07/11/2012 LI: "Sealed Deck Decisions"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
implejr's M13 Pre-Release Deck

At the Avacyn Pre-Release, it was my first draft so I drafted what I knew, WG angels and went 2 Ws, 2 Ls, and 1 T. This time, I decided to play against type and try red/black, but I made some pretty elementary mistakes in the construction of my deck. This time, I went 2 Ws and 2 Ls. Next time, I intend to do far better, and will be practicing drafting at home to get it down.

As for what I liked about my deck, my favorite cards were a holo Knight of Infamy and a Sands of Delirium . Here is my decklist:

Creature Spells:

1 Canyon Minotaur
1 Giant Scorpion
2 Knight of Infamy
2 Mogg Flunkies
2 Tormented Soul

Non-Creature Spells:

1 Dark Favor
2 Elixir of Immortality
1 Essence Drain
2 Flames of the Firebrand
1 Krenko's Command
1 Ring of Valkas
1 Ring of Xathrid
1 Sands of Delirium
1 Trumpet Blast
1 Vile Rebirth
1 Volcanic Strength

Lands:

9 Mountain
9 Swamp

Results: 2 Losses & 2 Wins

Analysis



  • My strategy was about getting moggs or tormented souls on the battlefield to swing for lethal damage or use Sands of Delirium. Believe it or not, I did mill a guy out with and got the victory I needed.



  • The enchantments and rings worked well to help me buff up my creatures, especially Tormented Soul, and swing for lethal damage.



  • I used krenko's command and vile rebirth to try and compensate for my lack of solid monsters.



  • The trumpet blasts weren't worth it because I could never get the creatures I needed on the battlefield.



  • The biggest obstacle to my victory? I didn't have enough monsters. Some more experienced players reccommend I use the moggs I drafted and I took the bait. It might've worked out if I had ran red/green, allowing me more creature support for the moggs, but I wanted to try running black (which I felt was my strongest single color).



  • I wish I had gone with my original plan to play black/green. It would've gave me the creature support I needed and I probably would've had even more mana to mill people out with the Sands of Delirium.

  • I did enjoy the black exalted cards and really liked the Sands of Delirium. I am thinking of making a black deck of some kind with M13. Maybe black/white or black/green. Might do a mill deck with sands of delirium.

  • I welcome any thoughts about my terrible drafting here and would love some advice about what to do next time.


dumbledoreshotfirst.blogspot.com/2012/07...

I normally play some combination of Naya colors during our FNM drafts, but I opened a lot of Blue and Black during the M13 Prerelease. Among them, I got a good number of flyers, and two copies of Murder.

RavenHusky's Sealed Blue Black Fliers

43 Cards

17 Lands

1 Evolving Wilds
7 Island
1 Plains
8 Swamp

 16 Creatures

1 Arctic Aven
3 Bloodhunter Bat
1 Faerie Invaders
1 Fog Bank
1 Giant Scorpion
1 Merfolk of the Pearl Tridant
2 Ravenous Rats
1 Vedalken Entrancer
1 Veilborn Ghoul
1 Welkin Tern
2 Wind Drake
1 Xathrid Gorgon (At my shop, we are not allowed to use the participation promo, but I opened one in my sealed pool)

10 Other Spells

1 Blood Reckoning
1 Disentomb
1 Encrust
1 Kitesail
1 Mind Sculpt
2 Murder
1 Sign in Blood
1 Sleep
1 Tricks of the Trade

Since I opened an Arctic Aven and an Evolving Wilds in my pool, I decided that it was worth it to put in a planes to give it the +1/+1 and lifelink, which did help out a couple times, although most of the time, it was essentially tapping for 1 colorless.

The Rats and Merfolk were there as cheap 1 and two drops, which I did not pull many of in my colors other than the Welkin Tern.

The Vedalken was in as a pseudo-wall on the ground, as well as a millstone on a stick, which managed to get rid of an opponent's answers to my cards a few times.

Xathrid Gorgon was the manditory rare in my deck, as the only other rare in my colors (Mythic in this case) was Omniscience, which was too expensive to be worth playing.

All the flyers are self explanitory.

I was at 43 cards as I could not decide what to cut.

I wound up going 3-1 with this deck.

My first match was against a deck that had a horrible pool available, which I won 2-0.

My second match, I lost against a Red-Green Aggro deck,0-2

My third match, I beat a Green-White? deck, which had Yeva in it. 2-0

My last match was against an attempted Door to Nothingness Deck, which never went off during the afternoon, winning 2-0.

While opening packs, the person across from me opened both Chandra, and a Foil Ajani, and one of the younger players opened a foil Nicol Bolas in his prize packs.

Considering this is the day after I pull two copies of Griselbrand at FNM the previous night, one during the draft, and a foil one in my prize packs, in addition the one I pulled buying a couple of packs the previous week.

13 Creatures
2 Aven Squire
1 Silvercoat Lion
1 Attended Knight
1 Guardians of Akrasa
Griffin Protector
Healer of the Pride
Battleflight Eagle
Arctic Aven
Watercourser
Wind Drake

10 Other Spells
Safe Passage
Divine Verdict
Unsummon
Planar Cleansing
Divination
Rewind
Tricks of the Trade
Switcheroo
 
17 Lands
Cathedral of War
Evolving Wilds
Plains
Island

Sideboard
Xathrid Gorgon
Swamp
Intrepid Hero

I won the prerelease I went to, and there were 36 people there, so the deck must have been alright. I went 4-1-1 in the initial rounds (six people were guaranteed spots in the top eight if we agreed to draw, so we all did; my only loss was in the fifth round). The top eight was single elimination, and I won all three rounds, obviously. 

The other rares I got were Yeva, Nature's Herald and Reverberate. Since I never open good rares, I'll take Planar Cleansing and an off-color Xathrid Gorgon any day. 

The all-stars in the deck were Arctic Aven, Planar Cleansing, Switcheroo, Unsummon, and Evolving Wilds. The Cathedral of War was nice, but never vital.  It was also only in round two when someone pointed out to me that it came into play tapped. Whoops. The Griffin Protectors were very strong.  Healer of the Pride allowed me to outrage my opponent more than once; I expected it to be bad, but it really isn't. 

The whole sideboard came in whenever I was facing green, basically. Those Sentinel Spiders were really, really bad for me. Against green, Safe Passage isn't that helpful a trick with my little guys, so it came out, along with Watercourser and Silvercoat Lion since green can deal with them too easily. I also took out a Plains and an Island, so I netted an extra land when I used my sideboard. 

This tournament's lesson: Play Evolving Wilds even if you're only in two colors!!!

The night before going to the pre-release I looked at the card database, and decided that I would do my best to make an exalted deck. I was able to pull great cards with exalted and was very excited. My last (and first) pre-release I had gone to was the avacyn restored, and the same thing happened in regards that I wanted to play soul-bond. I went 4-1 that event, and was hooked to sealed deck events. 


JDogTheDog's Black/White exalted beatdown

40 cards

Creature (20)

1x Ajani's Sunstriker
1x Bloodhunter Bat
1x Duskmantle Prowler
1x Duty-Bound Dead
1x Giant Scorpion
1x Guardian Lions
2x Guardians of Akrasa
1x Knight of Glory
1x Knight of Infamy
2x Liliana's Shade
1x Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis
1x Ravenous Rats
1x Serra Avenger
1x Vampire Nighthawk
1x Vampire Nocturnus
1x Walking Corpse
1x War Priest of Thune
1x Zombie Goliath

Land (17)
1x Evolving Wilds
6x Plains
10x Swamp

Sorcery (1)
1x Duress

Enchantment (1)
1x Angelic Benediction

Artifact (1)
1x Kitesail


I was going for an exalted/hoard of creatures deck

I can't remember the exact games, but I did go 5-0 total. (This was surprising and very exciting to me seeing as this was my second sealed deck event/pre-release ever)

Nighthawk won me a few games, as did the nocturnus. 

Nefarox sealed the deal a few times as well. 

The Duty-bound dead was a great turn one open a few times.

angelic benediction worked perfectly with my two knights and I could often get my damage through.
 

At my prerelease, the talk of the store was BW exalted. Everyone wanted Sublime Archangels and Nefarox's. I, having been to a fair number of prereleases, knew that I would not, in fact, get any of the super bomb rares in the set, and I decided to play what the packs gave me. I ended up building UW Fliers:

17 Lands:
9x Plains
7x Island
1x Glacial Fortress

14 Creatures:

1x Warclamp Mastiff
1x Aven Squire
1x Silvercoat Lion
1x Ajani's Sunstriker
2x Attended Knight
1x Pillarfield Ox
1x Battleflight Eagle
1x Serra Angel
1x Serra Avatar
1x Welkin Tern
2x Wind Drake
1x Scroll Thief

9 Non-Creature Spells

1x Unsummon
1x Essence Scatter
1x Sleep
1x Talrand's Invocation
1x Switcheroo
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Captain's Call
1x Elixir of Immortality
1x Ring of Evos Isle

I list them as non-creature spells, but Talrand's Invocation and Captain's Call were some of the best creatures in my deck. 2 2/2 Fliers for 2UU is very powerful, and won me most of my games. This deck took me 3-1, and my one loss was partially from bad play on my part, but also partially from very severe mana screw. Game 1 I kept drawing 0 or 1 land hands, and had to mull to 4 before keeping a 1 land hand, and then getting mana-screwed at 2 plains and 0 islands. Game 2 I won, and then Game 3 I couldn't keep ahead of his Liliana's Specter.

