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Pojo's Book Reviews



First of all... congratulations are in order for all 50 participants in the October Sealed Deck Challenge!  I've been playing in sealed events for many years and I'm not to proud to admit that several of you had solid builds that I hadn't even thought of.  

MANY of you came to the same conclusion as I, that White and Green with a splash of Blue was the most solid option.  I wanted to share with all of you how I came up with what I would have played... which is what I used when I came up with my top 5 contestants.

First, I'll repost all the cards available:

Tourney Pack Booster #1 Booster #2
Rares -

Cephalid Shrine
Seton, Krosan Protector
Mystic Crusader

Uncommons -

Howling Gate
Zombie Infestation
Sphere of Duty
Spark Mage
Laquatus's Creativity
Frenetic Ogre
Shadowblood Egg
Chephalid Broker
Squirrel Nest

Commons -

Rites of Refusal
Primal Frenzy
Overeager Apprentice
Dedicated Martyr
Pardic Swordsmith
Aboshan's Desire
Seton's Desire
Springing Tiger
Morgue Theft
Angelic Wall
Bog Wreckage
Moment's Peace
Whispering Shade
Barbarian Lunatic
Diligent Farmland
Second Thoughts
Dusk Imp
Aven Fisher
Rabid Elephant
Words of Wisdom
Coffin Purge
Mystic Visionary
Rites of Initiation
Thought Nibbler
Druid Lyrist
Dirty Wererat

30 Basic Lands of your choice
Booster #1


Coffin Purge
Mystic Visionary
Acceptable Losses
Springing Tiger
Filthy Cur
Dedicated Martyr


Caustic Tar
Deep Reconnaissance


Battle of Wits
Booster #2


Mystic Visionary
Aether Burst
Aven Windreader
Wild Mongrel
hallowed healer
Angelic Wall
Abandoned Outpost
Cease Fire
Kamahl's Desire


Shadowblood Egg
Mystic Penitent
Deep Reconnaissance


Kirtar's Wrath

The first thing I have to do after opening product in a sealed event is separate the cards by color.  This gives me a chance to initially get a feel for what I'm working with.  It's at this time that your start making mental notes like "Holy Crap, KIRTAR's WRATH!!" and soon after "Kirtar's Wrath AND Squirrel Nest!?!?"  

Once the piles are made and the excitement of opening solid cards subsides, I then start looking for the meat and potatoes of the deck.  The main 2 Things I look for at this point is Removal and Creatures... in that order.  

Not only does White give you Wrath, it gives you the super-cool Second Thoughts.  A solid creature removal spell that's a cantrip AND helps you win the Threshold race?!?  Where do I sign up?  Creatures are also top notch and surprisingly aggressive for white... supposedly the defensive color.  Three Mystic Visionaries immediately caught my eye as they are great draws at ANY point in the game.  Early on beatings were proven to be very powerful in sealed during Invasion Block, in this slower/tamer Odyssey environment bear beatings are even more powerful.  In the late game, the Visionary gains flying... 'Nuff said!  Other solid Threshold creatures like Mystic Penitent, Mystic Crusader, and Hallowed Healer obviously make getting seven cards in your graveyard a priority.

Red and Black had surprisingly few removal spells in this bunch of cards.  That and the fact that there were even fewer solid creatures in these two colors immediately ruled them out for me.

Blue on the other hand had BOTH removal and creatures.  2 Instant speed bounce spells provide the tempo needed to keep your opponents creatures off the board long enough for your creatures to deal 20 damage.  Bounce also is a great way to deal with all the creature enchantments in this environment like Seton's Desire, Psionic Gift, and Kirtar's Desire.  Bounce also works wonders on opponents Token creatures and in a pinch can protect your creatures... don't forget about damage on the stack and then bouncing your creature to save it!  Syncopate reminds me of Second Thoughts as it can deal with most ANYTHING and at the same time helps you win the Threshold race.  Of course when it comes to Threshold races, accept no substitutes!  Cephalid Broker is guaranteed to make all those Threshold creatures get busty in a hurry if your not already!  Drawing and discarding 2 cards a turn not only helps Threshold... but really acts like a "Sylvan Library" as you get to effectively look at the top three cards of your library every turn and pick the best one!"

And finally, it seems like it goes without saying that Green is powerful in Odyssey.  Power cards like Diligent Farmhand and Wild Mongrel really add to the decks early aggressive nature... and both help attain Threshold!  Werebear is absolutely amazing as it acts as mana acceleration, and after it's done its job in the accelerant department it suddenly turns into a 4/4 and becomes a beat stick!  2 Springing Tigers make the deck even more aggressive, and the Rabid Elephant is a nightmare for the opponent to deal with!  To round out the decks aggression, Seton's Desire is an excellent way to pump up many of the decks already impressive creatures.  A turn 2 Wild Mongrel followed by turn 3 Desire makes for a real quick win.  Seton's Desire also works very well on Rabid Elephant as the Lure ability combo's quite nicely with the Elephants Rampage ability!  =)

So Here's what I would have played...

3 Mystic Visionary
1 Hallowed Healer
1 Mystic Crusader
1 Mystic Penitent
1 Squirrels Nest
2 Springing Tiger
1 Diligent Farmhand
1 Rabid Elephant
1 Werebear
1 Wild Mongrel
1 Aven Fisher
1 Cephalid Broker

1 Kirtar's Wrath
1 Second Thoughts
1 Shelter
1 Embolden
1 Seton's Desire
1 Repel
1 Syncopate
1 Aether Burst

7 Plains
6 Forests
4 Islands

Note the number of creatures, spells, and land.  15 Creatures, 8 Spells, and 17 lands.  Practice has shown this to be a very good ratio.  In an aggressive deck you want to make sure you draw plenty of creatures.  17 lands is also a very good number to go by when playing sealed, even when running three colors.

Finally, I want to address some of the cards that didn't make the cut.  While making this deck I really wanted EVERY card to support the decks aggressive nature.  While Angelic Wall is certainly good... it is the exact opposite of aggressive..  Another card I really wanted to play was Deep Reconnaissance.  This card is excellent if running a deck with lots of high costed spells (or if your running multiple colors) as it gives you the effect of 2 "Thawing Glaciers" each.  Thinning up to 4 lands out of your deck (5 counting the Farmhand) is a great way to "sauce" your late game draws... but the aggressive nature of the deck made me cut them since I wanted to build the deck to win way before the late game.  I was upset I couldn't get Aven Windreader into the deck as a 3/3 Flyer is an excellent way to finish off the opponent... but I feel it was right not to use it since Blue was really the splash color of the deck and getting the 2 Islands it required to cast would be difficult.
Hope this helps... have fun!



Copyright 2001 Pojo.com


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