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DKA/ISD Sealed Building Process, example pool



 
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derflippi
Level 4 Judge


Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 1402
Location: Weiterstad

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject: DKA/ISD Sealed Building Process, example pool Reply with quote

My plan for today was to get some testing for GP Madrid. (DKA/ISD Sealed - later Boosterdraft). Unfortunately, the one tournament I opened for that purpose isn't filling so I ripped open a few packs I had left and started building a pool.

The idea is that I write down all steps I take and post it to this forum. Deckbuilding takes several steps, and between the pool and the end result, there's many options and place for mistakes. By going through all steps, I believe comments can be aimed better at a step of deckbuilding rather than just "your build is bad, you should play XY instead".

-

The pool:

// Blue
1 Skaab Goliath
1 Delver of Secrets/Insectile Aberration
1 Armored Skaab
1 Makeshift Mauler
1 Niblis of the Breath
1 Murder of Crows
1 Stormbound Geist
2 Headless Skaab
1 Think Twice
1 Lost in the Mist
1 Spectral Flight
1 Memory's Journey
1 Curiosity
1 Bone to Ash
1 Chant of the Skifsang
1 Call to the Kindred
// Green
2 Scorned Villager/Moonscarred Werewolf
2 Briarpack Alpha
1 Ulvenwald Bear
1 Hollowhenge Beast
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Villagers of Estwald/Howlpack of Estwald
1 Festerhide Boar
1 Ambush Viper
2 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Wild Hunger
1 Favor of the Woods
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Make a Wish
1 Bramblecrush
// Black
1 Typhoid Rats
1 Ghoulraiser
1 Manor Skeleton
1 Brain Weevil
1 Highborn Ghoul
1 Skirsdag High Priest
1 Harrowing Journey
1 Ghoulcaller's Chant
1 Tribute to Hunger
2 Gravepurge
1 Curse of Thirst
1 Increasing Ambition
1 Tragic Slip
// White
1 Silverchase Fox
1 Thraben Purebloods
1 Thraben Heretic
1 Selfless Cathar
1 Abbey Griffin
1 Cloistered Youth/Unholy Fiend
1 Midnight Guard
1 Nevermore
1 Ghostly Possession
1 Moment of Heroism
1 Urgent Exorcism
1 Intangible Virtue
1 Midnight Haunting
2 Break of Day
// Red
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Forge Devil
1 Moonveil Dragon
1 Hinterland Hermit/Hinterland Scourge
1 Infernal Plunge
1 Vampiric Fury
1 Curse of the Pierced Heart
1 Harvest Pyre
1 Furor of the Bitten
1 Talons of Falkenrath
2 Faithless Looting
1 Blood Feud
2 Fling
// Artif Multi Land
1 Haunted Fengraf
1 One-Eyed Scarecrow
1 Diregraf Captain
1 Executioner's Hood
1 Altar of the Lost



The first thing I do is sorting all cards by colors. Then, I sort out the cards I never want to play in Sealed. This doesn't mean that they don't end up in the deck, but I do not consider them for deciding what kind of deck / colors I want to play. The cards of this category within my pool are:


1 Haunted Fengraf

1 Thraben Purebloods
1 Manor Skeleton
1 Delver of Secrets/Insectile Aberration
1 Brain Weevil
1 Ghoulraiser

1 Infernal Plunge
1 Intangible Virtue
1 Urgent Exorcism
1 Ghostly Possession
1 Furor of the Bitten
1 Nevermore
1 Talons of Falkenrath
1 Curse of the Pierced Heart
1 Vampiric Fury
1 Executioner's Hood
1 Call to the Kindred
1 Curiosity
1 Memory's Journey
1 Increasing Ambition
1 Curse of Thirst
1 Bramblecrush
1 Ghoulcaller's Chant
1 Favor of the Woods
1 Make a Wish


Now, I review the pool again questioning myself: Which of the remaining cards make me want to play that color?

// Blue
1 Skaab Goliath
1 Murder of Crows
1 Niblis of the Breath
// Green
1 Ambush Viper
1 Villagers of Estwald
1 Ulvenwald Bear
2 Briarpack Alpha
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Festerhide Boar
// Black
1 Tragic Slip
1 Skirsdag Priest
// White
1 Midnight Haunting
// Red
1 Moonveil Dragon
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Blood Feud
1 Harvest Pyre

Of corse, Ulvenwald Bear is not as good as other cards on the list (ex.: Murder of Crows, Tragic Slip, Moonveil Dragon, ..), but I identified green as having an excellent green creature base at this point. This excellent curve would make me play green.

