PTQ season is approaching here in the frozen north of Alberta, Canada. A 5 hour drive through snowy hell to Edmonton on the 25th of October, and yet another 9 hour trek through the frozen wastes to reach Calgary on November 1st is what awaits me. Of course I do not dare do this trek unprepared! I am posting a sealed pool, along with my commentary of what I think the strongest cards are, as well as 2 deck ideas. I hope some will find this helpful, and that others will give opinions, or other deck options that I may have glanced over. All of my opinions are up for scrutiny here, dear reader. Please, let me know in a comment below if you see something I didn’t in these cards.
Right away I’m super excited about Shipwreck Singer. This card is perfect for breaking up board stalls, and works really well with bestow creatures because it has evasion. The Nessian Asp is a solid body. Ordeal of Erebos could be a thing… let’s continue.
Lots of goodies in this pack! Griptide and Voyage’s End in the same pack is deadly. The rare is a good one this time, and might just pull me into black. I’m still not sure what to think of Spellheart Chimera, but it could be good in the right deck.
Pack 3Stoneshock Giant and Sea God’s Revenge can both win you the game the turn you activate them, which is great. Deathbellow raider is an extremely efficient card, and works well with all the enchantments in the set. Read the Bones has proven to be a very good draw spell in the limited world, often dodging two garbage cards and drawing you into more gas. Destructive Revelry mas as well say “Shock your opponent and destroy target artifact, enchantment, or 1/3 of the creatures in this set… at instant speed… for 2 mana… enjoy winning.”
Pack 4Horizon Chimera can win a race by itself, and works really well with all the instant speed tricks in blue. Two pseudo-removal spell in green is attractive. Soldier of the Pantheon is looking good with those two Leonin Snarecasters we opened up in packs 1 and 2. All these horrible red cards are making that color very unattractive at this point.
Of course we get Polis Crusher with no real red support. Maybe we can find a way to splash red for this limited all-star. I’ve had a lot of luck with Aqueous Form in this format, and Omenspeaker is also an attractive card. Erebos’s Emissary turns any card into a Giant Growth for zero mana. Centaur Battlemaster can be an absolute house, even after one good enchantment, and often wins the game by himself afterwards. Imagine Battlemaster + Aqueous Form…
Pack 6Leonin Snarecaster number 3 plus a Battlewise Valor could mean big trouble for our opponents if they are building around slower Theros sealed decks. Ordeal of Thassa is probably the best one in the cycle, and can make even the lowly Triton Shorethief a formidable threat. Triad of Fates is a 3/3 for 4 mana and not a lot else.
The Ranking of the Rares
I’ve ranked the rares in order of raw power, not considering the color support in the packs. Polis Crusher and Abhorrent Overlord are proper bombs, meaning these cards can win limited games by themselves, with minimal assistance. Soldier of the Pantheon is more of a constructed card in my opinion, but with an ordeal or some good tempo it can get there in limited too. The Bident of Thassa can help win a slower game, and can get your creatures through for one last big attack if you can stomach the forced alpha strike from your opponent. The abilities on Triad of Fates and Meletis Charlatan are so narrow that they can only really be considered for their bodies, which aren’t terrible in a format full of 2 power creatures.
Exceptionally Bad Cards
I’m not saying that any of these cards are strictly unplayable… but I’m not going to be happy running any of these. I might be forced into using Traveler’s Amulet in a 3 color deck. Loathsome Catoblepas might be a good card, but I’ve not yet found the courage to run it in any decks.
Deck 1: Boros is Back!
Not quite enough white to go mono-color, but this should do the trick.
Boros is Back, Baby!
Boros Aggro: may the odds be in your favor. Take advantage of this decks consistency and speed to destroy your enemies. You will be able to capitalize on your opponents slow draws, clunky deck design, and mulligans in a generally slower format. Win a few die rolls, play first, and enjoy a lot of time in between rounds to rest! This is probably your best bet for a larger tournament with many rounds.
Deck 2: B/U/G Good Stuff
Let’s see if we can combine all the high value cards we can into some 3 color monstrosity.
Don’t B/U/G Me
In this deck, each individual card is stronger than any individual card in the Boros deck. What we gain in raw power we lose in consistency, however, as 3 colors can make for a very awkward land base with no color fixing. We are lucky in some ways because each card, with the exception of Centaur Battlemaster and Abhorrent Overlord, only requires a single mana of it’s particular color to be cast. A deck like this usually has more removal, like Lash of the Whip, for example. Not having enough removal is a major downfall to this deck, as just a few evasive creatures can easily out tempo its clunky 3 color frame. In a smaller tournament where you really just want to have fun and play cards with interesting interactions I would go with this one. Looking back I probably would have taken out something for a Traveler’s Amulet.
I’m feeling more prepared for the cold, long, dark, bear-ridden drive down to Edmonton already! I will probably do 1-2 more of these for the site in the next few weeks. Please leave a comment if you thought I missed an even more powerful deck design.