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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Aug 30 2018 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Last week I talked about possibly doing more than two Chaos Draft leagues if I enjoyed the experience and/or had enough time to do multiple drafts at a time.  Normally I record the drafting portion early and release it while I wait a few days to start the actual matches themselves.  This gives me a fresh perspective when I play the games and to possibly correct any deckbuilding errors I made immediately after the draft.  With only one week of Chaos Draft queues I had to speed up the process for the first draft, and possibly the second should the want/need of a third draft arise.  In the end I had only time to do two drafts so we will do one last Magic 2019 draft before Guilds of Ravnica comes out.

Speaking of Guilds of Ravnica, let's talk about the schedule and see where everything lines up since  preview season comes out very soon and once it kicks off it'll impact what I'm able to do before I put out the Sealed Set Review.

  • Today - Chaos Draft League #1, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3 video, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/6 - Chaos Draft League #2, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/13 - Magic 2019 Draft League #6, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/20 - Off
  • 9/27 - Guilds of Ravnica Sealed Set Review

Given the few weeks I was ill and not making videos we only are able to do four total Magic 2019 Sealed Leagues before it's all said and done.  It's unfortunate it has to be this way but in a way it's not as bad as it seems.  Even though I enjoy Core Set Limited and there are those who enjoy it as well, the vast majority of players tire of it after a few short weeks.  It's not as flashy as other expert level expansions and the perceived depth of the format is much lower than other formats that precede it.  I say perceived depth because I have to factor in bias against Core Sets in general when looking at public opinion.  The reality is Core Sets have more depth than people realize, what happens is people don't see the subtle things you can do with different combinations of cards.  I would wager to say Desecrated Tomb is not a very high pick nor would most players play it, but if you're in black you can use Macabre Waltz and Rise from the Grave to add more value to those cards by adding a 1/1 Bat every time you cast them.  You could also use Exclusion Mage to set up a Cancel or Essence Scatter when they replay the creature, or have Skeleton Archer kill any creature with a Death Baron on the battlefield.  

Of course, the slight against Core Sets isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  Limited is a very popular format and even if people don't play all the time, draft content is still easily and readily consumable for the vast majority of players.  If nothing else, draft and game play fundamentals will always be something that shines in Limited content.  I will finish my run of Magic 2019 with one last draft while I finish up the sealed leagues as well.  The week afterwards will be a dead week since there's no reason to start anything new with Ravnica around the corner, so that week will be me setting up for the set review the following week.  With all the housekeeping out of the way, let's get started.

Chaos Draft League #1

If I had to choose a pack to start out with for a Chaos Draft, it would most definitely not be Eventide.  Multicolored sets are always hard since you have to commit some amount of effort in order to play the card you pick, and doubling down on that is some of the cards are very color intensive.  Fire at Will and Murkfiend Liege are great if you have fixing or want to commit a pick to a triple blue, triple green, triple red, or triple white card, but they're not as great if you have to pick them first.  It's a tough pick for me since I want to be as open as possible so I end up taking the least color intensive card that is still good to start out the draft.  From here I find myself trying to figure out what is open or not given the packs I'm being passed.  Normally a signal would be a bomb creature, win condition, or removal spell being passed early by people who don't understand the value of them, but here either they weren't being opened or my fellow drafters were competent players in their own right.

Impelled Giant on the wheel with me having some red cards already gives me a good reason to be in red and green tends to be flexible enough so I'm able to splash or play more colors if I need to.  After pack 1 I find myself with a R/G base looking to splash white if possible and I don't stray too much from that stance.  It's much more difficult to switch colors in Chaos Draft since signals and card evaluations are less clear than a normal draft environment.  I would advise not switching colors unless you have a very clear and powerful reason to do so once you get out of pack 1 because you may find yourself being passed filler cards to pick.

The drafting experience was very fun and chaotic but did not go as well as I hoped.  Removal was very scarce for me so I had to draft Plummet style effects highly and make sure I had decent sideboard cards to deal with a variety of cards.  The game-plan with the deck is simple: play creatures and hope to beat down with them.  Not the best idea with a draft deck but you have to realize there isn't going to be much synergy in these decks.  It's not realistic to expect it to happen with 24 different packs from Magic's history.  Overall I went 2-1 and I'm happy with my performance as it allows me to get a rebuy into the next draft.

Magic 2019 Sealed League #3

This match showed why it's better to have the questions as opposed to the answers.  My deck has removal for creatures but Dwindle is not the removal you want against Sigiled Sword of Valeron, nor do you want it against a Death Baron.  My opponent had the right threats to overwhelm me while I was left scrambling for answers I didn't have.  Being the control/defensive deck only works if you're able to manage the game and not let the opponent overrun you with a card you're not able to answer.  It's not my fault I couldn't answer the cards my opponent played, it just shows why it's not always best to take a defensive position.  

The best thing to take away from the match is I need Demon of Catastrophes in play for me to put pressure on my opponent.  A lot of my creatures are not very good offensively so I can't put myself in a situation where I can effectively race to win a game.  If I am not favored going long then I'm doomed to lose those games, so I need to draw and play Demon of Catastrophes almost every single game.  Here's hoping it happens for the remaining four matches in the league.

Magic 2019 Sealed League #4

I felt going into the games that I needed Nicol Bolas, the Ravager in order to have a shot at winning and that was proven to be correct very quickly going through the stage.  Without Nicol Bolas, the Ravager in my U/B/r deck I don't have an actual way to win the game since my offensive capabilities are very limited.  I could try and play Psychic Corrosion as a way to win long defensive battles but I don't feel that's the right way to go about things.  I feel very lucky to have won a match since I'm putting all my hopes and dreams on one card.  I'm not sure if the other decks I made would have fared better since the tradeoff in having worse removal is not worth having perhaps one better creature on offense.

I do get some hope with me opening Chromium, the Mutable in the pack after completing the first stage.  I have a much better manabase in Esper than I do in Grixis, and Chromium, the Mutable is about as powerful as Nicol Bolas, the Ravager so I don't lower my power level by choosing a different win condition.  I'll look over any potential Esper decks and see if they're better than any deck I currently have.  As it stands I don't feel I'll do too well with the Grixis deck so I'm open to alternatives to better improve my odds of winning.

Conclusion

I didn't have the best showing in my sealed leagues but that's a product of the limitations of my pool as opposed to poor play.  Now, there isn't much I can do to rectify the problem but at the very least I know what I'm going up against and what I can and cannot do in matches.  Once you know the style of games you're able to play you can make better decision and increase your odds of winning.  Knowing how to play and how you can play is half the battle, the rest is up to factors you can't control so it's best to only focus on the things within your grasp.

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 can find all my videos posted early along with content exclusive to the channel.  I'll be posting some game play videos with Najeela, the Blade-Blossom relatively shortly so be on the lookout for that.

Thanks for reading/watching!