Monday, August 4, 2014

Sealed Draft Practice

For those of you who do not know, starting August 14th and ending August 17th in Indianapolis, Indiana is Gen Con 2014. I am lucky enough that I will be attending from Friday - Sunday and will be in many event from Magic: The Gathering to games that are not even close to release. As I was viewing many of the wonderful MTG related events, I came across one very interesting format: Sealed Draft: Chaos Warp Celebrity Event.


This event is a format called Sealed Draft and where each round there is a different rule that will be enforced making the game wacky and there will also be guest celebrity players who will participate in the event. As I have already purchased my ticket for this event, I have decided to do some practicing of the Sealed Draft format.

What is Sealed Draft?
Sealed Draft starts with each player receiving three packs that they use to help during the deck construction. After looking at the contents of the packs, players head into a normal three pack booster draft in which they will draft using the information of the three previous packs to help guide their draft. 

First 3 Packs



I opened my first three packs and sorted out all the bad cards from the good cards. As I looked through each color, I noticed that my options in black were horrible, red is great, white is decent, blue is a couple cards away from having a great blue/red artifact deck, and my green is mediocre. As I head into the draft, I will want to look for any of the following: great red removal and offensive cards, more white weenies and anything to help the strategy, and any card to help in a blue artifact deck.

Pack 1


  • Pick 1: As I went into the pack, I was torn between a nice white rare that helped a weenie strategy, 2 white commons that where decent, and a great blue card. After deliberation, I went with the white rare which was Return to the Ranks.
  • Pick 2: This pack was very mediocre with one really good blue tempo card in Into the Void
  • Pick 3: This pack seems to enjoy white so I decided to continue this with a third pick Oppressive Rays
  • Pick 4: I am liking some sort of aggressive plan so I went with some Hot Soup
  • Pick 5: With a decision between a Wall of Fire and Oppressive Rays, I went for a second Oppressive Rays
  • Pick 6: This pack was very low in good cards so I decided to go with a bit of evasion in Frenzied Goblin
  • Pick 7: Not sure on the likelihood of me playing blue, but I just could not pass up a Coral Barrier
  • Pick 8: With this pack, it seemed that blue was open so I went the safe route for a possible blue/white weenies strategy with a Divination.
  • Pick 9: Blue and black are definitely open though way too late to jump into black so going to get a meaningless pick with Diffusion Sliver.
  • Pick 10: Not sure where I am going at this point but heading out with a Scrapyard Mongrel
  • Pick 11: Meaningless Fugitive Wizard.
  • Pick 12: Meaningless Zof Shade
  • Pick 13: Meaningless Runeclaw Bear
  • Pick 14: Meaningless Unmake the Grave
Here are all the picks from the first round of the draft:


After getting no great red cards, I am starting to like a blue/white weenie tempo strategy.

Pack 2


  • Pick 1: This pick does not need much explanation as it is a limited bomb that is in my preferred colors: Ajani Steadfast
  • Pick 2: I have been getting a large amount of white token producers which goes very well with both a Paragon of the New Dawn and Ajani Steadfast, so I might as well continue that run with Triplicate Spirits
  • Pick 3: A 2/2 with vigilance for 3 mana is not too bad but it is not great, but what if this card has the chance to become a 4/4 with vigilance if your opponent has a card in exile? Now that is great no matter who you are and that is what we are getting with Warden of the Beyond.
  • Pick 4: This pick is between whether I want to draw more cards or continue deeper into the white weenie strategy. I have a possibility to grab the common Selfless Cathar later and am less likely to get the uncommon Military Intelligence, so I went with that.
  • Pick 5: I have the ability to produce a lot of tokens with both Triplicate Spirits and Raise the Alarm, so picked up a card that can help this strategy with Sanctified Charge.
  • Pick 6: Now I am regretting taking Military Intelligence over the Selfless Cathar, as I have to pass another Military Intelligence and get an Encrust.
  • Pick 7: Wow, this round has had three Military Intelligence so far but picking up a nice combo with it in Raise the Alarm.
  • Pick 8: Not sure how a 2/3 for 3 mana will be in this deck, but just in case picking up an Aeronaut Tinkerer.
  • Pick 9: Grabbing an Solemn Offering for the sideboard.
  • Pick 10: 3/1 seems to be bad in M15 but getting a late Oresko Swiftclaw to help in an aggro plan is pretty swell
  • Pick 11: Grabbing another Solemn Offering for the sideboard
  • Pick 12: Meaningless Necromancer Assistant
  • Pick 13: Meaningless Living Totem
  • Pick 14: Meaningless Carnivorous Moss-Beast

