Welcome back everyone! Today, we are going to look at everything that is left in M19 as they relate to sealed play. Things are a little different here, since most cards are archetype specific or vary in playability, but I’ll have notes for pretty much everything.
Crucible of Worlds: Don’t play this. It’s not for sealed.
Chaos Wand: This gets better the better your opponent is, as you will hit less jank and more gas if they built a good deck. However, it is random and I doubt it is worth the initial 7 mana investment.
Amulet of Safekeeping: I would not maindeck this ever, but it hits tokens and taxes burn. Maybe worth it against Red White decks.
Desecrated Tomb: I wouldn’t play this. When are cards really leaving your graveyard?
Magistrate’s Scepter: 15 mana over 3 turns to get 1 extra turn? Pass.
Sigiled Sword of Valeron: This is expensive, but if you can attack with an equipped creature, your opponent is in a lot of trouble, and it isn’t a bad top end card. View it as a 6 mana card though.
Transmogrifying Wand: This card basically can downgrade a huge creature, but a 2/4 is worth a card that costs about 3.5 mana, so you’re usually coming out behind on this. I would pass.
Arcane Encyclopedia: 6 mana to draw one card is a lot. However, this card will take over a long game in a way that other card draw can’t, and allows you to be more efficient. I wouldn’t main deck this either, save for strange circumstances. You could, however, consider it in attrition match up (maybe the Blue-Black mirror).
Suspicious Bookcase: I don’t really like this card, but it is better than most other defenders, since it allows you to push through damage if needed. I would try to avoid it if possible, unless your opponent has a lot of 3/3s, and you have a lot of 2/2s.
Diamond Mare: Diamond Mare is an interesting card. If you are in white, the lifegain effect can snowball out of control. I would avoid maindecking this otherwise, but it is also quite good against aggressive strategies.
Gargoyle Sentinel: In a defensive deck, this is a reasonable blocker and an acceptable finisher, but not stellar in either case. Don’t be sad to play this, but 3 mana is a real mana investment to attack every turn.
Meteor Golem: I like that this is a removal spell. 7 mana is a lot, but the built in card advantage will add up. 3/3 is a little small at 7 mana, but this could be a decent 1 of at your top end. It seems like an especially good sideboard card against a mill deck.
Millstone: You don’t need more than 1 or 2 of these to win the game. This card really depends how much removal you have to back it up. There are a few cute self-mill things you can do too, but I would prefer to attack my opponent usually I think.
Fountain of Renewal: This card seems pretty bad to me for sealed. If your opponent has 4+ burn spells, MAYBE it works, but even on turn one it seems too low impact to me to deserve a slot.
Rogue’s Gloves: I can get behind this equipment. It replaces itself immediately if you connect, and can run away with a game. I wouldn’t play several copies, but one in an aggressive or evasive deck seems very good.
Explosive Apparatus: This seems passable if you are low on removal, but 4 mana to kill a 2/2 is almost always mana inefficient. I would avoid it.
Gearsmith Guardian: It says “as long as you control a blue creature,” so hopefully that explains when to play it.
Field Creeper: You will find this card underperforms. It really isn’t good enough for a “great” deck, unless it highly synergizes with most of you deck (blue and black with artifact-based bombs). I would avoid it.
Manalith: I would play this with 5+ 5 mana spells in my deck, or as fixing for an Elder Dragon. Otherwise, it doesn’t really do enough to justify drawing it late.
Marauder’s Axe: This is good with fliers and with tokens, because it pushes damage and helps you trade up with your tokens. It isn’t great, but passable as a 1-of.
Skyscanner: I am a sucker for these value dudes, but I probably wouldn’t play this unless I had artifact synergies or a defensive deck looking to buy time to resolve a bomb. It is better than most walls though.
Uncommon Cycle: Most of these are somewhere between passable and great, so I’ve lumped them together to not be redundant. Aerial Engineer, Enigma Drake, and Satyr Enchanter are the only ones that REALLY care about other factors when deciding how good they are. Enigma Drake is the hardest to enable well, since you really want this to be a 2/4 at the absolute worst, and a 3/4 to really start paying dividends-which probably means 6+ spells, while the other two only need 4-5 enablers to be passable.
Detection Tower: This seems worth playing if you see one of the Elder Dragons or another card with hexproof if your mana can afford it, but in truth you should never maindeck this. Mana is too important.
Reliquary Tower: Ditto my previous notes, except there is never a time to bring this in.
Rupture Spire: Entering the battlefield tapped AND costing you tempo is not worth the fixing UNLESS you are splashing 2+ colors (playing 4-5 colors). You are better off cutting the second splash color and playing a basic of your splash color (for example, playing a Plains in your Blue-Black deck instead of this).
Two-Color Land Cycle (link is an example, but they come in all colors): These are your prime fixing and you should probably play as many as you open. At 4, I may waver if I have an aggressive game plan, but I like casting my spells a lot.
Playing with Artifacts and Multicolored cards is often very straight forward. Usually, you want to play the best cards in your colors, and there is a premium on playing the multicolored cards that fit your combination. Artifacts, on the other hand, seem to be filler in non-blue decks. In blue decks (and some black decks) they are enablers for your best cards, and therefore have more value. You should try to play them sparingly, instead leaning on the artifacts that come with the cards you play (such as Sai, Master Thopterist), but having a couple solid ones as filler or even one great equipment is perfectly acceptable.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed my discussion of M19 sealed play, the strategy, and so on. It’s been fun to write (though a lot of work). Be sure to stop by Gameology and check us out this week for the M19 release!
~ Cassady O’Reilly-Hahn