Friday, 3 August 2012

Sealed Power Stupidity

Ancestral RecallI did a powered cube sealed deck with half the cube each making two decks. This deck is a good example of why it is a bad format. The power can be good in a number of cube formats but sealed is about the worst, especially very high card pool sealed formats. This is a good example of the best kind of deck you can have in a powered cube and is likely much more powerful than a constructed cube version as you can just have really good pools. I had Black Lotus too and decided to put in in the other deck due to this one already being plenty powerful enough. The archetype is basically as much broken stuff as you can cram into a deck which include all the very unfair blue spells and all the extreme artifact ramp cards. You just do so much very quickly it often doesn't matter what you are doing with your extra cards, turns and mana. This deck didn't have much direction, it was not a storm deck yet it was just playing Mind's Desire, it was not a control deck yet it had counter magic and Solemn Simulacrum etc. The deck only really had two ways of winning, either going ultimate with Tezzeret or making an Emrakul, either off Desire or simply hard cast...

Sol RingThis is however fine as there is so much manipulation and draw in the deck you will find one soon enough. These formats are good for a laugh now and then but my opponent was regretting suggesting it after his third loss without having done more than lay a couple of lands, Pact of Negation looking very weak. Decks like this are just so far above the normal power level that it really doesn't matter much what you do to them. Turn one Thoughtseize, turn two Hymn to Tourach can easily just be ignored and played through, probably already having a Tezzeret in play. You can hard cast Emrakul faster than the fastest beatdown deck can goldfish kill. The thing with the power cards is that they are not just powerful on their own, when you put them together they each increase the power of the others. Tolarian Academy is silly good as are moxes and they both work brilliantly with each other. Normal blue white control with Time Walk, Mox Sapphire and Ancestral Recall is better than without rather obviously but it is still in the same league as un-powered red deck wins or reanimator. When you put those cards in this kind of deck however you create a whole new level of deck power which normal strategies and decks simply have no hope against. The only way to be competitive with decks such as this are to play extreme hate such as Gorilla Shaman and Kitaki (the latter of which isn't even that good and does little more than Stone Rain the Tolarian Academy). In cube constructed formats this can be done easily enough and will lead to some diverse, fun and fair games but in sealed it is impossible and if you luck out like me you effectively have byes instead of games for that deck.

Tolarian Academy
28 Spells

Chrome Mox
Mox Diamond
Mox Jet
Mana Crypt

Mana Vault
Sol Ring
Sensie's Diving Top
Voltaic Key

Ancestral Recall

Tangle WireRemand
Mana Drain
Talisman of Dominance

Frantic Search
Thirst for Knowledge
Trinket Mage

Tangle Wire

Phyrexian Metamorph
Solemn Simulacrum
Khalni Gem

Time Warp
Tezzeret the Seeker

Mishra's WorkshopUpheaval
Time Spiral
Minds Desire

Emrakul, the Eons Torn

12 Lands

Ancient Tomb
Seat of the Synod
Tolarian Academy
Darksteel Citadel
Lonely Sandbar
7 Islands

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
If this were a constructed deck it would have far less powerful cards in it due to my opponents picks however in a theoretical situation where my opponent picks only elves and goblins I would add a few of the bomb cards I didn't open such as Grim Monolith, Mishra's Workshop, Time Walk and Tinker. I would then probably lose the Emrakul and replace it with more cheaper (and Tinkerable) yet still obnoxiously powerful threats like Wurmcoil Engine and Myr Battlesphere. I would probably also swap the Khalni Gem for a Guilded Lotus as it is a better Tinker target but the cards are much closer in power than you might think. The double use of an Academy is powerful ramp and the one less cost makes it easier to curve out. I might also throw in a few high power blue cards such as Force of Will, Cryptic Command, Snapcaster Mage or even slowface Jace, the Mind Sculptor. This would depend on space and how the deck was looking after I had trimmed out the filler and weaker versions of cards which is stuff like Solemn Simulacrum, Phyrexian Metalmorph Time Warp, Minds Desire, Talisman of Dominance, Remand, Emrakul, Khalni Gem and perhaps Ponder. You can't really go too far wrong though so if you are presented with the opportunity in cube to make a deck like this you should do so. It is by far and away the most powerful you will ever feel in a game of magic. Like a god toying with mortals.

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