A First Look at Avacyn Restored Sealed

Avacyn Restored is here, and we finally have a new Limited format to work with. The prerelease was a blast, and it was a lot of fun seeing friends, cracking packs, and playing Magic. Now that the prerelease is over, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the Sealed decks I’ve opened over the weekend. Today, I’m going over a few different ways to build these Sealed decks.

After filtering out all of the unplayable cards, this is what we’re left with:

After taking a look at all of the playable cards in the pool, it’s pretty clear that all of our colors are pretty deep, giving us a lot of options. White is clearly the best color. It has some excellent creatures and spells, including a few sweet rares. Combat tricks such as Zealous Strike and Leap of Faith are very important in Sealed, and our white has just the cards we want. It’s pretty clear that white is the color we’re going to play.

There is something that our white lacks, and that is a good mana curve. Our second color will need to give us solid creatures so we have things to play on every turn. In addition, although we have some good combat tricks, we really don’t have much removal, so we should look for that as well.

The first color that has to go is green. We have some good creatures, but pretty much everything costs 5 mana. There is also no removal in green, so that is an easy color to eliminate.

Red gives us some decent removal spells such as Pillar of Flame and Thunderous Wrath; however, red’s creatures are pretty subpar. One thing to keep in mind is that there are two Thunderbolts in the pool. I don’t think Thunderbolt is a good maindeck card, but if we ever play against a deck with a bunch of flyers, red is a color I would consider boarding into.

Our blue is also fine. The creatures are pretty lackluster, but there are a few sweet ones, such as Mist Raven and Latch Seeker. There’s also some good card-draw and tempo cards, in particular Into the Void. Bouncing two creatures for 4 mana is incredibly powerful and can give you a huge advantage in your games. Spectral Prison is a pretty good card similar to Ice Cage, but it has one huge exception: The Spectral Prison only is sacrificed if the creature is targeted by a spell—not an ability—making it a lot better. The downside is that there are a ton of good spells in Avacyn Restored, a lot more than when Ice Cage was around in M12. You have to be very careful when playing Spectral Prison, and don’t be afraid to side it out if your opponent has a lot of combat tricks.

Finally, there’s black. Our black, like our red, has some mediocre creatures and good removal. One thing to note is Barter in Blood, which is a very strong card, and if played correctly, it can cripple your opponent. Our white is pretty slow, and therefore, if paired with black, we can set up a good situation for Barter in Blood to shine.

Here is my W/U build:

Overall, this deck looks average. It has some great creatures but also a few bad ones. There really isn’t much to do in the early game, which can be a problem in Sealed. Overall, I would be fine playing this build, but I’d like to look at some of the other options.

Here is what the R/W deck looks like:

This deck has a lot of creatures and a lot of plays for the early game. The red creatures are not the best, but once you get Angelic Armaments online, every crappy creature becomes a huge threat. There is some good removal in this build, and as I’ve said before, there are great sideboard options. This build contains Scroll of Avacyn, which is strictly filler and not necessary to play. It essentially makes our deck thirty-nine cards. It would be the first card I would cut if I had another playable.

I cut one of the Cloudshifts from this deck because, although it is a good trick, it is pretty situational, and I wouldn’t want more than one in my deck. It is an excellent sideboard card and would bring it in if my opponent had a lot of removal.

Another card of note is Vigilante Justice. It can be great in the right deck. R/W has the most Humans in Avacyn Restored, but unfortunately, this deck only has eight Humans or ways to make Humans. That is not quite enough to justify playing this card. I would consider boarding it in if my opponent had a lot of 1-toughness creatures.

Finally, here is the W/B build:

This build gives us the best removal but some pretty bad creatures. I’m not happy about playing the Mass of Ghouls reprint. Also, I’m not too sure how I feel about Blood Artist. Obviously, Falkenrath Noble was amazing, and this card is very similar. However, it being a 0/1 means that not only is it vulnerable, but it will also just sit there and do nothing until you use other cards to trigger his ability.

If I were to receive this pool in a tournament, I would probably go with the R/W build. It gives us the best mana curve, the most creatures, a great sideboard, and a lot of early- and late-game plays.

Here’s the final deck:

How would you build this deck? Feed free to discuss it in the forums.

 


Again, let’s start by filtering out the unplayables. Here’s what we have to work with:

My first thoughts when looking at the pool is that the white is incredibly deep. There are eighteen playables, including nine creatures. There are a lot of good combat tricks, including a card that I consider to be a bomb: Divine Deflection. If you’ve ever played with similar cards such as Shining Shoal or Captain’s Maneuver, you should know how powerful this card is. It can prevent damage that would be dealt to multiple things, and it can kill an opponent’s creature, which can potentially gain massive card advantage. One thing to keep in mind about this card is that it only has one target. If the target is illegal when the spell resolves, the entire spell will be countered, which means it will prevent no damage, so be sure to be careful when selecting your target.

White will again be a main color for this deck for the reasons I’ve stated above, so now we just have to find a second color.

I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that the green is just awful. There are only five cards, making it not even an option for deck-building. Blue, black, and red are all good enough to consider for a support color.

There are a lot of options here. The red is decent. We have a few average creatures and two great burn spells. In addition, Lightning Prowess is a great card. If unanswered, it becomes a huge threat. The enchanted creature can kill little guys, finish creatures off in combat, and even damage the opponent.

The black is also very good. It has three creatures that provide card advantage (Butcher Ghoul, Undead Executioner, and Maalfeld Twins). The removal is decent, and Killing Wave is a great Wrath effect. Even if black doesn’t make it as our main color, the Killing Wave is a bomb and splashable, so it should make our deck no matter what.

The blue is also decent. There are a few good creatures and some mediocre removal. The blue does have Bruna, Light of Alabaster, which is a nice, beefy flyer, so I’d like to play that if possible. Here’s what the W/U deck looks like:

Overall, this deck looks really solid. It allows us to play all of our bombs. There are plenty of creatures to keep us alive into the late game.

Next, let’s try the R/W build:

This deck also looks very good. It’s super-aggressive and has a lot early, cheap removal. 2-drops are hard to come by in Avacyn Restored, and this deck gives us six of them. Even if our opponent stabilizes, we have some good late-game bombs to end the game with.

Finally, here’s the W/B version:

This deck also looks incredibly solid. Again, there are bombs and good removal. This is my least favorite deck of the three because this deck is the most mana-intensive. We need both white and black mana early, and we have double-casting-cost spells in our deck. That makes splashing the Bruna seem pretty bad.

So, what deck should we go with? I think that the R/W deck is best. The fact that it is so aggressive is what draws me to playing that build. In Sealed, people tend to play greedy mana bases, and the format is usually pretty slow. The R/W deck can punish people for their poor draws. In addition, the Bruna splash works better in this deck due to having two Auras to attach to her.

Here’s the final deck:

How would you build this? Please discuss!

After taking a look at two Sealed decks, I came up with two R/W decks. It looks like white is shaping up to be the best color in Avacyn Restored Limited. Only time and experience will tell. Thanks for reading!