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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Feb 27 2019 1:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Sometime that's come up recently in discussion and is worth addressing is the merits of dropping from a tournament after you've been eliminated from any sort of meaningful Magic.  The idea is if you're playing with players who have nothing to play for, then is the practice you gain worth it?  Is it worth spending something with someone who isn't playing optimally if your goal is to better yourself?  Following that line of thought, should you be playing matches you're not as emotionally invested in?

I've found people can see both sides to the argument (to play/not to play) and for me personally I always choose to play the matches out unless my time is more valuable and better spent doing other things.  I normally play matches out when I'm in paper events and part of what I pay for is the social interaction with my fellow opponents.  We can either commiserate our fellow misfortunes or play tournament Magic in a looser environment.  If I'm playing online I normally don't invest too much money into what I'm doing so I'm less incentivized to do something that doesn't give me a payout nor advances any goals I have.  The other part of this is I can find another match very quickly and so doing something with no meaning doesn't make sense when I can substitute that for a match with actual purpose.

In the cases where I finish a Limited league with matches left to play I do so because at this point the deck and play experience is what it is and there's nothing gained from playing more matches.  If I bombed out with a bad deck I don't need to play another match with it to appreciate just how bad it was.  Furthermore, I won't ever be playing that exact same deck again so whereas in Constructed I could still get some practice with my deck, here I'm not gaining anything for future games.  Lastly, I value my time if I'm playing a game where I'm not invested I'm wasting my time and I'm also wasting yours by not giving the best I have to offer in those types of matches.  Having said that I'm more than willing to play out every round if it's so desired.  What do you think?  Would you prefer to see every match played out entirely?

  • Today - Ravnica Allegiance Draft League #5, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #1 videos, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #2 video
  • 3/7 - Ravnica Allegiance Draft League #6, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #3 & 4, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #2 videos
  • 3/14 - Ravnica Allegiance Draft League #7, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #3 video, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #4 videos
  • 3/21 - Ravnica Allegiance Draft League #8, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #3 video, Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #4 videos

Ravnica Allegiance Draft League #5

I'm not sure I made the right first pick in this draft and I would wager I made the wrong pick.  For me, I feel there's nothing impressive in the pack and with that I feel I'm correct, but where I believe I err is taking Blade Juggler first.  Perhaps I should take a Simic uncommon instead to have a stronger card to work with, or take Rakdos Guildgate and be open to anything since I took a land first.  The only thing Blade Juggler has going for it is being less of a commitment than a Simic card, but the commitment is only there if you actively make the choice to commit.  Doing it over again I believe I should take Incubation/Incongruity and be open to Simic, Gruul, and Azorius going into pick 2.  From here I agree with my picks until I have to decide whether to take the first Azorius Knight-Arbiter or take the Hackrobat instead.  In the world where I took Incubation first I would take Azorius Knight-Arbiter and see if that deck works.  By taking Blade Juggler I started to commit to a Rakdos deck when I didn't have to, and I denied myself a chance to make High Alert work or have a chance to be worth taking with an early pick.

I think I miss out on a chance for a sweet High Alert deck by being too focused on Hackrobat and Rakdos Roustabout which leads me down the path of Rakdos, which while not bad was not very inspiring this draft.  The deck came together a bit at the end and had a bomb in Ethereal Absolution if the game went long enough for that card to matter.  It absolutely mattered in one game where I don't believe my opponent could every beat that card with a majority of their deck being 1 toughness creatures.  Sadly I only cast it the one time and every other game did not go well in my favor.  A quick 0-2 in matches played leaves me wondering what I'm doing wrong in this format.  I feel it's because I'm not drafting as much as I used to with me picking up Standard as opposed to Draft on FNM.  I have 4-5 less drafts now than I did when I was playing Guilds of Ravnica, and not having the practice does show in these online drafts.

Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #1

I believe our matches can both be summarized by me not having enough removal or threats to keep myself in the games I was playing.  The deck I had was pretty average and even its removal suite was a little limited in what it could do.  I didn't have Consign to the Pit, which while expensive is something you can use to kill the big thing that is killing you.  Instead I had to hope my opponent played creatures that lined up with Clear the Stage and Summary Judgment and whatever major threat they produced I could deal with blockers.  It's not a good strategy to have, especially when taking the defensive role in games I had previously said I should be the aggressor in.  I realized my shift in strategy after the matches had ended and to be honest I'm not sure if taking a different tactic would have yielded different results.

Now, it's easy to say if I had taken a different viewpoint in my deck/pool I might have done better, but even so I don't believe I would have done any better than 1-4.  Yes, I do give myself a better percentage to be in games by not conceding early or getting rid of a negative attitude but overall I don't think my record would have changed.  It can be seen as me being negative but I'm trying to be realistic with my deck and what I'm able to do to win games and in the games where I thought I had a chance to win I maintained said attitude until my opponent proved me wrong.  In the games I knew I was already beat I still took the best lines possible until I determined I was not going to win at all.

Ravnica Allegiance Sealed League #2

Our match win aside I was not able to find any other opponents for my 8th match in the league.  I spent about 30 combined minutes trying to find an opponent before I finally gave up and moved onto my other matches.  It was a little infuriating not getting to record those matches in time but part of that is my fault for waiting so long to do those matches.  The other part with that is I wasn't expecting it to take so long for me to find a match once I got to 4-3.  I'm used to waiting 7 minutes max for a match but after 30 minutes I don't think there's much I could have done.  With that in mind I'll finish the last two matches and introduce the new league next week.

Conclusion

Not a whole lot of winning this week but you can't always be a winner.  Even the best players in the game average out to between a 60-70 win percentage and I wager my lifetime win percentage is at least 50% and that takes into account weeks I've won a lot and weeks where I can't buy a win to save my life.  Take the wins and loses as they come and try not to get bogged down by each individual tournament result.  Focus on the big picture stuff and the smaller things will line up the way they're meant to.  This is why I don't get too upset with winning or losing since while winning is a goal, learning is the ultimate prize I'm after.

Thanks for reading/watching!