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Epic Dragons of Hyperchaos Sealed Review – Introduction & Darkness Ratings
October 21, 2005

By Christina “cecillbill” Page 

In Sealed you get a chance to work with new cards, and formulate an initial impression of how some of those cards might impact your Constructed decks. Epic Dragons of Hyperchaos should present one very intense Limited environment for duelists this weekend. For starters, this set introduces the Turbo Rush ability—a mechanic that will impact the Limited scene due to the very low blocker and creature removal composition of this set. Whenever a mechanic cannot be checked reliably, which is the case in Limited, it has the chance to decide games. Think Thundercharge’s Stealth ability where having one of the Stealth creatures out nearly always meant you were hitting something without contention. Then there are the Dragons and Dragon support cards in this set. One of those Dragons clocks in at 4 mana, is a Double Breaker, and sports 6000 power. Never mind that it must be destroyed after it battles, with so few blocker and kill choices this puppy is likely to break two shields before your opponent can answer its presence with a counterattack or one of the Dragon-focused removal cards. There are 25 creatures that can be played out over the first four turns of the game and only a handful of blockers. Your task is to decide which cards that you pull from your Epic boosters will give you the greatest chances of winning in such an environment. And, I’d like to offer some help.


Judging a card’s playability in Sealed is different than in Constructed. In Constructed, you can design your deck to do whatever you want in order to execute its win condition. However, in Sealed you are working with a random and limited card pool where your cards dictate the strategy you should follow. The cards you include in your Sealed deck need to be potent options within the Limited environment created by the set. This is a format with scarce creature removal, draw, and blocker resources. You cannot depend on being able to stockpile mana to pull of expensive combos or Control plays. On the whole you will be dealing with severely limited resources like a small hand & a small mana pool. What type of deck strategy usually thrives under those conditions? Pat yourself on the back if you said Beatdown.


Here’s the biggest tip I can offer that comes straight from experience having won all but one Sealed deck event I’ve entered (I placed 2nd at the one I lost): Build a Beatdown deck. Make your deck be able to swing as quickly as possible and has compact as possible (30 cards). Try to have several plays for the early game, turns 1-4 are very important. Players who drafted Thundercharge quickly released that because creature removal and blocker choices were low, players who were able to secure several copies of Kooc Pollon and Propeller Mutant and who went first often won the game. For my Sealed decks I try have more than half of my deck consist of creatures that can be played in the early game (turns 1-4). This format is about speed. You want to hit your opponent hard, fast, and as consistently as possible. Blockers and creature removal cards (which often included tap cards) are always at a premium if not ridiculously overpriced or saddled with horrible drawbacks. You can do well to include things like affordable draw/tutor cards, hand discard, mana gain, and mid to late game fatties. But, those “extras” should have great effects, be hard for your opponent to counter, be tacked onto creatures where ever possible, and be relatively cheap where possible in order to gain spots in your 30 card Sealed deck.  

One of the best things about the Sealed format is that mechanics and cards that don’t pack enough utility to gain spots in dominant Constructed strategies can be potent deck choices in Sealed. So, be mindful of evaluating cards in relation to your overall card pool and what threats you expect to surface from your opponents. During the Thundercharge Release Event I packed Splash Zebrafish, a card I would never play in my Constructed decks due to Thrash Crawler being a better option. Zebrafish gained 2 spots in my Sealed deck because of the wonderful synergy it had with the Chargers I packed and the ability to give me greater chances of using the one Apocalypse Vise I pulled. I was able to win one match playing Zebrafish to grab back my Apocalypse Vise, and another by grabbing Lightening Charger to fly past a blocker.

Before deciding on a final build at the Epic Release Event take a look over the cards you’ve selected and yourself ask a series of checkpoint questions, including:

1. Do you have at least 2 solid plays on turns 2-6 wherever possible?

2. Are your bombs fatties realistic like Necrodragon Giland or wishful thinking like King Tsunami?

3. Is your mana curve reasonable?

4. Is your deck 30 cards or as close to 30 cards as possible?

5. Is you deck more than half creatures?

6. Do your creatures have effects that decrease the efficiency of your deck or help your opponent more than you?

7. Do any of your creatures have golden effects such as Bounce, Draw, Tutor, Double Breaker, Destruction (hand, creature or mana), Evasion, Tapping or Untapping?

