Innistrad Sealed Analysis #1

Most of you indicated you would rather read about post rotation standard on FB the other day. Don’t worry, that is coming, but I’d rather not post 10 decks that are all terrible. Instead of Standard, Innistrad Sealed Analysis will be the post du jour, starting with the Sealed I opened at the midnight release at Warriors 3, which went 4-0 ID into Top 4. Sometimes, it really pays to revisit a pool you were fairly sure you had built correctly after the data has had some time to digest a bit, and I get the feeling that my build at the event was flat wrong.

When organizing a pool, usually I sift through and pile up any cards I really don’t want to play so I can focus on the more powerful strategies present in a pool, but since I didn’t know what was good, I just made columns like so, first removal, then a small gap I can easily see, then the creatures, then everything else.

White

  • Rebuke
  • Smite the Monstrous
  • Urgent Exorcism
  • Champion of the Parish
  • Elder Cathar
  • Chapel Geist
  • Voiceless Spirit
  • Mentor of the Meek
  • Geist Honored Monk
  • Geist Honored Monk(foil)
  • Dearly Departed
  • Feeling of Dread

Blue

  • Grasp of Phantoms
  • Claustrophobia
  • Silent Departure x2
  • Sensory Deprivation
  • Invisible Stalker
  • Selhoff Occultist
  • Armored Skaab
  • Makeshift Mauler
  • Fortress Crab
  • Sturmgeist
  • Battleground Geist
  • Dissipate
  • Lost in the Mists x2
  • Spectral Flight x2
  • Think Twice
  • Hysterical Blindness

Black

  • Corpse Lunge x2
  • Vampire Interloper
  • Disciple of Griselbrand
  • Village Cannibals
  • Bloodline Keeper
  • Abattoir Ghoul
  • Moan of the Unhallowed
  • Rotting Fensnake
  • Morkrut Banshee
  • Bitterheart Witch
  • Stromkirk Patrol
  • Curse of Oblivion
  • Night Terrors
  • Gruesome Deformity
  • Bump in the Night
  • Altar’s Reap

Red

  • Harvest Pyre
  • Reckless Waif(foil)
  • Village Ironsmith
  • Hanweir Watchkeep
  • Crossway Vampire x2
  • Riot Devils
  • Tormented Pariah x2
  • Pitchburn Devils
  • Night Revelers x2
  • Traitorous Blood
  • Ancient Grudge
  • Desperate Ravings

Green

  • Darkthicket Wofl
  • Boneyard Wurm
  • Orchard Spirit
  • Grave Bramble
  • Woodland Sleuth
  • Festerhide Boar x2
  • Lumberknot
  • Hollowhenge Scavenger
  • Somberwald Spider
  • Spider Spawning
  • Travel Preparations
  • Mulch

Artifact/Land

  • Blazing Torch
  • Galvanic Juggernaut
  • Sharpened Pitchfork
  • Demonmail Hauberk
  • Traveler’s Amulet
  • Ghoulcaller’s Bell
  • Stensia Bloodhall

I realize I’m missing a Common somewhere. I’ve no idea what it is, and it likely doesn’t affect the end build since I can’t recall it.

The color that feels like a must play is White, with FOUR on color bombs and solid removal, but there are only 11 playable cards here(Feeling of Dread would be ok if we end up U/W). Luckily, there are a few artifacts lying around that are good enough.

The Green has little to offer to pair with White aside from Travel Preparations(someone killed me on five with it in this event). Alone it is below average, and even though I really like some of the cards like Festerhide Boar, Orchard Spirit, Woodland Sleuth, and Hollowhenge Scavenger, there isn’t enough here to do a whole lot besides play some dudes and hope they get there.

Red is fairly deep in dudes, but I was nervous about playing the transform cards at the time, so I avoided them, but it’s quite possible this is the best color to pair with White(assuming White is a must play). Together there are 22 easy playables, and a few choices on #23, but you gain zero removal or true bombs(Waif is a bomb on one, and not as good any other turn)

Blue has a staggering 19 cards, but several are either narrow or don’t pair well with the curve in White. If there weren’t a big pile of bombs in White, I would easily make Blue the base color of the deck, with 7 serviceable dudes, a removal spell, and three tempo cards with flashback. Lost in the Mist is something I was on the fence about, but I saw it in action and it can buy infi time to get a plan or finish someone off, and I wouldn’t be sad playing one or two.

Finally there is Black, with the ultra awesome Bloodline Keeper, one excellent removal with a body attached,  two removal spells that are only acceptable, and a small pile of dorks that happen to fit in the curve of the White cards. At the event, I ended up pairing White with Black to maximize the bombs I could draw and the removal I had. However, now it looks like Blue might have actually been better overall. The curve looks a little better, there are a few more Humans to help out the Champion of the Parish, and a few less bomb like but very good win conditions with evasion. Also, the removal, while narrow in a different sense, is more reliable than Corpse Lunges. Assembling Invisible Stalker + Demonmail Hauberk is also a dangerous combo. Overall, the Blue doesn’t try to match White in power like the Black tries to with Bloodline Keeper. Instead, the Blue serves to buy time to let your White bombs win, or establish control with a few evasive creatures of it’s own. Lastly, the sideboard allows for a high level of flexibility in adapting to an opponents strategy. If he has the Reckless Waif special, there are a pair of Silent Departures and an Armored Skaab waiting for game two. For slower decks with lots of expensive haymakers(aka this deck), a Dissipate and two Lost in the Mists can come in. Sure, Bloodline Keeper won me many games during the event, but if I was playing Blue the need to get bailed out might never have occured.

Here is the final list:

  • Champion of the Parish
  • Invisible Stalker
  • Mentor of the Meek
  • Voiceless Spirit
  • Chapel Geist
  • Elder Cathar
  • Selhoff Occultist
  • Fortress Crab
  • Makeshift Mauler
  • Galvanic Juggernaut
  • Geist Honored Monk x2
  • Sturmgeist
  • Dearly Departed
  • Urgent Exorcism
  • Smite the Monstrous
  • Rebuke
  • Claustrophobia
  • Sensory Deprivation
  • Blazing Torch
  • Demonmail Hauberk
  • Sharpened Pitchfork
  • 9 Plains
  • 8 Island

Hope this sparks a little discussion about card choice, and perhaps also about card evaluation in a Limited format. Always feel free to ask questions.

See ya.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Innistrad Sealed Analysis #1

  1. Steve Glowacki

    How good is Demonmail Hauberk? It’s pretty nasty in that you can equip it right away, but I was very leery of playing it in my very controlling deck at the PR that didn’t want to get blown out by removal and wasn’t looking to end games particularly fast. It’s obviously nuts on Invisible Stalker or with token production and so fits in this deck well, but is it something you see that you should be playing in most any deck?

    • theolentangy

      There are a number of removal spells that leave a dude in play, like Dead Weight, Claustrophobia, or the Pacifism for non Humans(all commons). It is randomly good with Elder Cather, Doomed Traveler, Unruly Mob, Thraben Militia, Mausoleum Guard, or if your dudes just suck.It can also trigger morbid on later turns at no mana cost, and is obviously good on evasive creatures.

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