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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Aug 23 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Last week I stated I wanted to get back in the swing of things and it would be easy for me since this week is a light week in terms of required videos, but it didn't turn out that way.  I had family come in and unexpected commitments had me not on the pace I wanted to be on and so instead of doing a video every day for the channel, I only did 2 actual days of recording with 3 days of uploads.  This week will definitely be different as I'm going to have more videos to do than normal so perhaps the increased workload can help me get to where I need to be.  I haven't been playing much Magic 2019 in real life given the store I frequent is something that will happen from time to time.  This past week we had 6 for draft and the week before Commander 2018 released and had everyone playing Commander pods all night long.  In addition, I'll be doing two weeks of Chaos Draft instead of Magic 2019 which all adds up to me not doing as much Magic 2019 as I would have hoped.

I do enjoy the format and it's a nice follow up to how great Dominaria was, it's just a shame I won't be able to draft nearly as much as I want to.  Of course, I'm very excited for the Chaos Draft events and if they're a hit I hope they come back  as Chaos Draft is really a fun format for those who enjoy variance, chaos, and basic Magic.  If you approach Chaos Draft with the mentality you have for a core set draft you should be able to do well, at least that's been my experience.  I'll still be doing my Magic 2019 Sealed Leagues so it's not as though I'm going to stop playing Magic 2019 completely, so don't fret about that.  Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule and get started.

  • Today - Magic 2019 Draft League #5, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4
  • 8/30 - Chaos Draft #1, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3 video, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/6 - Chaos Draft #2, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/13 Chaos or Magic 2019 Draft, Sealed League #3 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos

Chaos Drafts will only be up on Magic Online for a week, so what this means is I'll be doing two leagues at the minimum during the week they are up and releasing them as the events end.  I've committed to doing at least the two leagues but have given myself the option to do more if I enjoy the format a lot.  From what I gather we'll be opening 24 unique booster packs from the history of Magic Online, so this should be what I'm hoping Chaos Draft would be.  If for some reason it isn't I won't do another draft after the initial two and go back to Magic 2019 drafts until Guilds of Ravnica hits Magic Online.

Magic 2019 Draft League #5

I didn't make the best decisions early on in the draft and it's possible I should have picked differently for my first pick, but I do like how I navigated the draft once I escaped pack 1.  I had a bit of an attachment to green with the Poison-Tip Archer, however it didn't stop me from being flexible and open to changing to another color should I feel it necessary.  Blue was my secondary option and when I saw green was pretty dry with blue flowing a bit I decided to jump ship and build a U/B deck.  The key here is I was heavily into black and because of this my second color was a big concern for me as I was doing well with black on its own.  When you're not sure what your second color is it's best to know what your first color is and firmly establish it no matter what happens.  As long as you have a solid foundation to stand on you'll be able to have some freedom in giving up picks or making an error or two.

The deck I drafted is a control deck of sorts, but I wouldn't call it a true control deck in the way most people think control is.  The deck is a midrange-control deck with the ability to grind out the opponent while having a draw that is able to attack early if it needs to.  The combination of double Death Baron with my various Zombies and Skeletons makes for a formidable offense/defense to supplement the noncreature spells I have: countermagic and Murder.  The games I won with the deck are the ones where I was able to grind value and maintain board parity for much of the game.  The games I lost I'm either run over quickly as I have a slow start or I don't have mana to play the cards I have in my hand.  It's a little unfortunate I was unable to 3-0 with a deck that played better than it looked, but it's not always going to work out the way you want it to.  I was at a mana disadvantaged my entire third match but I still made good choices and played to my outs as best as possible.  In the end that's all anyone can ask for.

Magic 2019 Sealed League #3

A lot of sealed pools come down to a few basic questions:

  • Do I have/where is my removal?
  • What are my win conditions?
  • Can I beat bombs?

If you have removal you play the colors with the most removal while giving you a chance to win games with win conditions.  If you don't have win conditions each game will be a struggle, but with tight play and removal you can navigate the game in such a way where you can win.  If you're unable to beat bombs then you should do your best to prevent your opponent from casting them, either you kill them or you counter them.  The key to all this is knowing what you can and cannot do, then building your deck accordingly. 

This pool has a lot of removal in both blue and black only, so if I play a deck with neither of those colors I have to slog through bombs the hard way.  None of the decks I made without blue or black had either the win conditions nor the ability to beat a bomb which disqualifies them from doing well on the spot.  The U/B deck I first made has a few win conditions but it more importantly can beat bombs and has the removal/interaction to play a good game with my opponent.  It's a little tempting to jam Goreclaw, Terror of Qal-Sisma and all the Colossal Dreadmaws in the world and force my opponent to have answers every single time, but if I do that I lose to removal and creatures in that scenario.  When I saw my removal was concentrated in blue and black I knew I had to play at least one of those colors because otherwise it's hard to win games.  If you remember a few weeks back I drafted a R/G deck with very little removal coupled with a lot of creatures and I had to fight for every game I won.  The difficulty of winning increases in sealed since you know your opponent will always play their best cards against you, so don't try and jam 20+creatures.dek in sealed.

Magic 2019 Sealed League #4

This pool was relatively straightforward in the sense that it was apparent very quickly to me that Nicol Bolas, the Ravager was the only way I was going to win games the way the pool was presented to me.  It's always good to look at other options because not only is it relatively free to do in these sealed leagues, but sometimes your first impression isn't always correct.  If you see a pool and say "X color combination is busted and X combination is not", but don't actually build the deck you don't objectively know for sure you're correct.  Furthermore, just because something looks good or bad at first glance doesn't always make it so.  Perhaps the "busted" color combination has a terrible curve and will lose to anyone curving out while the other combination is smoother and can play actual games.  This is why you see me try out different decks even though I'm pretty positive they're not worth playing.

It all comes down to how I want to splash Nicol Bolas in my deck: UB/r, UR/b, BR/u.  Given what I said in the previous section about playing all my removal and win conditions, UB/r seems like the obvious front runner for me to play games with.  UR and BR both feel as though they are splashing the red along with black and that's not necessarily where I want to be.  I also enjoy black as a main color to blue as I have both Dwindle and Lich's Caress in my deck as ways to deal with opposing threats, along with the easy splash of 2x Electrify.  What do you think?  What deck would you build?

Conclusion

All things considered I believe I had a good week this week.  My draft could have been a 3-0 had it not been for factors outside of my control and I have two sealed pools with potential to get some match wins under my belt.  Next week I'll be back with Chaos Drafts and more Magic 2019 action.  If you have any comments, questions, concerns leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading/watching!