Return to Ravnica Team Sealed Event: Part 1

Last weekend the Generationd20 team ventured to our local gaming store to test our Team Sealed skills against the best of Lincoln, Nebraska. While the results were less than overwhelming, the journey was a lot of fun.

The Pool: Any sealed event hinges heavily on the card pool you open. With 12 boosters spread between three players, the ability to make cohesive, consistent decks was greatly increased. The first thing we looked at in our card pool were the rares. They included Deathrite Shaman, Underworld Connections, Corspejack Menace, Havoc Festival, Hypersonic Dragon, Mercurial Chemister, Detention Sphere, Supreme Verdict, Wayfaring Temple, Grove of the Guardian, Temple Garden, and Blood Crypt. While that showed some powerful top-end in several guilds, we still needed to look at the depth in the various color combinations.

As we sorted the piles, Rakdos began to stick out as a strong color combination. There were two Auger Sprees, two Hellhole Flayers, two Gorehouse Chainwalkers, four Grim Roustabouts, and variety of quality one-of’s (Dead Reveler, Explosive Impact, etc.). The other impressive thing was that there were three Rakdos Guildgates and the Blood Crypt. Because the mana was so good, and the deck was stuffed to the brim with Unleash, we ended up splashing for the Corpsejack Menace. Nick was the captain of the Rakdos squad.

The second deck that came together was a Selesnya populate concoction. We were not flush with populate cards, but did have Selesnya Charm and Call of the Conclave to produce early tokens. That was supported by Rootborn Defense, Eyes in the Skies, Courser’s Accord, and three Druid’s Deliverance’s. With the Grove of the Guardian and two Knightly Valor’s as well, we went for the deck’s upside, despite the concerns over consistency. As expected, BoB! played the Green/White deck.

That left Golgari, Azorious, and Izzet as logical color combinations. Since both Black and Green had been used in the other decks, we quickly ruled out Golgari. From there, it came down to the supporting cards and Azorious greatly outshined Izzet. A lot of the Red left was nigh unplayable and the Izzet specific cards were pretty weak. The Azorious cards included Liev Skyknight, Hussar Patrol, and New Prav Guildmage. The deck ended up being a straightforward UW fliers deck, but with almost no removal and few guys to clog the ground (one Voidwielder and one Hussar Patrol). Because of the complexities with regard to Supreme Verdict and other control elements, we decided that I should pilot the deck. Control is not my comfort area, but I was up for the challenge.

Round 1: “Call clock on your opponent”

My first opponent was playing a Golgari deck that was splashing Red. In game one he started with a Kurozda Guildmage, following by a Dead Reveler, and was applying a lot of pressure. I was able to fill the air with some threats and a timely Detention Sphere shut down the Guildmage. After a few more turns, a Golgari Charm set the Guildmage free and it looked as if he’d be able to attack for lethal. He went gave two separate creatures intimidate and attacked in. My Dramatic Rescue bounced his Dead Reveler and brought me to five life (enough to survive the three dealt by the Guildmage. Since he had spent his mana, he couldn’t recast the Dead Reveler and shipped the turn. I untapped and cast Voidwielder, clearing his board. Two attacks through the air and I was up 1-0 in round 1. By this time, Nick had destroyed his opponent 2-0 and BoB! was down 0-1 and in the middle of game two. Game two was another back and forth affair. It came down to a board state where I had a Vassal Soul and an Azorious Keyrune versus his Dreg Mangler. I was sitting at 8 life and he was sitting at 7. I attacked with both creatures, bringing him to 3 and passed the turn. He drew his sixth land, plopped it into play, and swung with his Dreg Mangler. After damage, he dropped an Explosive Impact on the table and said “You’re Dead.” It wasn’t so much what he said, but the classless, smug delivery that raised my ire. I was already nervous playing in my fourth paper magic tournament ever and an earlier comment by BoB!’s opponent had set the bar for the team’s douchedom. In a complex board state with attackers declared, BoB! asked me how he should block. I suggested blocking with a Kurozda Monitor instead of a Centaur token, because he was representing a Dramatic Rescue and, for whatever reason, I thought he’d bounce the creature. Well, sure enough, the opponent plays it out like I called and then he turns to my opponent and says, “Get a judge. Call clock on your opponent.” It was such a bitchy slap in the face of all things good about team play that it really soured my experience. It just can’t be about fun for some people. Well, the final game was a colossal mana flood and my opponent was casting Annihilating Fire’s to deal with my few threats. It was the only real mana failure of the day, so I can’t complain, but god I wanted to beat that guy. Well, BoB! ended up losing his third game as well and our team dropped to 0-1.

