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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
Jul 21 2015 11:00am
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Hello and welcome to another edition of Sealed Success!  Magic Origins has officially been released and I can't wait for it to get onto Magic Online so I can start drafting it.  With any luck I should be in Dallas for the Grand Prix this weekend, which would make next week's article a week late if I'm at the Grand Prix playing.  Should I not be able to go to the Grand Prix I'll have some Origins drafts to go over.

Magic Origins Thoughts

Last week I went over my first prerelease pool and today I want to go over my 2nd and 3rd pools I did during the prerelease.  While I do think I built a solid deck during my first flight, it was the wrong build for the format that we're all playing in.  In essence, I tried to make a slow midrange deck in a sea of small aggro decks.  Even though most sealed pools won't be able to curve out, being able to block starting on turn 2/3 is a huge deal in this format because of renown.  A lot of creatures start off as 2/2 or 3/3.  If you're able to make the jump from 2/2 to 3/3 or 3/3 to 4/4, you have a huge edge against your opponent.  If you're on the draw and don't play a creature on turn 2 and get hit by a Topan Freeblade, you're quite far behind unless you're able to stabilize with something bigger than an X/3.  Cards like Yoked Ox and Hitchclaw Recluse are great blockers early since they're able to block most creatures with renown.  

When you're building your sealed pools, you have to consider the fact that renown and prowess make up a lot of the creatures you're going to see. This makes cards like Read the Bones and Macabre Waltz slower and more inefficient that you'd think, and it makes removal like Unholy Hunger seem mediocre because of how expensive it is.  If you're the blocking deck then you want to have cheap removal and early blockers to deal with the renown threats that will be coming at you.  An X/4 will pretty much block anything early on, which might make Yoked Ox a decent card to start in your maindeck.  If you're the attacking deck, you have to realize that others will be ready for you.  Cheap removal, early tempo plays, and pump spells are key if you want to maintain an early advantage.  Grasp of the Hieromancer is a great play early on if you attach it to a renown creature.  The end result will likely be a 4/4+ if it connects, which in turn reduces the amount of spells that can kill it.  Akroan Jailer is likely to be too expensive to be useful in attacking decks, but I'm not completely against playing the first copy.

Having evasion in this format is a huge boon if you're able to get it.  Stratus Walk on a renown creature early on is a lot of pressure on your opponent and could kill them quite quickly if they don't have an answer.  Furthermore, it's actually not easy to block a flier in this set.  Hitchclaw Recluse, Aven Battle Priest and Ringwarden Owl are the best blockers against aerial attackers but they can't deal with anything bigger than a 4/4.  

In my opinion white is the best color in the format with blue being the worst.  Blue has the hardest time attacking and is best as a support color that can block/use Claustrophobia as removal.  Green is usually the color with big creatures but in Magic Origins it is home to small Elf creatures.  Rhox Maulers is likely the best green common as it blocks mostly anything.  Vastwood Gorger is okay, but 6 mana is much more than 5 and the 6th point of toughness probably isn't that much better than the 5th (assuming you renown your Rhox Maulers).  Fiery Impulse is my pick for best red common and is likely better than Ravaging Blaze because of how cheap/efficient it is.

In essence this is a play first format and should be treated as such.

Magic Origins Prerelease Sealed Pool #2













That's a lot of Charging Griffin right there...

Color thoughts:

  • My white is very very solid with some early renown creatures and a Kytheon's Irregulars at the top end.  The removal suite is good as well and it has late game staying power assuming I'm able to keep Kytheon's Irregulars in play long enough.
  • My blue is very mediocre/bad.  It's not deep enough to be a main color nor is it strong enough for me to really consider it to be a support color. Separatist Voidmage and Ringwarden Owl are the only cards of note here.
  • Black as the same issue as blue:  not strong or deep enough to be worth considering.  I like the Reave Soul and Unholy Hunger, but after that it drops hard.
  • Red is solid, but it's not better than white in my opinion.  Embermaw Hellion, Ravaging Blaze, and Lightning Javelin are the best cards followed by Akroan Sergeant and Abbot of Keral Keep.
  • Green is just bad.  It's weaker than red and green while being slightly worse than black which is a color I'm not really considering playing.  Titanic Growth and Wild Instincts are the best cards here.

