What is Sealed?
Sealed is a limited format. This means that the cards available to build your deck are provided when you arrive to play. In sealed, you open six booster packs and then construct a 40 card deck from those cards. Sealed is a great way for newer players to get used to deck building and also to help them build a collection. The typical sealed deck runs:
- 17 lands
- 16 creatures
- 7 spells (instants, sorceries, enchantments, artifacts)
Keep in mind this is just an average number and not a strict guide. You also want to have a nice curve of creatures; that means making sure most of your creatures are around 3 and 4 mana, with less of the other creatures. It is also common to stick to just two colours. This makes it a lot easier to manage your mana and you will be able to cast your spells easier. Of course, there is sometimes a reason to go into a third colour, such as splashing (adding an extra colour) a bomb (a card you think is very powerful). Removal is very powerful in sealed, so look to which of your colours has the best removal and then try to work out which colours you have the best creatures in. This should give you a general idea of which colours you think you will play.
Aether Revolt Pre-Release
We are all excited to get into the new set. I’ve been looking over the spoiled cards, and I can’t wait to play with all the new cards. At the Pre-release you will be given a nice box that contains four Aether Revolt boosters, two Kaladesh boosters, a spindown dice and a foil rare/mythic promo (which can be used in your deck). We have a little bit of experience of this set because of the two Kaladesh boosters present, so we know how some of the cards play together. Aether Revolt is adding two new mechanics that should make this set great.
Improvise: This is a mechanic that lets you tap artifacts you control to reduce the costs of spells and creatures. This can’t reduce the coloured costs of cards however so keep that in mind. This mechanic is great and it makes some of the lower performing cards in Kaladesh way better now. Be on the look out for cards that make multiple artifacts that can help pay for your improvise cards.
Revolt: This mechanic checks if a permanent you control has left the battlefield this turn. If one has, then you get some bonus effect on your spells or trigger an ability on one of your creatures. This is a bit of a hard mechanic to evaluate just by looking at it. It does require a little bit of set up, so it can be risky. Also remember that creatures dying in combat can trigger revolt so attack first and then play your revolt cards in the second main phase. This mechanic requires a few enablers such as Puzzleknots to be successful.
Energy: This is a returning mechanic from Kaladesh. Energy is a form of resource that lets you pay for certain abilities on permanents or to help make a spell a bit more powerful. Energy does not go away unless you use it, so don’t think of it like mana. We know that energy is a decent mechanic so be on the look out for some big pay offs for having lots of energy.
Vehicles: Another returning mechanic, Vehicles are a new type of artifact that can turn into a creature. Vehicles have a crew cost, you must tap creatures with power equal/greater to the crew cost (example: crew 3 means you must tap 3 power worth of creatures). Some of these vehicles are very strong so be on the look out for Renegade Freighter and Smuggler’s Copter. Vehicles are a bit risky though; you don’t want too many in your deck because without creatures to pilot them they rarely are able to interact with the board. I’d recommend only running 1 or 2 at most.
Fabricate: Only appearing in Kaladesh is the fabricate mechanic. Fabricate appears on creatures and gives the player a choice of making X 1/1 servo artifact creatures OR putting X counters on the creature itself (X is presented on the card). This mechanic got a lot better with the introduction of improvise; being able to use your servo tokens to cast creatures and spells is a great path to victory. Be on the look out for some fabricate cards to fill your board with artifacts.
Always remember that no matter how long you’ve been playing or how serious you play, the pre-release is meant to be a fun experience for ALL players. Go out of your way to make sure everyone has a great time – it is the only way we will be able to grow our communities and keep people coming back. Pre-releases do take some time to actually complete (4-5 hours usually), so remember to bring some snacks and a bottle of water. You can also take your trade folder and some decks (don’t leave them unattended) to play with people in between rounds. We suggest also taking an empty box or two to store the extra cards you will get from your deck and any prizes that you hopefully win. Never be afraid to ask a judge for help. Not everyone is used to the new cards, so if in doubt just ask a judge – they are always happy to help you out. Always remember to HAVE FUN and good luck with your pools!