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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Oct 13 2016 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  The Magic Online Prerelease has come and gone and for a moment there I had almost forgotten that this time it started on a Wednesday and not a Friday.  The two extra days of prelease are probably welcome for some, but for me it didn't affect me that much.  I don't do a lot of events during that time period so making it longer nice but not necessary for me.  It does however make sense to start on Wednesday and not Friday.  After all, if the card set is already up why not just start events already?  

The Pro Tour is this weekend and it'll be exciting to see how the players draft Kaladesh and what ends up being the best strategies to try and build.  I'll do my own breakdown of the drafts next week so hopefully we can gleam some insight into the format.  Triple Kaladesh will be the format of choice for the better part of the next three months so we need to strap in and learn this format if we want to do well on Magic Online.

The prerelease may be over, but I was able to get a sealed league and a draft league in before the prerelease ended.  For the EV specialist, these events aren't that great in terms of time vs prizes, but it's always fun to get to play with the new cards as soon as you can.  If I had the option I would just wait until release events started to make content, but that would be depriving you and myself of the opportunity to see Kaladesh in action.  So with that said, let's begin!

Kaladesh Sealed Prerelease League

Looking back on it, this pool was pretty medium.  There are some good cards (Angel of Invention, Aetherstorm Roc, Unlicensed Disintegration, Aerial Responder) but I also had to play some okay to bad cards to fill out the deck.  Not having a lot of depth in color also hurt, which isn't necessarily a feature of Kaladesh Sealed.  In fact I would call it a bug since not all the artifacts are at the same power level.  Each deck might be at least 33% artifacts, but that doesn't mean all the artifacts that are being played are good.  Some decks aren't really interested in Vehicles, and some decks don't even want to touch a puzzleknot.

If you have access to depth in color and artifacts, your pool is likely to be good and you'll have a strong deck.  The best decks in my opinion will have strong deep colors that don't have to play as many generic cards as others do.  Here I had the option of WBr and WRb, and I ended up going with WBr for most of my games.  Red had some okay cards, but 4x Chandra's Pyrohelix isn't as good as you think it would be.  It's rare that you get a 2 for 1 off that card because even though you can make 1/1 Servos, those tokens don't do anything most of the time.  Servos are pretty worthless in Kaladesh unless you have Crew 1 and/or have a way to make use of random bodies.  It really came down to my removal suite and I was better off splashing red over black.  Black gives me Essence Extraction and Diabolic Tutor to find said removal spells, whereas red is about Chandra's Pyrohelix and that card doesn't kill what I want it to kill.  I also get to play Kambal, which I technically could play in WRb, but it's a much tougher sell there.

A lot of my deckbuilding in Kaladesh Limited will factor in how I can deal with Vehicles.  They're above the curve in stats and have a bigger body than every color except green.  Green can handle Vehicles well, but very other color will have a little difficulty with it.  Renegade Freighter is likely the best Vehicle at common and it hits hard and fast if you are not prepared for it.  WBr gives me the best chance at dealing with that I feel is important in Kaladesh.

I end up finishing with a 4-1 record and I'll be the first to admit that I was a little fortunate in getting there.  Some untimely mulligans and draws from my opponents in the last three rounds made me go from 1-1 to 4-1.  Do I think this is a 4-1 deck?  No.  I expect a 2-3 or 3-2 most of the time because I know it can't handle the best decks and it doesn't really have free wins itself.  I have to use my removal to clear the way for my creatures to get through and sometimes my creatures won't line up well with their attackers/blockers.  Having said that, I'll take that 4-1 record and be happy with it.

Kaladesh Draft Prerelease League

So many Die Youngs!  What was funny about this draft is that I had done a draft at my store and ended up drafting 4 copies of Die Young and won that draft.  That deck also had Nissa, Vital Force so I can't really say it was the Die Youngs that did it for me, unfortunately.  Still, I think I drafted a decent deck in this draft.  GB Removal/Energy is a deck that has game against most decks in the field, but you need to draft win conditions otherwise the removal doesn't do anything.  It's hard to win with the leftovers because sometimes they'll play a big dude or they'll have a clogged board state and you have no way to punch through it.  The deck needs evasion or incredibly big creatures to actually get the last points of damage in.  On the flip side, you can try to win with the leftovers if you have recursion.  Fortuitous Find and/or Dukhara Scavenger will let you get rebuys on your best offensive threats.

I went 2-1 with this deck due to that first round just completely lagging out on me.  I'm not really sure what happened there.  I finished the other 2 matches an hour later and I had no issues with the recordings, and I had no issues for the 3 matches I played prior to that.  I'm inclined to believe it was Magic Online, but I honestly don't know for sure.

Kaladesh Practice Sealed

First practice sealed pool for the season and we got a bit of a stinker.  In most cases in Kaladesh Sealed you're going to find yourself with an artifact base that can go in any deck and then cards you could play with your artifacts.  In this pool we have UW and RG, and while I built RG first I believe the better option is to play UW.  You end up curving out a bit better with the UW deck and you have two really strong cards in Saheeli's Artistry.  You may not be able to deal with the biggest threats, but if you copy them you should be able to use whatever board you have to help push through with your new threats.  It's still an average deck and I wouldn't expect to do very well with it, but at least you have a chance to steal a game or two if you play your cards the right way.

Conclusion

A collective 6-2 isn't a bad way to start out Kaladesh Limited on Magic Online.  With the 6 packs and 120 play points I earned that's a free draft and almost a free sealed league, so we get to run it back for free!  Next week I'll do an 8-4 draft, start a Kaladesh league and look over the drafts from the Pro Tour.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below!  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to get access to my videos before they come up in article form.

Thanks for reading/watching!