Valueing these cards, white does not have much to offer. I remove all white cards from consideration for the next steps of deckbuilding at this point.

Moonveil Dragon is probably the best card of the pool, however the manacost are not supported by Duallands or other nonbasiclands/fix.

Black has Tragic Slip and the Rare Morbid Priest, but not much else. Different to white, I consider the black better cards good enough to justify a splash. I do also sort out the remaining black cards, since black will not end up as main color due to lack of game deciding cards, but keep Tragic Slip and Skirsdag Priest in range. Typhoid Rats and Highborn Ghoul just don't make me play black as maincolor Smile

At this point. There's 3 remaining colors: green, red and blue. Within each color, I now sort the cards by converted manacost, then make a small table with roughly 6 lines (red creatures, red spells, green creatures, green spells, blue creatures, blue spells) and six colums (manacost 1,2,3,4,5,6+). I lay out the cards on the table to see where one color misses stuff in the curve. I do not want to end up playing a deck without sufficient 2 and 3 drops just because it has these two 6 mana spoilers, that's why I go through this step. Basically, the question is whether the deck will be GRu, GUr or two colored at this point.

Green has three 2-mana creatures, three 3-mana creatures, four 4-manacreatures.
What it lacks is spoilers Wink. Usually, a color misses drops of a certain manacost, but my pool has all fine so I am happy with it. There's no need to decide for a color based on manacurve requirement.

I sort out Moonveil Dragon, 2 Fling, Hinterland Hermit and Forge Devil since I quickly see red won't be siding green as 2nd maincolor. Now, I am set to a combination of GU + red and/or black.

I also sort out Headless Skaab and Armored Skaab for two reasons at this point:
First, I got 2 Scorned Villagers set, so I will often jump from 2 mana to 4 mana directly. Second, I do not see me wanting to cast a 1/4 when I can have a more agressive creature instead (Villagers of Estwald, Flyers, Orchard Spirit).

I did not sort out Faithless Lootings yet. Due to the potential enable of my2 Headless Skaabs. I sticked the Lootins and Headless Skaabs together however. If I play one pair, I play the other too.

With the cards that will probably end up in the deck layed down as curve, I currently have this deck ide:

// 1 drops
2 Faithless Lootings
2 Hunger of the Howlpack

// 2 drops
1 Ambush Viper
2 Scorned Villager
1 Harvest Pyre
1 Think Twice
1 Spectral Flight

// 3 drops
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Villagers of Estwald/Howlpack of Estwald
1 Ulvenwald Bear
1 Niblis of Breath
1 Stormbound Geist
2 Headless Skaab
1 Chant of the Skifsang
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Wild Hunger

// 4 drops
2 Briarpack Alpha
1 Festerhide Boar
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Makeshift Mauler
1 Bone to Ash

// 5 drops
1 Hollowhenge Beast
1 Murder of Crows
1 Lost in the Mist

// 6+ drops
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Skaab Goliath
1 Blood Feud

Nearby, there's still the black goodies Tragic Slip, Skirsdag Priest and the One-Eyed Scarecrow as artifact.

I ask myself: Are Tragic Slip + Skirsdag Priest better than Charmbreaker Devil, Harvest Pyre, Blood Feud, 2 Faithless Lootings ? Although Tragic Slip is better than Harvest Pyre, I see Charmbreaker Devils higher than Skirsdag Priest, therefore I pick red over black for this pool.

Now the deck is basically built. I count the cards that I still consider for the deck: 32. Damn, too much. I quickly cut headless Skaab and Faithless Lootings, then Chant of the Skifsang, Spectral Flight and one Hunger of the Howlpack.

The remaining 25 cards:

// 1 drops
1 Hunger of the Howlpack

// 2 drops
1 Ambush Viper
2 Scorned Villager
1 Harvest Pyre
1 Think Twice

// 3 drops
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Villagers of Estwald/Howlpack of Estwald
1 Ulvenwald Bear
1 Niblis of Breath
1 Stormbound Geist
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Wild Hunger

// 4 drops
2 Briarpack Alpha
1 Festerhide Boar
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Makeshift Mauler
1 Bone to Ash

// 5 drops
1 Hollowhenge Beast
1 Murder of Crows
1 Lost in the Mist

// 6+ drops
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Skaab Goliath
1 Blood Feud

Bloodfeud requires RR mana, therefore I cut it. The pool has no manafix, and no Divination and at the same time the deck will need many Islands for the double blue cost spells. I also cut Hollowhenge Beast because the deck does not need more fatties. Murder of Crows, Skaab Goliath and Charmbreaker Devils are all better than the Beast and I prefer cutting costy things over cheap spells.