8. Do you have any cards that can deal with your opponent’s cards like blockers or removal cards?

There are tons of questions to ask yourself and things to consider when selecting cards for your Sealed deck. Force yourself to judge the playability of cards through a Limited-play lens because certain cards have different value in Limited than in Constructed play. Your job is to assign that value as best as possible within 30 minutes, taking into account your entire card pool and what kind of strategy that card pool gives you.

Epic Dragons Sealed Card Ratings

Cards are reviewed mostly for an Epic Sealed Limited environment. Each Sealed event is different, and you should build off your own experiences as much as possible. Even if you’re new to the Sealed format, take my opinions of cards with a grain of salt—weigh your options in relation to your other cards and the strategy that your cards dictate. The final decision on what’s playable in your pile of cards rests on your shoulders.

Playability Rating Scale

Not Playable

These are cards that are best left out of your deck with the puzzle pieces.

Spell—doesn’t change your field/hand advantage, has ridiculously high cost, has an effect that requires too much of a “setup” or harms you greatly

Creature—cost is too prohibitive, effect too detrimental, requires evobait creature you don’t have or have barely any chance of drawing


Some of these cards you may run to help you play your bombs or help fill in a mana cost gap, but they’re not necessarily solid selections on their own.

Spell—doesn’t offer much of anything to warrant being decked over other cards, but doesn’t really have an ill side effect or too high cost

Creature—cost is prohibitive, effect detrimental but stands to harm the opponent as well, effect can backfire but may also be helpful when played correctly


These are solid cards that are great assets to your deck but aren’t super-special on their own. Many are synergistic with other cards in set and thus are better when paired with other cards.

Spell—offers some field or hand advantage but has another requirement to meet

Creature—usually has a solid effect but may be overcosted or require a setup, offers some synergy but doesn’t necessarily have to be good with other cards, has a drawback that you must manage carefully but could play off if played correctly


Think creatures that seal the game, creatures that are cheap investment for the effect or power, quick drops and creature removal. These are the cards you want to draw and play.

Spell—basically any Removal and most Draw/Tutor/Discard (trigger or cheap)

Creature—easy to play (quick drops), great effects for the price, late game bombs, effect hurts your opponent but not you and has reasonable price

Now that I’ve given some suggestions on how to judge cards for Sealed deck and explained the system that I’m using to rate cards, onto the review for Darkness.

Darkness Civilization

There are many good reasons to like the Darkness cards of this set in Limited. Two of the sweetest Turbo Rush effects are tacked onto Darkness creatures, a delicious discard spell is going to be a bomb pull, and a nasty 4 mana Dragon threat hails from this civilization. Many of the picks here are going to require expert play to run, and vary in their usefulness depending on what else you’ve packed. 

Megaria, Empress of Death 

Megaria can help you get rid of troublesome creatures, though it’s going to be through 1 for 1 trades and after your opponent has been able to use his creatures unless you’ve combined this with tap effects. The biggest problem with this creature is that it turns ALL creatures into slayers—yours and your opponent’s creatures. You’d pretty much have to use this when you stand to win. This is a precision play creature, so be careful if you deck it. 

Rating: Low 

Super Necrodragon Abzo Dolba 

I usually stay away from Evos in this format. However, I have seen Evos surface in Limited. It all depends on how much evobait you pull, how durable they are, and how compact you build you deck. It can evolve off any Dragon, a race that makes up a good portion of this set though many are Uncommon and above. Plus, there is a Water creature with a Turbo Rush tutor effect that can help you get Abzo or evobait in hand. If the 6 mana, 11000+, Triple Breaker Abzo surfaces, then it’s pretty much game over for your opponent. So, if you feel that you have enough evobait and a chance to play this sucker, then run it. 

Rating: Medium, because it requires evobait 

Corpse Charger 

Corpse can give you another option in hand, and fuel your mana. So, on later turns you may not have to sac your draws to build mana. I’d drop this puppy if I didn’t have a 4 drop threat that I could press and had a creature in my graveyard to retrieve. Not a first pick, but a solid one. 

Rating: Medium 

Cranium Clamp 


A 2 for 1 for 4 mana that hits the hand is simply too darn good to pass up. There are two ways to deal with threats—sac them after they hit or try to prevent them from hitting at all. Clamp is sweet—nails two potential threats before they can develop. Now, why would you want to pass that up? Didn’t think so. 

Rating: High 

Dimension Splitter 

This guy would go into my deck simply because I strongly believe in coming out of the gate fast and consistently. For me that entails having a nice spread of 2-4 mana creature drops. But, this guy also has the added benefit of being solid later in the game when you need to get back your downed Dragons and re-fill your hand. 