My other matches were relatively easy victories, 2-0 each time. My first was against BGr beatdown, which had extensive mana issues. My second was against RB, but his red creatures were not strong enough to handle all of my white first-strikers. My third (the one I lost) was against UB control, and was disappointing because my deck was the best for dealing with his. His primary win condition was Sands of Delirium, but between Elixir of Immortality, Serra Avatar, and Oblivion Ring, I had plenty of ways to answer a mill deck like his. Unfortunatey, his black creatures were enough to overwhelm me. My last was against UB Exalted, and though he had a very powerful pull, and I did not have a whole lot of ways to deal with that 2/1 Exalted Pro-White black knight, I was able to stablilize around 10 life both games and pull out the victory. In the end, the UB mill deck won the prerelease, and I got second. Can't complain too much!

I did not really sideboard much with this deck. I had a few forests around in case I needed to splash for Naturalize, but that ended up not being necessary. Essentially, I occasionally sided in 1x Negate or 1x Divine Verdict.

Overall, there was only one card I felt was truly missing from this deck: Pacifism! My kingdom for a Pacifism!

In general, I found that the Mastiff did very little, but Attended Knight was amazing. I only cast Ajani's Sunstriker once, and it was relatively underwhelming. Also, Switcheroo is an interesting card. In my deck, it usually meant exchanging a Soldier token for my opponent's best creature. In one game, though, my opponent's switcherood helped me more than him! Against UB Exalted, he used the card to take my Aven Squire (for the exalted), but he gave my Bloodthrone Vampire in exchange! The ground had been severely locked up for five turns now, and I was slowly poking damage through with my drakes in the air. With the vampire, though, everything changed. Suddenly, my ground creatures wer useful again! I guess I should say that Switcheroo is good in the right deck, but be careful because it can also benefit your opponent. And if you are playing someone rather inexperienced, you should probably hope they are running it in case they maek a bad trade.
I hadn't played in 16 years. Went to the FNM the night before pre-release for an AVR draft. I had played some DotP on the xbox but that's about it.

So my first ever pre-release event and I have little to no experience with sealed at all. Here's what I built, and here's what was in my pool. I'd love to hear some feedback about how I did on my first time building.



Pool

[deck=My Remaining Pool(61)]

White (5)
1 War Falcon
1 Silvercoat Lion
2 Captain's Call
1 Erase

Blue (15)
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Fog Bank
1 Kraken Hatchling
1 Watercourser
2 Merfolk of the Pearl Trident
1 Vedalken Entrancer
1 Essence Scatter
1 Negate
1 Downpour
1 Redirect
1 Unsummon
1 Index
1 Tricks of the Trade
1 Encrust

Black (13)
1 Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis
1 Zombie Goliath
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Walking Corpse
1 Duty-Bound Dead
1 Vile Rebirth
1 Murder
1 Public Execution
1 Duress
1 Rise from the Grave
2 Crippling Blight
1 Dark Favor

Red (17)
1 Fire Elemental
1 Firewing Phoenix
2 Goblin Battle Jester
1 Mogg Flunkies
1 Dragon Hatchling
1 Bladetusk Boar
2 Rummaging Goblin
1 Searing Spear
1 Chandra's Fury
1 Volcanic Geyser
1 Mark of Mutiny
2 Krenko's Command
2 Craterize

Green (6)
1 Roaring Primadox
1 Flinthoof Boar
1 Timberpack Wolf
1 Fog
1 Plummet
1 Naturalize

Lands and Artifacts (5)
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Ring of Xathrid
1 Gem of Becoming
1 Jayemdae Tome
1 Kitesail
[/deck]


I didn't fare well, going 0-4 in a 4 round swiss. I only managed to win 1 game in the 4 rounds. A couple times I had both mana screw and mana flood, but I'm pretty sure I could have done better with my pool. But experience was all I was after, the time to figure out how to get better is now. I sideboarded in things like Erase, Naturalize, and Plummet as I felt necessary as well as Kitesail if I ran into lots of fliers. I should have used the other ring too I think.

I hope to get some feedback as this was my first time and I have a lot to learn.
Going into the Pre-Release, I hadn't quite payed attention to most of the commons and uncommons in the set. So when it came to opening my packs I immediately seperated them into piles according to color and went back to see what I had exactly pulled and almost built my deck without a second thought on what I was playing.

40 Cards

18x Land
1x Evolving Wilds
8x Plains
9x Swamp

9x Creature
1x Aven Squire
1x Bloodhunter Bat
1x Guardians of Akrasa
1x Shimian Specter
2x Silvercoat Lions
1x Sublime Archangel
1x Vampire Nighthawk
1x War Priest of Thune

8x Sorcery
1x Angel's Mercy
1x Captain's Call
2x Disentomb
2x Essence Drain
1x Mind Rot
1x Wit's End

4x Instant
1x Faith's Reward
2x Public Execution
1x Vile Rebirth

1x Enchantment
1x Divine Favor

I managed to go 4-0 and take first that day. I noticed right away that most people didn't do anything to go against creatures with flying, so Vampire Nighthawk ultimately became my best friend. Attach the exalted from the other creatures and they were stuck on a clock that ran up quickly. The only match that had me on end was the last round, because my opponent was running several creatures that needed to be answered immediately, but other than that, I never really faced too many problems coming across what I needed when I needed it.
CHALLENGE: MAKE A GOOD DECK FROM THE PILE OF CRAP I OPENED
I'll give you an idea of the rubbish I pulled, unlike Steve's godpacks.

rares:
wit's end - unplayable
worldfire - unplayable unless you have thragtusk, which I didn't, and probably unplayable even then
gilded lotus - nice card to pull but not a help here
planar cleansing - ugh
sands of delirium - virtually unplayable
xathrid gorgon - yay, a playable rare

one $5 rare and five $1 rares, so I'm not walking away with any value

Onto deck construction... as best I can recall

White

3 x war falcon, with exactly one other solider / knight
2 x show of valor, which is fine as long as you get some good creatures
no good creatures except for a prized elephant and ajani's sunstriker, with a battleflight eagle which might have been playable if I had a fast curve
1 x Glorious charge would have been great in someone's deck I'm sure
1 x angel's mercy and divine favor rounded out my frustrations
1 x rain of blades, erase

Blue

2 x merfolk of the pearl trident... gimme a break here
Best card by far was talrand's invocation, then encrust, unsummon and finally divination, but with so few other cards I just pushed this color aside (remaining cards included tricks of the trade, foil tricks of the trade, index and harbor serpent, to give you an idea)

Black

Black was basically auras: 2 x dark favor, 2 x mark of the vampire, 2 x crippling blight
I also got 1 x cower in fear and a Public Execution and knight of infamy
creatures I can recall: ravenous rats, bloodhunter bat, bloodthrone vampire and giant scorpion
Also had duress and mind rot and sign in blood

Red

2 x smelt, 1 x cleaver riot, 2 x chandra's fury, 1 x searing spear (!)
2 x goblin battle jester - yeesh
1 x craterize, 1 x mark of mutiny
think my best creature was a canyon minotaur

Green

1 x farseek - good, because I'm going to need it
1 x elvish visionary, 1 x acidic slime, 1 x bond beetle... more promising
1 x deadly recluse
1 x rancor (!)
1 x roaring primadox
2 x serpent's gift, 1 x titanic growth, 1 x ranger's path
1 x timberpack wolf
1 x yeva's forcemage
1 x spiked baloth
2 x plummet

Colorless

1 x elixir of immortality
1 x ring of evos isle
1 x ring of valkas
1 x kitesail


I challenge Steve (or anyone else) to put together a good deck from this. I went 2-2-1, and I think that was an achievement.

The trouble with M13 sealed is that you seem to be able to get flooded with tricks and auras with nothing to cast them on, and my removal was aces against anybody playing */1 creatures, but weak after that.

I got owned by some guy playing mono fatties, and by another who had mono bombs.

I'm trying to recall the other cards I pulled (I'm currently 6 commons and 3 uncommons short).

I'll post what I played later.
17 Lands
8 x Plains
8 x Forests
1 x evolving wilds

11 Creatures

1 x war falcon
1 x attended knight
2 x ajani's sunstriker
1 x knight of glory
1 x guardians of akrasa
1 x silvercoat lion
2 x sentinel spider
1 x Primal huntbeast
1 x chronomatron

14 Spells

1 x Faith's Reward
1 x Predatory Rampage
2 x plummet
2 x pacifism
2 x titanic growth
2 x Show of valor
1 x kitesail
1 x ranger's path
1 x ring of thune
1 x ring of kalonia

Sideboard

1 x battleflight eagle
1 x stuffy doll
1 x Vastwood gorger
1 x pacifism

I was forced to go into White and Green as I had basically no blue creatures and very few spells for black and red. This was a little annoying as my best cards from the packs were Hellion Crucible and Nicol Bolas, but I decided to go for the safe side and went for a strategy that relied on removal of enemy bombs with combat tricks and my removal spells. This turned out to be very important as I played two decks that had Sublime Archangels, and in both rounds they got played in 2 out of 3 games (thank you pacifism! thank you people that don't draft erase!). Faith's Reward and Predatory Rampage were my fallbacks, and they did win me one game as I was able to clear the board which had been full of black creatures that were about to swarm me for the kill.

