This weekend features the Arena Open in Phyrexia: All Will Be One Limited and I wanted to make sure you are well prepared for it. It’s Sealed on day one and Draft on day two, so let’s start by breaking down the Sealed format.
There are a lot of bombs in this format and Sealed suffers a little bit as a result. In draft, you can draft a fast deck and beat most of the bombs before your opponent has a chance to draw or play them, but in Sealed the decks tend to be a lot slower and less focused, so you have more time to find your best cards.
Sealed is definitely a skill intensive format where more experienced players will get more out of deck building and sideboarding than someone who hasn’t played the format before. But there are a lot of bombs with hexproof, plenty of planeswalkers and most of the Twilights in a format that doesn’t even have a Negate, so sometimes there is just very little you can do regardless of your deck building abilities.
Matt Sperling summed it up perfectly.
I think of it like the pool might be a 3-6 win pool or it might be a 5-7 win pool and there is probably a lot of skill in whether you get 3 and 5 vs a 6 and 7 with those respective pools. But you can't make the 3 into a 7.
— Matt Sperling 🦈 (@sickofit) February 26, 2023
With good play, deck building and a lot of practice, you can definitely squeeze an extra win or two out of your deck, but no one can turn a 3/10 into a 7/10 if the cards aren’t there or if your opponents have the biggest bombs in the format and your pool simply doesn’t have ways to beat them.
With Sealed being a bit slower than draft, I often find myself splashing for a third color to make sure I get to play most of my high value cards. It’s fairly easy to do so, with cards like Prophetic Prism, Terramorphic Expanse or Dune Mover that fit into every deck.
If you can build a focused two-color deck out of your pool, it’s usually even better, but the best advice I can give you is to open a Jace, blue or black Twilight, Elesh Norn, some of the planeswalkers or a nice two-color deck with the multicolored bombs like Migloz.
If you fail with a bad pool, don’t worry about it too much, you can play day one as many times as you want, so as long as you game responsibly, you should manage to qualify anyway.
Now let’s talk about draft!
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