MTG Las Vegas is this weekend, and if you’re playing in the Limited event (or doing any other sealed events), this Deep Dive is a great place to get started. I jammed a bunch of Crimson Vow Sealed decks on Arena, then built a bunch using sealed deck generators, and I’ve got plenty of tips that’ll help you maximize your chances. Let’s get to ’em!
Let’s start by talking about some general Sealed tips, all of which apply to this format, and help build a foundation for just about every Sealed format. Sealed and Draft are similar, but there are some key differences, and knowing them is critical, even if you’ve done a lot of drafting (and especially if you haven’t).
Sealed tends to be slower
Because more people play three colors, expensive bombs and there are fewer aggro decks, Sealed games tend to be slower on average. That’s not to say that you should cut all your two-drops for six-drops, but that you should slightly increase your valuations of cards that are good in slower games (and vice versa).
Bombs are more prevalent
I’ll go into this more in-depth as it pertains to VOW sealed shortly, but suffice to say that with everyone opening six packs, there are many more rares floating around, and almost all the good ones get played. This is more true now than it used to be, as more of the commons are playable than in older sets, meaning if you open an insane red bomb, you can make a deck with it, even if red is shallow (which wasn’t the case five or so years ago).
Interaction is incredibly valuable
The combination of aggro being less viable and bombs being more plentiful means that you need a lot of interaction to succeed. Removal is obviously the best here, but counters and discard go up in value significantly in this world. You no longer have the option to go under bombs with beatdown decks (most of the time), and there are more bombs around, so you will often be forced to answer them.
Artifact/enchantment removal is usually maindeckable
Because every pool will have a good selection of artifacts, you usually will have targets for your artifact/enchantment removal (and VOW has a lot of enchantments overall). As such, maindecking a Naturalize is better in Sealed than in Draft.
Let’s get to VOW specifically, as there are some keys to understanding this format in particular.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant (or Demon) in the room. VOW is incredibly bomb-heavy, more so than most recent sets, and that definitely is something you feel in Sealed. This plays out in a few important ways.