I finally achieved a good result in an Ixalan Sealed League, after posting multiple 5-4’s, 4-5’s and even a 3-6! This sealed format sucks, I only keep playing it because my core love of Magic is so strong. (i.e. I am addicted)
Anyway, I went 7-2 with this red-white no-synergy deck, splashing black for Vona, Butcher of Magan.
Ixalan Sealed League (2017-10-25)
I’m very happy to get a 7-2 with this pool. One match I lost was to a black-white vampires deck; I maybe blew myself out in a game by attacking into Bright Reprisal mana after working hard to stabilize against opponent’s wider board. In my defense, I had not yet seen a Bright Reprisal from him at that point in the match, but I know enough of the the cards in the set now that I could have noodled out “okay if he has Reprisal here I lose.” The other loss, I just got outdrawn and overpowered, no biggie there.
I’ve lost a lot to tribal/archetype decks, which is kind of why I don’t like the format. Pools that contain a tribal precon will beat up on non-synergistic “normal” sealed decks. Of course that’s just another type of variance but I think it widens the gaps between the good/better/best decks. In an average format, you can maneuver your “okay” deck to beat a “very good” deck but in Ixalan it sometimes feels like the opponent is playing a Modern Bogles deck against you.
Some single-card notes: I wouldn’t first-pick it or anything, but Tocatli Honor Guard was actually pretty great in multiple situations. Unless it’s really bad for my own deck’s ETB effects, I think I’ll always maindeck it when it’s in my pool and I’m playing white. It nerfed many Explore creatures and Imperial Aerosaurs, not to mention some rares like Rowdy Crew.
Thaumatic Compass was great; I had not previously played with or against it. Clearly it’s helpful if you’re splashing a color as I was here. It gives you a midgame mana sink until it flips and is obviously strong after turning into Maze of Ith.
I’ve had Sunbird’s Invocation in a couple of pools now and I’ve loved it. You have to find a turn where it’s safe to pay six for no immediate effect, but after that investment you’re in value town. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I think I’ve only whiffed on a Sunbird roll one time.
So, yeah, the format sucks but I’ll keep playing it at least a little bit because I’m a hopeless fiend.