Hello all! It’s time to jump into the local beta to tease some games from the latest Magic lineup, The Lost Caves of Ixalan. I will be your tour guide as we dive deep into the caves to discover the wonders still hidden there. In more natural terms, I’ll discuss how to build your own enclosed deck as well as some tips and tricks to help you along the way.
Build your own sealed deck
The biggest impact you can make on your electric vehicle for this event is to build your enclosed vehicle properly. You can’t change what you open, but you can change what you do with it. This can be the difference between taking some of those sweet packages home and walking out of there empty-handed. I will talk step by step on how to build a sealed LCI.
The first step is to find out if you have won the rare/legendary lottery. Sometimes these things build themselves, but not as much as people think. Once you have calmed down and looked at your pool rationally, you should sort through your energy cards. This means seized rarities, legendary uncommons, and sprayable quality removal. These are what you will build your deck around.
Then go through each color to determine which cards you actually want to play, which cards you’ll play if you have enough synergy, which cards you’ll use to create playable games, and which cards you don’t really want to play. This is a great way to evaluate which of your colors are really deep and which ones look good because they’re too heavy. This usually allows you to remove the color entirely or select colors that would be a good splash.
Next, you want to take a look at your mana repair process. There aren’t a lot of common fixes to go around in this set, so you’ll usually have to keep the diffused light rather than using five full colors. There are no prophetic posts present and you are stuck in a promising vein game instead of a sophisticated prairie game. There are many treasure makers in red that can help enable some weirdness. Otherwise, you may eventually need to play Compass Gnome if you want to play.
Now that you have a better idea of your colors, start creating different combinations to see which ones look best. This allows you to see which ones seem to be the best build or spot a weak spot that can be shored up by spraying.
The important thing here is to consider whether your deck can be held up to energy level with similar decks. If you don’t feel comfortable going into the late game, see if you can build a cheap aggressive deck to beat them. Even if you don’t follow this path, it’s a good idea to be prepared to move forward in case you need to take it.
Once you’ve settled on your deck, simply build a functional mana base and you’re ready to smash.
Tips and tricks
This is synergistic on energy coordination. Yes, you can just play a bunch of strong cards and get there, but most of the time you want to play cards with the same plan. This doesn’t mean anything crazy like cutting off Ojer Kaslem, the deepest growth because the rest of your deck depends on getting down. This means that in that deck you might want to play a card like In the Presence of Ages on a generic big creature.
The kit is not really a removal light, but it is light on the quality of removal. There aren’t a lot of great ways to deal with big ancient dinosaurs running around.
Abrade has always been a great card, but it’s very distinct with all the artifacts running around it. Although there is no fix, it is worth considering spraying it.
A copy of Captivating Cave can help enable spots with a little upside later on. The extra mana to power your main colors is a big tempo so don’t run multipliers.
Don’t go crazy in the caves. There really aren’t enough good rewards for doing something as exotic as playing in colorful caves. It is very difficult to carry out construction operations on a closed roof.
Counterspells always tend to perform better on seal than on draft. The Confounding Riddle is great either way, so you’d play it no matter what. However, airflow becomes more acceptable when sealed.
Since stamping is slower, you are more likely to be able to “do the thing.” Just don’t try to put too much stuff in at the end or you’ll get run over. You can get more card advantages and big stuff, but you can’t have a deck full of six and seven drops.
Although there isn’t much to spread about, Casual Grave Hate has the potential to be much better here than most sets.
In this regard, the self-grinder is very useful here. It may not be as obviously valuable as throwing pesky creatures into the yard, but enabling a bunch of landing cards can be just as good.
There are enough artifacts and sorcerers scattered around that I’m ready to run a copy of Over the Edge in my mainboard.
Speaking of artifacts, be very careful not to get them destroyed by Dreadmaw’s wrath. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it, but missing the right double block can be back-breaking.
One thing that a lot of people missed is that land bikers release descent because they add a permanent card to the graveyard. This means you can ride at instant speed to surprise activate all four of your downed creatures. Another difficult way to do this is to sacrifice something for the sake of fanatical display.
Do you know what doesn’t get you down? Tokens go to the cemetery. Yes, they temporarily go to the graveyard, but going down determines the “permanent card.”
I feel like Cogwork Wrestler will “grab” a lot of people early. Keep this in mind when they carry one blue color. This is more likely to be the case than Relic’s roar.
The last tip is to remember that this is a beta version. Win some packs, but more importantly have some fun while doing it.
It is contained
Thanks for reading! Hopefully this will guide you to victory this weekend in the LCI Demo. I will be back tomorrow to continue my full review of the Lost Caves of Ixalan with artifacts and lands. Until then, stay classy people!
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
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