Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wacky Wednesdays: 4-Booster Sealed

For those of you unfamiliar with Magic: the Gathering Online, there is a particular format I tried for the first time Tuesday night: Sealed 4 Booster Theros/Journey into Nyx. This involves building a 30 card deck out of two boosters of Theros and two boosters of Journey into Nyx. Let's take a look at what I had to work with:

Cavalry Pegasus
Eagle of the Watch
Favored Hoplite
Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
Observant Alseid
Ordeal of Heliod
Oreskos Swiftclaw
Quarry Colossus
Ray of Dissolution
Setessan Battle Priest
Sightless Brawler
Cloaked Siren
Cloaked Siren
Crackling Triton
Crackling Triton
Ordeal of Thassa
Prescient Chimera
Thassa's Devourer
Triton Shorestalker
War-Wing Siren
Agent of Fates
Brain Maggot
Cast into Darkness
Dreadbringer Lampads
Fleshmad Steed
Grim Guardian
Nightmarish End
Returned Phalanx
Worst Fears (FOIL)
Bearer of the Heavens
Blinding Flare
Deathbellow Raider
Flurry of Horns
Lightning Diadem
Lightning Diadem
Lightning Strike
Ordeal of Purphoros
Portent of Betrayal
Portent of Betrayal
Spawn of Thraxes
Agent of Horizons
Centaur Battlemaster
Commune with the Gods
Defend the Hearth
Desecration Plague
Leafcrown Dryad
Market Festival
Market Festival
Satyr Grovedancer
Shipwreck Singer
Triad of Fates

Akroan Horse (FOIL)
Deserter's Quarters

Unknown Shores

Looking at the list above, I knew I needed a theme, and with every limited deck I build, I consider my rares. You can see the rares in italics above (and yeah, I had a foil rare and a foil mythic rare).

So looking at the above, Triad of Fates, Agent of Fates, and Worst Fears had black, and if I want to effectively use Triad of Fates, I needed white.

Triad of Fates  Agent of the Fates  Worst Fears

I immediately cut Worst Fears. 8 mana to control an opponent's turn? I would hope out of a 30 card deck I wouldn't make it to land #8. If I did, something isn't going well for me. Sure it's foil, sure it's flashy, but no. Doesn't belong. Plus, I like Weenie decks of all colors when I play limited (consider this mana curve, which is my favorite deck I built in a draft). This means I want small creatures with boosts and tricks. If I can be fast, I can beat anyone who has a Worst Fears and wants to play it or anyone with Monstrosity creatures. I wanted to deal damage fast before everything I have dies. Triad of Fates can bounce enchantments for Constellation to take effect or can give me more cards (or also potentially help my opponent deck themselves). Agent of Fates forces sacrificing and even has deathtouch to boot which makes it that much better. So naturally these are the cards to build around.

So let's get back to the deck plan.

We have plenty of White and Black cards, so let's toss everything together. Of course, I found a few problems with that. Without card draw, Nightmarish End isn't useful. Quarry Colossus was too big and the removal is too late in the game. Lagonna-Band Trailblazer is only one mana, but then it is a 0/4 and requires spells to target to make it better. Sure most of the cards in White and Black have Heroic, but they can deal combat damage without Heroic. That's what I care about.

In the end, I thought I needed more, so I went with some blue. I had an Unknown Shores, so it could work for some splashiness, so in goes Triton Shorestalker, Ordeal of Thassa, and Shipwreck Winger. They all are cheap and Ordeal of Thassa is a spell that targets to trigger Heroic.

Triton Shorestalker  Ordeal of Thassa  Shipwreck Singer

Other than Ordeal of Thassa (which I explained above), I chose the others because, yes, they are cheap costing, but Triton Shorestalker can't be blocked and Shipwreck Singer flies, can kill smaller creatures, and can force opponents to attack with easily beaten creatures or keep other creatures from being able to block. Shipwreck Singer was MVP for a few games.

So... let's check out the deck:

White/Blue/Black Sealed

3-0, MTGO Journey into Nyx 4-Booster Sealed (6/24/2014)


x1 Favored Hoplite
x1 Triton Shorestalker
x1 Cavalry Pegasus
x1 Oreskos Swiftclaw
x1 Setessan Battle Priest
x1 Sightless Brawler
x1 Brain Maggot
x1 Fleshmad Steed
x1 Returned Phalanx
x1 Shipwreck Singer
x1 Eagle of the Watch
x1 Observant Alseid
x1 Grim Guardian
x1 Agent of Fates
x1 Triad of Fates
x1 Dreadbringer Lampads


x1 Unknown Shores
x4 Plains
x2 Island
x5 Swamp

Other Spells

x1 Ordeal of Heliod
x1 Ordeal of Thassa
x1 Cast into Darkness
x1 Ray of Dissolution

Returned Phalanx  Eagle of the Watch  Brain Maggot

In different games, the above three cards were definitely MVPs. Agent of Fates, Triton Shorestalker, and Shipwreck Singer were also in that category, but we already covered why they were awesome in this deck. Returned Phalanx is a 3/3 but it has defender. Part of what swayed me to splash blue was the ability, and I bestowed so many things on this guy, except I just forgot to pay the cost for the attacking ability that I could have won games much sooner, but oh well... It still worked out well in the end.

Eagle of the Watch was powerful as there weren't many flyers and this guy had vigilance. I stuck an Ordeal on this guy in multiple games and wound up using him to help me win.

Brain Maggot was amazing. I used him to lock down Gluttonous Cyclops in a match (twice due to an opponent bouncing it to my hand allowing me to take it away again) and in a different match, I took out Aspect of Gorgon during Game 2 of Round 3 after having an issue with it in Game 1. I worked around it the first game, but taking it out before it could show up the next game was key.

Dreadbringer Lampads  Observant Alseid  Unknown Shores

These cards were definitely good support. Dreadbringer Lampads helped get my flyers past a Blood-Toll Harpy with Aspect of Gorgon on it in Round 3, Game 1. Definitely a good addition to the deck. Observant Alseid was always bestowed on creatures and helped give me Heroic triggers and just boost my flyers. Yes, it came off in one game, but that's what is great about using Bestow. And last, but not least, Unknown Shores popped up frequently when I needed it for Blue, and it was a big help.

After playing this deck, I believe I have a good idea what I want to do for a Block Constructed deck. If this deck is a powerhouse in limited, a similar deck could very well be a powerhouse in Constructed.

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