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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jul 19 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Magic 2019 released in paper and I was able to take part in one draft during Draft Weekend.  The first few picks weren't really of much interest outside a Dwindle but then I got passed back to back Millstones.  I enjoy mill as a draft archetype and if I'm able to position myself to draft it I'm going to make sure I do so.  I took the first Millstone as a hedge since I had a few blue defensive cards but once I saw the second my plan became to draft mill and deck out my opponents.  The table seemed to be allergic to blue and I found myself with multiple copies of Dwindle, a Switcheroo, Bone to Ash and other good blue defensive cards.  I had a bit of white for Luminous Bonds and Aerial Engineer, and a slight touch of black for Psychic Symbiont for a solid W/U/b Mill deck.  I went 3-0 in the draft only dropping one game where I didn't draw lands and had to discard to hand size multiple times.  I'm not sure I would have had the same success had there been more players drafting blue as I could have been mono blue if I wanted to do so.  I'm glad the archetype exists and it's definitely beatable if you don't play tight in all your games because if you don't properly asses the board and know when to hold your answers, you can get run over by a threat you didn't account for.

So far I'm enjoying my experience with Magic 2019 and hope to continue to do the same on Magic Online.  We've got a bunch of matches to cover today so let's get started after taking a quick look at the upcoming schedule.

  • Today - Magic 2019 Draft League #1, Magic 2019 Draft League #2, Magic 2019 Sealed League #1 video, Magic 2019 Sealed League #2 videos
  • 7/26 - Magic 2019 Draft League #3, Magic 2019 Sealed League #1 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #2 videos
  • 8/2 - Magic 2019 Draft League #4, Magic 2019 Sealed League #1 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #2 videos
  • 8/9 - Magic 2019 Draft League #5, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4

Magic 2019 Draft League #1

While I do like how I played against my first round opponent in W/U Mill, there rest of the matches didn't not fare as well.  In some games I had mana issues and while I operated as best I could given the circumstances, you still need mana and the ability to cast them in order to win.  In other situations I found myself with smaller creatures and couldn't muster much of an offense because of it.  I talked some amount of how the average creature in the set is a 2/3 and I was playing with some creatures with less power and/or toughness than a 2/3.  I don't necessarily think I drafted a bad deck, it's more so I ran into decks where some of my cards didn't matter and I drew those cards more often than I'd like.  The deck could have used more spells that mattered and less Omenspeaker/Wall of Mist type cards.  Those cards shine in a more defensive deck and are less optimal in a midrange deck like the one I drafted.

Magic 2019 Draft League #2

People always say never be tied to your first pick and it's something that was proven true here.  I do like Pelakka Wurm and feel it's a card you can win with if you're able to cast it, but it's not unbeatable and you can certainly lose before you get the mana to cast it.  I'm not sure if I would have taken Sarkhan's Unsealing with my second pick if I hadn't taken Pelakka Wurm and even though I didn't play it I'm glad I did.  My first pick pushed me into my second pick and that pick pushed me into my third pick Dark-Dweller Oracle, which ended up defining my draft.  Taking two red rares in a row led me to believe red was open and so I took red cards while remaining open on my second color.  Do I think Sarkhan's Unsealing and Dark-Dweller Oracle are first picks?  Probably not and I can see a word where I pick cards over them and pass both in a row, but I would recognize I'm sending a potential red signal to my opponent.  Having been passed those two cards and taken them, I worked under the assumption I would be fed more red cards in pack 1 and definitely have my choice of red in pack 3.

Green ended up not working out and I'm glad I hedged my bets on Brawl-Bash Ogre to give myself the option of being R/b Sacrifice should I need to get out of green.  Green was very much dry in the first pack and black to me seemed like a good place to be once I was already in red and could draft Act of Treason much more highly than I would otherwise.  Act of Treason is a card I don't like much because it varies on how good it can be and if it's not good for you it's very much bad for you.  This deck would give me the chance to play it when I'm behind and still get some use out of it, which is hard to realize in most situations you find yourself losing the race.  The second Brawl-Bash Ogre solidified my place in R/b and the rest of the draft from that point was pretty easy.  Red ended up being much more open than black ever was and so my black was more of a splash than my second color.

3-0 in the draft felt pretty good after the 1-2 record from the first draft.  Macabre Waltz felt very strong as even when I wasn't sacrificing Goblin Instigator or Doomed Dissenter for value I still had cards I wanted to get back from my graveyard.  Siegebreaker Giant and Sparktongue Dragon win games if they don't die, and if they did I could bring them back and replay them to give myself a good board presence.  I didn't get to use Dark-Dweller Oracle too much but in theory it's a way to turn my random tokens into actual cards once they're not longer relevant.  Menace proved to be a strong keyword for me as it felt my opponents often the difficult choice of either racing me or playing super defensively since their blocks were taxed by Boggart Brute and Blood-Bash Ogre.

