Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Pre-Release: A beginners guide!

Limited? Sealed Pool? 40 card decks!? BUILD A DECK WITH ONLY 6 PACKS!?!?!?

Take a deep breath... everything is going to be ok. More importantly things are better than ok.


You are about to partake in one of the more enjoyable Magic: The Gathering events available to players: Sealed Deck! But before we get into that, lets give a break down of some very important terms that other players may throw around a lot. Here is your chance to learn them and equally throw them around and sound like a pro. ;)


"Journey Into Nyx" is a set. This is the term used for one expansion of the Magic: the Gathering TCG


"Theros, Born of the Gods, Journey Into Nyx, all together make the Theros Block"  This refers to a group of sets (Usually 3) that make up an entire themed portion of a MTG  release.


 This means the event is officially recorded by the DCI, The governing body of organized play for Magic: The Gathering and Wizards of the Coast.  (Fanatix is an officially sanctioned location!)


"Limited and Constructed" are all formats.

 Sanctioned formats are split into two categories: Constructed and Limited. Constructed formats                    include Standard, Block Constructed, Modern, Vintage and Legacy. Limited formats include                        Booster Draft and Sealed Deck, and that's what we'll be discussing below... starting... now!

(For more detailed information on formats visit THIS LINK)

What is Sealed Deck?

"The Sealed Deck format allows players to use the Magic booster packs they're already buying to play games in a casual or tournament setting. Players simply open six booster packs and build a deck from the cards they opened. Guidelines require a minimum deck size of 40 cards and allow players to add as many basic lands (Plains, Islands, Swamps, Mountains, and Forests) to their card pools as they like. If you're looking for a fun way to increase the size of your Magic collection and play the game at the same time, the Sealed Deck format is for you!"

For Fanatix, the price tag is $30 and win or lose, that guarantees you some sweet cards and promotional items for your collection. BUT I'M NOT HERE TO TALK SWAG, We are here to talk CRUSHING your opponents with a 40 card deck, and by crushing your opponent, I mean learning the basics... let's begin.

Let's look at some highlights of one of Daily MTG's articles on sealed deck play!

Sealed Deck Rules of Thumb

When you sit down to play in a Sealed Deck event, you receive six booster packs and an unlimited amount of basic lands from which you must build a forty-card-minimum deck.

Any cards you don't include in your deck become your sideboard. In between games, you are allowed to swap any number of cards between your sideboard and your deck.

Play forty cards!

While you technically can play as many cards as you want to in your Sealed Deck, I would strongly advise against it. When you play with exactly forty cards, you maximize your chances of drawing your best spells and the lands you need to cast them.

And if you decide you want to try out as many of your new cards as possible (Pre-releases are a great place to learn about the set, after all), you can sideboard in the cards you want to try in between games.

Stick to two colors (or maybe two colors with a light splash)

The more colors you play, the more difficult it becomes to cast your spells.

So while players are sometimes able to find success with three-, four-, or even five-color decks in Constructed formats—where they have access to an abundance of mana fixers like Glacial Fortress, Evolving Wilds, and Borderland Ranger—it's very difficult to put together a Limited deck that can win consistently with more than two colors.

Even if your spells are "better" than your opponent's, if you can't cast them you're just going to die to whatever creatures your opponent (who built a tight two-color deck) draws.

Play seventeen to eighteen lands

It can be tempting to shave lands from your deck, particularly if you have a lot of good cards you want to play with. However, doing so can lead to disastrous results.

Yes, there will be times when you can get away with playing sixteen lands in your deck, but unless your deck is exceptionally fast and almost exclusively full of cheap spells, seventeen to eighteen lands will be the way to go.

Make sure your cards work together

When you're building a Constructed deck you get to choose exactly which cards you want to play with. You can fill your deck with aggressive creatures and burn spells to finish your opponent off in a hurry. You can load up on card drawing, counterspells, removal spells, and a couple of Planeswalkers and eventually grind your way to victory. Or maybe you've discovered an incredibly powerful two-card combo that will kill your opponents in a blink of an eye.

When you're playing Limited, and Sealed Deck in particular, you don't always have the luxury of choosing what type of deck you want to play ahead of time. Instead, you will often need to adapt to what your card pool dictates you should play.

Leave your best card in the sideboard.

Sometimes you open that super awesome ridiculous fat fatty mythic that will win you the game in 3 turns...except its the only "Red" card you opened... yeah, you might want to leave that in the deck box.

If you can't support your game plan, you don't really have one. One amazing card will help you win a game, but it does not guarantee it. Which leads us to our next point.

Don't forget that your opponent can stop you from doing what you want to do.

Every great card is one removal card away from being worth zilch... always respect the fact that your opponent may have an answer to your super awesome creature. Set up your play, and always keep your mind open to the future developments of the game!

Save your answer for threats that matter.

It might be tempting to kill off the first early threats your opponent plays, but if they are not doing anything particularly relevant you may want to let them live. When it's all said and done, taking a few hits from a 3 power creature might be better than to lose as soon as your opponent slams that new shiny god.

Always play with a good attitude.

In closing, remember to always keep your cool. Getting upset at a game with variance makes you seem like you have a poor understanding of the basics of Magic: The Gathering. Remaining level-headed throughout the tournament will help gain you more success in the long run.
Good luck at your pre-release and we hope you come to Fanatix to experience this great event!

(to read the entire article please visit THIS LINK)

-Fanatix Phil   

1 comment:

  1. These are some good guidelines for sealed play. However, while I do get your point about leaving your best card out if it doesn't fit, I feel that most people would want to build their deck around those good cards that they opened. But like you said, if you don't have enough support, then your deck isn't going to perform the best it can. For example, if you decided that your best cards are Blue/White but you also open something like King Macar, the Gold Cursed*, adding in some Swamps just for him isn't really going to be worth it most likely. He costs too much colored mana for you to play consistently. Things like Font of Ire** are OK because you only need one mountain to play and activate. You wouldn't want too much foreign mana because you don't want to draw a mountain when you really needed another Plains/Island. However, just be open to explore the possibilities of the deck building process.

    *King Macar, the Gold Cursed description:

    **Font of Ire description: