The Professors 159: Sealed Conclusion and Exarch Twin

The Professors: Episode 159: Sealed Conclusion and Exarch Twin

65 thoughts on “The Professors 159: Sealed Conclusion and Exarch Twin”

  1. honestly countering the caw is probably the best option they escentially get to draw three cards if it hits the battle field. also the fact that the hand you showed is far slower since they do have a caw out if you dont counter. so the absolute best option is to counter playing your jace the next turn for more card advantage.

  2. Yes, untap play jace and win. If you let it resolve you’re not casting Jace as it will die pretty quickly with the hawk on board and you’re not casting the o-ring. Theres no gas in that hand and you need to Jace to draw into it.

  3. It seems weird to have “how well does your deck metagame against your own card pool” as a critical component of the contest.

  4. I would counter. He was obviously digging for some action with the Preordain meaning his hand could be bad. More importantly, it allows you to tap out for Jace next turn putting him way behind.If you don’t counter the hawk, what are you going to do next turn? You could either sit around with Leak up while getting pecked or play Jace who would get pecked while more Hawks would be incoming – which you don’t really have a solution for.

  5. Yeah, absolutely counter that hawk! This gives you the opportunity to drop Jace without fear, putting your opponent down on cards and tempo. If someone is playing preordain on turn 1, it usually means that they don’t have A) proper lands or B) not much action. Your opponent most likely doesn’t have Mana Leak either, or he would have represented it on turn 2, this gives you the information, that you can probably drop Gideon a couple turns later if your opponent is still playing with his/her back to the wall (aka playing everything he/she topdecks). Once Gideon hits the board, you have the game nearly locked up.

    Maybe a harder question next time. 😉

  6. Next time, rig the sealed pool. I would make every color completely insane, each with a sick mythic, good rare, and solid commons and uncommons with a deep amount of playables.
    You could even intentionally give each color one of each of their best uncommons and two of each of their best commons. This would be totally crazy and fun, with tons of different decks and, more importantly, I think we could learn some thinks about the sealed format and color combinations in general, seeing the very very best that each color has to offer, how it pairs with the other colors and what the results are against other colors at their very best.

    Or you could just make it doubled sealed, 12 packs instead of 6. That could be great too but could still potentially lead to the initial problem of having one very obviously correct direction to go with the pool, but probably less likely.

  7. Is that a trick question? It’s about the same difficulty as:
    “Your opponent is at 2. You have Sudden Shock in hand. What do you do?”

  8. playing decks created from the same pool against each other is a horrible way to determine which deck list is superior. You need to play the deck against a rough sampling of sealed decks commonly expected to be seen. This whole premise is a waste of time, at least my time.

  9. @ Brodie McKnight: Just the regular snap counter??? I would double snap counter that any day of the week, maybe even triple snap counter if such a thing exists… 😛

  10. Of course you counter the squadron hawk.

    In our hand we have no effective counter to a large group of hawks applying any beat down, like a sweep or a solid defending creature or such. If it turns out he is playing a far more aggro-y version of Caw Blade then we’re buggered either way so we should be mana leaking the first creature we see, especially if it’s as important as Squadron Hawk.

    In our hand we’re going to constantly be leaving 2 mana free to mana leak other stuff as we curve up to Gideon. Oh wait, no we’re not. We’re gonna be casting Jace next turn and then we start pouring through the deck asap to get more lands out. If he plays a creature on his turn 3, almost certain, then we can cantrip off of twisted image (a spell which has no other relevance in the matchup seeing as all his creatures are X/X anyway) and keep searching for some good stuff. Unless we see our own hawk then our plan is to try and resolve gideon and maintain an extremely dominant board position with Gideon provoking any creatures, Jace giving us tons of cards and O-ring for anything major. Something will give eventually.

    His preordain doesn’t tell us much. He either has too much land or not enough, or he just saw 2 more squadron hawks and felt confident the 1 he was about to play was sufficient. It’s impossible to tell what removing those 2 cards meant for him other then his current hand is either really land heavy or land starved.

    The only reason that we would consider not snap countering the hawk is if we had timely reinforcements in our hand. A play consisting of turn 3 timely after getting smacked a grand total of once by the hawk establishes a rather solid board position and the next plan is to race him with a solid lead (unless he timely’s our timely, then things just get awkward), dealing with any swords or other important action as they get played. But that’s a strict hypothetical.

    So yeah, snap counter that hawk with that hand. There’s no reason not to.

  11. A better question would have been, “Snap counter or double-snap counter?” I think it’s a double-snap counter.

  12. Where are the lists of the Sealed Decks you ended up playing in Top 8? I’m just curious.

  13. ummm.. I do not see how there is any argument for not countering the hawk.. am I missing something?

