Apologies if there are any errors, the box containing the sealed pool broke apart and the pool may be missing 1-2 cards.
Sealed Pool 1:
(I’m sure LSV or Riki will insert some time to think here, you’ll have to supply your own game show bonus round thinking music.)
Not exactly the hardest pool in the world to build, at least color-wise, I’m sure the details could’ve been improved. My MVP’s were Garruk Wildspeaker, Mind Shatter and Wall of Bone. The first two should be self-explanatory, but Wall of Bone is nearly impossible to kill in this format and effectively invalidates the biggest non-evasion attacker on the opposite side of the table.
There were three main junctures I was undecided about and I’m sure will get plenty of feedback about.
2. Not fitting Weakness in
I probably underestimated how good a Lure was later in the game, but I really didn’t want to play a 4 mana 2/2 with an ability was only really useful to me in a prolonged ground stalemate. Sounds silly because a decent number of M10 matches will boil down to a ground fight, but I already had 4 evasion guys, Garruk and a Fireball as ways to work around it. At this point if I got a redo I’d probably cut Tendrils for Weakness, as Tendrils is a lot less good than my memory led me to believe. Even with half the land being Swamps, it typically was only doing 3, even on turn 8 and beyond. Essence Drain was good, but Weakness is practically as good as removal versus evasion creatures, invalidates 4/4’s as threats* and only costs B.
*Play the format for a little bit, 2 power guys are borderline garbage without evasion or some other ability.
The heavier Red splash is a bit more of a stretch, but Pyroclasm devastates evasion creatures and the ‘aggro’ decks which are usually decks running more than a splash of red. Prodigal Pyromancer is also about as good as I remember, making my bears actually able to trade with relevant cards and trying to keep Planeswalkers in line without horrible attacks having to occur. Probably too greedy in this format, you have a lot of time to get your mana online and if you hit a glut, there’s a very good chance of just losing.
I went 3-0-1 with the deck, since playing out the last round at 4:30am seemed poor, to say the least.
Then I showed up for the 10am prerelease on a couple hours of sleep (thank you, stupidly annoying chirping birds) and got a more interesting pool to build.
Sealed Pool #2:
And what I built:
After round the first game of round 2, I realized Llanowar Elf and Archdruid just weren’t cutting it and swapped them for Griffin Sentinel and Palace Guard for the rest of the tourney. The main cards I boarded in were the second Palace Guard and varying numbers of Wall of Faith, both of which were complete houses and held the ground for a long period of time. I’d just buy some time and eventually get Serra Angel, Armored Ascension, Overrun or Fireball to end the game with.
The reason I didn’t run more equipment, was because I preferred every other spell in the deck over it and I felt I barely had enough large creatures as it was. Nothing is worse than seeing multiple equipment spells early and having a whole one guy to cast them on. The reasoning for Gorgon Flail over Whispersilk Cloak was due to the defensive nature I held in most matches. Often I’d just turtle up until I had a chance to come back over with a bomb or get in with 7/5 deathtouch Craw Wurm. Flail on a wall or Palace Guard was absurdly strong and a great deterrent against ground forces.
I actually really like how the revised deck came out and the only card I think should’ve been in there in retrospect is Siege-Gang Commander. With 4 mana fixers and the defense I could land, I certainly had the capability of finding a 2nd Mountain in every match except against b/u or w/u flyers. Regardless of any potential miscues, I went 3-1 (split last round and crushed in 2 games, took less than 15 minutes) losing only to Charles Gordon and his B/U deck. His pool didn’t look extremely strong, the only bombs being Cancel, Air Elemental and Djinn of Wishes, but he made the most of his little flyers and infinite card draw.
As for the actual pool, like I said, it was a lot more interesting than my first one. Green is an easy play, but White is very deep, especially if you don’t mind going for a very long game and using Wall of Faith + Palace Guard. Black is shallow, but still has 10 playables if you can Disentomb something good. Red is too shallow, but gives you 4 removal spells, Siege-Gang Commander and Stone Giant so if you pair it with a deep enough normal color + equipment, means you only need to run 7-8 cards from your second color. The problem with that is mostly the number of Mountains you need for Seismic Strike to be good.
When I was playing some games for fun though, I did make an alternate deck from the pool, this one being B/R. It basically boiled down to having an aggressive curve starting with Jackal Familiar and then using the multitude of removal + double Gorgon Flail to keep attacking even when all your small guys have been invalidated. It was actually a lot more effective than I thought it would be, largely thanks to Flail being very strong and the black guys actually having evasion. I still wouldn’t of played it, but had my pool perhaps been a little shallower, it was an option to consider.
On M10 and the new rules, I have to be honest and say it barely came up. The biggest issue with them I saw all day was Deathtouch and the special exceptions it got during combat. Multiple times I saw people not understand how or why Deathtouch worked the way it did during combat and I probably won a match by my opponent not knowing Deathtouch + Trample together don’t work the way you want them too. Otherwise it went pretty well, there really aren’t very many combat tricks to worry about so the effects of ‘too soon’ syndrome on certain effects won’t really be seen. The only card I saw that was notably awful was the Nantuko Husk reprint. Everytime somebody attacks with it, I just go ahead and block, odds are the guy they sacrifice was worth more to me dead. I’m going to have to think of a clever nickname to describe it’s relationship with [card]Elvish Visionary[/card] since the card goes up in value for every random 1/1 hanging around that already drew you a card.
As a bonus, here’s a cracked M10 pack, let me know what you’d 1st pick out of pack 1 here.
I’ll see you next week.
Email me at: joshDOTsilvestriATgmailDOTcom
For anyone who tried Chapin’s Sanity Grinding Cascade deck and would like to have a shot against Faeries, try boarding in 4 Bloodbraid Elf, 4 Flame Javelin and 4 Great Sable Stag, I think you’ll be pleased with the results,