Grand Prix Pittsburgh 2013 Sealed Deck Exercise

11 posts / 0 new
Last post

Heyo!

Here's a sealed deck exercise from today's Grand Prix in Pittsburgh. Use this thread to share, discuss, and create your own decks from the pool using the Sealed Deck Builder or from the included card pool below. Make sure to check out all of our Event Coverage for Grand Prix Pittsburgh here.

-J.C.


[spoiler]


1 Aerial Maneuver


1 Angelic Edict


2 Court Street Denizen


1 Guardian of the Gateless


1 Knight Watch


2 Smite


1 Syndic of Tithes


1 Zarichi Tiger


1 Agoraphobia


1 Clinging Anemones


1 Gridlock


1 Incursion Specialist


3 Metropolis Sprite


1 Rapid Hybridization


2 Sage's Row Denizen


1 Scatter Arc


1 Totally Lost


1 Voidwalk


1 Basilica Screecher


1 Death's Approach


1 Devour Flesh


1 Grisly Spectacle


1 Gutter Skulk


1 Illness in the Ranks


1 Killing Glare


1 Mental Vapors


1 Midnight Recovery


1 Shadow Alley Denizen


1 Act of Treason


1 Bomber Corps


1 Crackling Perimeter


1 Foundry Street Denizen


1 Furious Resistance


2 Warmind Infantry


1 Wrecking Ogre


1 Crocanura


2 Disciple of the Old Ways


2 Forced Adaptation


1 Ivy Lane Denizen


1 Naturalize


1 Slaughterhorn


1 Wasteland Viper


2 Wildwood Rebirth


1 Aurelia's Fury


1 Bane Alley Broker


1 Boros Charm


1 Dinrova Horror


1 Drakewing Krasis


1 Executioner's Swing


1 Kingpin's Pet


1 Martial Glory


1 Mind Grind


2 Mortus Strider


1 Paranoid Delusions


1 Psychic Strike


1 Purge the Profane


1 Simic Charm


1 Spark Trooper


1 Wojek Halberdiers


1 Immortal Servitude


1 Pit Fight


1 Armored Transport


1 Dimir Keyrune


2 Millennial Gargoyle


1 Orzhov Keyrune


1 Prophetic Prism


1 Simic Keyrune


1 Skyblinder Staff


1 Boros Guildgate


2 Dimir Guildgate


1 Gruul Guildgate


1 Stomping Ground


[spoiler]

4 Forest
5 Mountain
5 Plains
1 Boros Guildgate
1 Gruul Guildgate
1 Stomping Ground
1 Armored Transport
1 Bomber Corps
1 Crocanura
2 Disciple of the Old Ways
1 Guardian of the Gateless
1 Ivy Lane Denizen
1 Millennial Gargoyle
1 Slaughterhorn
1 Spark Trooper
1 Syndic of Tithes
2 Warmind Infantry
1 Wasteland Viper
1 Wojek Halberdiers
1 Wrecking Ogre
1 Act of Treason
1 Aerial Maneuver
1 Aurelia's Fury
1 Boros Charm
1 Knight Watch
1 Martial Glory
1 Pit Fight

I am not too familiar with milling in this format, but this pool seems to lend itself to it. I've never played a mill deck in Gatecrash limited, and the only mill decks I've played against have been in draft, but some of them have been better than I would have expected. Milling might catch opponents by surprise, but this deck can also win with evasive damage. However, I concede that this might be a risky approach in a major tournament. But I think it is riskier to go three (or more) colours and lose a game every now and then to colour screw, or then try to force a two-colour "aggro" deck with less than a dozen "playable" creatures, which seemed to be the other choice this pool could have lent itself to.

Total Deck Size: 40
16 Lands
---------------
7 Island
7 Swamp
2 Dimir Guildgate

Though Metropolis Sprites are mana-thirsty, almost all the deck is 2- and 3-drops, so only 16 lands seems fine.


12 Creatures
---------------
1 Bane Alley Broker
1 Basilica Screecher
1 Clinging Anemones
1 Dinrova Horror
1 Gutter Skulk
1 Incursion Specialist
3 Metropolis Sprite
1 Mortus Strider
2 Sage's Row Denizen

A mix of defensive and evasive creatures, mostly low on the curve, and mostly blue to go with the double Sage's Row Denizen. Mortus Strider gives repeated mills, but I didn't include the second one in the pool in the main because there wasn't any reliable sac outlet in the pool. Maybe that is a mistake, but this is what I decided to go with.


12 Other Spells
---------------
1 Agoraphobia
1 Death's Approach
1 Devour Flesh
1 Dimir Keyrune
1 Grisly Spectacle
1 Immortal Servitude
1 Killing Glare
1 Mind Grind
1 Paranoid Delusions
1 Psychic Strike
1 Totally Lost
1 Voidwalk

The milling plan is reliant upon having sufficient removal to keep the board relatively stable, but boy, does this pool deliver!

Voidwalk would usually be unplayable, IMO, but with two Sage's Row Denizens and a Dinrova Horror, it seems worth trying out, especially since there should always be something evasive to cipher onto. Mind Grind and Paranoid Delusions are really the only two cards totally dedicated to milling out of the 40, which is both good and bad; good because everything else does something else that is useful in addition to milling, but bad because I am not sure this is enough milling to go for it without having tried milling out before.

Dimir Keyrune is the best possible cipher carrier. Immortal Servitude I think is normally unplayable, but seems good in a deck with 6 2-drops (and 4 3-drops). Particularly, I like the plan of chump blocking with all my 2-drop blue creatures late in the game with a Sage's Row Denizen out and then returning the team back the next turn; milling and buying time in one package.