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19 Responses to Return to Ravnica Team Sealed Event: Part 1

  1. PDXOR says:

    I participated in a team sealed the week after RTR came out. Probably one of the most challenging formats to build. Even more so if it’s the first time you’re seeing cards.

    I think the most difficult thing was building decks that were relatively balanced in power level. Our team had two pretty good decks, and one that was really underpowered (mine). I thought it would be a good, tempo driven Azorious deck, but both Selesnya and Golgari ran it over hard. I think our match score was 1-2 on the night. I don’t think I won any matches… which sucked.

    • JMatz says:

      I agree that deck balance was an issue. With two color guilds and five colors total, there had to be overlap in at least one color. For our draft it was white and I would have loved to have Arrest and the 2 Sunspire Griffins from BoB!’s deck.

  2. swkitkat87 says:

    Don’t forget to talk about round 2! It was the best round ever!

  3. Rakdosage says:

    We loved playing against you guys and we can’t wait to see what you have to say about beating the heck out of us in round 2.

  4. Top_Deck_King says:

    If i get one of “those” types of players. I openly mock them for every little thing. I want them to get so angry that they wanna flip the table. So that way, even if i loss, i still win.

  5. Phil says:

    It’s probably not super wise to call out people for “douchedom” when you handed them ads for your blog at the end of round one…..

    • JMatz says:

      I should have been more careful with my phrasing. Using terms like “douchedom” and “classless” makes for a good read, but undermines the legitimacy of my point. Ultimately, this article was a quick reaction to my first tournament experience on the local scene. Whether intended or not, the interactions during round 1 left our team feeling unwelcome and inferior. This is not an uncommon experience in the gaming community, where log standing friendships and inside jokes breed a natural barrier to entry from newcomers. I apologize for my own lack of class in assigning labels, rather than focusing on the actions and facts.

      On a lighter note, I’m glad to see that the cookie promotion brought you to the site.

  6. Phil says:

    I would suggest being more careful about what you say about someone you had limited (15 minutes according to you) interaction with. The person you played against is considered throughout Lincoln as one of the true stand-up guys in the local Magic community and is also Judge without whom local events such as this simply cannot operate. I’m not saying any of this puts him above anyone else, but just consider that the way you are seeing the person in front of you is naturally jaded from your personal default setting in terms of personal perspective.
    Oh, and the low-roll thing, you may have noticed that our team name was “Team Low-Roll”. I figured this would be enough to make it clear that this is a long running joke within our playgroup and was a piece of fun important to our enjoyment of the tournament on that Saturday. It seems you found a way to be offended by that. Oops.

    • geomancer says:

      I wasn’t there (though I DID make the cookies that helped make this all possible) so the only thing I have to contribute it this.

      Watch a few of our videos. (maybe have a laugh or two at how much we suck)

      This is how the site is. It isn’t personal.

      (Except the stuff that BoB says about Mark Rosewater or the Fifth Element. That is VERY personal and possibly indicative of turrets…)


    • Bob@Gend20 says:

      Everything on this blog contains our opinions. Now that *should* be all I need to type on the matter, but here’s where we’re coming from. We want nothing more than to get more involved in the local MTG community. The team tourney was a good way for us to take a baby step. Have some fun, promote the site (I mean c’mon, who doesn’t like cookies?), and if we manage to win a round hey that’s great.

      Your team rubbed us the wrong way, period. Intentional or not, it happened. Could we have been more “neutral” in our posts on the event? Of course. Do we have to? No.

      At no point did we say “Hey we need to be sure to single out one of the teams and call them d-bags so we seem edgy.” It’s because of the nine people we played against that day, it just so happened that all three of your team members made us feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

      You may consider us a bunch of tier 3 scrubs with a marginal website (and you’d be right), but either way that’s your opinion and while I don’t have to like it, I have to accept that you’re perfectly within your rights to feel that way. Same goes with how you feel about our opinions of the team event.

      Personally, I hate the fact we had a bad experience right out of the gate like that. It’s certainly not what we wanted. I’m more than willing for everyone involved to try and get beyond the negative “first impressions.” You guys ever want to get together and play a few rounds of whatever, let us know. Just be gentle, we’re awful.

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