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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Oct 26 2017 2:07pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I finished up my single game draft league that I mentioned last week to a finish of 6-4, one win short of getting back my money for another draft.  The games I lost were mostly to mulligans/mana issues, so when those didn't happen I had a deck that was capable of winning any game it played.  It was a fairly simple R/W deck with 3(!) Firecannon Blast as red was quite open.  I could have had more Firecannon Blast if I wanted them, but I decided that three was more than enough for what I wanted to do.  I started up another single game draft league and this time I'm GW Dinosaurs (I believe).  From the two drafts I've done I have a feeling that drafting a good deck is much easier here, but I'm not going to definitively say that just based on two drafts.  After all, it could just be a function of me drafting better as opposed to being seated with worse drafters.  Who knows?  Only time with tell.  Speaking of time, let's look at the upcoming schedule:

  • Today - Ixalan Draft League #4, Ixalan Sealed League #3 video, Ixalan Sealed League #4 video
  • 11/2 - Ixalan Draft League #5, Ixalan Sealed League #3 videos, Ixalan Sealed League #4 videos
  • 11/9 - Ixalan Draft League #6, Ixalan Sealed League #3 video, Ixalan Sealed League #4 videos
  • 11/16 - Ixalan Draft League #7, Ixalan Sealed League #3 videos, Ixalan Sealed League #4 videos

I know the Pro Tour will be coming up soon but I'm not going to discuss any of the drafts the week after the tournament is over.  At this point we're not looking for guidance in those drafts, so they're not as useful as they normally would be.  We're starting up two new leagues today to show off what we've learned these past few weeks playing Ixalan Sealed.  Will we open good pools or have to dig deep and find playables out of a stack of mediocre cards?  Let's go and find out!

Ixalan Draft League #4

You know, I've drafted more than my fair share of River's Rebuke than I really care to know.  At one point I had a paper playset just from drafting AND playing them.  It's a very strong card, which is why when I saw it second I knew I had to play blue.  It's good at almost every point in the game, and even if you are behind it's not the worst thing you could be doing.  It's not strong when you're behind because you're still behind even after they recast everything, so it's not a particularly good defensive measure if you're trying to use it as such.  At parity or if you're ahead it's quite a strong play as you at the very least get one alpha attack that will go unblocked, and you don't risk dying on the next attack.  Given how the card plays out I wanted to make it as strong as possible, adding cards like Run Aground and Depths of Desire to add to the theme of keeping my opponent off balance.  The blue didn't come together as I would have liked, but red gave me enough things to do that the blue I had didn't need to be stellar for me to have a playable deck.

I didn't like my chances with this deck but somehow I managed to pull off a 2-1, and I like to think that it happened because of the way I drafted once I had the River's Rebuke.  I wanted to be attacking so I could leverage my rare to the best of my ability, and so even when I didn't draw River's Rebuke I still had a gameplan that I could execute with the right draw.  For the most part Ixalan is a format that is fast and you don't want to durdle too much otherwise you'll get beat down by quick creatures or a huge swarm of Vampire tokens.  This is turning out to be a format where I'm more comfortable playing 16 lands than I would before, and given my propensity to want to play slower decks, is a little surprising.  That said, if attacking and playing less land is what is going to give me success here I'll keep doing it until it stop working.

Ixalan Sealed League #3

You don't always get a straightforward pool to build from, but this is one of those times where there's only one real option.  Given my Walk the Plank and Contract Killing in black, it's hard to pass up that color when removal is always a premium in Limited.  Green has creatures and Savage Stomp, adding to my removal suite and making sure my opponent has a hard time sticking their best creatures on the battlefield.  White and blue have too few cards to make them worth considering right off the bat, and once you break them down you see that they're not very good either.  Red has a shot of being playable, but it would have to rely on green or black being outstanding to make up for the lack of depth in red.  Splashing is an option here but with little fixing and not enough payoffs it's not an route I want to take.  In the end it's a simple G/B build with a mix of good removal and okay creatures.  Is that enough?  We'll find out next week.

Ixalan Sealed League #4

This pool is much more complex than the pool above it, but it really comes down to what color I'm pairing green with.  Blue doesn't have enough good cards to make it worth playing, and you can see this is the case as none of the decks I made had blue in them.  Instead I made three green decks and a WB one, so it really comes down to what I want to play green with.  I mentioned in the video that I didn't make any decks with Revel in Riches in mind and for the moment I'm not going to play my first three matches with it.  It's not a bad card by any means, I just don't think I have the support to make it worth my time to play that card.  I'd want a few more treasure producers before I commit to playing Revel in Riches.

Looking over the curve of both GW and GB I have to give the edge to GW as having very few turn 3 plays in GB is going to be a concern, plus it's hard to pass up on double Territorial Hammerskull as that gives you a good percentage of games where you go 2 drop, Hammerskull, anything on 4 after you attack.  That sequence puts pressure on them while taking away their best block, and it only gets worse if you can back that up with removal so they can't defend themselves well.  I'm of the mindset of trying out GW for at least the first match to see how it goes.  What do you think?  What would you play?  Do you think I'm overlooking anything?


2-1 in the draft brings up our Ixalan Draft record to 4-6 for a 40% win rate in Ixalan.  I'm not happy with where I'm at overall, but I'm happy with how these past two drafts have gone.  If we look at those records alone we end up with a 66% win rate, which is pretty good all things considered.  I've yet to still win a draft, but I won't stop in that quest anytime soon.  Next week I'll have another draft plus the first few matches of both my sealed leagues.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here where you'll find all the videos in this article series posted early along with content exclusive to the channel.  Right now I'm trying to learn Legacy with a UW Back to Basics deck, so go check that out and see why Legacy is a tough format to play without much practice.   I'll do my best to make the right decisions and learn from any and all mistakes I make.

Thanks for reading/watching!