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By: Sabi0, Kyle Lewis
Aug 25 2016 11:00am
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Hey Readers. Since MTGO has been focused on sealed for the past two weeks and with the Limited Championships for Eldritch Moon looming, I thought it would be a good time to talk about EDM Sealed. Our primary content is a video, so let's get that posted: 

I learned from the mistakes of my last video and was able to record this one properly in 1080 resolution. Also, this time I went over deck building and then presented replays of the games, which means the whole video takes under an hour. I'm really curious if people like this format and are interested in seeing more videos in this style, perhaps for Draft or Standard. Make your voice heard in the comments section. Also, if you want to skip to a certain match in the video, there are timestamps in the description.  Below, I'll hit on a few key points the video addresses.

If there is a moral that stands out most strongly in our video, it's play your bombs. This may seem obvious, but it's an important principle of sealed that is easy to underestimate. Say, for example, you have a middling R/G midrange deck. Your blue is very shallow, but it has Wharf Infiltrator. It might be correct to splash for Infiltrator even if you can't support blue as a main color. This rule does have limits, Tamiyo, The Moon Sage might be the best limited card in the set, but that doesn't mean you need to jam Bant colors in your deck. In our deck for example, many of our cards aren't that exciting, but the ability to play Bruna, the Fading Light, Spell Queller, Collective Effort, and Wharf Infiltrator makes blue white an easy choice.

Another important general piece of sealed advice is not to skimp on creatures. Our deck plays two Ironclad Slayer with zero targets, but just having enough creatures in the deck made them more than worthwhile. Unexciting creatures are much better than unexciting spells. In EDM sealed in particular, try to avoid Grizzly Bears as much as you can. The format is not fast, and two-drops aren't essential. The limited environment is also wrought with x/3s, so 2/2s for two will do nothing more often than not. If you expect to be attacking with a creature in this format, it really needs to have evasion or more than two power. Along those lines, flying is very good in this format. It's good enough that even overcosted effects like Vessel of Ephemera are worth casting. Picking up on these things-- how important are two drops, how good is evasion, what are the good common creatures, etc--will tell you a ton about a format and are key pieces of information in limited.  The deck I ended up playing looks like this:

Eldritch Moon LCQ
- 92 Cards Total
1 Thalia's Lieutenant
1 Stitched Mangler
1 Pious Evangel
1 Guardian of Pilgrims
1 Bruna, the Fading Light
1 Wretched Gryff
1 Nebelgast Herald
2 Ironclad Slayer
1 Faithbearer Paladin
1 Wharf Infiltrator
1 Spell Queller
1 Desperate Sentry
13 cards

1 Jace's Scrutiny
1 Humble the Brute
1 Borrowed Grace
1 Convolute
4 cards

1 Pore Over the Pages
1 Welcome to the Fold
1 Collective Effort
3 cards
1 True-Faith Censer
1 cards

1 Vessel of Ephemera
1 cards
7 Island
7 cards
2 Peace of Mind
1 Swamp
1 Island
1 Rise from the Grave
1 Mountain
1 Prey Upon
1 Might Beyond Reason
1 Foul Orchard
1 Lamplighter of Selhoff
1 Nagging Thoughts
1 Quilled Wolf
1 Skeleton Key
1 Rancid Rats
1 Uncaged Fury
1 Compelling Deterrence
1 Intrepid Provisioner
1 Crawling Sensation
1 Pyre Hound
1 Dual Shot
1 Insolent Neonate
1 Cathar's Companion
1 Byway Courier
1 Grotesque Mutation
1 Contingency Plan
1 Lunar Force
1 Weirded Vampire
1 Liliana's Elite
1 Wailing Ghoul
1 Gavony Unhallowed
1 Graf Rats
1 Cemetery Recruitment
1 Deranged Whelp
1 Make Mischief
1 Alchemist's Greeting
1 Thermo-Alchemist
1 Vildin-Pack Outcast
2 Brazen Wolves
2 Shrill Howler
1 Woodland Patrol
1 Swift Spinner
1 Thirsting Axe
1 Lunarch Mantle
1 Give No Ground
1 Fogwalker
1 Take Inventory
1 Turn Aside
1 Murder
1 Blood Mist
1 Abandon Reason
2 Stensia Innkeeper
1 Borrowed Hostility
1 Collective Defiance
2 Waxing Moon
1 Crossroads Consecrator
2 Bloodbriar
1 Cathar's Shield
1 Backwoods Survivalists
63 cards

The deck played out very smoothly and only lost two games overall. Our bombs were a huge deal, but our suite of decent creatures and utility spells set us up to take good advantage of the more powerful cards. 