My white is strong, really strong and this will lead to me treating my blue as a small splash. Though when the Selfless Cather did not wheel i may have some competition.

Pack 3

Pick 1: A very easy pick puts me into the lead on the tempo between players with Into the Void.
Pick 2: Picking up a nice card that has pseudo vigilance in Midnight Guard
Pick 3: One of the best cards in blue for an aggro strategy is Quickling
Pick 4: A huge weakness of aggressive decks is that once you get to the late game, you have trouble closing the game up. One of the largest upsides to playing blue is that I have access to defenders and one of the best defenders in M15 is Coral Barrier.
Pick 5: Same reason as before, grabbing a Coral Barrier
Pick 6: Putting the shields up with an Ephemeral Shield
Pick 7: This pack has almost nothing so grabbing one of the only cards that may be useful with a Tyrant's Machine
Pick 8: Meaningless Statute of Denial
Pick 9: Hate drafting a Hammerhand
Pick 10: Hate drafting a Crowd's Favor
Pick 11: Meaningless Runeclaw Bear
Pick 12: Meaningless Radiant Fountain
Pick 13: Meaningless Chronostutter
Pick 14: Meaningless Foundry Street Denizen


Deck Building

When we get to deck building it is obvious that white is our strongest color followed by blue. First I should sort out all the playable cards:

White (x18)

x4 Raise the Alarm
x2 Oresko Swiftclaw
x2 Oppressive Rays
x1 Ajani Steadfast
x1 Sungrace Pegasus
x1 Return to the Ranks
x1 Razorfoot Griffin 
x1 Paragon of New Dawns
x1 Sanctified Charge
x1 Triplicate Spirits
x1 Warden of the Beyond
x1 Ephemeral Shield
x1 Midnight Guard

Blue (x14)

x3 Coral Barrier
x2 Into the Void
x2 Military Intelligence
x2 Auronaut Tinkerer
x2 Quickling
x1 Welkin Tern
x1 Divination
x1 Encrust

I have a total of 32 cards that I could consider playable which leaves with nine cuts. Let's have our first cut go to cutting two of the redundant Coral barriers leaving us with 1 left in the deck. We seem to have a lot of aggressive creatures that have some basic vanilla 3 mana 2/3, so I am cutting both Auronaut Tinkerers. With five cuts left, I am having to look deep, though I feel that having 4 Raise the Alarms may be too many so lets head down to 3 Raise the Alarms. Encrust is possibly too slow for this deck so lets pitch that when we could be spending turn 3 unloading my hand. For the purpose of this deck, Welkin Tern and Quickling being the same creature when we compare the two, we an consider Quickling is just a Welkin Tern with a downside so let cut both Quicklings. The final cut will be Divination because we have strong enough draw in Military Intelligence.

The Deck

Creatures (x9)

x2 Oresko Swiftclaw
x1 Paragon of New Dawns
x1 Sungrace Pegasus
x1 Welkin Tern
x1 Razorfoot Griffin
x1 Warden of the Beyond
x1 Midnight Guard
x1 Coral Barrier

Land (x17)

x11 Plains
x6 Islands

Other Spells (x13)

x3 Raise the Alarm
x2 Oppressive Rays
x2 Into the Void
x2 Military Intelligence
x1 Return to the Ranks
x1 Sanctified Charge
x1 Triplicate Spirits
x1 Ephemeral Shield

Planeswalkers (x1)

x1 Ajani Steadfast

This deck does seem to have plenty of non-creature spells though a large amount of them make tokens which when aggressively looking at creatures can be counted towards your creature slots.

That is all, thank you, and don't forget to brew.

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