Updated: 2010/9/27 2:05 PM with games 1 and 2
I was planning on going into more detail for the previous days of sealed/2HG, but I think I’ll just post on today’s results. I might go over 2HG eventually, but my other sealed pools were pretty boring to build, whereas this one was quite interesting, so this one gets a post for sure.
I ended up 2-1-1 with a disappointing time-draw game 1 because my opponent was slow and top-decked about 8 creatures in a row while I got all land, so I was never able to break the stalemate, but he was never able to attack profitably. I lost the last match because my opponent’s deck was insane and I had the wrong removal at the wrong time (Arc Trail/Turn to Slag when he had inactive Rusted Relic and Glint Hawk Idol). How insane was his deck? 3 Galvanic Blasts, Oxidda Scrapmelter, Glimmerpoint Stag, Razor Hippogriff… Yeah, it was kind of good. My deck was quite surprisingly good, though, despite having no good midrange beats or really any bombs. I didn’t even have any good equipment! I would’ve loved to get a similar pool (with more solid cards) in the future. Pool and deckbuilding analysis after the jump!
Here’s the pool I opened. I was sad to see my third straight pool with no exciting rares or even mythics…
Arrest Auriok Edgewright (U) Ghalma's Warden Kemba's Skyguard Loxodon Wayfarer  Razor Hippogriff (U) Seize the Initiative Sunspear Shikari  Whitesun's Passage Bonds of Quicksilver  Inexorable Tide (R) Riddlesmith (U) Screeching Silcaw Stoic Rebuttal Turn Aside Vault Skyward Vedalken Certarch  Volition Reins (U) Bleak Coven Vampires Contagious Nim Corrupted Harvester (U) Instill Infection  Memoricide (R) Moriok Reaver Psychic Miasma Tainted Strike Arc Trail (U) Bloodshot Elder (R) Melt Terrain Scoria Elemental Shatter  Turn to Slag  Vulshok Heartstroker Blight Mamba Blunt the Assault Carapace Forger Cystbearer  Lifesmith (U) Molder Beast Tel-Jilad Defiance Untamed Might Wing Puncture Withstand Death Accorder's Shield Barbed Battlegear (U) Chrome Steed Contagion Clasp  (U) Corpse Cur Echo Circlet Etched Champion (R) Gold Myr  Golem Artisan (U) Golem Foundry Leaden Myr Neurok Replica  Perilous Myr Rust Tick (U) Saberclaw Golem Snapsail Glider Throne of Geth (U) Trigon of Infestation (U) Trigon of Mending (U) Trigon of Rage (U) Trigon of Thought  (U) Vulshok Replica  Wall of Tanglecord Darkslick Shores (R) Copperline Gorge (R) Forest [foil]
So my rares are pretty bad, Etched Champion is not a bomb, Spikeshot Elder is good but I got like zero relevant equipment (Barbed Battlegear lol), so it’s very much less good.
With double Contagion Clasp, I definitely considered an Infect deck, but, with only 7-ish Infect cards (incl. Tainted Strike), I would need way too many non-Infect creatures to make up the rest of the deck and not enough removal to compensate, so that plan fell through.
With 3 Sunspear Shikaris (which are insane), and with white being pretty strong in general (Arrest, Kemba’s Skyguard, 2 Gold Myr, Razor Hippogriff), I considered an aggressive build, but, with only 3 equipment, and only 1 boosting P/T, I felt like I didn’t have a good enough base to run with. Echo Circle and Accorder’s Shield just don’t count as equipment, so yeah.
In general, my removal was all in red. 2 Shatters is always good. Arc Trail and Turn to Slag aren’t the most optimal pieces of removal, but they’re a lot better than you’d think in this format where removal is rather light. Instill Infection is a pretty poor Stabbing Pain that really isn’t even worth considering unless I’m already in black. I also had 2 Bonds of Quicksilver in blue, along with the Certarchs and Volition Reins, so I thought blue-red would be my best bet.
So, in blue, I have Bonds of Quicksilver x2, Riddlesmith, Stoic Rebuttal, Turn Aside, Vedalken Certarch x2, and Volition Reins. In red, I have Arc Trail, Shatter x2, Spikeshot Elder, and Turn to Slag x2. That’s 14 cards, leaving me room for about 9-10 artifacts. Since I’d ideally want at least 12 artifacts to consistently get Metalcraft for my Certarchs, I cut both Bonds and both counterspells for maindeck artifacts, leaving them all for the side. Now I’ve got 10 colored spells. Let’s look at the artifacts now.
First, Etched Champion is almost completely an autoinclude. Blocks colored creatures all day (except Engulfing Slagwurm) and can frequently still get in there. Trigon of Rage is almost necessary, too, as well as Rust Tick. Both Clasps give me even more removal and also allow me to play off-color Trigons more easily, if necessary. Golem Artisan, Perilous Myr, and Snapsail Glider are a few more easy-ins. Now I need 5-6 more artifacts. Since I’m lacking on creatures (currently at 9), I throw in both Neurok Replicas and 2 Vulshok Replicas; the Neuroks I figure can block well, save my better creatures, and also are good targets for Barbed Battlegear, which I throw in as a faster win condition; the Vulshoks I’ve been very impressed with, since it trades with a lot of stuff in addition to being able to do Infect shenanigans with Tainted Strike and also just domes for 3 when necessary. The last card I put in is Chrome Steed, which is just a playable Metalcraft creature that can also equip the Battlegear.
