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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jun 30 2015 12:00pm
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  The Dragons of Tarkir Limited Championships have come and gone with me unfortunately not taking home the crown.  You can't win them all right?

Dragons of Tarkir is pretty much now a dead format and it's been a bit odd really.  Modern Masters 2015 cut the life expectancy of Dragons in half and the fact that Modern Masters drafts got extended on Magic Online pretty much nerfed any interest in drafting that format again.  It feels like we never got a really good chance to sink in and find out the inner workings of this format.

With that said, it's still good to look over the format one last time even if the information will largely be useless in a few short weeks.  The more information and data you have, the better your decisions are in the long run.  For example, take the latest StarCityGames.com Standard Open.  Dragons of Tarkir Standard at this point is quite irrelevant since the Prerelease will be in two weeks and after that there will be a whole new metagame with Magic Origins coming out.  So it might be more useful to you to ignore that event and/or avoid Standard until release week since the information you get won't feed into a DTK Standard event.  However, it does feed into a Magic Origins Standard even which in turn is influenced in some part by the old Standard format.  If deck X was the best deck going into the last event and it was won by deck Y, then updating deck Y with Magic Origins gives you a starting point on how to attack the new format.  If all you have is that deck X was the best deck and you update that deck, you're going to be missing some pieces as you head into the new format.

So how does this relate from one dead Limited format to a completely new Limited format?  Drafting is a combination of art and skill and in order to hone your craft you need to keep practicing no matter what.  Take music for example, a musician must practice every day if for no other reason to maintain their skill level and proficiency.  If they take a week or two off, they are going to sound completely different and be more sluggish than if they had continued to practice every day.  If you don't keep drafting frequently then your card evaluation skills will start to drop a bit and how you read signals and position yourself in a draft will be more difficult for you.  The longer you draft, the better idea you have about every single card in the format and that is something that you can take with you into another format.

Lastly, practicing Sealed even in a dead format is something that can carry over into any other format.  The idea behind Sealed is that you pick the best 2 colors in your pool and play as many powerful cards that you can stuff into your deck.  It sounds the same as in Draft, but there you can choose the cards you get and what strategy you think is best for you to draft.  Sealed Deck is a different animal in that it requires you to make the best use out of tools that are given to you without your input.  It's one thing to draft UW Heroic in Theros block but it's another to GB midrange in Theros sealed even though that's not something you would normally draft.  If you're well versed in Sealed Deck then you can go into any Limited format and have a fighting chance in deck construction even if you're having to read every single card you open.  Eventually you get to the point where you recognize the good cards and can weed out the bad cards and use your play skill to go 3-1 or 4-0 in events.  Michael Jacob is living proof of that. 

So with all that said, let's take a look and break down my pool from the Dragons of Tarkir Limited Championships:

DTK Champs Deckbuilding

Last week I touched on a few key points about Dragons of Tarkir Sealed and those were to be able to generate card advantage and have a win condition.  Sadly, my pool failed to give me ways to do those things.  The deck I constructed was bad, it contained a lot of filler/mediocre cards and was short on card that were powerful enough to swing things in my favor.  If my Harbinger of the Hunt dies on curve, then all I really have to win the game with is a Stampeding Elk Herd.  5 mana 5/5 is not going to get the job done.  I was also short on really good removal.  There are cases where you can overload on removal and win with a Wind Drake or something as long as you have proper control of the game.  My pool could not afford me that and while I did have some removal spells, they were pretty situational and not as effective if they're not backed up by an actual game plan.  After I submitted my deck I thought to myself  "It's going to take a miracle to make top 8".

DTK Champs Rounds

I got a "bye" in round 1 and couldn't muster a win after that.  It was pretty disappointing to not get a match win using my actual deck but it was par for the course.  I didn't have the tools to win a fast game or a long game and was just hoping to get there with some random dudes.  Yes, mistakes were made during some of the games but the end result would still be the same in my opinion.  Not every pool is going to be good and that's a part of the game.  You have to accept that sometimes you'll get a dud and there's nothing you can about that.

Modern Masters 2015 Draft

Conclusion

Magic Origins will be fully spoiled by the end of this week so I'll see you all next week with the complete Sealed Set Review for Magic Origins.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please leave them in the comments section below!  After the set review I'll follow the following two week with reports from the Prerelease then hopefully a report from GP Dallas/Fort Worth.

Thank you for reading/watching!