In the end however I finished the day 3-3, as I ran into some bad matchups as I initially worked my way up the rankings. My first loss was to a white red combo deck which used 2 trading posts me stop me stone dead (2 goats a turn, and 4 life gain every turn from Healer of the Pride) while he used Staff of Nin to knock out my creatures one by one. My second loss was mainly due to bad luck, as I somehow drew 7 of my nine plains and nothing else. This was after I used evolving wilds to shuffle my deck as well...

My final loss however was a reminder in pain, as my opponent had been lucky enough to get 4 rancors from his packs. His green and red beatdown took advantage of the recurring +2/+0 trample bonus to simply beat me into the ground (Question: What was the reasoning behind this reprint again? Especially since Doom Blade is going out of standard!). If I had drawn my pacifisms I might have survived, but I was unable to draw them, or the stuffy doll I had included just to face this guy. On the other hand, this might have been my own fault, as I only realised when I drew plummet that I had forgotten to sideboard this flying-only removal spell for the pacifism in my sideboard...

I hadn't played in 16 years. Went to the FNM the night before pre-release for an AVR draft. I had played some DotP on the xbox but that's about it.

So my first ever pre-release event and I have little to no experience with sealed at all. Here's what I built, and here's what was in my pool. I'd love to hear some feedback about how I did on my first time building.



Pool

[deck=My Remaining Pool(61)]

White (5)
1 War Falcon
1 Silvercoat Lion
2 Captain's Call
1 Erase

Blue (15)
1 Talrand, Sky Summoner
1 Fog Bank
1 Kraken Hatchling
1 Watercourser
2 Merfolk of the Pearl Trident
1 Vedalken Entrancer
1 Essence Scatter
1 Negate
1 Downpour
1 Redirect
1 Unsummon
1 Index
1 Tricks of the Trade
1 Encrust

Black (13)
1 Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis
1 Zombie Goliath
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Walking Corpse
1 Duty-Bound Dead
1 Vile Rebirth
1 Murder
1 Public Execution
1 Duress
1 Rise from the Grave
2 Crippling Blight
1 Dark Favor

Red (17)
1 Fire Elemental
1 Firewing Phoenix
2 Goblin Battle Jester
1 Mogg Flunkies
1 Dragon Hatchling
1 Bladetusk Boar
2 Rummaging Goblin
1 Searing Spear
1 Chandra's Fury
1 Volcanic Geyser
1 Mark of Mutiny
2 Krenko's Command
2 Craterize

Green (6)
1 Roaring Primadox
1 Flinthoof Boar
1 Timberpack Wolf
1 Fog
1 Plummet
1 Naturalize

Lands and Artifacts (5)
1 Glacial Fortress
1 Ring of Xathrid
1 Gem of Becoming
1 Jayemdae Tome
1 Kitesail
[/deck]


I didn't fare well, going 0-4 in a 4 round swiss. I only managed to win 1 game in the 4 rounds. A couple times I had both mana screw and mana flood, but I'm pretty sure I could have done better with my pool. But experience was all I was after, the time to figure out how to get better is now. I sideboarded in things like Erase, Naturalize, and Plummet as I felt necessary as well as Kitesail if I ran into lots of fliers. I should have used the other ring too I think.

I hope to get some feedback as this was my first time and I have a lot to learn.

I personally would've gone either Red-White or White-Black. You have a fairly decent pool to choose from, but I noticed right away that your deck doesn't have a lot to answer your opponents field.

With Black, you have a couple of good cards to swap out for the Green, such as Nefarox, Vampire Nighthawk, Duress, Murder, Public Execution, Rise from the Grave, etc. You had a very good base for Black and would work out perfectly if you did come across a card you needed in the late game.

The same can be said with Red with cards like Chandra's Fury, Searing Spear, Volcanic Geyser, not to mention cards like Krenko's Command dispersing creatures and Firewing Phoenix being a returnable creature and Craterize limiting your opponent if they're multi-colored.

Something else I also recommend is that you should've ran the other two Captain's Call. In limited, a card like that can help you out for quite some time if you're in a pinch defensively, but it also has synergy with Crusader of Odric as well.

Overall, I think you had an awesome pool, but limited being the format that it is, it can be very hard deciding what to use and what to keep aside. It can be hit or miss in more ways than one because you need to keep in mind that everyone else has the possibility of pulling big things around you as well and it doesn't hurt to play the game in a hateful manner towards certain things.

EDIT: re-posted with updates

CHALLENGE: MAKE A GOOD DECK FROM THE PILE OF CRAP I OPENED
I'll give you an idea of the rubbish I pulled, unlike Steve's godpacks.

rares:
wit's end - unplayable
worldfire - unplayable unless you have thragtusk, which I didn't, and probably unplayable even then
gilded lotus - nice card to pull but not a help here
planar cleansing - ugh
sands of delirium - virtually unplayable
xathrid gorgon - yay, a playable rare

one $5 rare and five $1 rares, so I'm not walking away with any value

Onto deck construction... as best I can recall

White

3 x war falcon, with exactly one other solider / knight
2 x show of valor, which is fine as long as you get some good creatures
no good creatures except for a prized elephant and ajani's sunstriker, with a battleflight eagle which might have been playable if I had a fast curve
1 x Glorious charge would have been great in someone's deck I'm sure
1 x angel's mercy and divine favor rounded out my frustrations
1 x rain of blades, erase

Blue

2 x merfolk of the pearl trident... gimme a break here
Best card by far was talrand's invocation, then encrust, unsummon and finally divination, but with so few other cards I just pushed this color aside (remaining cards included tricks of the trade, foil tricks of the trade, index and harbor serpent, to give you an idea)

Black

Black was basically auras: 2 x dark favor, 2 x mark of the vampire, 2 x crippling blight
I also got 1 x cower in fear and a Public Execution and knight of infamy
creatures I can recall: ravenous rats, bloodhunter bat, bloodthrone vampire and giant scorpion
Also had duress and mind rot and sign in blood

Red

2 x smelt, 1 x cleaver riot, 2 x chandra's fury, 1 x searing spear (!)
2 x goblin battle jester - yeesh
1 x craterize, 1 x mark of mutiny
think my best creature was a canyon minotaur

Green

1 x farseek - good, because I'm going to need it
1 x elvish visionary, 1 x acidic slime, 1 x bond beetle... more promising
1 x deadly recluse
1 x rancor (!)
1 x roaring primadox
2 x serpent's gift, 1 x titanic growth, 1 x ranger's path
1 x timberpack wolf
1 x yeva's forcemage
1 x spiked baloth
2 x plummet

Colorless

1 x elixir of immortality
1 x ring of evos isle
1 x ring of valkas
1 x kitesail


I challenge Steve (or anyone else) to put together a good deck from this. I went 2-2-1, and I think that was an achievement.

The trouble with M13 sealed is that you seem to be able to get flooded with tricks and auras with nothing to cast them on, and my removal was aces against anybody playing */1 creatures, but weak after that.

I got owned by some guy playing mono fatties, and by another who had mono bombs.

I'm trying to recall the other cards I pulled (I'm currently 6 commons and 3 uncommons short).

I'll post what I played later.

I need to know more about your pool and what you actually played to come to a perfect deduction. Personally for me and looking at your limited pool of what you listed off, I would've gone Green-Black, with the possibility of Blue and or White replacing one of them depending upon what else you pulled.

It looks like you played Green seeing that you've listed off a decent amount of cards that you can remember. Elvish Visionary is awesome for filtering, Acidic Slime is awesome for anything that's hard to answer in the format and Bond Beetle  and Yeva's Forcemage for a little push, you have cards like Rancor, and Titanic Growth to get in for more damage. There's synergy with Roaring Primadox and the creatures I've mentioned so far and Spiked Baloth is big and beefy. Along with your creature base, you have Farseek and Ranger's Path to ramp you along for some big things.

In Black, you have a decent amount of cards to help push you along while covering ground against your opponent, with cards like Public Execution, Duress and Mind Rot to hinder your opponent at times. You also shouldn't right out the gimmicks to the format, because its nothing like Standard, you need to remember that the small cards can do the most in limited. So with things like Dark Favor, Mark of the Vampire, and Crippling Blight, its hard for your opponents to answer those problems. Not to mention if you manage to get both Crippling Blights out and play Cower in Fear, most creatures will die to that in this format. For the creature base, Bloodhunter Bat and Ravenous Rats share synergy with Roaring Primadox and Giant Scorpion is good for keeping certain creatures at bay while you look for an answer or something better. Obviously Xathrid Gorgon is a bomb in this format because of her ability to stop your opponent's creatures in their tracks entirely. I would also consider running Wits End, it is a card that can be useless at times, but with the ramp that is in your deck. It wouldn't take long to get to the seven mana before your opponent can empty his hand, and you may be able to hit the cards your opponent needs to win the game. It actually won me a match entirely because my opponent ran into mana problems, and the turn I played it, he saw the land he needed to win the next turn.

