Grand Prix Nashville 2012 Sealed Deck Exercise 1 Discussion

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Hi all,

Here's the thread for the first Sealed Deck Building exercise from Grand Prix Nashville 2012. I've included the card pool or feel free to use the deck builder (as well as see complete coverage) here

-John

(Sealed Deck Card Pool)


1 Ghost Quarter


1 Blazing Torch


1 One-Eyed Scarecrow


1 Traveler’s Amulet


1 Wooden Stake


1 Avacynian Priest


1 Chapel Geist


1 Elder Cathar


1 Fiend Hunter


1 Ghostly Possession


1 Mausoleum Guard


1 Moment of Heroism


1 Nevermore


1 Rally the Peasants


1 Smite the Monstrous


1 Back from the Brink


2 Battleground Geist


1 Deranged Assistant


1 Forbidden Alchemy


1 Hysterical Blindness


1 Selhoff Occultist


1 Sensory Deprivation


1 Altar’s Reap


1 Bitterheart Witch


1 Ghoulcaller’s Chant


1 Ghoulraiser


1 Markov Patrician


2 Morkrut Banshee


1 Walking Corpse


1 Crossway Vampire


1 Geistflame


1 Kruin Outlaw


1 Tormented Pariah


1 Darkthicket Wolf


1 Essence of the Wild


1 Grizzled Outcast


1 Moonmist


1 Somberwald Spider


1 Spidery Grasp


1 Travel Preparations


1 Evolving Wilds


1 Avacny’s Collar


1 Chalice of Life


1 Helvault


1 Warden of the Wall


1 Bar the Door


1 Burden of Guilt


1 Gavony Ironwright


1 Lingering Souls


1 Niblis of the Mist


1 Ray of Revelation


1 Sanctuary Cat


1 Silverclaw Griffin


1 Bone to Ash


1 Curse of Echoes


1 Headless Skaab


1 Nephalia Seakite


1 Saving Grasp


1 Screeching Skaab


1 Shriekgeist


1 Strombound Geist


1 Curse of Misfortunes


1 Curse of Thirst


1 Death’s Caress


1 Falkenrath Torturer


1 Highborn Ghoul


1 Sightless Ghoul


1 Skirsdag Flayer


1 Tragic Slip


1 Faithless Looting


1 Fires of Undeath


1 Hinterland Hermit


1 Pyreheart Ghoul


1 Shattered Perception


1 Talons of Falkenrath


1 Wrack with Madness


1 Clinging Mists


1 Dawntreader Elk


1 Favor of the Woods


1 Hunger of the Howlpack


1 Scorned Villager


1 Tracker’s Instincts

This Deck was built in 0:14:54

Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
1 Island
8 Plains
7 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds


14 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Chapel Geist
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gavony Ironwright
1 Highborn Ghoul
1 Markov Patrician
1 Mausoleum Guard
2 Morkrut Banshee
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 Sightless Ghoul
1 Silverclaw Griffin
1 Skirsdag Flayer
1 Walking Corpse


9 Other Spells
---------------
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Death's Caress
1 Helvault
1 Lingering Souls
1 Saving Grasp
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Tragic Slip
1 Traveler's Amulet


Went back and forth over whether to splash blue for the saving grasp, green for the travel prep, lingering souls in a Blue/White build, or nothing at all for consistency purposes.  In the end I couldn't resist the Saving Grasp+Fiend Hunter combo.

(Edit: Wow...I completely missed that there was a fires of undeath in there.  I'd probably splash that instead.  )


This Deck was built in 0:02:48

Total Deck Size: 40
16 Lands
---------------
1 Mountain
7 Plains
7 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds


13 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Chapel Geist
1 Elder Cathar
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gavony Ironwright
1 Mausoleum Guard
2 Morkrut Banshee
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 One-Eyed Scarecrow
1 Silverclaw Griffin
1 Skirsdag Flayer
1 Walking Corpse


11 Other Spells
---------------
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Death's Caress
1 Faithless Looting
1 Fires of Undeath
1 Helvault
1 Lingering Souls
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Tragic Slip
1 Warden of the Wall

1 Wrack with Madness


I actually took longer but had to do it again when accidently closing the window. The pool is ok i think the removal is there but no "real" bomb helvault is the reason for warden, and scarecrow is a must as the deck is weak to fliers. 

