Sealed Deck Beginner’s Guide for Magic: the Gathering

Your Fate is SEALED!

Sealed Deck is now one of the rotating events in Magic Arena Beta. In this guide, I will try to give some helpful concepts so you can build a 40-card sealed deck with a refined strategy in mind, just in time for you Ravnica Allegiance prerelease events.

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What is the Sealed Deck format?

Magic: The Gathering can be a very complex game, with countless cards and interactions. Unlike constructed formats – where you keep playing with your own deck –  in a sealed deck tournament, you build a brand-new deck from six unopened booster packs at the start of the event. You build a 40-card deck (this is the minimum) out of cards you get and you shouldn’t cross this line as you decrease your chances to draw cards you might need.

“Building a Sealed deck can be an exciting process. But it can also feel daunting or even overwhelming for a player new to the format.”

– The Professor, Tolarian Community College

B.R. E. A. D.

If you are new to the Sealed format or new to Magic as a whole, you might wonder how to put cards together. Which cards do you pick? How do you know which ones will fit your deck better?

Let’s leave all those questions behind for a moment. Imagine you are working in a bakery and you are supposed to bake bread. In short, all you have to do is to put certain ingredients together and bake them according to the recipe. Similarly, you can make your sealed deck in Magic following the B.R.E.A.D method.

Bombs – Removal – Evasion – Aggro – Duds

Bombs – Your win conditions go here. These are cards that your opponent has to answer or otherwise they will lose the game. This category should be your highest priority while building.

Removal spells – Any spell, ability or artifact which can deal with your opponent’s bombs and their other cards.

Evasion – This category consists of creatures with special abilities that allow them to evade your opponent’s defenses. Good examples of those are flying, menace and first strike.

Aggro – Creatures that may not have evasive abilities, but build around your mana curve.

Duds – Cards that can fill up your deck, but do not belong to any group.

Deckbuilding

Creatures

Building a deck is not always about selecting the best 22 or 23 cards from your pool and mixing them with basic lands. Your deck needs to run smoothly along the curve in order not to give up the tempo to your opponent. Your creature curve should look like this:

  • CMC 1: 0-2
  • CMC 2: 4-6
  • CMC 3: 3-5
  • CMC 4: 2-4
  • CMC 5: 1-3
  • CMC 6+: 0-2

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It’s always better to play two colors to limit potential problems with your mana base. Sometimes you can splash a third color if it improves your deck in a significant way, such as a bomb or removal spell. However, the more aggressive you are, the more you should value your resources as slower tempo due to mana problems disrupts your deck’s strategy more often.

Non-creature spells

For this spot, you should think of artifacts, enchantments, and other removal spells. You should always aim to fill up your curve by adding those. Try to not include more than one piece of equipment or aura card. Equipment has an extra equip cost which can slow you down. Auras go straight to the graveyard once creatures they are attached to leave the battlefield.

Playing with more than 40 cards

Don’t do it. Your deck needs to be as lean as possible, and the leanest possible deck is exactly 40 cards. Adding extra cards, even just one or two, means having to draw extra cards before you can get to your bomb or your removal spell.

Closing

I hope you enjoyed this guide. Now that you have the basics down, you are ready to play your Ravnica Allegiance sealed deck event in MTG Arena or play at a prerelease in your local shop or on Magic Online! I hope that you’ve found this guide helpful.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Kxrekorikus for more content.

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