a set that make you have to account for a whole slew of things that you normally wouldn't otherwise.  With all that said, I still think it's a fun format, just a tough one to think about at times!

SOI Sealed League

This week we added rounds 2 and 3 of the league, so if you've already seen the deckbuilding/round 1 then you can skip to the new videos.

I mentioned last week that I thought this deck would have a problem getting Delirium and this week only reinforced that thought for me and it makes me question what cards I should play in the deck.  I feel I must play some amount of instants, but as I've stated before I don't feel comfortable playing mediocre instants just to achieve Delirium.  I'm already playing Wicker Witch and the only reason I'm playing it is because it gives me 2 types for Delirium (artifact and creature).  I need to get Delirium in this deck, but I don't want to play subpar cards in order to do it.  I've mention playing Anguished Unmaking so that I have a playable instant, but I'd have to play more than 1 basic Plains with very little ways to fix it.  Maybe I'm worrying too much about it and should do it?  What do you think?

The matches were a bit one-sided this week with me taking round 2 and getting destroyed in round 3.  I got a bit of a raw deal in game 1 of round 3, but that happens all the time and it's part of the game.  The only thing you can do about it is move on and try to win the next games.

SOI Draft

This draft was interesting!  The pack with Mad Prophet and Kindly Stranger was a very important pick and while it's easy to say I made the right pick due to the way the draft ended, I'm not sure if my decision was right when I made it.  I could take Mad Prophet and take it as a clear signal that red is open coming from my right, or I can further the red signal I had been sending to my left and take something else.  Now, double Reduce to Ashes may not be a signal, but if they're the only red cards in the pack then it could be that red is open but shallow.  The problem with taking Mad Prophet is that I'm passing Geistblast after having passed Dissension in the Ranks/Reduce to Ashes.  I'm still sending a red signal no matter what I do, so if I take Kindly Stranger I can circumvent that by going a different route.

Turns out red dried up a little bit after that so I wouldn't have gone too deep into red, I would still try white and likely end up W/R after having a good pack 2 with red.  Pack 2 was good for both black and red coming my way and I assume that would have remained the same if I took Mad Prophet.

PT SOI Gauntlet

Since I won't be able to do flashback videos for this article, I figured I'd replace it with videos of the Pro Tour Gauntlet.  Last time I didn't win a match with UB Eldrazi, so hopefully we can do better this time!  If all goes well I'll be back next week with videos of triple Time Spiral.

Conclusion

Being 1-2 going into my last two matches of the league isn't where I want to be but it's not something that I can't come back from.  I believe that adding white for Anguished Unmaking may make the deck better and that'll help me win the next two matches.  Here's wishing the mana works out well!  

Winning the draft was not something I thought I would do going into the draft, but after seeing the deck I drafted I thought I had a good shot of being competitive in any game I played.  I had a ton of removal and a trump card in Drogskol Cavalry should the game go long.  I don't think it ever came up, but having a Macabre Waltz in the sideboard was good insurance to have against matchups that are grindy and involve a lot of removal.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't have enough time to switch out my basic lands, but I'll take a win with regular SOI lands.

Assuming I'm back next week I'll be wrapping up the sealed league, doing another draft and diving into Time Spiral drafts.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below!

 

Thanks for reading/watching!