Something else I noticed in your pool is your artifacts. I would've actually ran Sands of Delirium because in this format, there's little to no graveyard manipulation at all, not to mention that most of your opponents decks are forty cards, they're stuck on a clock in the late game right there. A lot of people lost games to that card at the tournament I was in. Gilded Lotus is another thing to consider as well, because there can be times when your opponent decides to limit your pool, or even just as a solution to be able to play more spells due to the ramp it provides. I might have also considered running Elixir of Immortality, just as a means to gain life and regain access to cards that I may need later on in the game.

That's my opinion on what I would've ran and why just from what you've listed here. I would need to see more of your pool in order to ultimately decide what I would run, and even then, there's no guarantee on how well I would've done because its a format with a very random outcome.
@ Anime

Black-Green is where I ended up, although against one opponent I changes to Green-White-splash-black.

The primadox tricks are great but were easily disrupted on the day and tended to reduce the playability of the auras - I can remember having primadox + creature in play and mark of the vampire in hand and not wanting to cast it, because my opponent had murder or such.

I think the missing cards were guardian lionsdownpour, kraken hatchling, disentomb, furnace whelp, kindled fury, krenko's command, revive and tormod's crypt.

In the last round (having gone 1-2-1) I decided to go for it and played the lotus-sands version of the green-white-black deck and never drew the sands, but won anyway.

I'll repost the card pool more helpfully, if anyone wants to take a swing at it.
CHALLENGE: MAKE A GOOD DECK FROM THIS PILE OF POO I OPENED
White (15)

3 x war falcon
2 x show of valor
1 x prized elephant
1 x ajani's sunstriker
1 x battleflight eagle
1 x guardian lions
1 x Glorious charge
1 x angel's mercy
1 x divine favor
1 x rain of blades
1 x erase
1 x Planar Cleansing

Blue (11)

2 x merfolk of the pearl trident
1 x talrand's invocation
1 x encrust
1 x unsummon
1 x divination
2 x tricks of the trade
1 x index
1 x harbor serpent
1 x downpour

Black (19)

2 x dark favor, 2 x mark of the vampire, 2 x crippling blight
1 x cower in fear, Public Execution, knight of infamy
1 x ravenous rats, bloodhunter bat, bloodthrone vampire and giant scorpion
1 x disentomb, duress, mind rot and sign in blood
1 x wit's end, xathrid gorgon

Red (15)

2 x smelt, 1 x cleaver riot, 2 x chandra's fury, 1 x searing spear (!)
2 x goblin battle jester
1 x craterize, 1 x mark of mutiny
1 x canyon minotaur
1 x furnace whelp
1 x kindled fury
1 x worldfire
1 x krenko's command

Green (17)

1 x farseek
1 x elvish visionary, 1 x acidic slime, 1 x bond beetle
1 x deadly recluse
1 x rancor (!)
1 x roaring primadox
2 x serpent's gift, 1 x titanic growth, 1 x ranger's path
1 x timberpack wolf
1 x yeva's forcemage
1 x spiked baloth
2 x plummet
1 x revive

Colorless (7)

1 x elixir of immortality
1 x ring of evos isle
1 x ring of valkas
1 x kitesail
1 x gilded lotus
1 x sands of delirium
1 x tormod's crypt

Disentomb, Revive and possibly Tormod's Crypt would've gone into the deck if I stayed with Green-Black. They end up being extremely helpful in several situations in this format. Disentomb ended up helping me win a game because my opponent managed to get his one answer to Nighthawk, which was the only creature getting through because all of our ground creatures would just trade.

I would've also done what I could to ruse my opponent into using the murder on Primadox, just so I didn't have to worry about the spot removal and then attach what I could to the other creature. The gimmicks are nice to play on, but when you know your opponent has to answer one thing and only has one answer, I would personally force them into using it, even if it means giving up something beefy just to make something else beefy.

One other card I noticed in your pool I might have considered swapping out in certain games is the Ring of Evos Isle. Especially because of the Primadox shenanigans. Although it may not be Blue, it does gain Hexproof.
Disentomb, Revive and possibly Tormod's Crypt would've gone into the deck if I stayed with Green-Black. They end up being extremely helpful in several situations in this format. Disentomb ended up helping me win a game because my opponent managed to get his one answer to Nighthawk, which was the only creature getting through because all of our ground creatures would just trade.

I would've also done what I could to ruse my opponent into using the murder on Primadox, just so I didn't have to worry about the spot removal and then attach what I could to the other creature. The gimmicks are nice to play on, but when you know your opponent has to answer one thing and only has one answer, I would personally force them into using it, even if it means giving up something beefy just to make something else beefy.

One other card I noticed in your pool I might have considered swapping out in certain games is the Ring of Evos Isle. Especially because of the Primadox shenanigans. Although it may not be Blue, it does gain Hexproof.



I think you are describing a build similar to the one I ended up with. The trouble I found with it was that my removal was pretty crappy against anything bigger than a bear, that I didn't have a blazing start or a particularly good late game, and although I have rats, slime & visionary, my opponents tended to have a lot more quality to their card advantage (thragtusk, disciple of bolas, Yeva, faerie invaders, flames of the firebrand, etc). I did bring in the ring on two games, both times my opponent mised a torch fiend. The best opening I had was the knight into rancor and crippling blights, for 5 points per swing, whilst I neutralized his blockers, but once the knight was killed my opponent stabilized pretty quickly.

I'd be interested to see your final build though. You make good points about the way the cards play together.
I personally would've gone either Red-White or White-Black. You have a fairly decent pool to choose from, but I noticed right away that your deck doesn't have a lot to answer your opponents field.

With Black, you have a couple of good cards to swap out for the Green, such as Nefarox, Vampire Nighthawk, Duress, Murder, Public Execution, Rise from the Grave, etc. You had a very good base for Black and would work out perfectly if you did come across a card you needed in the late game.

The same can be said with Red with cards like Chandra's Fury, Searing Spear, Volcanic Geyser, not to mention cards like Krenko's Command dispersing creatures and Firewing Phoenix being a returnable creature and Craterize limiting your opponent if they're multi-colored.

Something else I also recommend is that you should've ran the other two Captain's Call. In limited, a card like that can help you out for quite some time if you're in a pinch defensively, but it also has synergy with Crusader of Odric as well.

Overall, I think you had an awesome pool, but limited being the format that it is, it can be very hard deciding what to use and what to keep aside. It can be hit or miss in more ways than one because you need to keep in mind that everyone else has the possibility of pulling big things around you as well and it doesn't hurt to play the game in a hateful manner towards certain things.



Thanks for the reply. I thought my pool was alright, but being new I didn't play the greatest and I didn't make the best deck either.

I was thinking I should have played B/W when I went back and looked through my pool again. Mostly cuz I think Nefarox is really good. I didn't because I didn't really have much exalted to play along with him, but that shouldn't have mattered. And yea, I should have played all 3 Captain's Call too.

Looking at your pool, I think I would've gone Blue-Black for a final build. You have a lot of solid Green cards, but the problem is the lack of force behind it. There are several cards that can be solid in your pool overall, but most of them don't warrant running them, because they wouldn't be able to give the extra push you would need. My build would end up being...

17x Land
9x Island
8x Swamp

5x Creature
1x Bloodhunter Bat
1x Harbor Serpent
1x Knight of Infamy
1x Ravenous Rats
1x Xathrid Gorgon

3x Instant
1x Downpour
1x Public Execution
1x Unsummon

7x Sorcery
1x Disentomb
1x Divination
1x Duress
1x Index
1x Mind Rot
1x Sign In Blood
1x Talrand's Invocation

6x Enchantment
1x Dark Favor
1x Encrust
2x Mark of the Vampire
2x Tricks of the Trade

2x Artifact
1x Ring of Evos Isle
1x Sands of Delirium

I know there's not a lot of power behind the decklist, but at the same time, there's enough filtering to get to what you need. I would've also ended up building a second deck going Red-Green. The list for that would go...

18x Lands
9x Forest
9x Mountain

7x Creature
1x Furnace Whelp
1x Elvish Visionary
1x Acidic Slime
1x Yeva's Forcemage
1x Deadly Recluse
1x Canyon Minotaur
1x Bond Beetle

6x Instant
1x Titanic Growth
1x Searing Spear
2x Chandra's Fury
1x Plummet
1x Smelt

6x Sorcery
1x Farseek
1x Ranger's Path
1x Revive
1x Cleaver Riot
1x Mark of Mutiny
1x Krenko's Command

1x Enchantment
1x Rancor

2x Artifact
1x Ring of Valkas
1x Sands of Delirium

Overall, your pool offers enough force to combat a lot of things, the problem is like I said though, because the format is what it is, there's no real way to determine the outcome of every match. Green-Black would probably be your best option, but from my own personal experience, I've noticed that its better to have a deck that doesn't focus on one thing in this format, because its easy to interrupt, I will admit that your rares held your possibilities back, but at the same time, someone that went with me had the perfect pool for White and didn't even place, so its knowing what to use and when to use it at that point.
Looking at your pool, I think I would've gone Blue-Black for a final build. You have a lot of solid Green cards, but the problem is the lack of force behind it. There are several cards that can be solid in your pool overall, but most of them don't warrant running them, because they wouldn't be able to give the extra push you would need. My build would end up being...

