Tag Archives: cRO

Magic 2015: Practice Sealed #3

Fresh from a fat pack, here’s another sample sealed pool to dissect:

White
Triplicate Spirits
Paragon of New Dawns
Raise the Alarm x4
Mass Calcify

Razorfoot Griffin
Sungrace Pegasus
Kinsbaile Skirmisher
Oppressive Rays

Soulmender
Meditation Puzzle

The first pack was extremely good to White, featuring a Triplicate Spirits, Raise the Alarm, AND Paragon of New Dawns. It was even topped off with a Planeswalker, though sadly not Ajani (*tiny violin*). There’s enough random creatures here to fill out a curve, and Mass Calcify allows all the tokens to win on an empty board. White seems quite powerful, and we’re likely looking for a colour to pair with it.

Blue
Illusory Angel
Military Intelligence

Divination x3
Aeronaut Tinkerer x2
Frost Lynx
Peel from Reality

Coral Barrier
Statue of Denial x3
Glacial Crasher x2
Ensoul Artifact
Diffusion Sliver
Fugitive Wizard

Blue’s first offering is a Military Intelligence, which plays well with the token swarm strategy White is presenting. An Illusory Angel is also a solid (haha) battlefield presence, and there’s no shortage of card draw with triple Divination. Unfortunately, the is a lot of cards in the filler category for blue, giving it about 9 solid playables. Blue is still an option, but we can probably do better.

Black
Liliana Vess
Indulgent Tormenter
Necrogen Scudder
Ulcerate x2

Covenant of Blood
Paragon of Open Graves
Carrion Crow
Child of Night
Zof Shade

Endless Obedience
Witch’s Familiar
Necrobite
Necromancer’s Assistant
Festergloom

Black brings more bombs, including the Planeswalker I alluded to, alongside some premium removal spells. Covenant is extremely castable alongside the White tokens. Blacks curve is decent enough to support the bombs. This is a likely pairing for the white deck.

Red
Lightning Strike
Kird Chieftain

Generator Servant x4
Krenko’s Enforcer
Forge Devil
Hammerhand x2
Crowd’s Favor

Circle of Flame
Act on Impulse
Clear a Path

A great creature and a premium removal spell headline Reds offerings. The 4 Generator servants raise an eyebrow, but outside of that, Red doesn’t have much more depth. At best, I can see splashing the Lightning Strike, and possibly the Chieftain in a Green build.

Green
Siege Wurm

Feral Incarnation
Restock
Runeclaw Bear

Carnivorous Moss-Beast
Gather Courage x2
Ranger’s Guile x2
Satyr Wayfinder
Titanic Growth
Vineweft x2

Outside of the Siege Wurm, Green is looking completely unplayable, with too many clunky or utility spells “below the line”.

Artifact
(none)

Brawler’s Plate
Tyrant’s Machine x3

Avarice Amulet
Ornithopter

Land
Evolving Wilds
Llanowar Wastes
Darksteel Citadel x2
Sliver Hive

Not much to see here, either. Brawler’s Plate is decent, if there is space available. 2 Darksteel Citadels is worth noting, with the Ensoul Artifact in Blue. The Evolving Wilds is likely getting a Mountain to let any random deck cast that Lightning Strike. Llanowar Wastes is doing nothing, as Green is not playable.

Let’s start with the obvious:

White/Black Alarms
Sungrace Pegasus
Kinsbaile Skirmisher
Child of Night
Necrogen Scudder
Witch’s Familiar
Carrion Crow
Razorfoot Griffin
Paragon of New Dawns
Paragon of Open Graves
Zof Shade
Indulgent Tormenter

Ulcerate x2
Raise the Alarm x4
Lightning Strike
Necrobite
Liliana Vess
Triplicate Spirits
Mass Calcify
Covenant of Blood

Relevant Sideboard
Oppressive Rays
Endless Obedience
Festergloom
Necromancer’s Assistant

Soulmender
Meditation Puzzle

Sometimes pools just build themselves, and this looks like one of them. The rares have neatly aligned in these colours, and there is plenty of solid card surrounding them with a coherent gameplan. This deck has been crushing the other sealed decks in our practice sessions. It’s almost like a draft deck.

I am a greedy man, so rather then play Oppressive Rays, I’m splashing for the Lightning Strike with Evolving Wilds, because 2 Ulcerates is simply not enough. I’m normally not fond of Necrobite, but there are enough random tokens available that we don’t care if that trick get’s trumped. The deck has several decent fliers, and Liliana is well protected behind a wall of tokens.

While this deck is clearly very powerful, the point of these sealed exercises is to explore the format, and learn by trying new things. In this case, I can’t help but notice the 2 Darksteel Citadels in conjunction with Ensoul Artifact. Is a 5/5 Indestructible Land Creature a viable build-around plan for winning the game? Better we learn here then in an actual tournament. Blue has a lot of potential here anyway, so let’s see what that deck looks like:

Citadel Beatdown
Ornithopter
Child of Night
Illusory Angel
Aeronaut Tinkerer x2
Frost Lynx
Necrogen Scudder
Witch’s Familiar
Carrion Crow
Paragon of Open Graves
Zof Shade
Indulgent Tormenter

Ulcerate x2
Tyrant’s Machine
Military Intelligence
Peel from Reality
Ensoul Artifact
Divination x3
Liliana Vess
Covenant of Blood
Darksteel Citadel x2

Relevant Sideboard
Coral Barrier
Necromancer’s Assistant
Festergloom
Necrobite
Endless Obedience
Statue of Denial x3
Glacial Crasher x2

Diffusion Sliver
Fugitive Wizard

The most glaring issue with this deck is the low number of two drops, which in turn makes Illusory Angel slightly worse. This is why the Tyrant’s Machine is in the main deck over the Necrobite, as well as upping our Artifact count so the Tinkerers have Flying more consistently. It’s possible the deck even wants a second, though that might be too deep.

Ornithopter, while generally being a lowly unplayable, does a surprising amount of work in this deck. From allowing a turn 3 Illusory Angel, triggering Military Intelligence, removing the Peel from Reality drawback, and even being an emergency Ensoul target. It’s important to note the times where it’s correct to play cards like this (although it still might not be). While I haven’t yet tested this deck yet, I’ll be sure to sleeve it up and give it a shot.

This pool wasn’t as complex as the previous one, but it was still a good exercise. Being able to recognize your powerful cards is well and good, but ensuring they combine to make a solid game plan is what helps you reach the next level.

See you for the next Sealed Pool.

Until then,

Random

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