KTK: Team sealed deck patterns

I have built 3 team sealed pools so far, and have seen some definite patterns. Each pool I’ve looked at so far contains the following 3 decks:

  • A R/G, R/G/u, or U/R deck. R/G maximizes Savage Punch, one of the best removal spells in the format. (While ferocious is a Temur ability, blue doesn’t seem to have much to contribute to the deck.) However, a team sealed pool will only have an average of 1.2 copies of the card, and you will sometimes have a pool with no copies of the card. If that happens, a U/R (or Jeskai) deck may be necessary.
  • A W/B deck that sometimes splashes red or green. takes advantage of the Warrior tribal cards (Chief of the Edge/Scale, Raiders’ Spoils, and Rush of Battle). If it has good 2-drops, it can be an aggressive 2-color deck, while more controlling builds can splash red or green.
  • A Sultai morphs deck that sometimes splashes white. This deck maximizes Secret Plans, Trail of Mystery, Ghostfire Blade, and/or Pine Walker for card advantage and tempo. Blue and green also have the most morphs in Khans of Tarkir, so those are usually the base colors (especially since you want to be able to play Secret Plans on turn 2), and black is usually splashed for the Sultai cards and black morphs. The deck sometimes also splashes white for bombs like Duneblast that don’t fit in one of the other decks. This format only has a small number of powerful enchantments and artifacts, and there is no incidental removal for those cards, so people tend to leave them in their sideboard, which helps this deck.

I looked at the decks from the team sealed portions of GP Nashville and the World Magic Cup to see whether those line up with my experience. While the sole undefeated deck from day 1 of GP Nashville has the same 3 archetypes, I don’t see this pattern among most teams. Instead, there are plenty of R/W and Jeskai decks. I will scour the coverage for those events and share any patterns I find in my next post.

Advertisements

KTK: Deckbuilding process for team sealed

As mentioned previously, I’ve been experimenting with the deckbuilding process for team sealed. Here’s the process we currently use, along with some other things we tried along the way.

With some previous pools, I’d asked each teammate to sort 2 of the colors into must play, solid, filler, and chaff. Unfortunately, my teammates had widely varying standards of what belonged in each category even when we all agreed on roughly how good an individual card was. Instead, I found that it was more effective to do the categorization as a team. My preferred method is to have one person (whoever has the most experience with the format) do the categorization and have the other teammates chime in if they disagree strongly. (It’s not worth voicing minor disagreements since there isn’t enough time and since the main goal of doing this as a team is to have consistent categorizations across the colors.)

After that, we look at the must play cards, the solid multicolor cards, and the lands to determine which decks we want to play, keeping in mind that allied-color lands can only be used by one of the wedges, and that most pools appear to have a R/G deck, a B/W deck, and a Sultai morphs deck. Once we figure out which decks we want to build, each player takes the cards that would usually be used by their deck. In the typical configuration, the R/G player takes all the red cards, Alpine Grizzlies, and Savage Punches. The B/W player takes all the white cards, the aggressive black cards, and any warrior tribal cards, and usually also takes any Mardu or Abzan bombs. The Sultai morphs deck takes all the blue cards, most morphs in its colors, and all copies of Secret Plans, Trail of Mystery, and Ghostfire Blade, and sometimes also takes Abzan bombs if the pool has the manafixing to enable that.

Once we know which decks we’re building, each person picks the deck they’re most comfortable playing*, and builds that deck independently, negotiating with teammates for cards in shared colors. Usually it is obvious which deck should get a card, but there is sometimes some debate over which deck should get Debilitating Injury or Throttle. Once the decks are built, we divvy up the sideboard cards. Again, it is usually obvious which deck should get a given card, but we do try to split up countermagic and Dutiful Returns so that each deck has some outs to board sweepers, and we also try to share enchantment removal so that decks can side it in against Secret Plans, Trail of Mystery, and the various Ascendancies.

If there’s enough time left, we do quick sanity checks of each others decks, in case someone missed a card that they should be playing or that should be in their sideboard. We also check that the land ratios seem correct.

Once the decks are finalized, we register our decks, since deck registration is actually a relevant skill in team sealed; it also allows me to reconstruct our pool/decks later for analysis/discussion. We use the individual sealed deck checklists since I haven’t been able to find the team sealed deck checklists online (please let me know if you have a link to them). Then each person takes a photo of both their deck and their deck registration sheet, in case they forget their original deck configuration after sideboarding during a match.

* Seats A and C are interchangeable, but I tried to figure out which deck is most likely to get played in seat B so we could plan our decks accordingly. My expectation is that teams will put their strongest player in that seat so they can provide advice to both their teammates easily. This seemed to hold true at the World Magic Cup where team captains were usually in seat B. However, what deck is the strongest player most likely to play? Strong player often prefer control decks, but that would leave player B with less time to provide advice to his/her teammates. So would they play an aggressive deck instead, or would they perhaps take whichever deck was considered the weakest since they might have the best chance of pulling out a win with it? I don’t know, but I’d love to hear if anyone else has an opinion on this or has actually looked at the numbers.