So, my final deck looks like this:
Vedalken Centarch x2 Spikeshot Elder Riddlesmith Perilous Myr Neurok Replica x2 Vulshok Replica x2 Etched Champion Snapsail Glider Rust Tick Chrome Steed Golem Artisan Arc Trail Trigon of Rage Contagion Clasp x2 Shatter x2 Trigon of Thought Turn to Slag x2 Volition Reins 8 Island 8 Mountain
In hindsight, I should have included the Bonds main, since my deck is definitely not aiming for a quick win and I need to guarantee hitting most of my removal. I would also run a mana Myr over Chrome Steed since it was always painful to use 4 to cast him, and his size was never relevant. The Myr is an early accelerator that also counts towards Metalcraft, lowers my curve, and can make my lower land count less painful. I’m not sure how many I would run, but at least 1 over the Steed. Neurok Replica was never extremely relevant, neither a blocker nor for his ability. Yes, a couple times he was able to block something that a Myr would have died to, but in general he wasn’t worth playing. I would probably take them both out and put in a couple of the following: Screeching Silcaw (flyer that can equip Battlegear and has a somewhat relevant Metalcraft), Stoic Rebuttal (Cancel is pretty good), Accorder’s Shield (I’m playing a stall game, bigger butts = better defense. Also makes my Vulshok Replicas veritable beasts!), mana Myr (see above), Trigon of Infestation (neat blockers, interacts with Clasp). The exact changes I would probably right now make are:
-1 Chrome Steed, -2 Neurok Replica, -1 Trigon of Thought, -1 Contagion Clasp
+2 Bonds of Quicksilver, +1 Leaden Myr, +1 Accorder’s Shield, +1 Trigon of Infestation
I went D-W-W-L for a final record of 2-1-1.
First round, I played against a GBU Infect swarm deck. I won the first game, lost the second game, then got stalemated the third game and went to time.
The first game was pretty uneventful, he played Infect, notably Tel-Jilad Fallen, and got me poisoned a bit, but I was able to Arc Trail the first Fallen and I Turned the second one to Slag. I had a turn 2 Riddlesmith, which let me filter at least 3-4 cards. Eventually I just got around his creatures and dealt lethal, riding on my Snapsail Glider while tapping down his reach wall.
Second game, I get an early Glider, but he was able to deal 6 poison to me with a turn 4 Fallen when I had no non-artifact creatures. I killed it off with a Turn to Slag and got my Champion online. However, next turn he used Volition Reins on my Snapsail Glider, then followed it up with casting and equipping a Grafted Exoskeleton when I had no flyers, which got me to 10 poison counters. I was particularly mad since my play last turn was Rust Tick + Perilous Myr, when I could have prevented the loss by playing Neurok Replica and keeping 2 mana open instead.
Third game, he floods the board with Infect, but I’m similarly able to flood the board with junk artifacts, Rust Tick, both Centarchs, and Champion. He does get a Fallen in for a few poison, but I’m able to block it (unfortunately) with Riddlesmith. He plays a second one, I Volition Reins it, he counter-Volition Reins it, and I Turn it to Slag, since I don’t have any more non-artifact creatures ready to slow the poison. He continues to do draw creatures, while I draw just enough to keep myself alive; he has a Neurok Invisimancer, a Corse Cur, Darkslick Drake, Blight Mamba, Ichor Rats, lots of nuts out. He even resolves an Engulfing Slagwurm! So, I get to Bond his drake, I’ve already Bonded his Plague Stinger, earlier I Clasped his Vector Asp, I Turned to Slag his Trinket Mage + Grafted Exoskeleton earlier as well. With my tappers, I’m able to tap down his Cur, Slagwurm, and second Fallen, which leaves his Ichor Rats, Blight Mamba, and Invisimancer to attack. The Mamba and Rats are negated by my Champion (I’m only at 4 poison), so he’s slowly killing me with the Invisimancer. I can’t for the life of me draw either my Arc Trail or Spikeshot Elder (which would just open the game up), so it’s all I can manage to prevent myself from dying. We run out of time, so it’s a draw.
Second round, Esper aggro with a touch of Infect. 2-0; my opponent land screwed, and then land flooded.
First game, she goes Darksteel Axe, Darksteel Axe, Plague Stinger, and gets in for some poison, but gets stuck on 2 land. I deal with the Stinger and start attacking with Neurok Replica + Barbed Battlegear and a Rust Tick, but then she gets some more lands and double equips a Sunspear Shikari. Now she starts swinging in for 6, and I’m forced to keep her life low for when I get an answer. She gets me all the way down to 2, at some point I’m forced to sacrifice my Replica to bounce her Shikari to stave off a turn. She lands a Golem Artisan and a Kemba’s Skyguard, I manage to get Metalcraft and keep her flyer tapped with Centarch and Golem tapped with Rust Tick, so I’m stuck chumping her beast on the ground. I keep her life low by block/saccing a Vulshok Replica, then rip… a Perilous Myr. I’m like, great, this doesn’t really help me… except I realize… I equip Barbed Battlegear on it, use its triggered ability to kill off the Shikari! Nice. She draws nothing else and I’m able to finish her off with my own Golem Artisan.
Second game is more of the same, she gets stuck on land but still lands double Darksteel Axe turns 1 and 2. Her Plague Stinger gets killed by my Clasp, I kill something else with Turn to Slag (which doesn’t kill Axe, /sadface), and beat down with Vulshok Replica and Golem Artisan.
Third round, a mono-white aggro/midrange. 2-0; I basically had the perfect answer in hand for all of his threats both games.
Fourth round, RW midrange. 1-2; I had a subpar opening hand and lost to his solid uncommons, he got landflooded second game, then he drew nuts while I drew nothing game 3.