Rating: High 

Gachack, Mechanical Doll 

Play it. This Turbo Rush effect is killer in Limited. If your opponent hasn’t blocked another creature and that creature breaks a shield, then if this guy isn’t blocked while attacking your opponent it gets to nuke whatever you want from your opponent’s battle zone. It’s a chance at re-usable kill, if protected, and just using its effect once could have a profound impact on the game.  

Rating: High 


Play it. 5 mana for 2000 power stinks when the creature doesn’t have a CIP effect. But, this is the Limited format and Gigaclaws rocks one of the nastiest Turbo Rush abilities. Something of your is going to get thru and turn this guy into “Mr. Now Your Opponent is Topdecking.” Cards are usually in hand late game in Limited because people are not working with the most ideal mana curves and are forced into playing multi-civ “skittles” decks. Sicne there is little card drawing, being in topdeck mode will hurt your opponent because he has few chances to overcome it 

Rating: High 

Motorcycle Mutant 

Its blocker stats are impressive—4 mana and it can stop anything 6000 power and below that can be blocked. You can think of Motorcycle this way: if you need defense or don’t have an Aggro 4 drop in hand cast it and then next turn use it to stop one of your opponent’s creatures. On later turns you could summon something cheap first, and then drop Motorcycle to get around its effect for that turn. Most often blockers in Limited do their blocking trick once. Its drawback can be worked around, but you really need to judge when or if to use it wisely.  

Rating: Medium 

Necrodragon Galbazeek 

It’s 6 mana, Dragon evobait, packs 9000 power and Double Breaker. Very Sweet. But, wait, each time you swing with it you have to nuke one of your shields. So, you really want it to break shields. Despite it’s self-shield crunching effect I’d probably run this creature. Of course, I’d have to weigh all the options I have at my disposal first, and then only swing with it if I’m going to win on that turn. Definitely use with caution. 

Rating: Medium 

Necrodragon Giland 

Bomb Fattie Alert. 4 mana. Double Breaker. 6000 power. Dragon evobait. It’s an awesome threat, and relatively fast. If you managed to hit your 2 and 3 drops, then follow up with this puppy watch your opponent squirm. Sure, if your opponent blocks this creature, taps it before it attacks and rams something into it, bounces it with Wave Lance, kills it with an effect, or counter-attacks when tapped, then Giland is gone. But, if he can’t do any of that before you swing with it, then he’s down 2 shields. Once Giland hits the graveyard you have a chance to bring it back if you pack Dimension Splitter. It’s a common so expect to see it being played.  

Rating: High 

Scream Slicer, Shadow of Fear 

It’s 6 mana, which isn’t grand with only 4000 power and no Double Breaker. But 4000 power is still a formidable threat in this format and can kill many creatures in this set. There are 13 creatures in this set that could help you turn Scream Slicer into a killing machine. But, as the effect is mandatory and triggers whenever you summon a Dragon or Dragonoid creature, it can backfire on you. Another problem is that many of the creatures that have Dragon in their race or that are Dragoniods in this set are Rares or above. The value of its effect will depend on how many Dragons and Dragonoids you pull, and whether or not you want to take shots at having to nuke you own creatures.  

Rating: Low 

Tyrant Worm 

It’s the only 1-mana card in the set, and it packs 2000 power. Plus, you’ll likely see it in some packs due to it being a Common. But there’s no way that an Aggro 1 drop with 2000 power isn’t going to rock some type of drawback, and its drawback makes it a horrible opener. You play it turn one, and then can’t follow it up with a 2 drop without wasting your first turn because you must destroy it. But, I still think it has some applications in Sealed. You could play it as a tag-a-long to some later game offense. Cast all the other threats you want on a later turn, and then drop Tyrant Worm. Next turn, if you absolutely need to play another creature then Tyrant goes bye-bye. If you don’t need to pile on another threat, then it’s there to add to the swarm count.

Rating: Low 

Darkness Summary 

# High: 5
# Medium: 4
# Low: 3
# Unplayable: 0

Darkness has a very solid selection of picks for Sealed. Some of its Low picks might have greater value depending on your other pulls, but overall many of them require careful consideration on when to play them if you deck them. Remember Low picks are still playable, just less desirable and shouldn’t take away spots from clear-cut High or Medium picks.




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