Round one game one was one of our two loses. We keep a semi-greedy hand and our opponent gets a quick start with Devilthorn Fox and Sanctifier of Souls. Our attempts to stabilize are thwarted by a sick Spreading Flames that gives our opponent enough tempo to put the game away. 

Game two we keep a slow hand but with tools to slow the game down, namely Pious Evangel and Jace's Scrutiny. Welcome to the Fold on curve takes the wind out of our opponent's sails. And their two drop focused aggression is quickly felled by more powerful creatures and extra sustain from Faithbearer Paladin.

Game three we mulligan into a hand with just Ironclad Slayer and equipment. Wretched Gryff helps keep the cards flowing and our opponent draws an excess of reactive cards. In a ten-turn game, Welcome to the Fold and eventually Bruna are enough to halt the aggression and win the game. 

The first game in round two shows of the power of Wharf Infiltrator. Our opponent almost stops the degeneracy with a turn one Gnarlwood Dryad but is stopped by Jace's Scrutiny. Infiltrator proceeds to completely take over the game pumping out tokens nearly every turn before a big attack with Borrowed Grace ends the game on turn nine. 

In the following game, we again leverage our skill to find turn two Wharf Infiltrator. Vessel of Ephemera stops us from attacking, but makes it hard for our opponent to block Ironclad Slayer. A Choking Restraints on Infiltrator gets countered by Spell Queller and allows our assault to continue in the air. The Gitrog Monster comes down and threatens to ruin our day by delivering a Rabid Bite to Spell Queller, but all three modes of Collective Effort take us miles ahead. 2-0. 

In round three, our opponent shows us some very aggressive black and red cards paired with solid removal. Pious Evangel and True-Faith Censer help us get ahead on board early, and our opponent has no way to catch up against cards like Welcome to the Fold and Pour Over the Pages.

In the next game, we have a lot of two and three drops in our opener. An early Crow of Dark Tidings trades for our two drop, and back-to-back turns of Impetuous Devils knock us down to eleven and halt any development on our side. Another Rise from the Grave for Impetuous Devils almost puts us out of the game, but Welcome to the Fold saves us from death yet again before Bruna shows up to put the game away. 3-0. As an aside, I just want to say how incredible Welcome to the Fold was, next to Wharf, it was probably the best card in the deck. 

In round four, we had the dream of turn two Thalia's Lieutenant into three humans. Our opponent burns Savage Alliance to deal with it before playing heavy hitter Soul Swallower and apparent Magic card Devil's Playground. Borrowed Grace helps our boys survive hell, and a very aggressive attack with Ishkanah, Graftwidow punishes our opponent as we are able to use Collective Effort to crack back for exact lethal. 

We keep a very unexciting hand, but our opponent does nothing for six turns. We do our best blue white flash impression by beating down with tokens before casting Humble the Brute, Nebelgast Herald, and Convolute to foil their plans. Flyers pumped by Collective Effort stop our opponent from ever being able to put anything real together. 

In round five I keep a very sketchy hand and get punished against a very strong aggressive deck. A curve of Brazen Wolves into Giest-fueled Scarecrow makes short work of us.

In the second game, we keep a defensive hand with no blue. Brazen Wolves and Scarecrow both show up on time again, but our flood of creatures are able to apply major counter pressure taking our opponent to nine before they are able to fight back. Ruthless Disposal almost spells our doom, but Stitched Mangler into another clutch Collective Effort make lethal. 

In the final game, we keep a bomb filled hand. Wharf is able to get in and loot early. Spell Queller shuts down a Blood Mist and beats down. Vessel provides additional air support, which alongside Collective Effort, provide too much evasive pressure for our opponent to handle. 5-0

Thanks for joining me for this sealed event. Again let me know in the comments if you liked this format and if it's something you would be interested in seeing again. Until next time, fight well.