Team Sealed was the first event of The Calling weekend. There were a number of reasons why this event was so special. First, you got to play Crucible of War in a Limited format. Second, you got to compete and share your sealed pool as a team. Third, you had a chance to compete against the developers of the game!
If you’re unfamiliar with the structure, it is as follows:
- You create a team of three players.
- You share a sealed pool of six Welcome to Rathe packs, six Arcane Rising packs and three Crucible of War packs.
- Once you create your deck, you assign each player their spare cards for the rest of the tournament.
- Each player in one team is assigned being player A, B or C. Players A only play versus other player A’s, etc.
- During the rounds, once two out of three players on a team win, that team wins and all current games can cease.
- Players may help other teammates during the games.
When going into the event, some things really stuck out at me – collaboration truly matters in this format. This shows in deck building. Also, you only have six Arcane Rising packs between three people, meaning the average chance of getting a Nullrune piece is less than two per person. Third, we get to open Crucible of War packs and hope to pull some sweet cold foils!
Massive shout out to my teammates, Henry and Jesse, who made the event extremely enjoyable. Not only are they top notch blokes, but they carried me throughout the rounds. More on that later though. Teamwork started with deciding team names. The boys had some solid ideas like aRATHEmatic and Muppets Christmas Karol, but ultimately those weren’t even needed. Great fun all around though.
Let’s get started on the event. We impatiently sat down and waited for our booster packs to be handed out. As a team, we had a gentlemen’s agreement to open two packs each for each set and keep anything minor – fableds, cold foils and legendaries to be split evenly amongst us.
We opened some serious bangers, unfortunately none in foil – Glint the Quicksilver, Courage of Bladehold, Dread Triptych and Spinal Crush. These were already shaping to create a strong Warrior deck. Refraction Bolters were just a cherry on top.
We had a look at Wizard cards and immediately decided to lock in the class. The last choice was a little bit harder. Some of the notable cards we pulled were Ira and Red Liner. Do note – these Crucible of War rares can only be played when pulled from packs; they do not have token equivalents. It was tough because Guardian, Runeblade and Ranger showed promise.
We pondered a lot about Ira, as the hero has a very powerful hero ability, but the supporting cards just didn’t seem that good. No combos matched and blue pitch generics were already needed in the Wizard deck. Same issue with Guardian, although that Spinal Crush looked tempting. Ranger has a lot of red arrows and we also pulled a Snapdragon Scalers and Bull’s Eye Bracers.
The main issue with going down this path is the two Razor Reflexes would have to be split between the Warrior and Ranger player. Ultimately, we decided to give Jesse Dorinthea, Henry jumped on Kano and the last class we went with was Azalea piloted by yours truly. For me personally, the tipping point was our lack of Nullrunes. Bull’s Eye Bracers gave us additional protection against Kano and Runeblade, otherwise one of us would be left without a Nullrune.
By chance, the first team we were versing was my own testing team – the Scar Boys. Unfortunate, but it is what it is. I was seat two, versing the man himself, Jordan Nelson-Fussell, on Rhinar.
A few cheeky arrows meant I was pushing through some serious damage. Jordan stumbled one turn, by mistakenly discarding a five attack Pack Hunt to a Bloodrush Bellow, which was enough to put me well ahead. The combination of Snapdragon Scalers with Red Liner and a Bull’s Eye Bracers makes two red arrows like Headshot and Searing Shot extremely efficient. I realized that each game I had one explosive turn thanks to those equipment pieces. Thanks to those, I was able to take out my game for the team.
I looked over to my left and saw Henry having a great time against my dear friend Tom Penny, who was struggling on Viserai with one piece of arcane barrier. Henry took it out and we won the round!
First opponents with matching t-shirts. Why didn’t we think of that?!
From the moment we sat down, I knew this was going to be a tough one. I versed Katsu. From turn one, I could feel the Harmonized Kodachis grind me down. I took a few hits and tried to block up to stop the Katsu trigger. My arrows didn’t seem disruptive enough and my opponent was doing a good job at stopping my attacks, dropping low and using Scar for a Scar to threaten Katsu’s trigger and continue the Kodachi cuts. I decided to take a huge chunk of damage to do my two arrow-plus-equipment combo. To my total shock, my opponent had a Flic Flak (Red) in Arsenal and was able to completely stop my attack, when combined with a Combo card. I was too far behind at this stage and a few turns of Kodachi chip damage was enough to finish me off.