17x Land
9x Island
8x Swamp

5x Creature
1x Bloodhunter Bat
1x Harbor Serpent
1x Knight of Infamy
1x Ravenous Rats
1x Xathrid Gorgon

3x Instant
1x Downpour
1x Public Execution
1x Unsummon

7x Sorcery
1x Disentomb
1x Divination
1x Duress
1x Index
1x Mind Rot
1x Sign In Blood
1x Talrand's Invocation

6x Enchantment
1x Dark Favor
1x Encrust
2x Mark of the Vampire
2x Tricks of the Trade

2x Artifact
1x Ring of Evos Isle
1x Sands of Delirium

...

Overall, your pool offers enough force to combat a lot of things, the problem is like I said though, because the format is what it is, there's no real way to determine the outcome of every match. Green-Black would probably be your best option, but from my own personal experience, I've noticed that its better to have a deck that doesn't focus on one thing in this format, because its easy to interrupt, I will admit that your rares held your possibilities back, but at the same time, someone that went with me had the perfect pool for White and didn't even place, so its knowing what to use and when to use it at that point.



Certainly interesting. To be honest, this is not a build I would have considered - I'm not sure that I would have dared to put five auras and an equipment in a deck with only 6 creature spells. It feels as though it would win over a deck with no removal, but get crushed by a deck with fast creatures or plentiful removal.



18x Lands
9x Forest
9x Mountain

7x Creature
1x Furnace Whelp
1x Elvish Visionary
1x Acidic Slime
1x Yeva's Forcemage
1x Deadly Recluse
1x Canyon Minotaur
1x Bond Beetle

6x Instant
1x Titanic Growth
1x Searing Spear
2x Chandra's Fury
1x Plummet
1x Smelt

6x Sorcery
1x Farseek
1x Ranger's Path
1x Revive
1x Cleaver Riot
1x Mark of Mutiny
1x Krenko's Command

1x Enchantment
1x Rancor

2x Artifact
1x Ring of Valkas
1x Sands of Delirium




I think I can get behind this deck more, but would have upped the creature count. I'd also have splashed black for either the gorgon or public execution.

There was one other build I fancied putting together from this pile of rubbish...

Passive Aggressive Mill

White (7)
2 x war falcon
1 x prized elephant
1 x ajani's sunstriker
1 x guardian lions
1 x Planar Cleansing
1 x Angel's Mercy

Black (2)

1 x Public Execution
1 x xathrid gorgon

Green (10)

1 x farseek
1 x elvish visionary
1 x acidic slime
1 x bond beetle
1 x deadly recluse
1 x roaring primadox
1 x titanic growth
1 x ranger's path
1 x timberpack wolf
1 x spiked baloth

Colorless (4)

1 x elixir of immortality
1 x kitesail
1 x gilded lotus
1 x sands of delirium

10 x Forest
6 x Plains
1 x Swamp



I got to build the BW Exalted deck with Nefarox and Captain of the Watch at the top of the curve and tons of removal. I went 3-1, losing to a mirror deck with Attended Knight, Battlefilght Eagles, Knight of Glory, and Intrepid Hero -- the only two games I lost.

I list my decks by casting cost:

  1. Duty-Bound Dead
    Tormented Soul
    -
    Vile Rebirth

  2. Ajani's Sunstriker
    Aven Squire
    Aven Squire
    Walking Corpse
    War Priest of Thune
    -
    Pacifism
    Pacifism
    Ring of Xathrid
    Show of Valor

  3. Crusader of Odric
    Guardians of Akrasa
    Servant of Nefarox

  4. Bloodhunter Bat
    Bloodhunter Bat
    Primal Clay
    -
    Divine Verdict

  5. Essence Drain

  6. Captain of the Watch
    Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis
    -
    Public Execution


10 Plains, 7 Swamp

I won't post my whole pool, but I'll just say I had very few good blue or black cards, and a million 4 and 5 drops in red, including Hellkite, but only one cheaper card: the aura. As powerful as the top end red was, that would've left too few low-cc creatures in my deck filled with cards that otherwise favored aggression; also it depended too much on the dragon instead of a cohesive strategy.
So I ended up with this instead:



I went 3-1 with that deck. Most people had better cards (2 Murders, Yeva, Nature's Herald and Rancor; 3 Murders, 2 Oblivion Rings, Pacifism + fliers), but fortunately a constant flow of bad creatures seems to null removal-heavy decks. My one loss was because I didn't realize Odric had first strike and I completely threw away the match by attacking into him.

MVPs were definitely Knight of Glory, War Priest of Thune, Primal Clay (as a 2/2), and of course Roaring Primadox; honorable mention to Battleflight Eagle for its reach.
The 2nd Warclamp Mastiff probably should have been my 2nd Bond Beetle, but I figured my pump and its whiteness made it a slightly better choice.



CHALLENGE: MAKE A GOOD DECK FROM THIS PILE OF POO I OPENED




I think our decks are comparable, and yours might even be better with a couple adjustments:
-1 Farseek - What are you ramping into? Your Xathrid?
+1 Bloodthrone Vampire - It's another low drop creature to take advantage of your Blights and Rancor, and you have Rats, an Elf, and Beetle that love to get sacrificed.

A more debatable trade:
-1 Mark of the Vampire - Mark is a good card, but you have Bat, Primadox and Baloth as you're only great targets (most the rest become 3/3s, which are not threatening). Also, having 2 increases your chances of awkward Primadox moments, not to mention the inherent card disadvantage to begin with.
+1 Sign in Blood - More cards, however bad, is still good, and probably better than spending 4 mana and a card to turn a 2/2 into a 4/4.

-2 Forests, +2 Swamps. Even without my adjustments, you had a couple cards to worry about and no , not to mention being able to play a Blight + another black card in one turn.

I wanted to work in Disentomb because of your Enter-Battlefield abilities and reliance on Xathrid or Primadox to win the longer game, but there were no spells I wanted to cut for it.

Also, if you weren't being aggressive then losing is your own fault. You have some cool late game shenanigans with Xathrid and Primadox, and the deathtouch that will get you there, but in Sealed that's not powerful enough to overcome the bonkers cards you'll face. Instead, attacking as much as you can and breaking board stalls with Kitesail, Crippling Blight, Cower in Fear and derailing a race with Public Execution was probably your best bet. Maybe you did that and just got unlucky, I don't know.


I don't like either of Anime's decks seeing as most decks have at least a couple pieces of removal, so 6-7 creatures is not nearly enough. I would also consider Highwayman's deck because it focuses completely on stalling the board until you can get Sands or Xathrid or Primadox/Slime in play. It might even be better, but it still makes me nervous.
I was blessed with the stone cold nuts in terms of removal in my sealed pool this tournament. White had triple Pacifism and Planar Cleansing, green had a pair of Prey Upon and at least one deathtouch guy, but i ended up going red/black. You'll see why after I post my deck.

Cower in Fear
Giant Scorpion
Public Execution
Turn to Slag x2
Volcanic Geyser x2
Murder x3
Harbor Bandit
Reckless Brute
Vile Rebirth
Walking Corpse
Veilborn Ghoul
Krenko's Command
Mind Rot
Furnace Whelp
Servant of Nefarox
Volcanic Strength
Goblin Battle Jester
Rummaging Goblin
Elixir of Immortality 

8 Swamp
8 Mountain
1 Island 

Ended up going 4-1, my only match loss due to a game 3 where I got landscrewed.  Best moment was actually in game 1 of that match where I was nearly dead staring down a board of Sublime Archangel, Serra Avenger and a Clone of it, and some other beaters. I take one last big hit and popping my Elixir in response to the damage, gain life to survive one more turn, shuffle the graveyard and cut. There's only one card that can save me for the win and that's a Volcanic Geyser. Guess what I topdeck. Draw, tap everything, burn to the dome, win. I'll never forget the reaction.
I did not have a very good pool until the last pack...JACE!! I went back and saw that I had two Fogs, a Safe Passage, two Revive's, two Primal Huntbeasts, an Archeomancer, three vedelkin Entrancers. Pair that with a Gilded Lotus and a Stormtide Leviathan and I went 5-0!! Never lost a match, but I did almost tie with a guy because I just did not draw anything but finally dropped Stormtide after he O-Ring'd Jace with four cards left. I had a real good time!!
I won't post my whole pool, but I'll just say I had very few good blue or black cards, and a million 4 and 5 drops in red, including Hellkite, but only one cheaper card: the aura. As powerful as the top end red was, that would've left too few low-cc creatures in my deck filled with cards that otherwise favored aggression; also it depended too much on the dragon instead of a cohesive strategy.
So I ended up with this instead:



I went 3-1 with that deck. Most people had better cards (2 Murders, Yeva, Nature's Herald and Rancor; 3 Murders, 2 Oblivion Rings, Pacifism + fliers), but fortunately a constant flow of bad creatures seems to null removal-heavy decks. My one loss was because I didn't realize Odric had first strike and I completely threw away the match by attacking into him.

MVPs were definitely Knight of Glory, War Priest of Thune, Primal Clay (as a 2/2), and of course Roaring Primadox; honorable mention to Battleflight Eagle for its reach.
The 2nd Warclamp Mastiff probably should have been my 2nd Bond Beetle, but I figured my pump and its whiteness made it a slightly better choice.