KTK: Team sealed pool #3

My third team sealed pool is below. (It’s also posted on TappedOut if you find that easier to work with.) How would you have built this pool? Post your builds in the comments and I’ll post my build there later in the week, along with the results of some experiments with the team sealed deckbuilding process.

Land
Bloodfell Caves
3 Blossoming Sands
Dismal Backwater
Frontier Bivouac
Jungle Hollow
Nomad Outpost
2 Opulent Palace
Sandsteppe Citadel
Scoured Barrens
3 Swiftwater Cliffs
Thornwood Falls

Artifact
2 Abzan Banner
Briber’s Purse
Dragon Throne of Tarkir
Lens of Clarity

White
Ainok Bond-Kin
2 Alabaster Kirin
Brave the Sands
Erase
2 Firehoof Cavalry
High Sentinels of Arashin
Jeskai Student
2 Mardu Hateblade
2 Mardu Hordechief
Rush of Battle
2 Sage-Eye Harrier
2 Salt Road Patrol
Take Up Arms
War Behemoth

Blue
2 Cancel
2 Crippling Chill
Disdainful Stroke
2 Embodiment of Spring
Icy Blast
Jeskai Elder
Jeskai Windscout
Kheru Spellsnatcher
2 Mystic of the Hidden Way
Quiet Contemplation
Scion of Glaciers
Singing Bell Strike
3 Taigam’s Scheming
Treasure Cruise
Waterwhirl
3 Whirlwind Adept

Black
Bitter Revelation
2 Debilitating Injury
Despise
5 Disowned Ancestor
3 Dutiful Return
Gurmag Swiftwing
Kheru Bloodsucker
Kheru Dreadmaw
4 Krumar Bond-Kin
2 Mardu Skullhunter
2 Mer-Ek Nightblade
Retribution of the Ancients
Rite of the Serpent
Rotting Mastodon
Swarm of Bloodflies
3 Throttle
Unyielding Krumar

Red
2 Act of Treason
3 Ainok Tracker
Arrow Storm
Ashcloud Phoenix
4 Barrage of Boulders
2 Bloodfire Mentor
Burn Away
Goblinslide
Horde Ambusher
2 Hordeling Outburst
2 Mardu Heart-Piercer
Shatter
3 Summit Prowler
Swift Kick
Trumpet Blast
Valley Dasher
War-Name Aspirant

Green
3 Archers’ Parapet
2 Awaken the Bear
Become Immense
3 Feed the Clan
2 Highland Game
4 Hooting Mandrills
2 Kin-Tree Warden
Longshot Squad
Naturalize
Rattleclaw Mystic
Sagu Archer
Scout the Borders
See the Unwritten
2 Tusked Colossodon
Woolly Loxodon

Multicolor
Abomination of Gudul
Abzan Ascendancy
2 Abzan Guide
Chief of the Edge
Crackling Doom
Death Frenzy
Deflecting Palm
2 Efreet Weaponmaster
Kin-Tree Invocation
Mardu Charm
2 Secret Plans
Sidisi, Brood Tyrant
2 Sultai Charm
Sultai Soothsayer

KTK: Team sealed pool #2

My second team sealed pool is below. (It’s also posted on TappedOut if you find that easier to work with.) How would you have built this pool? Post your builds in the comments and I’ll post my build there later in the week, along with some patterns I’ve noticed.

Land
Bloodfell Caves
Blossoming Sands
3 Dismal Backwater
Jungle Hollow
Opulent Palace
Rugged Highlands
Scoured Barrens
2 Swiftwater Cliffs
Thornwood Falls
Tranquil Cove
Wind-Scarred Crag

Artifact
Briber’s Purse
Heart-Piercer Bow
3 Jeskai Banner
2 Mardu Banner
Sultai Banner

White
Abzan Battle-Priest
3 Alabaster Kirin
Defiant Strike
2 Feat of Resistance
2 Firehoof Cavalry
Kill Shot
Master of Pearls
3 Rush of Battle
2 Salt Road Patrol
2 Siegecraft
Smite the Monstrous
Take Up Arms
War Behemoth
Wingmate Roc

Blue
3 Cancel
Disdainful Stroke
Dragon’s Eye Savants
Embodiment of Spring
Force Away
Glacial Stalker
Jeskai Elder
2 Jeskai Windscout
Mistfire Weaver
2 Monastery Flock
Mystic of the Hidden Way
3 Scaldkin
Scion of Glaciers
2 Set Adrift
Singing Bell Strike
2 Thousand Winds
Treasure Cruise
Weave Fate
Wetland Sambar
Whirlwind Adept

