Sealed in Dominaria - Part Two
- Christian Seibold
Sealed in Dominaria is very different from previous sets. It requires a basic understanding of the Limited format in Magic the Gathering. Christian brings his 15 years of experience to bear in order to help readers understand some ways to successfully build sealed pools in Dominaria.
Last time, we commited to looking at two Dominaria sealed pools, in the hopes to demonstrate the versatility that this set's sealed play offers. The first yielded a potent U/W tempo deck. Now let's look at a very different sealed pool, with some interesting cards and a completely different strategy.
Sealed Pool 2
White is strictly unplayable here. The only card I am interested in splashing is Invoke the Divine, but as a single white card, I would have to run Plains in my deck. If there is a good way to splash it and I really need a Disenchant postboard, maybe there is a small chance I'd play it.
Blue has some good cards here like two Blinks, Zahid, Merfolk Trickster and counter magic. In addition, the more I've played this format, the more I became a fan of Cold-Water Snapper even if you do not pair it with an aura. A lot of decks are playing tons of removal and have trouble beating a 4/5 hexproof creature. I can see playing blue in this pool.
Vicious Offering and Eviscerate are good removal spells, but outside of this, black is not spectacular. Knight of Malice and Caligo Skin-Witch are good creatures, but the rest are pretty much filler cards. It looks like black is splashable though.
Red is not really deep but has the best uncommon in the set: Fight with Fire. At first, I thought that card is a good removal spell for 3 mana, which you will play with kicker maybe 5% of the time. After playing a bit with it, I noticed that you play Fight with Fire at least 30% of the time with kicker and then it is just absurd. Add two Shivan Fire and a Fiery Intervention together with solid creatures in form of Keldon Raider, Skizzik, and Rampaging Cyclops and it looks like enough to make even this shallow pool well worth playing.
I'm only interested in the two Llanowar Elves here. The Sapherd is solid, but outside of that, green is only offering two Grow from the Ashes and one Llanowar Envoy, which does make it a good pick for splashing multiple colors. I do not think green is playable here, unless there is a multicolor ramp deck.
Land, Artifact, Multicolour
I am always happy to open a Skittering Surveyor, because that makes splashing so much better and it's also a nice two-for-one. Taxos, Scourge of Kroog can be very dangerous if you get to play enough historic cards. Two Gilded Lotus open a window for expensive cards and splashing. I am surprised by the number of multicolor cards here. Four of them are in Jund Colors. After looking at the multicolor cards, I would try to build a four-color deck which can play all the good cards spread across a wide range of shallow pools.
4 Color Ramp
|7Forest||1Garna, the Bloodflame||1Eviscerate|
|1Island||2Hallar, the Firefletcher||1Fiery Intervention|
|1Memorial to Unity||1Keldon Raider||1Fight with Fire|
|6Mountain||2Llanowar Elves||2Grow from the Ashes|
|1Swamp||1Llanowar Envoy||2Shivan Fire|
|4Vesuva||1Muldrotha, the Gravetide||1Vicious Offering|
|1Rona, Disciple of Gix||2Gilded Lotus|
|1Slimefoot, the Stowaway|
|1Traxos, Scourge of Kroog|
I think this is the best sealed pool I've opened so far. It just has everything: removal, spoiler, ramp, fixing, and card advantage. You cannot really ask for more. Without the powerful multicolor cards and Gilded Lotus, this would probably have been a U/R deck splashing black. Green enables this ramp strategy where you can cast your powerful spells so early. Imagine you play turn 1 Elves, Turn 2 Grow and Turn 3 Gilded Lotus. That is 9 mana turn 5! Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Rona, Disciple of Gix and Slimefoot, the Stowaway give you powerful mana sinks and Fight with Fire is insane in this deck, where it will rarely be cast for three.
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog looks good here with eight other historic cards and can end games quickly, especially if it comes down turn 3 with Llanowar Elves. Two Hallar, the Firefletcher are looking great here, because you've got a whopping seven kicker spells. The removal is perfect, because you've got cheap removal and unconditional removal. You could play Broken Bond, but I decided to leave it in the sideboard because you've got enough removal spells already and do not want to take the risk of having a dead card in your hand. 16 Lands should be enough, because with 2 Lotus, 2 Grow, 2 Elves and a Skittering Surveyor, I am more afraid of getting flooded than screwed. Flooding should still not come up too often with your mana sinks. Also, Keldon Raider and Memorial to Unity help you to transform extra lands into cards. I would give this deck a 9 out of 10.
I built two very different decks with these two sealed pools, showing some of the versatility you need to play Dominaria sealed. The first one was more linear. It played 2 colors, some removal spells, two bombs and had a good mana curve. Curving out turn 2-4 with creatures and turn 5 Academy Journeymage can be pretty powerful in sealed, since most of your opponent's are not ready for that much tempo. The second deck was very powerful, and you will not open such decks often. It had 4 ways to ramp in the first 3 turns and 2 Gilded Lotus, which let you play any good card of your pool without fearing mana issues. I still enjoy playing Dominaria Sealed even after playing about 20 events. What do you think about Dominaria sealed? Let me know in the comments below.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.