Hello everyone and welcome back to Limited Concepts your weekly look into the world of Limited MTG where we will break down what it takes to 3-0 your next draft or take down your next pre-release. Last week we dove into the allied color pair archetypes in Dominaria and took a look at some of the gold uncommon cards and some of the bombs that might draw you towards a certain color. With a few weeks of Dominaria under my belt I wanted to talk about the format as a whole and how it has shaped out so far. I can say that I have definitely been enjoying the format and have found Draft and Sealed to actually have a fair bit of a difference which has been nice. Today I wanted to touch on the Sealed environment and some of the nuances that exist on the plane of Dominaria.
Sealed has always tended to be a slower format but here in Dominaria the games can often come to a halt completely. The first couple turns may often be just playing out your lands since two drops have become a lot less important than in the past few formats. Small creatures quickly become brick walled by high toughness creatures blocking has become much easier. This means that you have time to play out your Skittering Surveyors to fix your mana and play your cards kicked rather than playing them out in the early turns. Many games tend to actually start on turn 3.
Having evasive creatures or some way to punch through damage is imperative in this format. Due to the boards getting so gummed up with creatures that can’t profitably attack you need some way to deal damage to your opponent. Sometimes there is just nothing your opponent can do about your small flyer that just goes the distance and while this is usually true of most Limited formats the difference being that almost all boards will reach a stall while in other formats you may see more aggressive decks that end the game before a stall occurs. Here in Dominaria you should be expecting the board to stall and need to look for ways to get around it.
In Dominaria Sealed you have access to a few options for fixing your mana base which is very important because you want to be playing as many bombs as you reasonably can. For colorless you have Skittering Surveyor which is going to be your best option in most decks since it fetches a basic and is a creature that can block for you. In green you have Grow From the Ashes which is a pretty powerful ramp card since not only does it find you a land but it puts it onto the battlefield untapped and being able to kick it for two lands is even better. There is also Llanowar Envoy which is a decent creature that if you are really looking for extra fixing for multiple bombs you could use it. Navigator’s Compass is another card that is supposedly fixing but I agree with the naysayers and think it is a trap. It doesn’t actually get a land for you and is otherwise just an artifact that does nothing but gains you a little life. I can see it in a 4-color deck with some awesome bombs but otherwise this effect is just not worth a card and you are better off just playing another land of the fixing color.
I personally underestimated the amount of times you were going to want to be kicking cards. With the speed of the last few formats I couldn’t imagine holding on to a 1/3 until turn 6 but often in Dominaria it is correct to do so. I would say now most of the time I would want to cast all of my spells Kicked and I would need a pretty strong reason to be forced to cast the spell with no Kicker. Your life total must be used as a resource and in Dominaria I have seen so many comebacks from low life totals that makes me believe early damage just doesn’t matter as much in this format and you need to get every last drop of value you can from your cards. Some cards like Fight With Fire are still very reasonable to cast without the Kicker because it is just a good removal spell but cards like Caligo-Skin Witch I’m just about never casting without Kicker.
This is a theme that was a cool concept but just is not something that I would recommend trying to build around. The payoffs just really aren’t there to make it worth jamming your deck full of bad artifacts. Sometimes you can get lucky and open a Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle and get a couple on color sagas, a few decent artifacts, and a couple legendary creatures all on color. This is very unlikely especially in Sealed though could be powerful. Otherwise most of your payoffs are not big deals but are actually more like nice little upsides that you may not being playing them for but happen to get a little bonus. Things like playing a legendary creature before combat to pump up your Serra Disciple or getting back your Juggernaut with Daring Archaeologist. There are definitely some powerful synergies but I wouldn’t read too much into them and put bad cards in your deck to up the redundancy of Historic cards you have.
These have been another hotly discussed topic that I thought I would give my thoughts on. These are no doubt powerful cards that can change the dynamic of the game. I think the Red and Black ones are both very good and the White one is pretty good as well. In Sealed it is much easier to decide if you can play a legendary sorcery because you already have your pool laid out in front of you whereas in Draft you may not know if you will pick up anything to enable the sorcery at all. So, in sealed you can look to maximize your ability to play these cards and I believe if you have the opportunity you should do so. I would recommend having at least four legendary creatures/planeswalkers in your deck to play a legendary sorcery and at 6 I’m starting to feel very comfortable. In Sealed games tend to go long and you are more likely to have time to find the legendary you need.
Dominaria has been a departure from recent sets and I for one have enjoyed tackling this new format and look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Thank you guys for joining me this week at Limited Concepts and I hope I helped you form a better picture of what Dominaria Sealed looks like. If you want to leave a comment please do so below otherwise you can find me on Twitter/Instagram/Twitch as @aGangofHippies to stay up to date with all my content and to say Hi