CHALLENGE: MAKE A GOOD DECK FROM THIS PILE OF POO I OPENED




I think our decks are comparable, and yours might even be better with a couple adjustments:
-1 Farseek - What are you ramping into? Your Xathrid?
+1 Bloodthrone Vampire - It's another low drop creature to take advantage of your Blights and Rancor, and you have Rats, an Elf, and Beetle that love to get sacrificed.

A more debatable trade:
-1 Mark of the Vampire - Mark is a good card, but you have Bat, Primadox and Baloth as you're only great targets (most the rest become 3/3s, which are not threatening). Also, having 2 increases your chances of awkward Primadox moments, not to mention the inherent card disadvantage to begin with.
+1 Sign in Blood - More cards, however bad, is still good, and probably better than spending 4 mana and a card to turn a 2/2 into a 4/4.

-2 Forests, +2 Swamps. Even without my adjustments, you had a couple cards to worry about and no , not to mention being able to play a Blight + another black card in one turn.

I wanted to work in Disentomb because of your Enter-Battlefield abilities and reliance on Xathrid or Primadox to win the longer game, but there were no spells I wanted to cut for it.

Also, if you weren't being aggressive then losing is your own fault. You have some cool late game shenanigans with Xathrid and Primadox, and the deathtouch that will get you there, but in Sealed that's not powerful enough to overcome the bonkers cards you'll face. Instead, attacking as much as you can and breaking board stalls with Kitesail, Crippling Blight, Cower in Fear and derailing a race with Public Execution was probably your best bet. Maybe you did that and just got unlucky, I don't know.


I don't like either of Anime's decks seeing as most decks have at least a couple pieces of removal, so 6-7 creatures is not nearly enough. I would also consider Highwayman's deck because it focuses completely on stalling the board until you can get Sands or Xathrid or Primadox/Slime in play. It might even be better, but it still makes me nervous.



Interesting comment about the farseek. I'm quite a fan of deck thinning even in 2 colours, where I agree it is suboptimal. You're probably right though that I discarded the vampire too quickly - I was already aware that my kitesail, mark of the vampire and rancor were putting a lot into one creature and I guess I didn't want to exacerbate the situation by saccing my creatures too. I played the deck aggressive, but perhaps with this tweak I could have played it moreso.

I found that against I would side in sign in blood when I was playing against bomby fliers (I encountered both the angel and the legendary demon), and needed to get to my plummets or public execution. In doing so, I would inevitably side -1 forest for +1 swamp. The tended to be helpful when I had a 2 drop followed by a rancor + another 2CC spell, which more often would be a spell costing (there are four in the deck).
My Midnight Pre-release G/U aggro-control-mill deck:

Creatures (15 Creatures)
1 x Elvish Visionary
1 x Deadly Recluse
1 x Quirion Dryad
1 x Timberpack Wolf
1 x Flinthoof Boar
1 x Fog Bank
1 x Augur of Bolas
1 x Watercourser
1 x Elvish Archdruid
1 x Vedalken Entrancer
1 x Spiked Baloth
1 x Faerie Invaders
1 x Sentinel Spider
1 x Acidic Slime

Spells (8 Spells)
1 x Rancor
1 x Prey Upon
1 x Elixir of Immortality
2 x Essence Scatter
1 x Redirect
1 x Sands of Delirium
1 x Talrand's Invocation

Lands
10 x Forest
7 x Island

Due to popular vote, the Midnight Prerelease was 3 rounds instead of 4 or 6. I went 2-1; of the 5 games I won, I resolved Sands of Delirium in 3 of them, and in those 3 I won by milling. I had enough 2-drops and instant/flash spells that I could spend most/all of the mana on milling when I had the artifact on the battlefield. The other two games I won by regular combat damage. In the one game I resolved Vedalken Entrancer, I only used it to attack :P

So I would disagree with Highwayman, and say that Sands is a very playable card, without having to back it up with other milling cards (although I did have a lot of control/defensive cards).


Deck

[deck]
Lands
9 Swamp
8 Plains

White
1 Ajani, Caller of the Pride
1 Ajani Sunstriker
2 Captain's Call
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Pacifism
2 Silvercoat Lion
1 War Falcon

Black
1 Bloodhunter Bat
1 Essence Drain
1 Giant Scorpion
2 Murder
1 Sign in Blood
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Veilborn Ghoul
1 Vile Rebirth
1 Xathrid Gorgon
1 Zombie Goliath

Artifact
1 Chronomaton
1 Phyrexian Hulk
1 Primal Clay
[/deck]


Went 4-1 with the deck, losing only to an obscene W/U/r deck in the second round that went 5-0.  Was fairly pleased with its performance.

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
My Midnight Pre-release G/U aggro-control-mill deck:

Creatures (15 Creatures)
1 x Elvish Visionary
1 x Deadly Recluse
1 x Quirion Dryad
1 x Timberpack Wolf
1 x Flinthoof Boar
1 x Fog Bank
1 x Augur of Bolas
1 x Watercourser
1 x Elvish Archdruid
1 x Vedalken Entrancer
1 x Spiked Baloth
1 x Faerie Invaders
1 x Sentinel Spider
1 x Acidic Slime

Spells (8 Spells)
1 x Rancor
1 x Prey Upon
1 x Elixir of Immortality
2 x Essence Scatter
1 x Redirect
1 x Sands of Delirium
1 x Talrand's Invocation

Lands
10 x Forest
7 x Island

Due to popular vote, the Midnight Prerelease was 3 rounds instead of 4 or 6. I went 2-1; of the 5 games I won, I resolved Sands of Delirium in 3 of them, and in those 3 I won by milling. I had enough 2-drops and instant/flash spells that I could spend most/all of the mana on milling when I had the artifact on the battlefield. The other two games I won by regular combat damage. In the one game I resolved Vedalken Entrancer, I only used it to attack :P

So I would disagree with Highwayman, and say that Sands is a very playable card, without having to back it up with other milling cards (although I did have a lot of control/defensive cards).




I'm beginning to think that you and others are right about sands, and I dismissed it prematurely. I still think it needs decent blockers for the card to be viable, and I'd venture that your watercourser, fog bank, augur, faeries and sentinel spider would have filled that roll.
My first ever event win was this 5-0 pre release (the six man FNM I won seems less impressive now).

snackplaylove.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/m13...

Land:
Sunpetal Grove (rare 1)
9 Forest
7 Plains

Creatures
2 x Bond Beetle

Flinthoof Boar (u)
Timberpack Wolf (which I never drew in the tournament!)
Aven Squire

Attended Knight
Crusader of Odric (u)
Centaur Courser

2x Roaring Primadox (2u)
Primal Huntbeast
Griffin Protector
Healer of the Pride (u)

Silklash Spider (my other rare)
Serra Angel (u)

Other Spells
Prey Upon

Pacifism
Giant Growth

Oblivion Ring (u)
2x Safe Passage

2x Captains Call
Divine verdict

Thats a main deck with 16 basic lands, 2 rares (one of which is a dual land), 7 uncommons and 15 commons.


Sideboard cards over the matches included:

2x Ring of Thune (started round 1 with one in the deck - after game 1 round 2 I never played them again)
Erase
Naturalize
Glorious Charge (flirted with this one - I never drew it so was hard to evaluate)
Plummet (goodbye nighthawk!)
and my other Mythic Elderscale Worm (I planned to put him in for long matches, after siding in and casting him in game 2 round 1 he never found my hand again.  He didn't really combo with much in my deck really).

I got a Jace in the pool too, but nothing fun to play in Blue so I went for beloved combo.  Write up has more details, but Primadox is amazing with a reasonable density of ETB creatures.  I also cast him onto an empty board twice so that I had a blocker.  The 6 points he saved me taking won me that game.  Dropped 2 creatures the next turn then never looked back. 
Managed to steal 5 wins with Door to Nothingness.  The last of which was keyed on playing on an Acidic Slime get rid of an Oblivion Ring which had taken hold of the Door.

I was personally quite suprised with how powerful Gem of Becoming was.  It kept thinning the deck by 3 cards, and essentially drawing me 3 for an instant 3 mana investment when I would pop it.  The rest of the deck was a battery of removal spells, draw, and delay spells all to help me get to the door.  I probably should have main boarded the other Wild Guess rather than Rise from the grave looking back.  

I particularly liked Rummaging Goblin, since the art epitomized how I felt playing the deck.

tappedout.net/mtg-decks/door-to-winning/



 
I went 2-1 (yes we have a small game store, I like it that way), losing only to a U/W exalted deck that could just outpace me (it was mostly bad b/c my "removal" spells didn't actually remove his exalted creatures from the board except for my 1 O-Ring).  I not only won both my other matches, I never lost a game until my final match against the exalted opponent at which point he whupped me thoroughly.