This Deck was built in 0:04:28

Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
6 Forest
8 Plains
2 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds


13 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Chapel Geist
1 Darkthicket Wolf
1 Dawntreader Elk
1 Elder Cathar
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gavony Ironwright
1 Grizzled Outcasts
1 Mausoleum Guard
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 Scorned Villager
1 Skirsdag Flayer
1 Somberwald Spider


10 Other Spells
---------------
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Helvault
1 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Lingering Souls
1 Moment of Heroism
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Tragic Slip
1 Travel Preparations

G/W Splashing Lingering souls flashback and flayer + tragic slip seems to be the most powerful

There are no double green spells, fixing in the form of evolving wilds and elk, and decent enough morbid tricks, etc...

My Main Deck















































1Avacynian Priest
1Chapel Geist
1Elder Cathar
1Fiend Hunter
1Gavony Ironwright
1Mausoleum Guard
2Morkrut Banshee
1Niblis of the Mist
1Silverclaw Griffin
1Skirsdag Flayer

11 Creatures
























1Mountain
8Plains
6Swamp
1Evolving Wilds

16 Lands

























































1Avacyn's Collar
1Blazing Torch
1Burden of Guilt
1Death's Caress
1Fires of Undeath
1Geistflame
1Ghostly Possession
1Lingering Souls
1Moment of Heroism
1Smite the Monstrous
1Tragic Slip
1Traveler's Amulet
1Warden of the Wall

13 Other Spells

The red splash might be a little greedy, but I think it's worth it for two 1.5 removal spells.

It's a pile of good cards

1
Avacynian Priest
1
Chapel Geist
1
Elder Cathar
1
Fiend Hunter
1
Kruin Outlaw
1
Markov Patrician
1
Mausoleum Guard
2
Morkrut Banshee
1
Walking Corpse

10 Creatures

1
Evolving Wilds

1 Lands
1
Altar's Reap
1
Blazing Torch
1
Burden of Guilt
1
Death's Caress
1
Fires of Undeath
1
Geistflame
1
Ghoulcaller's Chant
1
Lingering Souls
1
Rally the Peasants
1
Smite the Monstrous
1
Tragic Slip
1
Traveler's Amulet
1
Wrack with Madness

This Deck was built in 0:06:58


Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
8 Plains
9 Swamp



15 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Chapel Geist
1 Elder Cathar
1 Falkenrath Torturer
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gavony Ironwright
1 Ghoulraiser
1 Highborn Ghoul
1 Markov Patrician
1 Mausoleum Guard
2 Morkrut Banshee
1 Silverclaw Griffin
1 Skirsdag Flayer
1 Walking Corpse



8 Other Spells
---------------
1 Altar's Reap
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Death's Caress
1 Lingering Souls
1 Moment of Heroism
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Tragic Slip

i looked hard at the blue but prefered the synergys in B/W i looked at various splashes but preferred the consistency of staying in 2 colours!!!
 

I think the Green may be a trap here. There are some decient cards in the pool, but at first glance I thought the WU looked alot more consistent. I decided to throw that evolving wilds in there so we could splash for Lingering Souls flashback and the tragic slip. No sense posting my playables but the curve for White-Blue seems fairly aggressive for Sealed (maybe too aggressive.)

Definately interested to read what some of the pros will think of this exercise pool.

Also looked at a Warewolves deck but it seemed to be light on playables which may invite splashing into black, which may or may not be recommended for versatility.

Edit: I noticed Shuuhei has already stepped in. I thought I'd post the differences between our selection:

elder cathar over skirsdag flayer
silverclaw griffin over saving grasp
stormbound geist over traveler's amulet
bone to ash over forbidden alchemy

In hindsight I hadn't looked at the mana base. I definately under-value forbidden alchemy in limited, but HATE it when I'm not actively searching for something like an Increasing Confusion, cause of the times where I'll end up pitching a card i'd rather draw. Frankly the mana base I may have considered wouldn't have had to account for the forbidden alchemy flashback (which is often needed more then the first time it's used) or a skirsdag flayer.
My hesitation with the flayer is I NEVER know how many humans is acceptable for it's use. In his deck he has 7 (including the flayer) if I was certain that that was enough maybe i'd have gone for it too.

kcostell: your absolutely right, I hadn't thought of the fiend hunter combo, but I guess depending how you stack those triggers you've got yourself a pretty decent 4 mana removal spell (or exile spell, which is arguably even better). I may have come to the same conclusion as Shuuhei in that the weakest card in my pool would also have been the Griffin, it's great when it lives but dies to plenty of removal spells.

So far this exercise has been fantastic, and I hope other chime in to.

How many Humans are acceptable for a flayer to be active, in your guy's opinions?


I'd say white/black is almost definitely the way to go. Lots of removal + solid creatures = win.



