Magic: the Gathering
Limitedformats of the game, that is, you can only use the cards you opened there at the time of the event. Unlike the Draft that involves a choice of cards among people, in Sealed each one opens its six boosters and that is the end: that is your so-called “pool” and you must build a deck from these 90 cards, using how many basic lands (non-snow) you want. The format is relatively underestimated and misunderstood by most players, who only play Sealed at PreRelease - which have not happened in a year; what gives rise to misconceptions such as “sealed is just luck, you have to open the good pool, skill doesn't matter”.
CurveLet's start with the most important: if your deck doesn't have a solid mana curve, you might want to look for another deck. If your deck is in the midrange / control / value plan you need some kind of defensive speed to keep from falling back on the board. The best of all worlds are cheap cards that remain relevant at advanced stages of the game. If you want to build an aggressive deck to beat the "control decks", you need a functional curve. You can't afford to do nothing in the first few turns, or you won't be able to execute your plan reliably.
BombsOne of the guarantees of Sealed is that you will have six rare ones at your disposal; some of them will possibly be unplayable but you are expected to have at least one or two bombs on your deck. One of the ways to go is to build around these cards, or at least use them in the splash if you have the means. In case you don't have these cards that win on their own, ask yourself: what's your plan to win the game? Do not build a deck that does not have winconditions - if you do not have a bomb, there will be a large common creature.
InteractionGoing back to what we said in the previous article - that removals are overestimated in Draft - this notion evaporates when we talk about Sealed. You propose a proactive game plan - "more threats, less responses" is still important, but if we start from the idea that everyone is going to have one or two rbombs on the deck, how to deal with these bombs across the table becomes much more valuable. Be careful when it comes to playing your removals in the match; since it is such a scarce resource in games that go far. Burning one of them to a creature in the midgame - to push some damage for example - can be fatal on later turns when you have no answer to the problem that really matters.
Card AdvantageAs Sealed reminds us of a more "pure" form of Magic, we return to one of the fundamental concepts that is the card advantage. Since matches are generally based on attriction and resources, having a few "2-for-1" cards on your deck is crucial to sustaining yourself in the long game.
Solid ManabaseAs interesting as it is to splash bombs and removals (when you don't have enough in your primary color), be very careful with your mana. Adding more colors to your deck always comes at a cost to your deck's consistency, often underestimated. Make the splash thinking about your game plan and when the necessary fixing exists in the pool. Remember that you want at least 8 sources of your primary mana colors before entering the next ones.
EvasionReferring to ways to win the game, evasive abilities like Flying are very desirable and an important issue in the format. And just as you want removals to deal with your opponent's bombs, think about how you're going to deal with flyers. With your own, with reach, with removals, going for a run;
have a plan.
Micro-SynergiesBe sure to look for hidden synergies, even though your deck is a pile of good cards, there is still space to seek interactions that can win a game by itself - and this set is full of them.
SideboardEverything you opened at Sealed is your sideboard. Unlike the first game in which you want a deck that is the most reliable against any type of deck you face, in the second and third games you want the deck that has the highest possible chance of winning specifically your opponent's deck. At the "normal" level there are the changes that we usually make at the Limited like bringing a
Broken Wingsagainst flying decks,
Snakeskin Veilagainst many removals. Going further, we can adjust our plan, let's say we have a super aggressive deck on g1 but our opponent is also aggro, a possible idea for g2 would be to slightly increase the mana curve and try to transform into the midrange and win the match with value . Finally, you can completely change your deck. If for example you and your opponent have the same lategame plan but your bombs are inferior in quality, it is plausible to switch completely to an aggro deck in g2 to try to end the game before it reaches this point. A tip, if you intend to do this at the Magic Arena, you still have two minutes to sideboard, so it is interesting to leave these secondary decks ready in advance and saved on a printscreen for quick access - and train to do this, the process may require some practice.
Colors: The Winners and LosersVerde already stands out in the Draft and is solidly the best color in the Sealed, the mana correction helps a lot in the reliability of the deck and big creatures like
Ravenous Lindwurmmanage to win matches. Expect to face green-based decks in most of your games. Black improves a lot too, for example
Feed the Serpentis a little too expensive for Draft, but the fact of hitting anything and exiling is a huge positive point in Sealed. Blue on the other hand gets a lot worse since it doesn't have a reliable removal -
Bind the Monster,
Mists of Littjaraare your options, which ends up putting the color in a more supportive space . White also gets worse, partly because it doesn't get involved with Snow, and because the cards serve more to an aggressive deck only - in most pools it will be a disposable color outside the splash of some rare.
Opening the poolYou start looking at your rare cards, what snow lands you have opened, your removals and your mana fixing. If you have a green base with nice fixing, you can look for the second color that matches green to form a solid mana curve, and then include all the splashes you can get. Don't forget: you need at least 8 sources for your main color (usually green) and 7-8 for the second (usually red, black or blue) and 3+ splash fonts. Include as many uncommon lands -
Gnottvold Slumbermoundand company - you can. Almost half of your deck ends up being sources of mana, so card advantage is very important for you not to miss the games flooding. If you don't have fixing in the pool, or your green deck doesn't have a functional curve, it's time to start aggro. Your deck will probably be white, red, or both. Our past week article talks about drafting aggressive decks and can gives you directions for that route. The plan is to start affecting the table very early, and explore the environment in which greedy decks are correcting mana and Foretelling in the first few turns in order to steal games. Remembering once again that you want a
reliabledeck, so if you don't have the good cheap cards, your deck is more likely to be a "bad midrange" than an aggro and maybe you should look at the other colors. If your pool has neither the multicolored deck nor the aggro deck: be patient, mount the midrange, two colors, perhaps with a slight splash for the third. You want to include as many good cards as possible, and answer the question, "How am I going to win the game?", Since the "not to lose the game" plan may even work if you fall against aggro - but you will invariably face the multicolor decks that make the plan not to lose better than you.