Building this from memory (jogged by the gatherer), U/W/r:

Creatures


Non-Creatures (7)
[deck]
1x Pacifism
2x Encrust
1x Oblivion Ring
1x Sleep
1x Cleaver Riot
1x Akroma's Memorial
[/deck]

Lands (17)
[deck]
2x Evolving Wilds
1x Mountain
7x Plains
7x Island
[/deck]

I was really miffed at that last match b/c I had to mull once the first game and twice the second game.  I am thoroughly convinced that being forced to mull twice in that second game cost me that game, it was close, but I ran out of steam way too early.  However I did come away from that experience with my cards having paid for my event entry fee:
Garruk, Primal Hunter in a prize packs
Akroma's Memorial from my card pool
Akroma's Memorial (Foil) from my prize packs
Door to Nothingness from my card pool, like everyone who pulls this I momentarily fantasized about playing it in my deck, but then common sense overruled daydreaming.

I then *traded* a $20 bill for a Thundermaw Hellkite at the end of the tournament (I already had a slot in a deck waiting for him, and I still need 1 more).  Incidentally I had actually run into that hellkite in match 2 game 1.  I Pacified it. XD

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From Mark Rosewater's Tumblr: the0uroboros asked: How in the same set can we have a hexproof, unsacrificable(not a word) creature AND a land that makes it uncounterable. How does this lead to interactive play? I believe I’m able to play my creature and you have to deal with it is much more interactive than you counter my creature.

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Post #777

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MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green). He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one." I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago."

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MaRo: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

I pulled a sweet WG deck that was almost Pre-construct quality. It was a little light on power in the early turns but had some fatty's and a sweet theme which was fun to play. I went 4-1 in the early rounds and made the top 8 then cruised through to win the Pre-release. Here is what I played.



As you can tell, I had some bombs and alot of cool interactions. Roaring Primadox was the engine that made this deck win. a 4/4 for 4 who sometimes hit the board on turn 3 with help from Arbor Elf is good enough, but the ability to bounce Elvish Visionary, Attended Knight, Yeva's Forcemage, and the insane combo of bouncing Thragtusk every turn was what won me most of my games. If none of those targets were available, I would bounce a white creature and re-cast it to buff Quirion Dryad. Also, having a Ring of Kalonia never hurts in a heavy green deck.

Also, I won 2-3 games by casting Serra Avatar and following it up the next turn with Fungal Sprouting. They can chump block a 18/18 avatar all day, but it is very difficult for them to stop 18 1/1's heading toward the dome. If you get a chance to draft or play a deck with Roaring Primadox I highly recommend it. Thragtusk is amazing, but having the ability to cast him and bounce him every turn in limited is the best feeling that you can ask for.

In the final, I played against a BW Exalted deck that was very good. He even had Sublime Archangel, but my defense, control, and Intrepid Hero ruined the day for him. I was a fairly easy win even though he got me down to 4 life quickly.

I opened so many Exalted cards I felt I had to play them.


Attended Knight
Bloodhunter Bat
Duskmantle Prowler
2x Duty-bound Dead
Giant Scorpion
2x Griffin Protector
Healer of the Pride
Knight of Infamy
Primal Clay
Serra Angel
Silvercoat Lion
War Priest of Thune
Warclamp Mastiff


Akroma's Memorial
Dark Favor
2x Murder
2x Safe Passage
Sands of Delirium
2x Sign in Blood


Cathedral of War
2x Evolving Wilds
5 Plains
8 Swamp


Sideboard
Angelic Benediction
Glorious Charge

The general flow of a game involved me dealing early damage through attacks before having to stop and wait until I had an effective flyer to finish things off. A large number of games were won because of Sign in Blood getting the card I needed to stop my opponent in time, usually Safe Passage or Akroma's Memorial. Losses were to large amounts of removal or accelerated large creatures.

I played in 4 prereleases. (What can I say? I love prereleases! New cards make me happy.) To save space and time, I'll only post the decks that did well.

First, at midnight, I went 4-1 with the following deck, losing only 3 games all night (one of which I punted):

1x Ajani's Sunstriker
1x Aven Squire
1x Battleflight Eagle
1x Griffin Protector
2x Guardian Lions
1x Pacifism
1x War Priest of Thune
1x Warclamp Mastiff

1x Duskmantle Prowler
1x Duty-Bound Dead
2x Knight of Infamy
2x Murder
1x Public Execution
3x Servant of Nefarox
1x Vile Rebirth

1x Chandra, the Firebrand
1x Flames of the Firebrand

1x Trading Post

2x Evolving Wilds
2x Mountain
6x Plains
7x Swamp

Noteworthy sideboard cards:

1x Rain of Blades (foil)

1x Crippling Blight
1x Dark Favor
1x Rise from the Grave
1x Veilborn Ghoul

1x Chandra's Fury

1x Phyrexian Hulk

The only boarding I actually did was bringing in Rain of Blades and Chandra's Fury (over Chandra herself!) against a token deck.

The game I punted, I played Public Execution and then announced "So I take zero" before I declared any blockers (i.e., letting him keep 2 small creatures alive). My opponent was playing very tight and professionally, so I didn't bother asking him to let me go back and declare. I just learned my lesson to play more carefully the rest of the night (or morning).

The round I lost was against G/B bears and combat tricks. I think that deck went 5-0, actually. After our match, he told me I should be playing Rise from the Grave over Vile Rebirth, and he may be right, but in a deck with 7 1-toughness dudes, I like how Rebirth says "shock a non-flying creature that's attacking you", and if it eats a 1/1 attacker, I get a 2/2 body to pick up my 8 exalted triggers when I swing back.

Extra thoughts: Flames of the Firebrand is insane, and I can see myself splashing it a lot. Mastiff only made the deck for curve purposes, but with a few exalted triggers he's just fine, as well as being a good blocker against goblin, soldier, and saproling tokens. Guardian Lions are great walls, and will happily pick up exalted triggers whenever there's an opportunity without compromising your defense. Trading Post actually saved my life a few times, because making a goat is basically Forcefield against a non-trampling non-flying attacker, and gaining 4 life of every land I draw after the first 3 Swamp, 3 Plains, and 1 Mountain is fantastic.

Then I went home and slept for 2 hours, then went back out and played a 9 a.m. 3-rounder. In addition to a shiny Worldfire, which is just fun, my pool had exactly 23 white and green cards I wanted to play, which coincidentally curved out almost perfectly. The highlights were Odric, Serra Angel, Predatory Urge, Rancor, and Yeva. Round 1, my opponent said his deck was terrible, and I trounced him in the first game without taking a single point of damage, so I got cocky. NEVER GET COCKY. In game 2, on the draw, I kept a one-Forest hand with Elvish Visionary. I got completely mana screwed and lost. In game 3, I kept a 5-land hand and flooded savagely. THE MAGIC GODS WILL PUNISH YOUR COCKINESS. Then I got a bye. Then I absolutely demolished my opponent in 2 games in the third and final round - the first time I'd got to actually play my deck in almost 2 hours.

Immediately after that, I played a 5-round event at 1 p.m. I took it down, 5-0, with this monstrosity:

2x Augur of Bolas (one foil)
1x Divination
3x Essence Scatter
1x Sphinx of Uthuun
1x Talrand, the Sky Summoner
1x Unsummon
2x Vedalken Entrancer
1x Watercourser
1x Wind Drake

1x Disciple of Bolas
1x Harbor Bandit
1x Liliana of the Dark Realms
1x Liliana's Shade
2x Murder
1x Vampire Nighthawk
1x Walking Corpse

1x Chronomaton
1x Sands of Delirium

Relevant sideboard cards:

1x Encrust
1x Kraken Hatchling
1x Spelltwine

1x Duskmantle Prowler
1x Ravenous Rats
2x Servant of Nefarox
2x Sign in Blood
1x Zombie Goliath

1x Elixir of Immortality
2x Jayemdae Tome
1x Phyrexian Hulk

Yes, you read that right: ALL 6 RARES could have fit in a 2-colour deck. Also, within 2 colours, my pool had TEN spells or abilities that brought at least one card from my library to my hand (draw or search). Also, yes, I didn't run Encrust or Spelltwine or Sign in Blood in my blue-black control deck that cares about instants and sorceries - mostly for curve concerns, and also to minimize double-mana casting costs.

The only sideboarding I did was whenever I won a game with Sands of Delirium, I would assume my opponent was boarding in Smelt/Naturalize, so I would take out Sands, 2x Entrancer, and Liliana's Shade, and go more aggro with Duskmantle Prowler, 2x Servant of Nefarox, and Encrust.

Extra thoughts: Augur of Bolas is really good. You have to be smart and not play him when you don't have all the lands you need (especially if this deck hasn't drawn a second swamp!) or if you're hoping to mise a better creature than what you have in play/in your hand, but if it's safe in that regard, go for it. And if his ability "whiffs", so what? You just brought all your spells 3 cards closer to the top, making your odds of topdecking Murder or Essence Scatter that much better for the rest of the game!

Then I went back on Sunday and played another 1 p.m. 5-round event. I played a W/B deck (again), starring Captain of the Watch, Nefarox, and a lot of removal, but the deck was pretty slow and I never seemed to draw removal at the right time. Also, I NEVER got to play Nefarox! The ONE time he was in my hand, I lost him to Mind Rot, and then my opponent beat me... with a foil Nefarox! I started 2-0, then lost to the guy who went on to win the whole tournament, then lost to insane mana flooding (boo!), then lost to my friend, who gave me the win anyway. Three straight losses (and no Nefarox!) was a sad end to an awesome Magic weekend.
This is my first post so don't hate.  I had a good pre-release.  I played White-Green.  I pulled some very good combinations that gave me a record of 3-1 almost 4-0 if I had not had bad land luck 2 games (2 land game 1 didn't draw more for 5 turns no white in game 2)  in match 3.  My best card I would say is the Deadly Recluse (X3), offering me tons of threat with Exalted everywhere..take that Thundermaw Hellkite, which I did kill in match 2. 

