Hi everybody.

I stepped away from Modern for a bit in order to play some Khans of Tarkir Limited at Grand Prix Liverpool on the 7th of April. While I'm not grasping the draft format 100% yet (not sure I ever will since I don't think I'll play it ever again), I knew what to do in the Sealed Deck portion. I wrote about Limited manabases a couple weeks back with this format in mind and it was the perfect opportunity to put it into practice.

Liverpool isn't a cheap place to stay. My countrymen Lucas Terrier, Timothée Simonot, Armel Primot and Luxembourg citizen Laurent Calligaro and I rented a car and an apartment located at a 20 minute drive away from the site. Even though I benefit from the sleep-in special and three byes, I decided to take the ride to the tournament with everybody else to get there at nine am for the regular deck registration/building. I could have used a couple more hours of sleep but I wanted to be on-site to be able to Rebuild my deck during the byes, try other stuff, in case I didn't have time to figure everything out.

The sleep-in special is nice, not having to register a deck, sleep a little more, are all valuable options. However, getting that extra time during the byes (in case you have any) for deckbuilding can be very helpful. Being able to play a few games with your original build and asking around for opinions is something you have to do in order to do well/better at a GP.

To follow up my last article about sealed deck and to answer the requests of some of you asking me to make videos, I'm going to take you through a sealed deck building with the interesting pool I had in Liverpool.

You will find below the list of the cards I opened. You can build the deck yourself, in order to do so copy and paste the list in a .txt and open it with Magic Online (I'll show you how to do it at the beginning of the video if you need help). Keep in mind you only have 20 minutes to build it.

DECKID=1233015

If you don't feel like building the deck, sit back, relax, and enjoy the video.

Reference: Mastering Limited Manabases

Here is what I submitted at the GP.

DECKID=1233016

I should have played nine Mountains / six Islands, but I was so rushed at the end that I didn't have time to figure out the manabase properly.

The deck was actually much better than I expected; the number of removal and the stability of the deck made up for the lack of bombs. I would either out-tempo my opponents or take care of their bombs with my red spells. The plan of pushing as much damage as possible early in the game and finishing with direct damage spells worked above expectations. When during the pre-tournament briefing, LSV and Josh Utter-Leyton advocated cutting the bad two-drops such as Wetland Sambar for more powerful cards that would be better in the late game, I strongly disagreed. Both Wetland Sambar and Leaping Monk are basically 2/1s for two in my deck, but I was always happy to draw them at any point during the game. That of course, worked because I did have a lot of removal and I needed to push damage through somehow. The "vanilla two-drop strategy" might not be as effective in decks with more powerful late game cards in the pool.

The not so exciting Summit Prowlers, Fierce Invocation and Bloodfire Enforcer worked great along with the removal suite. Having high-power creature is exactly what you need to go all the way. Bloodfire Enforcer fit the deck perfectly as it almost always had first strike and trample (six sorceries and four instants). Attacking with open mana when you're missing an instant in your graveyard usually keeps your opponent from blocking.

The "splash" of Icefeather Aven won me at least two games. It was just a morph when I didn't have the Thornwood Falls, and it was a blowout when I could unmorph it. Small risk, big reward.

Arcbond won me a couple of games on its own as well. This card is extremely underrated as it's said to be too situational. It can't always do what you'd like it to do, and you have to set up a board position where it will do what you want it to do. It's not too hard to have it deal the last few damage or kill most of the critters, the only thing you have to worry about is instant-speed removal spells. The extra direct damage worked great in this deck along with Arrow Storm, Pyrotechnics and Cunning Strike.

Supplant Form was indeed the bomb I knew it was, turning around games you would never imagine you could win. There are so many ways to make this card a haymaker that the only thing you'll be thinking when setting it up is how big of a blowout it is going to be.

I ended up going 5-1 (so 8-1 with the three byes), losing to Nicolai Herzog and his bomb-filled deck: Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Daghatar the Adamant, and last but not least, Wingmate Roc. Except for that match, I don't think I dropped a single game that day.

My Day 2 started fine with a 2-1 record on the first pod, but unfortunately things didn't go so well in my second draft. I followed up with a disastrous 0-3 and finished the tournament 97th, good enough for $250 but no Pro Point.

If you enjoyed this kind of videos or want me to make more videos in general, leave a word in the comment section below.

Take care!
Raph

Twitter: @hahamoud
Twitch: Raphaellevy