Before I died, I glanced over to Henry’s game. He won. I looked over at Jesse’s. His opponent, Kano, was on the ropes. They were very low on life and virtually blocking with full hands every turn to stop potential lethal reprise triggers. Jesse was also low, but his opponent had only five cards left in deck. Turns out, the Kano player pitched a Voltic Bolt (Red) a few turns earlier and kept on overblocking on purpose to dig to the big arcane damage dealer. With a swift Kano activation, he took out Jesse with a lethal blow on the chain. Well played!
This was a special round for me. It was the first time I got to play against some Dunedin players! Dunedin is 1400 km away from Auckland, hence why I never played against the team from down south.
My opponent, Nick, was on Katsu. Not again! Luckily, I learnt from my mistakes and played a very conservative game. We were both chipping away at each other with arrows and daggers, but I managed to pull away on the life total slightly. Nick went for a Flock of the Feather Walkers play, setting up a Quicken Aura for the next turn. I opted to take some damage, as I knew this had to be my big turn.
I pressured with two arrows and equipment, but Nick managed to block my attack well, overblocking my final arrow. We were both around the two life mark at this point. Luckily, my pressure was enough to strip Nick of crucial cards and take the win. After the game, he told me he saw a Razor Reflex (Red) in my deck while I was shuffling – oops! When we played out the last turn without Nick overblocking to play around the Razor Reflex, I would have lost. Maybe flashing a cheeky Razor to the opponent could be a strategy? Food for thought.
Henry was battling it out in a Kano mirror on the right. It was a really exciting game to watch; both players were on one arcane barrier and on one life. Henry went for a lethal bolt, while Liam, his opponent, cast a Eirina’s Prayer (Yellow) revealing a Sun Kiss (Red), a very spicy play. I looked to my other side and saw Jesse battling it out. After a moment, I looked back at Henry and he somehow managed to win despite the crazy game state from before! Team win locked.
Gazza and the boys are a known group of ravenous hooligans in the Auckland Flesh and Blood scene… just kidding! They’re amazing sports.
I had the pleasure of versing Gazza, aka Gary Lynch, himself. His Rhinar proved to be a tough cookie. On one of the first turns, Gazza dropped a Awakening Bellow (Red) followed by a Breakneck Battery (Red) for nine with two intimidates. My measly two blocks for two meant I took a huge hit.
He popped the Barkbone Strapping and rolled high enough to follow up with Romping Club for five. Of course he rolled high. I dropped from 20 to 10 in one turn and was left with a meager arrow to shoot back. I ran 36 cards total, so I thought to myself, if Gary keeps discarding, I might have a shot in the long run! Fatigue Ranger here we go!
I held in there, bringing the life to around two a piece. Despite having decent card advantage myself, Gary took my big hit cause he knew he could double intimidate again for lethal. I looked over on my two allies, and Henry, as usual, was tearing up with Wizard. Jesse also pulled off a strong win and secured the win for the team!
(Sorry, I forgot your team name)
Gene is a staple of the Flesh and Blood community. So are his teammates, Sam and Braeden. It was me and Gene on table two and it’s always a pleasure.
I showed my young Azalea, to which Gene responded with a young Bravo. Ouch – it’ll be a tough one. Gene started off easy, with a low and slow series of Anothos hits for six. I used my arrows to block, but I knew I needed to make something happen- and quick. Those hammer hits were going to fatigue me in no time, even if I ran 36 cards.
We exchanged a few blows, but taking a hammer to the face was extremely punishing. I did just that to get off a double arrow combo, but it just felt like Gene could block up easily. I was on two life and ended up going for a big arrow. Gene took it all and dropped to two. I was hoping to bait a big dominated attack, as I put my Fate Foreseen (Yellow) in the Arsenal to turn the tide.
The big dominated attack was no other than a Crippling Crush. Even my defense reaction couldn’t save me there. With lethal on the chain, I looked over at my teammates. They both finished their games… and both won! Before the big blow finished me off, I quickly scooped up the cards and started celebrating with the team.
4-1 is a great result, despite going 2-3 myself. Looking back, I think possibly going Ira or Bravo would have been the better choice for me, as the Nullrune proved redundant. I guess that’s easy to say after the event.
The prediction that Wizard would perform well proved very true, but as to the other classes, I have to say it really depends on the card pool. I saw all kinds of heroes perform well and the top tables saw huge hero variety.
This format has been amazing and truly fun on many levels. From deckbuilding to playing as a team, I highly recommend this to anyone who has some spare Crucible of War packs lying around, or maybe it can be a fun way to open a box? I feel even making the booster packs yourself from spare Crucible of War cards can do the trick. Simply find five other players, split into teams and get started!