Here is my deck  42 cards I believe
Creatures:
Deadly Recluse     (X3)
Elderscale Wurm (foil)
Healer of the Pride
Griffin Protector
Bond Beetle
Knight of Glory
Roaring Primadox
Yeva, Natures Herald
Acidic Slime
Attended Knight
Guardians of Akrasa
Primal Huntbeast
Sublime Archangel

Spells:
Pacifism (X2)
Naturalize
Fungal Sprouting
Farseek
Rancor
Divine Verdict
Plummet
Angelic Benediction
Sands of Delirium

Land:
Cathedral of War
Sunpetal Grove
Forest (X9)
Plains (X6)

This was the best sealed deck I've ever had. 
This was my first Prerelease, but I'm guessing this will be the best Sealed Deck I'll ever get to make in a while. I went 3-1 with it, losing to a Blue-Black control deck with 2 Liliana of the Dark Realms that milled me to death with a Sands of Delirium.

---

40 Cards

Lands:
8 Forest
8 Mountain
1 Evolving Wilds

Creatures:
Arms Dealer
Bond Beetle
Centaur Courser
Duskdale Wurm
Elderscale Wurm
Flinthoof Boar
Gobin Arsonist
Goblin Battle Jester
Krenko, Mob Boss
Primal Huntbeast
Rummaging Goblin
Spiked Baloth

Other Spells:
Chandra's Fury
Elixir of Immortality
Farseek
Kindled Fury
Krenko's Command
Prey Upon
Ranger's Path
Ring of Valkas
Searing Spear
Titanic Growth
Volcanic Strength

---

Krenko did wonders for me in many of my games, especially since I got every Goblin card in the set (apart from Mogg Flunkies, and I even got 2 Goblin tokens in my packs for Krenko's Command). Left unchecked after 2 to 3 turns he could summon an army of Goblins that I would simply crash into the red zone, or sacrifice to Arms Dealer to wipe my opponent's side of the board clean.

I also had a Farseek and Ranger's Path to accelerate my mana and clear my deck of lands, and combat tricks like Kindled Fury (do not underestimate this card in Limited) and Titanic Growth essentially functioned as removal spells. The two wurms and Ring of Valkas sealed my endgame.
After playing Duels of the Planeswalkers online the past few years (and paper Magic long, long ago), I went to my first Magic tournament ever yesterday for sealed deck. I did a lot of preparation reviewing all the cards in the set and using a sealed deck simulator to get some experience thinking about how to put decks together, so I was hoping to do well and win some packs.

My booster rares were:
Talrand, Sky Summoner
Door to Nothingness
Wit's End
Gilded Lotus
Xathrid Gorgon
Intrepid Hero

Talrand was nice, but I drew mostly creatures for blue and few spells. White didn't have anything very cohesive, and Intrepid Hero probably isn't as useful in this format. I had a few Mogg Flunkies in red, but not very much burn. Black was okay; Xathrid Gorgon isn't bad, a couple exalted creatures, a few enchantments, and 1 Murder.

With green, I had drawn a good amount of creatures, including 2 Primal Huntbeasts , Sentinel Spider, Rancor, some Prey Upons, and a Mwonvuli Beast Tracker. As I looked at Mwonvuli Beast Tracker (which can fetch multiple creatures: Primal Huntbeast, Sentinel Spider, and Xathrid Gorgon), I decided to go Green/Black and focus on getting out my Huntbeasts and enchanting them with Rancor, Dark Favor, and Mark of the Vampire for big hexproof beasts.

I ended up going 3–1 overall after losing a close first match due to some mana issues and misreading Farseek.

Enchanted Beasts

Key cards:
+ Primal Huntbeast
This card worked exactly as intended. A 3/3 for 4 was already good, and every opponent I played was frustrated at not being able to Pacify/Murder/Downpour/burn/exile it. Once this card got an enchantment or two, the end was near.

+ Mark of the Vampire
On a hexproof this was crazy. And lifelink combos with Prey Upon, making it even more ridiculous.

+ Rancor
Everyone knows this is good, but an especially fun play was dropping it on a chump to Prey Upon the opponent's Giant Scorpion, then immediately recasting Rancor on a Primal Huntbeast to swing for 8 with the scorpion gone.

+ Knight of Infamy/Servant of Nefarox
Casting these for a quick +1/+1 buff on my attacker often foiled the opponent's plan to block and trade creatures with me. Servant of Nefarox is also pretty fearsome on its own.

+ Walking Corpse
I originally played 2 Giant Scorpions, but I quickly realized its deathtouch ability didn't matter when I buffed its power with enchantments. I swapped it with 2 Walking Corpses, which always seemed to be in my hand the second turn for a solid 2-drop. There were a couple games where I was able to get an early lead by dropping some enchantments, especially Rancor, on one of these or an Arbor Elf.

+ Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
Probably only drew it in 3–4 games, but it did add to the consistency of the deck. I think I always fetched Primal Huntbeast. The one downside is that the card goes on top of your library rather than in your hand, so you get it next turn instead of this one and it uses one of your draws.

+ Plummet
Definitely recommend including these in sealed. I only had 1, but it was always useful to take down a flyer for 2 mana.

"Meh" cards:
- Ring of Valkas
An article I read suggested possibly including this just for the Haste ability, which I made use of a couple times, but not in a game-changing way (that I could tell). If you're casting at the mana curve, it doesn't help, but it is good for getting cheap dudes attacking right away later on.

- Liliana's Specter
I had the choice between swinging in and beefing her up +5/+5, or casting a Sentinel Spider from my hand. I decided to swing in, and of course after I spend all my mana on the attack, the opponent plays Murder. Though, I suppose otherwise the Spider would have gotten Murdered otherwise.

- Xathrid Gorgon
Her ability to make creatures into defenders didn't synergize with the offensive focus of the deck.

Note:
• After playing Duels of the Planeswalkers, I didn't realize I could use Arbor Elf to use a single Forest to pay a GG casting cost. I'd forgotten that you can float mana into the mana pool in paper Magic.

Overall the power of the creatures, the synergies (like with Exalted and hexproof), and the strong enchantments (Rancor/Mark of the Vampire) made this a pretty successful deck. My biggest difficulty was drawing too many lands. Probably with Arbor Elf and Sign in Blood (along with the low mana curve), I could've gone down to 16 or 15. Because I was inexperienced in the format, I listened to everyone who insisted I needed to include 17 lands, but I had many turns in many games where I drew way too much.

Thanks for reading! Any feedback would be great, though I don't have the whole pool to post anymore since I combined it with the 5 packs I won. Laughing




I think you are underrating both Intrepid Hero and Xathrid Gorgon in limited, especially sealed.

An active Intrepid Hero is a problem for most decks and a must to be removed.  Do remember that the threat of his ability can keep people from enhancing their own creatures with things like Rancor, Dark Favor, Divine Favor, or Mark of the Vampire.  It also shuts down multiple exalted triggers as it can Fog a full combat phase by threatening to kill whatever creature attacks alone.  It's also an answer for most bomb creatures in the set, and most of the green fat that could trade with yours.  Finally, do remember it can make your own pump spells into creature removal.  (I used Hero with Rancor on my opponents' creatures as repetitive removal for two or three power creatures).

As far as Gorgon goes, it shuts off counterattacks and abilities.  It can lock down fliers or other troublesome attackers, and don't forget the Gorgon has deathtouch so that it can block any creature power five or less and kill it while surviving.  Any time I dropped this creature at the prerelease, if not answered, it shut my opponent down completely.  In your deck, where your creatures can be bigger than theirs, you can create trades that are 2 or 3 for ones and they can't hit you back.

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
Thanks for your thoughts, Tymestalker. I agree about the Gorgon, that's why I included it. In the few games I played, I ended up either not getting her out at all, or not needing to use her ability. But I see how she could be useful in other circumstances.

Really good points about Intrepid Hero! My white draw was pretty weak, or I would've included it in a white deck.
Thanks for your thoughts, Tymestalker. I agree about the Gorgon, that's why I included it. In the few games I played, I ended up either not getting her out at all, or not needing to use her ability. But I see how she could be useful in other circumstances.

Really good points about Intrepid Hero! My white draw was pretty weak, or I would've included it in a white deck.



Interpid Hero can be splashable if you have green search.  If you have a Hero and like Oblivion Ring and Pacifism, with Farseek and Evolving Wilds, it's a reasonable choice to add two plains to a deck if you are removal light.  With your deck, not so much. 

Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

I've seen angels fall from blinding heights. But you yourself are nothing so divine. Just next in line.

191752181 wrote:
All I'm saying is, I don't really see how she goes around petrifying swords and boots and especially mirrors. How the heck does she beat a Panoptic Mirror? It makes no sense for artifacts either. Or enchantments, for that matter. "Well, you see, Jimmy cast this spell to flood the mountain, but then the gorgon just looked at the water really hard and it went away."
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