KTK: Team sealed at GP Nashville and the World Magic Cup

I scoured the coverage for the team sealed portions of GP Nashville (early November) and the World Magic Cup (early December) to try to determine whether the deck patterns we’ve seen during practice are also prevalent at high level Magic events.

I’d mentioned previously that the only undefeated deck from day 1 of GP Nashville had a R/G deck, a W/B deck, and a Sultai morphs deck that splashed white. In addition, there are 9 different decks described in the feature match coverage for the team sealed portion, and here are my derivations of the deck colors from the coverage. (It’s difficult to determine more than just the colors since they don’t include decklists.)

  • Davoudi-Nelson-Merriam: G/U, Mardu, Jeskai
  • Wescoe-Hayne-Skarren: Mardu, Temur, Jeskai
  • Stark-Reeves-Fennell: G/U/r, R/W/b, Abzan
  • Ochoa-Cuneo-Parker: R/G/u, W/B, Jeskai
  • Black-Severa-Vidugiris: Jeskai, R/G, Sultai
  • Wescoe-Hayne-Skarren: R/W, Abzan/u, G/U/r
  • Utter-Leyton/ Cho-Thompson: Abzan, Mardu, Temur morphs
  • Black-Severa-Vidugiris: Jeskai, R/G, Sultai
  • Kazuaki-Teruya-Ryoichi: Temur morphs, Jeskai, W/B/R/G

Of these 9 teams, 6 had a Jeskai deck, 6 had a Temur deck, and 4 had a Mardu deck (although only 2 teams had all 3 of those decks). Only 5 of the 27 decks are 2 color, and there were only 2 R/G decks and 2 Sultai decks. This is quite different from what we’ve been building during practice. 4 of the teams had Mardu or B/W in the middle seat, 2 had R/G, 1 had Temur, 1 had Abzan, and 1 had Jeskai, so it seems that teams are inclined to put an aggressive deck, usually Mardu, in the middle seat. Of the 13 completed individual matches, Jeskai was 4-2 in matches, Temur was 3-4 (one set of decks was featured twice in the coverage), Mardu was 1-2, Abzan was 2-1, Sultai was 1-0, R/G was 0-2, W/B was 1-0, R/W was 1-1, and G/U was 0-1. 2-color decks did surprisingly poorly, going only 2-4 collectively, and only Jeskai had particularly good numbers.

The World Magic Cup coverage had even less information about the contents of each deck, but here’s what I was able to determine:

  • France: G/U, R/W/b (captain), Sultai/w
  • Russia: Temur (captain), W/B/g, B/G/u
  • South Africa: Abzan, G/U/? (captain), R/?
  • Slovak Republic: W/?, Sultai, R/G
  • Argentina: Abzan, Temur, Jeskai
  • Brazil: Abzan, Temur (captain), R/W
  • Argentina (day 2): ?, Jeskai, Sultai
  • Denmark (day 2): Sultai morphs, R/G, Abzan
  • Slovak Republic (day 2): Abzan, R/G, W/U

Of the 9 teams here, 6 had an Abzan deck, 5 had a Sultai deck, 3 had a Temur deck, 3 had a R/G deck, 2 had a G/U deck, 2 had a Jeskai deck, and 1 had a Mardu deck, 1 had a R/W deck, 1 had a W/U deck, and there were 3 other decks whose colors I could not extract from the coverage. Team captains usually sat in the middle seat but there was no clear pattern in the decks they played. Of the 8 completed individual matches for which I could determine a winner, Abzan was 2-0, R/G was 2-0, Temur was 2-1, Sultai was 2-2, Mardu was 0-1, Jeskai was 0-1, and G/U was 0-2.

Unfortunately, these numbers are too small to allow us to draw any meaningful conclusion. Instead, let’s look at the 2 decks built by Team Slovak Republic (the favorites going into the tournament) and Team Denmark’s deck (since they won the event). All 3 of those builds had a R/G deck, 2 had an Abzan deck, 2 had a Sultai deck, there was 1 W/U deck, and 1 deck whose colors I couldn’t determine. That’s very similar to the decks we’ve been building from our pools, but quite different from the teams at GP Nashville.

It’s difficult to draw any solid conclusions from this information. It appears that R/G + B/W/x + Sultai is a reasonable strategy since it was employed by the only undefeated team at GP Nashville and by the top teams at the World Magic Cup, but you should also be careful to not overlook a better set of decks. (It helps to have a plan of attack going into deck building.) Also, if you’re playing at a Grand Prix, you probably want to try to avoid building decks that roll over to Jeskai.

2 Responses to KTK: Team sealed at GP Nashville and the World Magic Cup

  1. Jason says:

    Would like to discuss with you team sealed as FRF gets spoiled and before San Jose. If you are interested in testing on cockatrice or skyping, hit me up on hotmail. My email is jinxter01.

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