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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jun 22 2017 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Hour of Devastation is hitting us soon with the sealed set review coming out in 2 weeks, so our time with Amonkhet only Limited is running out of time.  We have not had a 3-0 yet and next week is our last chance to see if we can do it.  This week our normal Amonkhet Draft has been replaced by Battle of the Planes, a one week only event that will be over by the time this article goes up.   I wasn't planning on doing an event but the thought of another Amonkhet Draft did not appeal to me in the slightest, so I did something else instead.  Don't worry, we'll hit up Amonkhet one more time before Hour of Devastation comes rolling around.  Before I finish up talking about my win percentages in Limited, let's take a look at the upcoming schedule:

  • Today - Battle of the Planes Sealed League, Amonkhet Sealed League #3 videos, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 videos
  • 6/29 - Amonkhet Draft League #8, Amonkhet Sealed League #4 videos
  • 7/6 - Hour of Devastation Sealed Set Review
  • 713 - Hour of Devastation Draft League #1, Hour of Devastation Sealed League #1 video, Hour of Devastation Sealed League #2 video

So I've finally finished looking at my win percentages from Battle for Zendikar to Aether/Kaladesh and this is what I found:

  • BFZ Draft 11-9 55%
  • BFZ Sealed 9-8 52%
  • Oath/BFZ Draft 6-7 46%
  • Oath/BFZ Sealed 15-8 65%
  • SOI Draft 6-5 54%
  • SOI Sealed 9-8 52%
  • EMN/SOI Draft 3-7 30%
  • EMN/SOI Sealed  10-10 50%
  • Kaladesh Draft 16-10 61%
  • Kaladesh Sealed 11-9 55%
  • Aether/Kaladesh Draft 17-15 53%
  • Aether/Kaladesh Sealed 17-16 51%

The one number I was not expecting was a 65% win rate in Oath/BFZ Sealed but the rest of the numbers seem par for the course.  I'm not exactly happy to have an average of a 50% win rate across all Limited formats, but for every game there is a winner and a loser and you can't always be the winner.  Something I thought would happen was me getting close to an average of 30 matches per format as I got farther and farther way from Theros, and that turned out to be true.  With the advent of Sealed and Draft leagues the amount of matches I'm playing is much higher than it was prior to that.  It also shows how much I didn't practice then compared to now and how a pro saying they get in 10 drafts before a PT is what I do over a 2-3 month period just on Magic Online.  

If you're looking to play at a competitive level then drafting once a week isn't going to cut it, you have to put in more drafts per week just to try and catch up to what the pros do before a Pro Tour.  Going to a Grand Prix that has Booster Draft in the main event is a dangerous game if you're not willing to have at least 10 drafts under your belt before signing up.  Should you manage to Day 2 a Limited Grand Prix you'll need to have good knowledge of the draft format in order to try and compete against better players with more practice.  If you want to get your edge in Limited then once a week sealed is likely the better option since most pros freeroll sealed and practice more on draft.

Battle of the Planes Sealed League

I signed up for Battle of the Planes since I wanted a break from Amonkhet because I just haven't been doing well in the format.  My sealed pools haven't been great and I'm not performing well in draft, so I thought a week away from draft would do me some good.  I decided to choose Innistrad as my plane since that's the plane I started on when I first started playing Magic.  Dark Ascension was my first prerelease and I was buying packs right after Innistrad had come out, so I thought it'd be nice to play with cards that I was opening right when I got into the game.  I was a little disappointed that there was no Avacyn Restored booster pack, but I guess everybody had enough bad experiences with it that one pack was just too much to bear.

I took a look at the pool and made several different decks to see what my best option was to playing against an unknown field of decks.  Given that my opponents could be in Time Spiral or Mirrodin or Ravnica, it doesn't make sense to try to "metagame" or play cards that were only good because they interacted with other cards in the format.  It'd be like putting Shredding Winds in your Theros pool because it was good against Wingsteed Rider only and then not play against fliers at all.  My white was fairly strong with both Archangel Avacyn and Increasing Devotion in my pool along with some aggressive white and red creatures.  I figured my best chance at winning was to play an aggressive deck and run them over before they got their big flashy cards in play.

I ended up going 2-1 with a win against Ravnica, a loss against it, and a fortunate time out against Mirrodin that I would have lost if my opponent kept on playing the match.  I'm not sure if I could have won my second match against Ravnica since my Archangel Avacyn was so far down in my deck and I would have decked first no matter what, so who knows what would have happened.  I can say that it was a mistake to throw so many creatures away when I attacked and used Village Bell-Ringer to give my creatures "vigilance".  I should have waited for a better attack since it wasn't like I would have won with that attack anyway.

Amonkhet Sealed League #3

Going with a match win to 2-2 before the final match gave me some hope that I would be able to win prizes in this league, but it wasn't meant to be.  2-3 was the result here and I'm not surprised by that record at all.  I did my best to win match 4 to go to 2-2, but I wasn't feeling it in the last round and it shows.  I could have played better and made tighter decisions but that wasn't the case and I died a very quick death.  Even without good mana fixing I'm glad I played Kefnet the Mindful and Pull from Tomorrow as those cards definitely helped me win the matches I did win and I would have lost without them even more than I already did.  You have to give yourself the best chance to win even though it hurts having a double blue spell in hand and no blue mana at times.  You can take a guaranteed loss or give yourself a slim chance to win, and I would prefer that slim chance as opposed to just losing all the time.

Amonkhet Sealed League #4

2-1 into 2-1 has me at 4-2 heading into the last stage of the league and I'm surprised that I have a winning record so far.  When I made my deck I thought I was giving myself the best chance at winning, but I didn't expect to actually win, especially given than some of those games have gone on for 10+ turns!  I'm still not sure if I would have won or lost if my opponent with Approach of the Second Sun did not shuffle their deck in game 3, but it did make for some exciting draw steps from my perspective!  I think not knowing when you lose the game as opposed to having 7 draw steps makes for much more exciting Magic as I could have easily lost the very next turn or never lose if the Approach landed as the bottom card.  

All I could do from my perspective is keep attacking with a Gust Walker every other turn to generate pressure on my opponent so that I give them the least amount of draw steps to kill me.  I really thought I was going to lose when they cast Approach of the Second Sun, so I'm quite fortunate that it didn't end up killing me.  Next week I finish the last section of my league to see if I can do a 6-3 or a 7-2!

Conclusion

Amonkhet is almost over and I've yet to get a 3-0 trophy.  At this point I'll settle for a 3-0 trophy from the friendly sealed league just to say I got one.  Amonkhet has not been kind to me so hopefully Hour of Devastation is the shake up I need to do more winning and less losing.  At the very least I'd like to open a good sealed pool and not feel dread when playing the matches.

Next week I finish up Amonkhet and the week after starts Hour of Devastation.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here to see all the videos in this article a few days early and extra content exclusive to the channel.

Thanks for reading/watching!