This brings me to the remaining 23:

// 1 drops
1 Hunger of the Howlpack

// 2 drops
1 Ambush Viper
2 Scorned Villager
1 Harvest Pyre
1 Think Twice

// 3 drops
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Villagers of Estwald/Howlpack of Estwald
1 Ulvenwald Bear
1 Niblis of Breath
1 Stormbound Geist
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Wild Hunger
// 4 drops
2 Briarpack Alpha
1 Festerhide Boar
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Makeshift Mauler
1 Bone to Ash
// 5 drops
1 Murder of Crows
1 Lost in the Mist
// 6+ drops
1 Charmbreaker Devils
1 Skaab Goliath

The one thing that remains is the manabase. For that I sort the deck by colors again, having a look at double-costs (UU, RR, GG) too.

// green
1 Hunger of the Howlpack
2 Scorned Villager
1 Ambush Viper
1 Ulvenwald Bear
1 Villagers of Estwald/Howlpack of Estwald
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Festerhide Boar
2 Briarpack Alpha

1 Wild Hunger
1 Spidery Grasp

// blue
1 Niblis of the Breat
1 Stormbound Geist
1 Makeshift Mauler
1 Murder of Crows
1 Skaab Goliath

1 Think Twice
1 Bone to Ash
1 Lost in the Mist

// red
1 Charmbreaker Devils

1 Harvest Pyre

Green has only 1 double-cost card, Kessig Recluse; red has none. Blue has Stormbound Geist (UU1), Murder of Crows (UU3), Bone to Ash (UU2) and Lost in the Mist (UU3).

A good way to now determine my basiclands is to take 17 SB cards, face-down and then move around them in piles. For example, a Pile of 4 cards on red cards means 4 Mountains, the remaining 13 can then be distributed among blue and green.
I come up with 4 Mountains, 6 Islands and 7 Forests. But 6 Islands seem not sufficient to me to support all those double-blue cards. Therefore, I take one from the 4 Mountains to blue. Now the manabase is

// lands
3 Mountain
7 Forest
7 Island

A last look through ALL cards, sorting out possible sideboard options rounds up my deckbuilding process.

I consider this as the best result of my pool:

// Creatures (16)
1 Ambush Viper
2 Scorned Villager
1 Orchard Spirit
1 Villagers of Estwald
1 Ulvenwald Bear
1 Niblis of the Breath
1 Stormbound Geist
2 Briarhorn Alpha
1 Festerhide Boar
1 Makeshift Mauler
1 Kessig Recluse
1 Murder of Crows
1 Skaab Goliath
1 Charmbreaker Devils

// Spells (7)
1 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Spidery Grasp
1 Wild Hunger
1 Harvest Pyre
1 Think Twice
1 Bone to Ash
1 Lost in the Mist

// Lands (17)
3 Mountain
7 Island
7 Forest

// Noteworthy Sideboard
1 Executioner's Hood
1 Bramblecrush
1 Armored Skaab
1 One-Eyed Scarecrow
1 Hollowhenge Beast
2 Headless Skaab
1 Chant of the Skifsang
1 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Spectral Flight


Do you build your decks differently, with more intuition? Would you have built something completely different?
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sc4rs



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 859

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the major differences in creating limited decks that I have compared to your process is that one of the first things that I try to identify within my pool is if a splash of a third color can be supported and if so, how and how well.

For example, getting a pool like this with zero mana fixing, I would be very, very hesitant to add a third color beyond my first two. I would only do so for a card that extremely significantly changes my chances of winning (something like Blasphemous Act, for example). Obviously there are exceptions for bad pools, but generally speaking I'd like to give myself as little a chance of getting messed up by my mana as possible, especially in a longer tournament (the longer the tournament, the more likely a bad manabase is to cost you a game/match).

In a pool like this, when faced with cuts, I would almost immediately move to cut the third color outright. Charmbreaker Devils I would have spent a long time considering and ultimately probably would have left in the maindeck with two Mountains, along with the opportunity to flashback Wild Hunger. But Harvest Pyre I sincerely do not think is worth adding the third Mountain to the manabase, and I think that cutting out all the red entirely with no mana fixing would also be defensible, going straight GU and leaving in something like the Hollowhenge or Executioner's Hood over the Charmbreakers.

The rest of your thought process makes total sense to me, and I'm not sure if this makes my decks better or worse or even very different than the ones you would build. Very interesting thought experiment to mull over though. Thanks for posting this, I think it's good prep to think about your limited building in this way for sure.
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