White is going to be my main color and since it's an aggressive color I want to pair it with a color that'll help facilitate that strategy.  I almost went mono white, but in in the end I went with a white/red deck that went 3-0 in the pod very quickly.

Prerelease #2
2 Charging Griffin
1 Kytheon's Irregulars
1 Subterranean Scout
1 Stalwart Aven
1 Akroan Sergeant
1 Embermaw Hellion
1 Vryn Wingmare
1 War Oracle
1 Topan Freeblade
2 Knight of the Pilgrim's Road
1 Sentinel of the Eternal Watch
1 Abbot of Keral Keep
1 Ampryn Tactician
1 Consul's Lieutenant
16 cards

Other Spells
2 Suppression Bonds
2 Swift Reckoning
1 Veteran's Sidearm
1 Ravaging Blaze
1 Lightning Javelin
1 Celestial Flare
8 cards
1 Battlefield Forge
1 Rogue's Passage
8 Plains
6 Mountain
16 cards
Battlefield Forge


Magic Origins Prerelease Sealed #3













So much Mighty Leap...

Color Thoughts:

  • White isn't as strong as it was in my last pool but it is still fine.  Kytheon's Irregulars is the best card here and it would take a lot for me not to play it.  White won't be my main color but it is a nice support color.
  • Blue is actually respectable here, but clearly not as good as white.  Aspiring Aeronaut isn't impressive without artifact synergies and having multiples doesn't help here.  If I play blue it's for Jhessian Thief, Whirler Rogue and Separatist Voidmage.
  • Black is just awful.  Read the Bones is nice but not great in a fast format.  Gilt-Leaf Winnower is the best card here but after that the card quality drops off considerably.
  • Red is just bonkers.  Chandra with Pia and Kiran Nalaar along with Fiery Impulse?  Sign me up!  The card quantity in red isn't the highest considering I'm only really happy to play half of the cards but it makes up for that in quality.  Chandra and her parents might just be powerful enough to get me to play red on their own.
  • Green is horrible.  I'd only want to play about 4 creatures and at that point green would be a very light splash.  Even if I do manage to find enough good cards in one color to make green a splash, I'm only getting a bunch of 2/2s as opposed to real cards.

I ended up going with another RW build since my best cards/bombs were in those 2 colors.  It's not as strong/fast as my first RW deck, but the amount of cards that can take over games is much higher (Kytheon's Irregulars, Chandra, Pia and Kiran Nalaar).  Even though it has bombs that can take over games, it doesn't have the best staying power in the late game so games where I didn't curve out I got beat pretty easily.  After 3/4 rounds I was 2-1 and it ended up being that no matter what happened in the last round I would get 3rd or 4th so I didn't take it too seriously and played mostly for fun.

Prerelease #3
1 Charging Griffin
1 Totem-Guide Hartebeest
2 Stalwart Aven
1 Sentinel of the Eternal Watch
1 Cleric of the Forward Order
1 Kytheon's Irregulars
2 Ghirapur Gearcrafter
1 Ampryn Tactician
1 Iroas's Champion
1 Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh
1 Aven Battle Priest
1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar
1 Anointer of Champions
1 Akroan Jailer
16 cards

Other Spells
2 Fiery Impulse
1 Suppression Bonds
1 Lightning Javelin
1 Sword of the Animist
1 Swift Reckoning
1 Veteran's Sidearm
7 cards
9 Plains
8 Mountain
17 cards
Charging Griffin



You'll notice that I played Veteran's Sidearm in both my decks, and to be honest I'm not sure if it was correct or not.  The idea is that it would let me get through blockers so I could renown my creatures, but it only works if you're on offense and is not the best if you're on defense.  I'm still not sure if it should be played all the time, but it's probably reasonable in most aggro decks.

Do you have any thoughts on Magic Origins?  Do you agree with my builds or no?  Let me know in the comments section below!  I'll either be back next week with Magic Origins drafts or in 2 weeks with my adventures at Grand Prix Dallas.

Thanks for reading!


I'm saving this read for by CalmLittleBuddy at Tue, 07/21/2015 - 17:45
CalmLittleBuddy's picture

I'm saving this read for tonight when the wife nods off. I'm going to be doing a ton of Sealed and Draft when Origins hits.