Thursday, December 24, 2009

ZZZ Sealed Deck #1

Randomly generated by CCGDecks.

Practice for the PTQ, I guess. Why not? I am not too experienced with sealed, but we'll give it a shot... if I make a blatant mistake you should let me know.

I'm going to isolate color by color, bolding the good playables that will want to steer me towards a color.


3 Sunspring Expedition
Kor Outfitter
Kor Hookmaster
2 Kor Cartographer
2 Kazandu Blademaster
2 Shieldmate's Blessing
Noble Vestige
Ondu Cleric
Cliff Threader
Brave the Elements
Arrow Volley Trap

White is not a very aggressive color, but I got two of the more aggressive drops in Blademaster. Unfortunately there isn't much more exciting here. I would prefer to avoid White if possible.


Trapmaker's Snare
Seascape Aerialist
Into the Roil
Ior Ruin Expedition
Trapfinder's Trick
3 Windrider Eel
2 Archive Trap
Kraken Hatchling
Reckless Scholar
2 Shoal Serpent
Tempest Owl
Spell Pierce
Sky Ruin Drake
Hedron Crab
Caller of Gales

Blue is even more controlling. It also has the double Trap + Crab package, which I may consider. With Trapmaker's Snare, it's like I have 3 copies of the Trap. The Reckless Scholar also can help with the mill strategy.


Vampire Hexmage
Vampire Lacerator
2 Vampire's Bite
2 Blood Seeker
Crypt Ripper
Gatekeeper of Malakir
Marsh Casualties
Feast of Blood
Sorin Markov
Quest for the Gravelord
Grim Discovery
Heartstabber Mosquito
Hideous End

I don't know about you, but it looks like I got pretty pisspoor Black. No wait, what am I, high? I have to play Black with this pool. I have no fucking choice! This Black is very controlling, though, and not that aggressive. Given that, Lacerator will probably not fit in with the rest.


Ruinous Minotaur
2 Runeflare Trap
Slaughter Cry
Spire Barrage
2 Shatterskull Giant
Plated Geopede
Seismic Shudder
Zektar Shrine Expedition
Goblin Shortcutter
Molten Ravager
Goblin War Paint
Inferno Trap

Red is pretty dry. I like the Inferno Trap, however. If I were super-short on playables I would consider splashing it, but given my insane black, it probably isn't needed. I don't want to pair my black with these aggressive cards since that doesn't really fit the overall deck plan...


Vastwood Gorger
Timbermaw Larva
Oracle of Mul Daya
Nissa Revane
Predatory Urge
Primal Bellow
Savage Silhouette
Joraga Bard
Beast Hunt

Oracle is a bomb, but there's not much else in Green besides it. Green is generally better with lots of green.


Adventuring Gear
Expedition Map
Trusty Machete
Explorer's Scope

Kabira Crossroads
3 Soaring Seacliff
Teetering Peaks

Looks like BU should do...

The main question is: do I maindeck the mill package? Or leave it in the sideboard? I think I should leave it in the sideboard, at least for the main. Because adding the mill package significantly weakens my black sweetness. And I don't want to run equal numbers of Swamps and Islands when I need BBB for Sorin/Gatekeeper. On top of that Trap is UU, which makes it slightly more awkward despite being a five-drop.

I do not want to run too few creatures. I like 15. I believe having a decent concentration of creatures in Zendikar Sealed is very important. After all, they are a kind of card advantage. With the equipment I got, creatures become more valuable than spells, even in a controlling deck.

I guess Quest for the Gravelord is a pseudo-creature? Kind of?

// 14 Creatures
    1 [ZEN] Kraken Hatchling
    1 [ZEN] Reckless Scholar
    1 [ZEN] Gomazoa
    1 [ZEN] Sky Ruin Drake
    1 [ZEN] Shoal Serpent
    1 [ZEN] Vampire Hexmage
    1 [ZEN] Crypt Ripper
    1 [ZEN] Gatekeeper of Malakir
    1 [ZEN] Heartstabber Mosquito
    2 [ZEN] Blood Seeker
    3 [ZEN] Windrider Eel

// 7 Spells
    1 [ZEN] Into the Roil
    1 [ZEN] Explorer's Scope
    1 [ZEN] Marsh Casualties
    1 [ZEN] Disfigure
    1 [ZEN] Trusty Machete
    1 [ZEN] Sorin Markov
    1 [ZEN] Quest for the Gravelord
    1 [ZEN] Hideous End

// Lands
   12 Swamp
   2 Soaring Seacliff
   4 Island

There are a few interesting decisions here to make -- I don't think this is the complete, perfect list I would send in. I think it needs more tweaking. Here are some questions to ask about the deck:

Are Blood Seekers any good?

I'm primarily running them because they're black, and they SEEM okay here.

Should I run Kraken Hatchling at all? Or should I stick in another Shoal Serpent or a Lacerator?

I really want to minimize this deck's reliance on early Islands. And Hatchling is almost only good early. Ideally, my first two or three land drops will be Swamps because I want to get double-black down ASAP. To make Gatekeeper turn on easily, in addition to ensuring a timely Crypt Keeper, Hexmage, Hideous End, or Sorin.

Should I be running more card draw?

I skipped out on running Ior Ruin Expedition or Grim Discovery. Usually, people will always run Expedition in Sealed if they're blue. But as I said before, I want a good creature density. Grim Discovery is actually not bad with Reckless Scholar since I can pick up a discarded land later. But other than that, I have no way of getting land into the GY. On the other hand, it's black, and therefore keeps my Swamp count up.

How's my curve?

It's on the heavy side, for sure, if you translate all the kicker cost stuff to where they belong. Hopefully it's okay in Sealed. But I also recall that at the top tables at most PTQs, all the decks are super aggro-y.

Soaring Seacliff? Really?

Yeah, I know a lot of my stuff flies already, but I don't see anything wrong with them. I could've added a third but chose not to. I would have to try them out to see if they really fuck me up; in which case, I would take them out... Actually I probably do just take them out; they're only good on my Shoal Serpent and my Crypt Ripper... at other times, I might need my 6th or 7th land to cast Sorin or Heartstabber and end up regretting their inclusion.

As for the sideboard mill package, if I find out my opponent's deck isn't fast or they're running a lot of land search or something, I might as well add in

+1 Hedron Crab +1 Trapmaker's Snare +2 Archive Trap

Probably in place of a Kraken Hatchling, an Explorer's Scope, and Blood Seekers or something like that. Or the Lacerator.

Maindecking it might not be a bad idea either, truly. I could take out a Windrider Eel, a Shoal Serpent, and two Blood Seekers to fit it in.

I told you I'm not great at Sealed!!! AASGHLSKDFHG. 

:P This is how I'm going to be at the PTQ. Just watch. I need to prepare more. This is going to drive me nuts.