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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 25 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Sorry for not having an article last week, but things changed concerning my laptop from my last article and the following week.  My laptop saga has lasted close to two months and three separate laptops but I think now I have a working machine that I'm happy with (knock on wood).  The first laptop turned out to have a faulty Internet chip and would randomly freeze while using the Internet, which is very much problematic.  I was able to return and exchange it with a new laptop of the same make and model but that one also presented issues.  First the trackpad wouldn't work for an hour and then a few days later I got a blue screen.   That prompted me to return it and turn to a new model, but the one I wanted took a few days to get to the Wal-Mart I ordered it at and it was too late to actually record any material for last week.  We're back however and let's take a look at the updated schedule:

  • Today - Amonkhet Draft League #4, Amonkhet Sealed League #1 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/31 - Amonkhet Draft League #5, Amonkhet Sealed League #2 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 video
  • 6/7 - Amonkhet Draft League #6, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 video
  • 6/14 - Amonkhet Draft League #7, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 video, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 videos

We're ending the first sealed league today no matter what happens in order to try and keep on schedule as best we can.  This means that both sealed leagues won't always end at the same time, but no matter what happens whatever sealed leagues I'm doing will both end before the Hour of Devastation set review.  This also means because I didn't have a laptop during Pro Tour weekend, I didn't catch most of the Pro Tour, so I won't be able to do any analysis over those drafts.  We'll have to soldier on without them!  With that said, let's get back into the swing of things and draft!

Amonkhet Draft League #4

Looking back at the draft I don't think I made any mistakes honestly, but I know I ended up with an average draft deck afterwards.  It's neither aggressive nor defensive and it can't get any free wins for the most part if my opponent stumbles.  I have a weird mana curve and there is not a whole lot of powerful things going on.  The way the games played out my high curve did me in a bit along with just having wrong answers to the questions my opponents where throwing at me.  I had a pile of cards with very little synergy and my opponent at least had some synergy in their cards and that's what you should be trying to do in this format.  I went 0-2 drop and it felt like what I was trying to do and what my opponents did were two different things, and perhaps if I had been closer to what they were trying to do then I'd be in a better spot.  It is what it is and the deck I drafted was good for my seat but not good enough in general.  

Amonkhet Sealed League #1

Down 0-2 I told myself I would keep playing until I got my third loss and was out of prize support.  Turns out that would happen to be my third match of the league.  Looking back at the hand I kept in game 1, I think I would still do it again and play the odds to keep that hand and curve out with all the 2 mana plays in my hand if I happen to either cycle or draw into a land.  On the draw I likely mulligan since not only do I not have initiative, I'm more likely to want the game to go longer when I'm not on the play.  Doing the math I'm 96% to hit 2 mana after drawing 9 cards, which is what I was afforded by the cycle and my draw step.  If you want to do the math on drawing a land in two draws when there's only 16 land in the deck, I'm 74% to hit after those two draws.  I'm not saying that everybody should try to play those odds, but there's some amount of evidence to support doing what I did with that hand.

Game 2 was a much better game than game 1 was, but the end result did not change and I lost and promptly dropped from the league.  Looking back at the deck I see that I don't have a good curve, I'm playing Floodwaters just because it cycles early and can get brought back with Sacred Excavation later on in the game.  Outside of Glyph Keeper and Pull from Tomorrow my blue is weak and doesn't add too much to the white.  Either my pool was misbuilt or I didn't pick the best option out of the plethora of decks I made.  Hopefully our next league goes better!

Amonkhet Sealed League #2

After we added a pack from the first stage of the league, I didn't look back at the pool until a few weeks later.  With new eyes I began to question whether it was worth playing UB or not.  I remembered that I had opened a Vizier of the Menagerie so that gave me the idea of seeing if green had gotten any better with that pack and when I looked at it I was surprised as to why I wasn't playing green before.  I couldn't remember if my green was bad before or not, but the deck I was looking at was miles better than the deck I had been playing with.  I decided that since I didn't feel too strongly about my previous deck that it was worth it to experiment with the new deck and see what would happen if I played it.  Turns out it did pretty well!  I ended up with a 2-1 record to end the first two stages at 3-3, and I did have a good shot at going 3-0 in that stage with GB.  I'm not sure if GB would have been any good in the first stage, but it will be my deck of choice going into the final stage of the league.  Note: My laptop ran out of power and shut down prematurely, and when it came back up the audio cut out for the remaining portion of the final match.

Conclusion

I'm fairly happy I was able to switch into GB for the friendly sealed league, but I'm unhappy with how my two UW decks ended up performing.  Perhaps UW isn't strong in Amonkhet, or it needs to be more aggressive and have the Embalm synergies to make the deck work.  I didn't really have either of them going on in the two UW decks I had, so perhaps I just got the short end of the stick with those two?  If I draft or play UW again I'll try to be more aggressive with the deck to see if that's a better angle to take.  I feel like Amonkhet is a bit of a fast format and unless you know how to defend well you're much better off trying to attack.

Next week I'll be back with more Amonkhet Limited and hopefully it'll be on time!  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below!  As always you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.  I'm currently trying to make control/Approach of the Second Sun work in Standard, so if you're interested watch my attempts there!  You'll also find all the video content that goes up on this article much earlier than you'd find it on this site.

Thanks for reading/watching!