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My Sealed Deck - Alex Shvartsman

by Kim Eikefet

Invasion is a very new format, and deck construction has turned out to be really tricky. While most players strive to make two-colour decks in Sealed Deck tournaments, Invasion has forced players to go into at least three or maybe even more colours.

"The format seems fun, but it is also very easy to get screwed on colours. A lot of times the cards will dictate which colours to play. Building Sealed Decks is a lot more skill based than ever. It will probably take weeks before I get comfortable with making all the decisions," Alex Shvartsman says. He was one of the players who spent a long time trying to figure out what to make of his card pool. These are the cards he opened:

Land
1 Geothermal Crevice
1 Sulfur Vent

Artifacts
1 Drake-Skull Cameo

Gold
1 Armadillo Cloak
1 Aura Shards
1 Barrin's Spite
1 Darigaaz, the Igniter
1 Hunting Kavu
1 Ordered Migration
1 Plague Spores
1 Samite Archer
1 Shivan Zombie
1 Sterling Grove
1 Yavimaya Barbarian

White
1 Benalish Heralds
1 Benalish Trapper
1 Capashen Unicorn
2 Crimson Acolyte
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Holy Day
1 Obsidian Acolyte
1 Pledge of Loyalty
1 Rampant Elephant
1 Razorfoot Griffin
1 Restrain

Blue
1 Collective Restraint
1 Faerie Squadron
1 Manipulate Fate
1 Metathran Zombie
2 Opt
1 Prohibit
1 Rainbow Crow
1 Repulse
1 Sapphire Leech
1 Shimmering Wings
2 Stormscape Apprentice
1 Tidal Visionary
1 Tower Drake
1 Worldly Counsel

Black
1 Cursed Flesh
1 Duskwalker
1 Firescreamer
1 Hypnotic Cloud
1 Nightscape Apprentice
1 Phyrexian Battleflies
1 Plague Spitter
1 Reckless Spite
1 Soul Burn
1 Urborg Phantom

Red
1 Kavu Scout
1 Overload
1 Pouncing Kavu
1 Rogue Kavu
1 Savage Offensive
1 Scorching Lava
1 Shivan Harvest
1 Stun

Green
1 Aggressive Urge
1 Elfhame Sanctuary
1 Explosive Growth
1 Fertile Ground
1 Kavu Climber
2 Llanowar Cavalry
1 Llanowar Elite
1 Serpentine Kavu
1 Tangle
1 Thicket Elemental
1 Thornscape Apprentice
1 Treefolk Healer
1 Wandering Stream
1 Whip Silk

If you want to try and make a deck out of this pool, you should not move on until you've done that.

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"My deck was incredibly difficult to construct. I was forced to cut the best cards to get colour consistency," Alex says. Soul Burn, Reckless Spite, Kavu Climber, Thicket Elemental, Thornscape Apprentice, Plague Spores, Duskwalker, Barrin's Spite and not least Darigaaz, the Igniter were among the cards he had to leave out of his deck. This is the final deck Alex built:

3 Forest
7 Island
8 Plains
1 Armadillo Cloak
1 Samite Archer
1 Benalish Heralds
1 Benalish Trapper
1 Capashen Unicorn
1 Crimson Acolyte
1 Dismantling Blow
1 Obsidian Acolyte
1 Rampant Elephant
1 Razorfoot Griffin
1 Restrain
1 Faerie Squadron
2 Opt
1 Prohibit
1 Rainbow Crow
1 Repulse
2 Stormscape Apprentice
1 Tower Drake
1 Worldly Counsel
1 Serpentine Kavu
1 Treefolk Healer

"I'm white blue with a touch of green. Those were the colours which provided me with the most powerful cards while allowing for a consistant mana base, which to me is really important. I'm not gonna play four colours and just hope to draw something," Alex explains.

He spent a lot of time working on the deck, which is basically based on the "Master Decoys" that can tap other creatures. With three in the main deck and one in the sideboard, they will be key cards in his deck. "They are extremely important in this format. I chose blue for two extra Decoys over green's fat creatures," Alex admits. "My strategy is to control the ground, stop my opponents' creatures from being able to attack and then fly over them."

Alex wasn't really happy when he had to cut the dragon from his deck, but apart from the gold cards, he only had two playable red cards. Altogether, if he chose to play the colours of his dragon, he would have only 18 playable cards, which made that choice impossible.

Alex reckons that with three byes, he will finish the day at either 6-1 or 5-2. "I lose to big green creatures backed up with removal," he says, not really worried about the dragons. "Not as long as I can tap the dragons with my three tappers..."



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