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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jun 01 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I just realized that our time with Amonkhet will come to a close relatively soon.  We have the entire month of June to focus on Amonkhet before July brings us Hour of Devastation and with it a huge shake up to Amonkhet Limited, and hopefully Standard as well!  Until that happens though we'll be trucking along with Amonkhet and keep trying to win as many matches as we can.  We'll probably only have time to do 5 Sealed Leagues, and that 5th one would have to be a competitive league so I can do it in about 2 weeks or so.  With that in mind, let's look at the upcoming schedule for the next few weeks:

  • Today - Amonkhet Draft League #5, Amonkhet Sealed League #2 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 video
  • 6/8 - Amonkhet Draft League #6, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 video
  • 6/15 - Amonkhet Draft League #7, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 video, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 videos
  • 6/22 - Amonkhet Draft League #8, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 videos

We might end up with ten Amonkhet drafts by the time the set review for Hour of Devastation hits, I'm not too sure about that yet.  I'll try to get to ten drafts if time permits, but I won't force the issue.  We'll more than likely end up with nine drafts by the time it's all over, which isn't too bad.  That along with the drafts I've done real life will have given me 20-25 drafts, and I'll likely end up with a win rate overall of 55%-60% in the format.  It's not exactly the best win rate but it is what it is.  Sometimes you have a good grasp of a format and you have 75%+ win rate (Theros only Limited for me), or you never get the hang of it and just crash and burn no matter what happens (Amonkhet lately).  You can't win all the time, you can only try your best to win as often as you can.  Accepting that the possibility of losing is always there is something that I feel is a good asset to any Magic player, or just in general.  Being realistic with yourself allows you to grow since you'll know when you're doing well and when you're not.  Just something to think about; with that said let's open packs!

Amonkhet Draft League #5

I look back on this draft and I feel like I tried doing the right things by staying open and trying to read the table, but in the end it didn't work out for me.  I don't know if it was just the packs being soft or people forcing colors, but I was in a point where I didn't know what my second color was because I didn't feel like anything was open.  At first I thought I might held into black with Cartouche of Ambition, but then I got a Vizier of Deferment, which made me consider white but nothing really came out of those two colors in the first two packs.  I kept trying to take speculative picks while staying in red, but that strategy didn't work out too much.  A viewer on YouTube said I should have tried to force my colors, but I don't think the signs of a second viable color where there until I forced black in pack 3/all the green cards in pack 3.  I don't think I could have ended up green from my seat in pack 1 and 2, so seeing open green in pack 3 was a little frustrating.

Overall the deck just wasn't very good.  It did have a chance at a 2-1, but it wasn't meant to be.  The deck was very easy to disrupt if I didn't draw the right amount of creatures to pressure my opponent.  Merciless Javelineer was quite excellent and the only reason I even won a match, so there's something to be said about that card.  It's a little disappointing but you can't win them all right?

Amonkhet Sealed League #2

Heading into the final three matches I was hoping for a 3-0 sweep so I could end up 6-3 and not feel too bad about my 1-2 finish in the first stage with the UB deck I tried playing.  I ended up with another 2-1 for an overall record of 5-4 for the league and play points for an Amonkhet draft.  Looking back on it while I don't know what my GB deck would have looked like in stage 1, I feel I would have had a much better chance at success if I had tried that for the entire league.  Perhaps it saves me a match win and I end up with the 6-3 I wanted to get, but that's something that I can't know for sure.  Overall I'm glad I switched decks because the GB deck was so much better than the UB deck would ever be.  I'm happy I was able to realize I made a mistake and fix it instead of trying to wallow with a miserable deck for all nine rounds of the league.

Amonkhet Sealed League #3

This is quite the interesting pool, to say the least.  I only have 34 creatures to work with across all 5 colors, and that's not quite the number you're looking for when you start out with a pool.  Generally speaking I'd like 45-55 creatures to work with and not be so "rich" with noncreature spells.  The fact of the matter is that games of Limited are won with creatures about 90% of the time.  Sometimes your noncreature spells will win for you, but more often than not you're going to have to rely on attacking to win the game.  When you have 34 creatures across all colors BEFORE you get to cutting the chaff, you're going to be in a bad spot.  Out of those 34, I'd probably cut about 8 of them in a vacuum.  I'm averaging close to 5 creatures per color if all colors were equal.  That can't fly, you're not going to win games with just 10 creatures.  I don't have enough good cards for a 2 color deck, so I need to play 3 colors.  The problem there is little mana fixing and I don't get better creatures if I play three colors.  I'm priced into black since 4 Final Reward can help me get rid of problem creatures if I can survive long enough.  Cartouche of Ambition times three seems great in theory, but I have so few creatures that actually would like to have the aura enchanted on them.  

I showed Esper in the video as a possible deck, but maybe I need to go Abzan?  Greater Sandwurm is a win condition even if it's pricey at 7 mana.  It feels like green can help win the game if I'm able to get to 7 mana, but that's a pretty big if.  I could also try Sultai if I feel Kefnet the Mindful is worth it as a win condition.  What do you think?  What colors would be ideal to get a good deck going?

Conclusion

Amonkhet has not been kind to me on Magic Online, but hopefully that changes soon.  I know I said I had a 75% win rate with Theros only Limited, but is that really true?  I'm going to calculate the numbers and see which format had the best win rate and which format had the worst win rate for me.  Even if my win rate is less than I think it is for Theros, I still remember that as a format where I knew what the decks were trying to do and what sideboard cards to take so I could combat other strategies.  I've never gotten that deep into a format since then, and that makes me sad.  It is what it is however.

Next week I'll be back with more Amonkhet Limited and hopefully I'll do better than this week.  I haven't had a good draft in a while, so maybe I'm due? In any case I'll be started a new sealed league as well so hopefully I open a pool with more creatures than my newest pool as to offer me.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below!  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here, I try to upload new content every day and it'll have exclusive content only for the channel, so check it out!

Thank you for reading/watching!