This Deck was built in 0:04:11


Total Deck Size: 44
20 Lands
---------------
9 Plains
9 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Ghost Quarter



14 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Chapel Geist
1 Elder Cathar
1 Falkenrath Torturer
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Highborn Ghoul
1 Markov Patrician
1 Mausoleum Guard
2 Morkrut Banshee
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 Sightless Ghoul
1 Silverclaw Griffin
1 Skirsdag Flayer



10 Other Spells
---------------
1 Altar's Reap
1 Avacyn's Collar
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Death's Caress
1 Lingering Souls
1 Moment of Heroism
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Tragic Slip
1 Warden of the Wall


I'd say white/black is almost definitely the way to go. Lots of removal + solid creatures = win.




How comfortable are you with maindecking cards like Sightless Ghoul and Falkenrath Torturer? The morbid activations go well with the Tragic Slip and the Banshee, but I've just been having a tough time figuring out how aggressive one should try and be in Sealed vs Draft.

I think we can all agree with the White in this pool (infact I bet most sealed pools will trend towards white, assuming there are enough playables) but the only cards (other then Flayer/Slip) that would make me steer to black in this pool would be the Death's Carress, and I'm not sure that's enough.

17 Lands

5 Forest
4 Plains
7 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds

12 Creatures

1 Avacynian Priest
1 Darkthicket Wolf
1 Dawntreader Elk
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Ghoulraiser
1 Grizzled Outcasts
1 Highborn Ghoul
1 Markov Patrician
1 Scorned Villager
1 Skirsdag Flayer
1 Somberwald Spider
1 Walking Corpse

11 Sorcery/Instant/Artifact

1 Avacyn's Collar
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Death's Caress
1 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Ghoulcaller's Chant
1 Lingering Souls
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Tragic Slip
1 Travel Preparations
1 Traveler's Amulet

The idea behind the deck was simple, being aggresive.  The zombies can comeback with Ghoulcaller's Chant and there is flashback with Lingering Souls.  Synergy, that is what I tried to accomplish. 

LSV has posted a WB deck as well. In fact Tom, summed it up pretty much before LSV likely even had a chance to glance at the pool.

Maybe I'm letting my hatred for the Falkenrath Torturer dissuade me from black altogether. Which is odd cause in the current combination it's actually doing exactly what it's suppose to...

this is my take, not very different, but I like using Ghost Quarter, since we have a lands like Gavony Township and Vault of the Archangel that can control the game, and if we are desperate enough we can also use it as a very expensive Evolving Wilds, needless to say we can potentially stop an into the maw of hell. 


































































1Avacynian Priest
1Chapel Geist
1Elder Cathar
1Falkenrath Torturer
1Fiend Hunter
1Ghoulraiser
1Highborn Ghoul
1Markov Patrician
1Mausoleum Guard
2Morkrut Banshee
1Niblis of the Mist
1Sightless Ghoul
1Silverclaw Griffin
1Skirsdag Flayer
1Walking Corpse

16 Creatures























8Plains
7Swamp
1Evolving Wilds
1Ghost Quarter

17 Lands

































1Burden of Guilt
1Death's Caress
1Helvault
1Lingering Souls
1Moment of Heroism
1Smite the Monstrous
1Tragic Slip

7 Other Spells


 
The second deck exercise has gone up. This time around I would go with, WUr. I still like the consistency that's been offered by the colours (as I was in the first pool).

This time I'm splashing for the Brimstone Volley and with x2 Geist Catcher Rig's, I think it may be worth playing Artful Dodge to force in the final points of damage. While I didn't see any 'Trap' colours in this pool, I don't think this build would be as successful as the first exercises' pool (baised on how I built them).

IMO, green is a much better second color than white. It gives you mana acceleration and speed that black simply doesn't.


This Deck was built in 3:25:40


Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
6 Forest
9 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds



13 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Chapel Geist
1 Darkthicket Wolf
1 Dawntreader Elk
1 Elder Cathar
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gavony Ironwright
1 Mausoleum Guard
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 Sanctuary Cat
1 Scorned Villager
1 Silverclaw Griffin
1 Somberwald Spider



10 Other Spells
---------------
1 Avacyn's Collar
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Chalice of Life
1 Lingering Souls
1 Moment of Heroism
1 Smite the Monstrous
1 Travel Preparations
1 Traveler's Amulet
1 Warden of the Wall


 
Blue is tempting, but the Green creature pool is consistent and strong. Add in some red for removal and a few more creatures and you have a beast of a deck. 


