This weekend will feature two Grand Prix: Metz and Indianapolis, and both will be Hour of Devastation Sealed Deck.
Today I’ll go over a tough Sealed pool that I recently opened in a Magic Online League, and all the various and possible builds.
First things first: this is a format with fantastic mana fixing, so you can get crazy with your decks, and if you have good fixing (which you will almost always have), don’t be afraid of splashing all your bomb rares or premium removal spells.
Aggressive decks don’t get rewarded much because Hour of Devastation creatures are great at blocking. Your deck should always have a plan for the late game.
Let’s now get down to business.
Cartouche of Solidarity
Vizier of Deferment
Angel of the God-Pharaoh
Cartouche of Knowledge
Seeker of Insight
2 Countervailing Winds
2 Tragic Lesson
Pull from Tomorrow
The first thing to do in Sealed is lay out the rares and the premium cards:
I’m happy to have The Scorpion God on my side this time, as the Gods are broken Limited cards, a clear design mistake, ending games whenever they appear. I’m still holding out hope that if I keep bringing this up, they won’t print cards like this again.
The rest of the rares aren’t fantastic. Hour of Promise has a lot of potential, though unfortunately, as you might have noticed, we only have 2 Deserts in the entire pool, so it becomes a very poor Explosive Vegetation.
On top of these, the first thing that should grab your attention is the huge amount of removal you have:
Compulsory Rest, 2 Sandblast, Farm // Market, Cast Out, Unquenchable Thirst, Banewhip Punisher, Torment of Venom, 2 Open Fire, Trial of Zeal, Struggle // Survive, Sand Strangler, and 2 Ambuscade!
Next it’s time to take a look at green to see if you have enough fixing to support all that powerful removal, and particularly The Scorpion God.
OK, let’s throw down the first deck.
Green was necessary because of its ability to let me splash The Scorpion God and Banewhip Punisher, as well as 2 Ambuscade and a Rampaging Hippo. Red has an insane removal package, so I opted to merge these two first.
The deck that emerges is a good red-green deck splashing black, with some mediocre creatures, not a great top-end curve (other than the obviously great The Scorpion God), and some great removal.
The deck played out well enough—my removal package was great and gave me enough time to jump into the late game where my Hippo and Scorpion God reigned supreme.
2) 4c Midrange
Since my fixing is good, I figured that I could even try four colors.
I could be mainly green and have both red and white for their many removal spells, and black for the two overpowered cards.
The deck has very few creatures and all the removal in the world, making Ambuscade pretty bad.
Overall, the deck was a disaster. Other than mana problems the white removal spells were clunky, and I got buried by embalm and ethernalize, a huge problem for removal-heavy decks.
The easiest build might have been red-black—we already know that red is pretty good, and black isn’t terrible, so maybe it’s worth making your mana base better to play The Scorpion God without any issues.
The deck played out all right, and it played the aggressive role well.
I didn’t try this version much, just a couple of games, and they were not played against a great opponent/deck.
All in all, it seems like a safe build.
So why not merge together the colors with the highest number of removal spells as well as your two premium black splash cards?
The deck played out fine. It’s not as aggressive as most R/W decks because I don’t want to be aggressive in Sealed and I don’t like bad 2-drops.
I ended up going 2-3 in the League, flooding a lot and trying each of these decks. I liked the Jund version best.
The lesson I learned was to always play Gods if you open them, and to always play a removal if it’s a way to remove them. Note that there are very few: Puncturing Blow, Desert’s Hold, and Final Reward.
I also learned that you need to be very well fixed to play 4 colors, and that 3 colors might just be as good with a bit more stability.
I never want to be aggressive and I may put my opponent on the play if I’m sure they are a control deck, though if I win the die roll game 1 I will still play first.
I wish you good luck at GP Metz or Indianapolis! May the Gods be with you!