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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 23 2019 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  I had a thought to rank the planeswalkers in War of the Spark to see if they differed from my initial assumptions about the format.  At first I thought everyone would first pick a planeswalker from their pack, but it turns out that isn't the case.  Some aren't worth taking first since they have little impact in play and/or if you had them you wouldn't go out of your way to protect them.  This goes against the normal play pattern for planeswalkers as they tend to be a good resource to manage and keep in play, so knowing which ones to protect and which ones to leave defenseless is key.  You don't want to expend resources killing a planeswalker when you don't have to, and the by the same vein you don't want to waste time protecting a weaker one.  I'm going to evaluate them as much as I can within in a vacuum, but some aspects of the format will come into play.  Here's how the scale works:

  • A Tier - First pick planeswalkers.  Bombs that can take over a game, very difficult to interact with.
  • B Tier - Sometimes first picks, but a good rare/mythic can be taken over them.  Good value but not game breaking.
  • C Tier - Niche planeswalkers, they play a support role in decks.  Not first picks.
  • D/F Tier - Very narrow and not worth protecting.

A Tier

B Tier

C Tier

D-F Tier

A general note when it comes to the C Tier planeswalkers: since I'm evaluating in a vacuum these cards need other cards/concepts to fully work, so they're less reliable when looked in a broader sense.  I know Teferi, Tamiyo, Saheeli, and Narset can be powerful cards, but they need the right archetype for them to fully taken advantage of.  The higher up the tiers you go the more likely it is the card is powerful on its own and doesn't need a specific archetype to make it work.  Some of the B Tier planeswalkers and all the A Tier planeswalkers have ways to protect themselves and/or produce other creatures to flood the battlefield.  Left unchecked these planeswalkers can turn the battle well into your favor and make it extremely difficult for your opponent to make any headway in the game.  With all that said let's take a look at the upcoming schedule and play some games:

  • Today - War of the Spark Draft League #2, War of the Spark Sealed League #1 video, War of the Spark Sealed League #2 videos
  • 5/30 - War of the Spark Draft League #3, War of the Spark Sealed League #1 videos, War of the Spark Sealed League #2 videos
  • 6/6 - War of the Spark Draft League #4, War of the Spark Sealed League #3, War of the Spark Sealed League #4
  • 6/13 - War of the Spark Draft League #5, War of the Spark Sealed League #3 video, War of the Spark Sealed League #4 videos

War of the Spark Draft League #2

As I said in the video I had drafted a version of this on Magic Arena and it's a fun deck to draft if you get all the right pieces to get it going.  G/x proliferate is a strong archetype that I believe should always be explored if you have an early Evolution Sage and have good access to green cards.  The games where you can set up planeswalkers and/or creatures with +1/+1 counters and overwhelm your opponent with proliferate triggers are very fun and explosive, and you get the benefit of making every land matter.  Generally speaking you want to do this with planeswalkers that make creature tokens so you can keep generating creatures every so often to not only protect your planeswalkers but attack for the win.  The best part about this type of deck is even if you don't find Evolution Sage or any other proliferate card, you're still playing good planeswalkers and that in and of itself is a good plan.

I'm not surprised to go 2-1, but it was an odd 2-1 result.  The first match went pretty well for me, the second match was practically free, and in the third match things had to go pretty poorly for me to lose the last two games.  I don't think these games represented a good showing of what the deck can do since when I won I was massively ahead and when I lost I was massively behind.  The truth lies somewhere in the middle, if you can stay at parity or be slightly ahead you can push forward with your planeswalkers, and when you're behind it's harder to defend yourself when you have so many noncreature spells in your deck.  What do you think?

War of the Spark Sealed League #1

As much as it's cool to have God-Eternal Kefnet and Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God in the same deck I don't think it's actually going to work out the way I want it to.  The UB/r deck is too slow and doesn't have as much removal as it needs for being a slow deck.  It's not so much that I need more Sorin's Thirst, it's more that I need cards like Despark and Wanderer's Strike to deal with bigger threats.  WB gives me more removal and the opportunity to get free wins with a good curve and Gideon Blackblade.  I'm 0-2 now in the league and need to win 3 straight matches in order to get any prizes, so deck selection is going to be key moving forward.  I believe the best chance I have at winning games is to play WB.  What do you think?

War of the Spark Sealed League #2

Oddly enough, this is another pool where I have to ask myself if playing blue is actually worth it and I believe the answer is no.  The key to blue is that it makes it easier to play Enter the God-Eternals but other than that I'm not getting anything better than what black would offer me.  In the end I'm still relying on God-Eternal Oketra to win me games but I can also lean on Dreadhorde Invasion if I need to and it plays well with Spark Reaper and Cruel Celebrant as we saw in some of the games we played.  The big question is should I play Enter the God-Eternals in WB/u and I'm not sure if the answer is yes or no.  The answer is likely no since I need double black for Sorin's Thirst and every Island I play makes it more difficult to cast Kaya, Bane of the Dead.

I did have two hard fought matches in order to improve to 2-0 in this stage and given the length of the matches I didn't have enough time to record the 3rd match of the stage, so next week will be a little weird as I'll do the last match, add the pack and then finish up the league.  At this point I need to start with the WB/u deck and if I don't get an amazing pack for WU/b then I'll likely stick to WB for the last three matches of the league.

Conclusion

One of the best parts of having league style sealed pools with no deckbuilding timer is having the option ot make as many decks as possible so when you find yourself in a situation where you need a new deck for postboard games, you actually have it there.  It's likely saved me more often than I've thought and I would say you lose equity if you don't make extra decks in the deckbuilding portion of league style play.  The only thing it costs you is time and it can save you in so many situations.  If nothing else the more you make decks the easier it becomes for you to spot the good ones from the bad ones, saving you time in places where you have a time limit in deck construction.

Next week I'll be back with another draft and the remainder of the matches left in my two sealed leagues.  I don't expect much in my competitive league but I have hope we can turn out a positive record in the friendly league.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns leave them in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading/watching!