This Deck was built in 0:11:20


Total Deck Size: 40
18 Lands
---------------
9 Forest
6 Mountain
1 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds
1 Haunted Fengraf



17 Creatures
---------------
1 Ambush Viper
1 Avacyn's Pilgrim
1 Bloodcrazed Neonate
2 Dawntreader Elk
1 Festerhide Boar
1 Geistcatcher's Rig
1 Hollowhenge Beast
1 Immerwolf
1 Lumberknot
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Predator Ooze
1 Pyreheart Wolf
1 Reckless Waif
1 Scorned Villager
1 Skirsdag Cultist
1 Young Wolf



5 Other Spells
---------------
1 Brimstone Volley
1 Butcher's Cleaver
1 Fires of Undeath
1 Traveler's Amulet
1 Wild Hunger


 

Sealed deck test 2

This Deck was built in 0:06:52


Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
6 Island
1 Mountain
9 Plains
1 Evolving Wilds



15 Creatures
---------------
2 Geistcatcher's Rig
1 Loyal Cathar
1 Nephalia Seakite
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 Niblis of the Urn
1 Selhoff Occultist
1 Soul Seizer
1 Spectral Rider
1 Stitched Drake
1 Sturmgeist
1 Thraben Sentry
1 Tower Geist
1 Unruly Mob
1 Voiceless Spirit



8 Other Spells
---------------
1 Brimstone Volley
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Claustrophobia
1 Silent Departure
1 Skillful Lunge
1 Sudden Disappearance
1 Traveler's Amulet
1 Wolfhunter's Quiver

This deck seems to be a pretty solid UW flier. Good fliers, a little removal and mana fixing for the splash. Only 6 islands, since none of the blue spells need to be cast early and two WW creatures that want to hit the board turn 2 as often as possible. Game plan, build up your board and wittle down their life with fliers, remove their threats, then alpha strike for the win with sudden disappearance.  

Does Black Lotus put you on a 20 turn clock? Does Tarmogoyf fly? Does Bob survive a gutshot? Can you pitch Emrakul to Force of Will? Yeah. Didn't think so.

This Deck was built in 0:09:15

Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
8 Forest
6 Plains
2 Swamp
1 Evolving Wilds


13 Creatures
---------------
1 Avacynian Priest
1 Darkthicket Wolf
1 Dawntreader Elk
1 Elder Cathar
1 Essence of the Wild
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Gavony Ironwright
1 Grizzled Outcasts
1 Mausoleum Guard
1 Niblis of the Mist
1 Scorned Villager
1 Skirsdag Flayer
1 Somberwald Spider


10 Other Spells
---------------
1 Blazing Torch
1 Burden of Guilt
1 Helvault
1 Lingering Souls
1 Moment of Heroism
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Tragic Slip
1 Travel Preparations
1 Traveler's Amulet
1 Warden of the Wall

I liked G/W/b for this pool. Green is there mostly because it offers the best curve of early drops and sets up best for the splash of black with Elk and so many single colour mana requirements. I avoided most of the double white cards in order to play only 6 plains, which should be enough with Amulet and Wilds to set up for all the turn 3 plays that white offers. The splash of black is there because Lingering Souls is so amazing when you can flash it back, offering nice synergy with the Essence of the Wild, and also gives the deck some decent removal in Tragic Slip and Skirsdag Flayer. The Flayer should be at it's best in W/G, as there is an abundance of humans, and even some quality sacrificial fodder with Mausoleum Guard and Elder Cathar. The ramp from Scorned Villagers and Warden of the Wall, in addition to the additional mana sources that can be grabbed with Amulet and Elk, should help to get Helvault online and removing the opponent's creatures faster. I like playing the pump effects in this format, since much of the removal is slow and clunky and it is rare to get two-for-oned when playing a trick, so both Moment of Heroism and Spidery Grasp get the nod. Moment just lets you win races by gaining a bunch of life, where Grasp gives some extra defense against flyers and also lets you race by untapping a tapped attacker to block with and hopefully squash an opposing attacker. The rest of the cards are pretty self-explanatory, but I think I should just clarify some noteable exclusions. While Chapel Geist and Silverclaw Griffin are both solid white creatures, I really wanted a base colour that would offer up some turn 2 plays, as it is really important not to fall too far behind the aggressive decks in this format. Because green offers all the two drops as well as a triple green pseudo-bomb in Essence of the Wild, I tried to shy away from including cards that would be stagnant in hand early because of the mana requirements, and not all that impressive on the battlefield anyhow. I included Warden of the Wall last minute over Chapel Geist for that reason. With Helvault, the deck could use the extra mana ramp, and having it make a Chapel Geist impression on defense is probably worth it while being much easier on the mana. The deck looks to be a bit more mid-rangey, stablizing with dudes and tricks early on, and then taking over with Essence, Helvault, or Skirsdag Flayer. Only 13 creatures, but with Lingering Souls being 14/15 and Warden being a virtual 16 on defense, I think this deck should have the tools for a winning performance.
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