Perhaps my build is too gimmicky a deck, too reliant upon getting the right synergistic cards at the right time (despite Bane Alley Broker helping find them), but I wasn't keen on going multi-color. For that option, I think flondra7's list above is probably about as good as this pool can do, though I would replace Bomber Corps with Prophetic Prism, and Aerial Maneuver with Smite and find a way to play the other Smite. The problem is that that sort of a deck wants to curve out, but due to being equally in three colours, it will stumble quite often on the curve, not getting the right colour of mana at the right time, and if it does stumble, there's only a couple of cards that can take over the late game. The build I suggest at least has plenty of removal to deal with anything your board can't deal with, and can still win with evasive damage if milling stumbles; otherwise, milling tends to give inevitability.
For reference, here's my "Naya goodstuff" version. I think it is probably pretty bad, being an equal split between three colours without having enough "good stuff" or synergy to warrant it; i.e. not enough power gained for the loss of consistency. At least it would seem so to me without playing. I could be wrong.

Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
5 Forest
4 Mountain
5 Plains
1 Boros Guildgate
1 Gruul Guildgate
1 Stomping Ground


15 Creatures
---------------
1 Armored Transport
1 Crocanura
2 Disciple of the Old Ways
1 Guardian of the Gateless
1 Ivy Lane Denizen
2 Millennial Gargoyle
1 Slaughterhorn
1 Spark Trooper
1 Syndic of Tithes
2 Warmind Infantry
1 Wasteland Viper
1 Wrecking Ogre


8 Other Spells
---------------
1 Act of Treason
1 Angelic Edict
1 Aurelia's Fury
1 Knight Watch
1 Martial Glory
1 Prophetic Prism
2 Smite

And here's the 2nd best 2-colour deck I can think of. It is the most consistent of the three decks I show here, but lacks in power. It has a good curve, it has some fliers to continue attacking, but overall, it just looks rather weak to me: not explosive enough to win enough of a percentage of games "outright" (i.e. without contest), and at the same time, not having enough late game threats, answers, or synergy between cards to win enough of the games that drag on. How often would those fliers manage to seal the deal when you run out of gas otherwise? I don't know. But it's not the deck I'd play from this pool, even if it is probably better than the "Naya goodstuff deck".

Total Deck Size: 40
17 Lands
---------------
6 Forest
9 Island
1 Gruul Guildgate
1 Stomping Ground

Though the curve of this deck is lower than with the Dimir deck I first made (which ran 16 land), there doesn't seem to be good enough cards in the Simic pool for anything to replace the 17th land, and as a pretty much purely damage-racing deck, those Metropolis Sprites probably want to be pumped more often than with Dimir. 16 lands and a Simic Keyrune would be a possibility, but Simic Keyrune isn't a Dimir Keyrune, and anyway, either is a little cumbersome in a deck that is so reliant upon curving out with threats.


16 Creatures
---------------
1 Armored Transport
1 Crocanura
2 Disciple of the Old Ways
1 Drakewing Krasis
1 Incursion Specialist
1 Ivy Lane Denizen
3 Metropolis Sprite
2 Millennial Gargoyle
2 Sage's Row Denizen
1 Slaughterhorn
1 Wasteland Viper


7 Other Spells
---------------
1 Agoraphobia
1 Gridlock
1 Pit Fight
1 Prophetic Prism
1 Rapid Hybridization
1 Simic Charm
1 Totally Lost

Note that my Dimir list didn't play Rapid Hybridization. Here it, for example, takes out opposing fliers so they can't block, or generally wins a race where the 3/3 probably wouldn't hang around for many turns (on the opposing side), or it could even "save" one your own doomed guys. It's more of a tempo-trick with inherent card disadvantage, using one mana to take something out of combat for a turn, in essence, and the Dimir deck wanted real one-for-one removal that killed stuff for good.

Gridlock is also good for winning races, and thus probably good here, but in the Dimir deck I proposed, it would mainly just be card disadvantage akin to a life-gain spell.
I started to build this as Esper, but I ran into the same problem that I see in all the decks above - a low creature count with a fair number of mediocre creatures. I'd probably still go that route and hope that Orzhov lifegain keeps me in the game until I find Mind Grind, but this isn't a pool that I'd feel confident piloting.

The huge problem in this pool was the lack of depth in creatures. So our solution was to replace creatures with a lot of removal! Here we go:

(Sorry about not knowing how to make the card names as links - newbie to the forums.)

Lands/fixing:

1 Mountain
7 Plains
8 Swamp
1 Boros Guildgate
1 Prophetic Prism


Creatures:

1 Basilica Screecher
2 Court Street Denizen
1 Guardian of the Gateless
1 Gutter Skulk
1 Kingpin's Pet
2 Millennial Gargoyle
1 Shadow Alley Denizen
1 Syndic of Tithes
1 Zarichi Tiger
1 Knight Watch
1 Midnight Recovery (!)


Removal:

1 Angelic Edict
1 Aurelia's Fury
1 Death's Approach
1 Devour Flesh
1 Executioner's Swing
1 Grisly Spectacle
1 Killing Glare
2 Smite

5 Mountain
5 Plains
5 Swamp
1 Boros Guildgate
1 Basilica Screecher
2 Court Street Denizen
1 Guardian of the Gateless
1 Kingpin's Pet
1 Millennial Gargoyle
1 Spark Trooper
1 Syndic of Tithes
2 Warmind Infantry
1 Wojek Halberdiers
1 Wrecking Ogre
1 Angelic Edict
1 Aurelia's Fury
1 Boros Charm
1 Devour Flesh
1 Grisly Spectacle
1 Immortal Servitude
1 Killing Glare
1 Knight Watch
1 Martial Glory
1 Midnight Recovery
1 Orzhov Keyrune
1 Prophetic Prism