Magic 2019 Sealed League #1

In theory I thought the Bant deck would work out since I had removal and defensive creatures early with some big threats at my top end, but in practice it did not work.  The splash for Arcades is probably fine but the deck is too slow and it's not hard to answer Arcades if I ever cast and have it in play.  The deck is a little too slow and Rabid Bite isn't the removal spell you want when you're slow and your creatures are more defensive in nature early on.  Truthfully a lot of the cards in my deck don't matter, so all my opponent needs to do is save their removal for the few cards that actually do matter.  I tried to correct this by going straight U/G for the second game of the match but I still have the same problem even if I got a better than average draw in that particular game.  I don't believe I have a deck I can play Gigantosaurus in because the mana cost is too absurd to reliably cast anywhere between turns 5-7 in a two color deck.  You likely need to be playing 10-7 split at the minimum to still play a game of Magic with a high concentration of green mana early in the game.  I'm going to look at different options for my second match, and I'm almost 100% positive I'll be playing a different deck.  What do you think?  What would you recommend?

Magic 2019 Sealed League #2

After last week I took a look at the decks once again and I felt most comfortable playing B/R even if doing so meant I wasn't going to play with Cleansing Nova.  I don't have many win conditions in W/G or W/B so Cleansing Nova isn't really a card which I can use to get ahead with.  Instead, Cleansing Nova feels much more defensive there and while it's fine to have it be used in that manner, you need actual threats to close out the game.  B/R felt better in that regard since I have a couple of fliers headlined by Demanding Dragon, and should they be killed I can bring them back with Macabre Waltz.

My record amounted to a 2-1 with the one loss possibly being a win if I didn't concede, although it's more than likely I still love from there.  My opponent made a mistake in handling their triggers and instead of leaving me with no creatures I was left with one and myself in a position where I could still win if things go my way.  If my opponent handled their triggers correctly I would have lost no matter what, and since I felt they would have announced their intended goal in paper without making a mistake, I chose to concede since I knew there wasn't a way for me to win.  This is something I don't always do, but when it's possible for me to help correct a mistake only made because of the Magic Online client, I will do my best to help correct it.  It does me no good to win on a technicality because I'd know I only won because of other factors outside the game.  Winning that way wouldn't sit well with me and so I look the loss.  The deck performed well overall and I'd be happy to run it back in the second stage to see if I can achieve more success with it.  The pack I added gave me a good amount of white cards so I'm going to look at W/x decks again before I make a decision on what deck to play.

Conclusion

Right now I'm 4-2 in Magic 2019 drafts and I already have a draft trophy under my belt, which is either tied or is the fastest I've gotten a trophy in a format so far.  Usually it takes me a few drafts to get a trophy on Magic Online but here it didn't take as long as I thought it would.  I also got a 3-0 in my first paper Magic 2019 draft so currently I'm doing very well to start off a new format.  I'm 2-2 overall in my sealed leagues but I imagine those records will improve as I look over the pools again with more knowledge/experience and see what decks I'm able to build.  The more you play a format the better able you are to determine what cards matter when you play games and what cards you need to ignore, so building decks is a lot easier once you have that knowledge.  Early on you're using knowledge from prior formats and your own theories and using that doesn't always work out as well when compared to knowledge you've gained from playing games.  In short, deckbuilding will get better the longer I play Magic 2019.

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 my videos uploaded early along with content exclusive to the channel.  My foray into Pokemon Go has left me with little time to do my usual Commander videos but I should resume doing those fairly shortly.  I'll be playing 4 Color Landfall with Kynaios and Tiro of Meletis at the helm so be on the lookout for that.

Thanks for reading/watching!

2 Comments

Black? by IYankemDDS at Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:42
IYankemDDS's picture

Thanks for all of this great content! I've only been able to watch the first draft so far.

It looks to me like you shipped a pretty good black deck. I don't think blue was really very open. I think my choice would have been black/green in this draft. At what point were you pretty sure that you wanted to go into blue?

One thing I am getting from this format is that the archetype cards are great if you are solidly in the archetype, but it can be difficult to take some of the pieces and hope to draft your way into it. I am personally ending up with a lot of "good stuff" decks, even when the archetype for the color pair suggests something more synergistic.

Thanks again for the videos!

Yeah, blue wasn't open but I by MarcosPMA at Tue, 07/24/2018 - 15:57
MarcosPMA's picture

Yeah, blue wasn't open but I was too far in to switch out I think. I wanted to make Skilled Animator and Sai, Master Thopterist work but it didn't come together at all. In hindsight I should have chosen another color.