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Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League
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Author:  BelangiaJo [ Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:07 am ]
Post subject:  Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League

How would you build this pool? ... 4604289025

(Sorry for the Twitter plug. You should be able to view the post without having to follow me.)

Author:  Silly [ Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League

y hallo thar

Not much to say. Given your pool, WB is incredibly obvious, and none of your other colors have anything attractive to splash. Just play 16ish lands and jam in the 24 best white/black cards.

Author:  Silly [ Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League

If you want a more detailed breakdown... This is sealed, so play your strong cards and play your removal, and you'll probably do well.

Given that many bombs tend to be rares, starting with those is probably prudent. You opened:

Beckett Brass
Arguel's Blood Fast
Tomb Robber
x2 Radiant Destiny

Of those cards, I would consider Radiant Destiny and Nezahal to be "strong" cards that really incentivize me to play their colors (Radiant Destiny is situational, because it won't fit with some pools). Other strong cards that aren't rares that you should be on the lookout for are Ravenous Chupacabra and Charging Monstrosaur. You have the former but not the latter in your pool.

Given that, let's start with Nezahal, as he is probably your strongest single card so we would like to put him in our deck if we can. Nezahal is double blue, so if you play him blue probably has to be one of your core colors. Looking at the rest of your blue pool... it's pretty awful. Not only does it contain the least cards to begin with, it also contains a lot of bad to mediocre cards. Besides Nezahal, I would say that the cards I would be fine with running in blue are Sea Legs, Riverwise Augur, Run Aground, and Wind Strider. Everything else I would begrudgingly play at best. So it looks like blue is probably out of the question. If the rest of your pool is awful we can go back to it, but it seems like Nezahal won't get played.

I would move on to considering white and black as colors next, since they contain our other "bomb" cards. Since (spoiler alert) we're going to be ending up in WB, I'll briefly touch on the other colors first.

Red is also somewhat shallow, though it's much stronger than blue since the majority of its cards are actually playable. Important to note here is that your red pool contains x2 Bombard, which is castable in non-red decks since it only has one colored symbol. If you end up light on removal you should definitely consider a red splash.

Green contains plenty of playable creatures, but nothing spectacular. It's actually a fine color in your pool, but nothing is actively drawing you towards the color. If you, for example, needed a second color to fill out your deck and couldn't find one, your green pool would have done fine.

Moving on to the colors we're actually playing. As far as white goes, you have solid removal: Ixalan's Binding, Luminous Bonds, Divine Verdict (sort of, though it is better in sealed than it is in draft). You have playable creatures. You also have a win condition in Radiant Destiny. Looks like white is likely a core color, since it has most of the things that make a good deck. In order to fully take advantage of Radiant Destiny we should either be WB vamps or WG/WR Dinos. If you look at your white pool, most of your "good" white creatures turn out to be vamps, so you want to be playing WB. Comparing your black cards to your red/green pools, you find black to be much better as well, so WB is pretty obvious.

Black is probably your best color here in terms of support. Moment of Craving, Impale, Chupacabra, and Contract Killing are all excellent cards. Your creatures in black are a bit medium, but they're passable. The color is lacking a good payoff card, but it synergizes well with your payoff card in white (Radiant Destiny) by providing additional vampires.

So now that we're pretty sure we are base WB, we can consider splashes. Blue is a bad splash because your only good blue card is double blue. Green is also out because you're getting nothing from that color (you only really splash for bombs or removal, not medium ground pounders). Red is a potential splash for x2 Bombard, but I don't think you really need it given your already strong removal in your primary colors.

A somewhat interesting line (given that treasure is in this format) is running both your black treasure producers and then trying to splash for Nezahal. It's a little loose, but in some matchups could potentially be correct.

In terms of the best WB cards to run for your deck, I think I might play Heartless Pillage somewhere. Stuff like your 5 drop fliers aren't that exciting, and could easily be cut. And Mind Rot is actually pretty decent in sealed (though I would try not to play it in draft).

I also think your mana distribution is objectively wrong here. You're running a 9-7 split between plains and swamps. If anything, your split should be skewed the other way (if not a balanced 8-8).

Black and white are both equally important colors in the early game for you (look at your two drops), so in that aspect they are balanced. However, if you look at what you want to hit late game, you have only one double white card (Skymarcher), compared to three double black cards. And your double black cards happen to be your three best black cards. You really want to hit double black as soon as possible, whereas double white can wait a little bit. Because of this, I would definitely run 8-8 at the worst, and possibly even consider running a 9-7 split in favor of swamps. You also need to note that it's worse for your deck to draw all plains and no swamps compared to all swamps and no plains, because some of your black cards can help you dig for additional land drops and draw you into a plains, which is another small point in favor of running more black sources.

Author:  BelangiaJo [ Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League

Hi Silly, thanks for the analysis. It's super helpful. I followed a similar process when going through the colors and ultimately landing on WB Vampires.

A few notes:
- Splashing Nezahal off the treasures at the risk of deck consistency doesn't interest me, though I did notice treasures often helped me ascend or play two spells in a turn.
- Every sideboard opportunity, I tried to make room for the Heartless Pillage since I know Mind Rot type spells tend to over-perform in sealed, but never managed to actually do it. Ended up reliably sided out Tomb Robber and siding in Dinosaur Hunter (faced several dino builds) or Vicious Conquistador (needed to out-aggro my opponent).
- Thanks for the note on mana distribution. I actually thought the mana base was 8-8, so I agree the 9-7 split towards Plains is incorrect. There were several games where I was held up by one Swamp and two / three XBB removal cards in hand.
- I think you're undervaluing the power of evasion and fliers in RIX. Both the Harpy and the Dino Bird kept me in the game several times (specifically when equipped with the Squire's Devotion).

Fun Interactions:
- Was able to flip Arguel's Blood Fast and sacrifice and recast Oathsworn Vampire twice a turn.
- Two Radiant Destiny's naming the same creature type (Vampire) while ascended just isn't fair. Once I cast the second one, an opponent accurately said the following in chat: "Oh."
- Dusk Legion Zealot and Arguel's Blood Fast are amazing at triggering Paladin of Atonement for value.

Author:  Johnny Valdez [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League

jo i'm following you on twitter now // sorry not sorry

Author:  Spooky Boogie [ Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Went 4-0 in RIX Preview Sealed League

Without knowing the format well it's hard to judge only being able to see the titles of the cards, I'd have to look them up individually.

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