Hello everyone and welcome to another HOU Sealed Deck Breakdown. I’m currently on a plane omw to Kyoto, so I figured I’d do something productive. This is a spicy, nonlinear pool this time, and I hope you enjoy building it as much as I have. Before we begin I’d like to note that I’ve taken the feedback on screencap sizing to heart.
Endless Sands – I covered this one last time, decent utility land/Desert but nothing remarkable. Synergistic with ETB abilities.
Resilent Khenra – Every card in this cycle is at least an above average Limited card. Khenra has some odd tension between being a two drop + pumping other creatures when you play it, but it’s so efficient (we had this card @ 3 mana common, was playable) that it’s a fairly clear draw towards playing green. And that’s not even counting the backside!
Sweltering Suns/Hour of Devasation – Sweepers! Generally these are bomby/powerful cards that can win unwinnable games for you, with the caveat that if your late game is sketchy you may not want to play them. We have a card coming up that makes these look rather interesting.
New Perspectives – I have literally never seen the “Cycling 0” text on this card be relevant in Limited. As such this is 5U “Draw three cards”, which I’d argue is a playable but unexciting rate. This card is likely significantly more appealing in this pool than average because of our two sweepers, but this isn’t the real payoff…
Overwhelming Splendor – Here we go! This is as close to 6WW “win the game” as I’ve ever seen. While not all pools can Splendor, you can bet I’ll at least be seeing what a Wx Control deck looks like. Of note of course is that we have 2 sweepers + Overwhelming Splendor (and maybe even New Perspectives) and those are just our rares.
Our fixing in this pool is incredibly barren, with just 1 Beneath the Sands/Naga Vitalist. If you’re really optimistic you can count Sunset Pyramid and Farm // Market as “fixing” for a very greedy/slow deck. I still believe in playing 2c + a splash with 18 lands/low fixing when the situation calls for it, but we are certainly not painting the rainbow here.
White appears to be very solid in this pool. We have a bomb rare, two great uncommons, three fliers, and four(!) solid removal spells in 2x Farm/Sandblast/Compulsory Rest. Note that Farm is always playable in White even if Market is uncastable, as the floor for the card is “slightly better Sandblast”.
Blue is very underpowered in this pool, as our creature count is low and we don’t have great Deserts to enable Thirst. Outside of maybe playing 1 Island for Market I have no interest in anything Blue is doing.
Black is solid here, with Lord of the Accursed + a fair number of Zombies, two card draw spells, Torment of Venom, and a decent curve. To skip ahead a bit we have a the BW Zombie uncommon as well, so I’m surely going to see how BW looks with this pool later.
Red has a bit of an identity crisis with this pool, but has high card quality. We have plenty of ⅔ curve filler, two powerful sweepers, and Exert synergy with Scavenger + 4 Exert creatures. This also plays into the RW uncommon we have (RW being yet another build we’ll try).
Our green has Resilent Khenra, Crocodile of the Crossing, some solid early/late game creatures and…basically nothing else. I doubt we’ll be playing green over any of our Mardu wedge options, but if we did GW is probably where I’d start (as White has a lot of removal + tricks to go with our creature density).
Sunset Pyramid is an excellent card in Sealed that should basically go in every deck from my experience. Wall of the Forgotten Pharoahs has overperformed too, but you’d want at least 2+ Deserts (and some degree of an interest in an 0/4 for 2) before starting it. Every multicolor card we have is White (our best color), leading us to the two most obvious builds for this pool (RW and WB).
As with most pools, we have a clear best color that we will be building around. From here we can go any of WB, RW, or GW. Let’s see which looks like the strongest of each.
This deck has a decent curve, decent synergy/removal, and a random “I win” button in Overwhelming Splendor. Lurking Rotbeast is easily the worst card in the deck, but the ol’Zombie Beast still seems necessary here.
RW Good Stuff
This deck is adorably confused, and can’t decide if it’s a Boros Control deck with mass removal -> Splendor or a more typical Exert synergy aggro deck. The card quailty is absurdly high but this is one I’d want to play with to see if it’s too self opposed. I also believe that with 2 maindeck sweepers Endless Sands gets a nod as Land #17, as the interaction is just too cute to resist.
This appears to be the clear worst deck of the trio to me. I like Resilient Khenra quite a bit, but Green feels fairly flat otherwise, and this deck has virtually 0 synergy other than the combo of lands + spells.
I would choose to play RW here, and would be open minded about sideboarding; the Sacred Cats, Sandblast, and second Act of Heroism are all cards that could come in based on matchup. I have played 0 games so far with this pool but I can’t imagine this being a boring run!
Thanks for reading, hopefully again this was helpful. My plane is about to land in Osaka, and my first Pro Tour awaits me. I can’t wait to write about what my first time was like, the things I’ve learned, and the mistakes I’ve made. I will say going into this PT that my confidence level for Draft is about 8/10 and for Standard, well, I’d say 5/10. Wish me luck!