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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Sep 20 2018 12:00pm
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Welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Today is the last day I'll be doing Magic 2019 Limited and I'm sad to see it go so quickly.  I don't feel I got to get the full Magic 2019 draft experience given the limited amount of drafts I did online and that makes me sad.  I do have the paper drafts I did to supplement the online drafts but even so I feel I didn't explore the format as much as I wanted.  I didn't draft all the archetypes and I didn't do all the cool things I wanted to do when I saw all the cards.  It was a good format and one I felt had a surprising amount of synergy given its status as a Core Set.  There were more cards you could build around at uncommon and even some of the rares had you going in a specific direction in order to maximize their potential.  In previous Core Sets you didn't have as many cards to build around and so this was a nice upgrade to what we've had in the past.  In addition to that this was the first Core Set with multicololored uncommons for every single color pair.  More often than not we'll see off color activations or cards that care about another color or land type, but not multicolored cards at uncommon.  I suspect this was to help players getting into Magic with Core 2019 ready for Guilds of Ravnica.

Both the draft and sealed formats seemed balanced with only a few "I win the game" cards and only at the higher rarities would you encounter these cards so for the most part you have a good chance at interacting and playing the games.  The dual lands at common were a nice tough as it let you be a little more speculative with picks and have a good manabase when splashing a color for a bomb or removal spell.  Instead of hard splashes with 2-3 basics you could play 2 dual lands and 1 basic and be okay with colors every game you play.  Games of Magic are always more enjoyable when both players are able to play the game and not have difficulties with mana.   So today we bid farewell to both draft and sealed from Magic 2019 but before we do that let's take a look at the upcoming schedule:

  • Today - Magic 2019 Draft League #6, Magic 2019 Sealed League #3 videos, Magic 2019 Sealed League #4 videos
  • 9/27 - Guilds of Ravnica Sealed Set Review
  • 10/4 - Guilds of Ravnica Limited
  • 10/11 - Guilds of Ravnica Limited

I've yet to find any confirmation that Guilds of Ravnica will be available on Magic Online during the Prerelease so I'm not going to commit to anything specifically until I know for sure what I'm able to do after the set review goes live.  If nothing else I'll talk about the pools I opened during the paper events and how I fared battling against my opponents.  It's what I used to do when the release events were held during release and I'm willing to go back to that if I need to for Guilds of Ravnica.  I suspect I won't need to, but all the same I want you all to know I will be talking about Guilds Limited the week after the review goes up.

Magic 2019 Draft League #6

In all honesty Liliana, Untouched by Death is not a first pick card in this format.  She's too difficult to pull off and you're capped at how open you can use the plus ability given a 40 card deck.  It's very possible to deck if you use Liliana too many times so you have to be careful in how you use her when you cast her.  With all that said I did pick her and choose to build a deck around her because I wanted to see if it could happen.  I know with some amount of certainty that it's not worth it, but I don't know it for a fact.  Given it being my last Magic 2019 draft and my last time to play with or against Liliana in draft, I decided to take a gamble and make her my draft strategy.

It didn't really work out but I did get some sweet synergies to help what is a relatively underpowered deck.  Desecrated Tomb works with Liliana and my Reassembling Skeletons that I drafted.  Macabre Waltz and Rise from the Grave can get back creatures from my graveyard while also generating bats with the Desecrated Tomb.  I didn't get enough Zombies to really make Liliana consistent and good but I had an idea that would be the case once I started down that path.  

I'm a little surprised to go 1-2 with this draft deck since I thought it would be an easy 0-2 drop, but I was gifted a match during the second round.  I actually had a decent chance to go 2-1 after getting to a game 3 against my W/R opponent with Leonin Warleader but I had a bit of a weak start and couldn't answer the Demanding Dragon they cast once they hit a second red source.  I had a few outs to deal with it but I was unable to draw them and I lost relatively quickly after that.  Had I not picked Liliana first I likely would have had a better deck but trying to make her work was fun, and I did do some sweet things during the games even in defeat.  

Magic 2019 Sealed League #3

After being 0-3 and knocked out of any prize contention I decided I needed to make a change and pick a different deck for the last two matches of the league.  U/B wasn't doing what I wanted it to do and there's no reason to go back to it for the last two matches knowing how it performed in the first three matches.  B/G was my next option and I decided to go for it.  It has a number of the same issues the U/B deck has but at least it doesn't rely soley on Demon of Catastrophes in order to win games.  Attacking with Goreclaw, Terror of Qal-Sisma is a viable strategy and one that enables me to be more aggressive than I could with the U/B deck.  Of course, I still have issues with removal and my creatures being mediocre at times so it's not like I'm much more favored with this build than I would be with U/B.

I split my matches 1-1 to end the league at a paltry 1-4 record overall.  The pool did not give me enough removal and/or win conditions to have competitive games and a lot of times I was floundering about while my opponent played cards and turned them sideways.  I felt I didn't have many options while I was playing the games and was forced to take subpar lines because of the quality of cards in my deck.  I played the best I could given the situation I was in and at least I came out with a match win and didn't lay a goose egg.

Magic 2019 Sealed League #4

After going 3-0 in the second stage I was feeling pretty good about my chances going into the last stage with the Epser deck I had built.  The additional pack I opened gave me Arcane Encyclopedia, which I quickly put into the deck after taking out an OmenspeakerOmenspeaker is in the deck to find lands and spells when I need them and Arcane Encyclopedia is a better version of what I want to do.  Sure, I don't get the 1/3 body but the body is only relevant early and matters marginally once I get to the lategame, and in that spot Arcane Encyclopedia is much better.  Chromium, the Mutable is very good at winning games and the only way I can lose with Chromium in my deck is if I don't draw the card during the games.  The encyclopedia fixes this problem while also giving me a way to better win topdeck wars should I find myself in them.

Ending the league at 5-4 was not what I wanted to happen but there wasn't much I could do in the games I lost to avoid the result.  Whether I lost to mana flood or mulligans, it's all part of the game and it's something we accept when we sit down to play Magic.  Some number of games will be decided by flood/screw/mulligans and all you can do is hope those games happen to your opponent more often than they happen to you.  I felt I had a better deck than 5-4 would suggest but variance happens and I've completely accepted and embraced variance in Magic.  I can only worry about the things I can control in life and whatever else is left after that I don't think about.  What comes will come and I'll deal with it when it happens.

Conclusion

Normally I would conclude this article with my win percentages in both formats but I believe I'll leave it for next time.  This way I get to reflect on the numbers and see why they came to be.  A more unbiased perspective is always helpful when doing any sort of self evaluation, and generally you are less biased the longer you reflect on what happened.  In the heat of the moment we're not objective at all, so it's best to remove yourself and let things simmer a bit.  It's an approach I'll be taking with the sealed set review.  I'll do my initial analysis on my own and sit on that for a day or so before going back and recording videos.  At first glance I always get some evaluations wrong and I'm trying to correct that by being more patient with the review.

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 the videos in this article series along with videos exclusive to the channel.  I'll be uploading the set review videos a few days before they go live in article form so if you want to check them out early I suggest looking at the channel daily.

Thanks for reading/watching!