Black
3 Bitter Revelation
2 Debilitating Injury
2 Disowned Ancestor
Gurmag Swiftwing
2 Kheru Dreadmaw
Krumar Bond-Kin
Mer-Ek Nightblade
Murderous Cut
Raiders’ Spoils
2 Rite of the Serpent
2 Rotting Mastodon
2 Shambling Attendants
2 Sultai Scavenger
2 Swarm of Bloodflies
Throttle

Red
Act of Treason
Ainok Tracker
Arc Lightning
Arrow Storm
2 Barrage of Boulders
2 Bloodfire Expert
Bloodfire Mentor
Bring Low
2 Canyon Lurkers
Crater’s Claws
2 Dragon Grip
Dragon-Style Twins
Goblinslide
Leaping Master
2 Summit Prowler
Swift Kick
Tormenting Voice
2 Valley Dasher
War-Name Aspirant

Green
2 Alpine Grizzly
2 Become Immense
Heir of the Wilds
Highland Game
Incremental Growth
5 Kin-Tree Warden
Longshot Squad
Naturalize
Sagu Archer
Savage Punch
4 Scout the Borders
Seek the Horizon
2 Smoke Teller
Temur Charger
Windstorm
2 Woolly Loxodon

Multicolor
Abomination of Gudul
Abzan Guide
Crackling Doom
Duneblast
2 Efreet Weaponmaster
Icefeather Aven
Kheru Lich Lord
Kin-Tree Invocation
2 Mardu Roughrider
Mindswipe
Ride Down
Sage of the Inward Eye
Secret Plans
Snowhorn Rider
Sultai Ascendancy
Sultai Charm
Zurgo Helmsmasher

KTK: Team sealed pool

I’m planning to play in Grand Prix San Jose at the end of January, and am building some team sealed pools as preparation for the event. The GP will include Fate Reforged, but there’re still benefits to practicing; building 3 decks (with sideboards) in an hour is challenging, especially in a multicolor format.

My first team sealed pool is below. (It’s also posted on TappedOut if you find that easier to work with.) How would you have built this pool? Post your builds in the comments and I’ll post my build there later in the week, along with some lessons I learned in the process. I’m pretty sure my team misbuilt our pool, so I will also share how I would build the pool today.

Land
Bloodfell Caves
Bloodstained Mire
Blossoming Sands
2 Dismal Backwater
Mystic Monastery
Nomad Outpost
3 Rugged Highlands
Scoured Barrens
Thornwood Falls
Tomb of the Spirit Dragon
3 Tranquil Cove

Artifact
Abzan Banner
Cranial Archive
Jeskai Banner
2 Lens of Clarity
3 Sultai Banner
2 Temur Banner

White
Abzan Falconer
Ainok Bond-Kin
2 Alabaster Kirin
Brave the Sands
Dazzling Ramparts
End Hostilities
2 Feat of Resistance
3 Jeskai Student
2 Kill Shot
Mardu Hateblade
Mardu Hordechief
Rush of Battle
2 Sage-Eye Harrier
Smite the Monstrous
Take Up Arms
Timely Hordemate
Venerable Lammasu
2 War Behemoth

Blue
Blinding Spray
2 Cancel
Crippling Chill
2 Disdainful Stroke
Dragon’s Eye Savants
Embodiment of Spring
3 Force Away
Glacial Stalker
Mistfire Weaver
2 Mystic of the Hidden Way
2 Riverwheel Aerialists
Scaldkin
Singing Bell Strike
2 Treasure Cruise
Weave Fate
Whirlwind Adept

Black
2 Bellowing Saddlebrute
2 Debilitating Injury
Despise
Disowned Ancestor
2 Dutiful Return
Kheru Bloodsucker
Kheru Dreadmaw
2 Krumar Bond-Kin
Mer-Ek Nightblade
2 Rakshasa’s Secret
2 Rotting Mastodon
Shambling Attendants
Swarm of Bloodflies
2 Throttle
2 Unyielding Krumar

Red
Act of Treason
2 Ainok Tracker
Arrow Storm
Barrage of Boulders
3 Bloodfire Expert
2 Bloodfire Mentor
Bring Low
Canyon Lurkers
Crater’s Claws
Dragon Grip
Goblinslide
Horde Ambusher
Leaping Master
Sarkhan the Dragonspeaker
Shatter
3 Summit Prowler
4 Swift Kick
Tormenting Voice

Green
2 Alpine Grizzly
Archer’s Parapet
2 Awaken the Bear
Feed the Clan
2 Highland Game
Incremental Growth
Longshot Squad
3 Naturalize
2 Rattleclaw Mystic
2 Roar of Challenge
2 Sagu Archer
3 Savage Punch
Scout the Borders
Sultai Flayer
Temur Charger
Tuskguard Captain
Woolly Loxodon

Multicolor
3 Abomination of Gudul
Abzan Charm
Ankle Shanker
Bear’s Companion
Butcher of the Horde
Duneblast
Efreet Weaponmaster
Mantis Rider
Mardu Charm
Master the Way
Secret Plans
Sultai Soothsayer
2 Trap Essence
Warden of the Eye