  14. Haha, ok guys, I guess the Squadron Hawk question is too easy :D. The clear answer is to counter Hawk. Just was looking for any possible reasons to not counter it, or the why part. Anyway, anyone in the top 4 can send me their address so I can send them the packs they won. Email me at: [email protected]. Next week’s question will be harder, I promise ;D

  15. splinter twin under construction

    deceiver exarch x4
    splinter twin x4
    spellskite x2/3
    spell pierce x3
    mana leak x4
    gitaxian probe x3
    preordain x4
    ponder x4
    shrine of piercing vision x3
    dismember x3

    halimar depths x4
    island x6
    mountain x6
    scalding tarn x4
    misty rainforest x2
    arid mesa x1


    flashfreeze x3
    pyroclasm x2
    ratchet bomb x2
    spellskite x1
    combust x2
    mutagenic growth x2
    twisted image x1
    manic vandal x2

    missing 3 cards main board
    help anyone ?

  16. I say do NOT counter the Hawk. It’s just a 1/1 and you will have time before it’s a major factor. If it were Armored Warhorse, I think you counter that, cause the 2/3 would wreck house on turn 3.

  17. Who was the U/G finalist? It must have been me, because I can’t see anyone else making that jank.

  18. Counter the hawk then make another episode of this show. It’s so good. I hate The Magic Show now and only watch this and Magic TV now. Good job Anthony and team.

  19. So I know complaints like this won’t endear myself to anyone, but this video player makes your show seriously unwatchable. If CFB can embed Magic TV with Luis and Tristan into things like an RSS feed, why can’ they do the same for your show? It seems like they’re deliberately doing you a disservice.

  20. Double snap counter.

    Also, what was that MTG medium you used to play those Esper and Boros sealed decks?

  21. The only problem is, if he is playing blade splicer, and you counter the hawk your going to look silly, but you want to drop the jace and start drawing extra cards anyway so you’ll be tapped down for a turn3 bladesplicer anyway so countering the hawk and then digging for something and then maybe even o-ringing the splicers golem while going to town with jace should still be pretty good, but probably unnessersary

  22. @Pat Then if you don’t counter the Hawk because he might have a Blade Splicer and doesn’t, you will have just effectively 2 for 1 ed yourself for a stupid reason. You stop the Hawk machine and dig for an answer to any blade splicer he might have. Worst comes to worse you just O-Ring it. I honestly do not believe there is a scenario where you don’t counter the hawk in todays standard.

  23. @Nekrataal and @Xaxaar: It’s called Cockatrice. It’s free and like a better version of Magic Workstation with pictures! (Though sometimes the shuffler is weird, you just have to shuffle about 10 times).

  24. always always ALWAYS counter the turn 2 cawblade. It sets them back not just one card and a turn but FOUR CARDS and made their opening hand so much worse.

  25. Counter the Hawk every time so he can’t fetch the rest of them. Then, slam Jace and start drawing cards.

    The only thing that could make this a close decision is if we had Day of Judgment or Timely Reinforcements in our hand. Then we could feign weakness and try to lure our opponent into getting his hawks Wrathed, or just Timely and start swinging back, respectively. However, I don’t think this is a good plan even if we do have one of those cards because it makes playing our Jace a lot worse. Also, if we play Timely next turn then we may never get to use the Mana Leak, which seems like bad value.

  26. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  27. Better way to run contest: not have a fucking obvious build (especially one that you then make yourself) that makes the contest a meta-game contest as opposed to actually building a sealed pool in a vacuum. Though to be honest any contest of the nature that the first one had is going to have exactly that problem (eg: L Ele is never a good sealed card unless you know every possible decent build your opponents could produce), so you really need to do something completely different from “build a sealed deck of this pool and we’ll bash a bunch of them together,” since that leads to exactly the degen meta-game building skewed results that anyone with any intelligence could expect given the first contest’s criteria.

    Also, re: Standard. GG NO RE BRAH!!! aka: still fucking degen, even after banning the two, by FAR, most OP cards in a *loooong* time. LTBalance a format WotC.

  28. It’s difficult to know the best way to run the sealed deck contest. While I feel like a lot of the feedback has been overly critical, it is true that “Metagaming” against the best deck in the pool is silly. If I was at a grand prix for example, my esper list is just better than a red/white aggro list in this pool (Along with pretty much any esper or UW list). It doesn’t particularly surprise me that my deck lost, but the reason for it having lost does seem kind of silly.

    Fixing this is difficult though. If you try and run the decks through a gauntlet, the number of games you need to play increases exponentially. If you post multiple pools, taking submissions becomes oppressively complicated.

    I think the best solution is to once again post a single pool, but post a pool with a relatively even distribution across the colors (Representative of a ‘balanced’ sealed pool). This may need to be manufactured, but even that is OK. It’s preferable to a pool where the best deck is obvious. This also leaves the most room for innovation and skill in deckbuilding, without making the contest complicated to an impractical degree.

    Maybe get together a team of three to five people, each of which is capable of the task, and together open a sealed pool or two and then try and figure out how to ‘fix’ one of them to be relatively balanced. This doesn’t mean they all have one bomb and three removal spells, they just need to all be in competition. This would allow relative simplicity in the selection/testing process.

  29. Also, you must absolutely counter the hawk. Here’s the decision tree with that hand:

    Let Hawk Resolve + Don’t Draw Hawk = Lose
    Let Hawk Resolve + Draw Hawk + They Counter It = Lose
    Let Hawk Resolve + Draw Hawk + It Resolves = In The Game

    Counter Hawk + They Don’t Have 2nd Hawk + Draw Hawk + It Resolves = Likely Win
    Counter Hawk + They Have 2nd Hawk + Draw Hawk + It Resolves = Game On
    Counter Hawk + They Don’t Have 2nd Hawk + Draw Hawk + They Counter It = Game On
    Counter Hawk + They Have 2nd Hawk + Draw Hawk + They Counter It = Likely Loss
    Counter Hawk + They Don’t Have 2nd Hawk + Don’t Draw Hawk = Game On
    Counter Hawk + They Have 2nd Hawk + Don’t Draw Hawk = Likely Loss

    The chances of them having the second hawk are low because 1) It’s statistically unlikely to have two copies of a card and 2) People tend to mulligan hands with 2 hawks since it’s a mulligan already. This places the game in a good place if you counter the hawk, and puts you close to dead on board if you let it resolve.

  30. I would, its not just a 1/1 flying hes putting down. He gets early game advantage, free shuffles and 3 tutors :S

  31. As everyone else has said, yes, you counter the Squadron Hawk. You have no action that answers it and thus will get wrecked by a squad of hawks.

  32. Something else to note is, are you sideboarding in games 2-5 of the sealed deck contest? It seems silly that a RW deck gets 5 games of combust where I get 0 of celestial purge/flashfreeze/smaller dudes to block/divine favor/etc.

  33. @Chris: Yes! We did actually sideboard (your deck brought in Flashfreeze, Purge, and…2 other cards and one was black but I forget what they were, I wasn’t piloting the deck, while the RW deck got even more aggressive). Also, I need your email+address again, sorry I accidentally deleted it :/

    @Nick It’s Cockatrice, shuffle liberally

    @Mike Ya he’s awesome!

  34. i think that you should counter the hawk for the many reasons stated above but for the sake of discussion there is an arguable other side to the story. Letting the hawk resolve, although pretty brutal, is not an unmanageable game state. Your plan then is to save the leak for a more important card such as an opposing blade splicer or an emeria angel. The Oring covers you from him playing a sword on one of the hawks, making them just a bunch of 1/1 fliers. You will be pretty happy if he keeps playing the hawks because that may mean that he has nothing else in hand. You will at the end of your opponent’s turn cycle the twisted image hope to hit land drops and then continue to try and control all of his plays other than the hawks and then play gideon. After you play gideon is when you play jace because he will have sufficient protection and will hopefully draw you into something sweet to take over the game. The reason i dont think that this is a great line of play is because if gideon gets countered you loose.

  35. I would definitely counter the hawk, but not because it’s the “right choice” so much as it doesn’t take all of your options to do. If you counter the hawk they don’t get to search their deck for more, if they spell pierce your Mana Leak, then you have put them down 2 cards to maintain the same card pull and body creation that they would have gotten anyway. That aside, the hand contains oblivion ring, which has the crucial feature of exiling a sword which could be game ruining in a mirror-match.

  36. Let hawk resolve, draw Marrow Shards, wait till he alpha strikes, own him, counter his desperate counterspell, watch him cry and wipe your feet with his hair.

  37. Yes, you counter the Hawk.

    Are you trying to imply that you should assume your opponent is mana screwed based on him putting both cards on bottom off of the Preordain? I only think that because you overexplained the Glacial Fortress like you don’t know if he topdecked it in order to not miss that land-drop.

    If this was turn 3 and he had missed his 2nd turn land drop so you could guarantee he had just drawn into it you still probably counter Hawk, although that’s slightly less obvious.

  38. @Anthony- Cool, hope there’s another contest (With a more balanced pool ;D), the contest is a cool idea.

    [email protected]

    Chris Thomas
    2619 Lucerne Dr.
    Tallahassee, FL, 32303

  39. You counter the hawk, every time. You have a slow hand, and turn 2 hawk is great play especially if they have the sword. Even if they don’t, its worth the incremental advantage.

  40. What can he possibly do to Jace that’s going to leave him up cards once you counter something that’s already leaves him up cards. There’s a chance it makes the twisted image a blank for some turns since he was probably digging for hawk turn one, which is kind of like minus one card for you, but if he doesn’t answer Jace on his next turn that’s probably game. If he does you brake even+. Maybe I’m just not on your level though.

  41. I refuse to watch this show any more. Now ridiculously split into four parts amidst numerous advertisements… I can’t tell if this is a Magic video or if it’s simply a plug for Jeremiah Weed. Sure, who doesn’t like to see semi-hot chicks in t-shirts… but not when I’m looking for Magic content. Ah well, sorry this great thing had to be ruined.

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