Sunday, October 16, 2016

MTG: Kaladesh Sealed at Game On

I made the drive over to Game On in Midland to play in their Kaladesh sealed event this weekend.
This is the same store where I played in the Eldritch Moon sealed event a few months ago. This time, I didn't go alone - my friends Mike and Tim drove up from Owosso to play as well. (Neither had much success in terms of winning games, but both got some great cards - couple of Smuggler's Copters for Mike and a Torrential Gearhulk for Tim, among others.) Like last time, it was well attended, with a total of 34 people. Once again I was pleased with the way the folks at Game On ran the event. Nice play space, good group of players, solid organization and control by the organizers and judges.
My sealed pool was middling, with only one really great card: a Bristling Hydra. Also had a Wildest Dreams in green, though I didn't put it in the main deck. My other rares weren't playable, unfortunately - either too reliant on other cards that my pool was weak in (Depala, Syndicate Trafficker, Blooming Marsh) or just bad (Paradoxical Outcome). I had a good number of other green creatures, mostly notably two Longtusk Cubs, but no good green spells. My red removal was fairly decent: two Furious Reprisals, one Welding Sparks, one Chandra's Pyrohelix, and an Aethertorch Renegade. None of my other red creatures were great, but enough were playable to fill out the deck. Some good artifact creatures would have helped, but only two were worth playing: Sky Skiff and Weldfast Monitor. There were a couple of artifact removal spells for the sideboard - both Demolish and Creeping Mold helped out when I had to deal with some big vehicles. Outside of that Hydra and the Cubs, my creatures weren't good enough to take over a game, so the plan was to keep pressure on my opponent and hope the removal plus those three good creatures was enough to put me over the top.
That plan went nowhere in the first round, when I faced a red-white deck with several vehicles and plenty of tempo spells. I lost quickly in the first game to an onslaught of aggressive creatures, removal spells, and a couple of vehicles. In the second game, I was the one who drew aggressive creatures and removal spells to take a big early lead in the life totals, but didn't get any of my three finishing creatures until my opponent had clogged up his side of the board. That game took forever, almost taking up all the time in the round. In the end, I won since I had that early lead to work with and a higher creature total, just barely squeaking past his defenses with sheer numbers. Time was called before we could finish game three, so the first round was a draw.

The next three rounds went mostly according to plan. I won every game where I drew the Hydra, and several where I didn't but had a Cub and/or some good removal spells. I won all three rounds despite seeing some pretty good cards on the other side of the table. Noxious Gearhulk, for instance, and it's a good thing I'd sideboarded in that Demolish to deal with it. Two of those rounds were against opponents using three colors, and I'm pretty sure that helped me out quite a bit in those games. It's possible to play enough mana-fixing for three colors in this format, but it tends to slow you down and that's trouble if the opposition gets a good start.
To make the top eight, I needed to win one of the final two rounds. Sadly, it was not to be. I took both rounds to three games, so it was very close, but in the end the other players just got the better draws. My round five opponent had some amazing artifact/vehicle combinations that just overran me, with red and black removal to back them up. Chief of the Foundry plus Fleetwheel Cruiser is a real beating if you don't draw an answer right away. He got that Cruiser in all three games, and I was lucky to take one of the three. Round six was closer, against a green/white deck that had both large ground creatures and flyers. Lost the first game when I couldn't remove enough of his flyers, then won game two when I got the removal and kept a Cub alive long enough to win. Game three was close, but I couldn't keep up with his Skysovereign killing several of my creatures, a Durable Handicraft pumping up all his guys, and even a Wildest Dreams bringing back some of his creatures that I'd managed to kill.

End result, 3-2-1, just outside of the top eight. My one draw and two losses were all to players who made the top eight, and all three of those went to a third game. Any of those could have gone the other way with just a slightly better draw. Also, I only caught myself in one play mistake that actually mattered (forgetting to trigger energy gain off a Longtusk Cub, which later meant I couldn't give it a counter to save its life) and that turned out not to make a difference in the result of that particular game. Always feels better to know you played your best, even if the end result wasn't quite what you'd have liked. All in all, an enjoyable event, well worth the drive out and back.

No comments:

Post a Comment