It’s been a while since I made a post here, and I fully blame Red Dead Redemption 2. I haven’t looked at how many hours I’ve put into that game since it released, and I’m not going to.

Anyway, I finished up my October pool that stared out so promising. Sadly, the later packs gave me almost zero help, and, as expected, my opponents’ decks got better and better. I wound up taking my 7-3 start to a 25-15 finish, my worst since the first month of sealed.

 

From my last article, this is my week 1 deck that went 7-3:

Pretty solid! (Remember, Miner’s Canary and Calligrapher were un-nerfed at this point!)

The help was tepid, however:

Vanquisher’s Blade and Roosting Owl were the only truly exciting cards, with the rest amounting to decent filler. Archon looks like it might be a bomb, but it’s only okay. In the 30 games I played with it, it only went off once, as you usually don’t have enough units in play to justify paying 6 to activate.  Ageless Mentor would have been cool, if I had any Time fixing, and there was no help with the Shadow splash. I made the best I could of it, but my opponents got a lot more help than I did, as I turned my 7-3 start into a disappointing finish.

(Apologies for the phone screenshots; the league was ending, and I was at work when I remembered I needed to take some snapshots of the deck.)

Unfortunately, at 597, there wasn’t really much hope for me to get into the top 500, so I had to settle without my premium legendary! Boo.

Now, 25-15 is nothing to sneeze at! I’m happy to still have winning records throughout every sealed league thus far. Still, whiffing on the premium legendary stings a bit, especially when you start well and feel like your deck is solid. Just a single win in my last three games would have gotten me there; alas, I flooded a bunch. Here’s the final deck that I wound up with:

It really felt like this deck was better than 25-15, but I had some pretty atrocious draws when it mattered, and the deck did lack some haymakers to punch through stalled boards. If they answered my Aeva, I had a really hard time doing much.

Ah, well. It happens. I’ll just bounce back with November’s sealed pool!

Right?

That’s a yikes from me, dog.

There’s basically no path to a playable deck here. I wish I had more to say about this pool, but there just, like…aren’t any good cards to be found (except Gleaming Shield, for which I seem to have some sort of strange affinity in sealed).

The one good thing about this pool is that my fixing is quite good. Four strangers, a Banner, Petition, and  Recon Tower mean that I’ll be able to play any good cards that I open in the following weeks. That means the correct choice is almost certainly to not play week 1 and hope for some help in the next few packs…

Which…okay, I suppose there are some reasonable cards here. The problem is that there’s nothing overwhelmingly exciting. No huge bombs, but lots of really good midrange cards. Vanquish, Desert Marshal, and Wasp are great removal, and the Owl provides a path to victory in a longer game. Seek Power and Hooru Banner make my fixing even better. I assembled a passable, if thoroughly unexciting deck:

The major issue here is that Primal feels rather tacked on. All of my Primal cards are good, but none are really cards I want to be splashing. I feel priced into it, though, since the rest of my Combrei cards are quite bad.

Shadow is a solid consideration here–just go all-in on fixing and play Slimespitter, Rolant’s Choice, Cut Ties, and the double Dark Return. The main issue there is the SS cost on Slimespitter. My Primal fixing is very good, thanks to the double Banners, but I would have to jam three strangers into the deck to play Shadow.  Is that worth it? Here’s what I would play:

Just, uh, ignore the power base. Nothing to see there.

In all seriousness, as built this gets me:

9 Justice

10 Time

7* Primal

8 Shadow

Not counting the Learned Herbalist, which could get me anything but the first Time in a pinch. I think that’s pretty reasonable. I’ve left an asterisk next to Primal because Clan Standard won’t be a Primal source if I draw it after 5 (and I’d like to avoid using it as one, anyway).

I ditched the 6-drop package of Ambassadors and Champion of Progress. That may be for the best–it was probably a pipe dream. Many of the other units I cut were pretty mediocre, so that’s a positive. Slimespitter is still a non-bo with a lot of my cards, but it is such a potential bomb when you’re behind that I think it’s fine to run it. Wurmic Changer is cute with Dark Returns and Twinning Ritual, but just such a poor tempo card when you don’t get tribute. This deck is already going to be durdling quite a bit, so I think he’s a fine cut. I like the look of this list a lot more than the previous one, but I’m still undecided whether to wait for the final two packs to see if I can crack any more bombs.

I do think Clan Standard is worth it. It’s a powerful effect, and flood protection is nice. With Recon Tower and Seek Power, I should be okay with 17 non-Standard sources.

Wrapping up

I will be honest: I haven’t played that much Eternal lately. Between RDR2 and Magic Arena, my time has been pretty slim, and the lull before Set 5 hasn’t helped. I am thrilled that Eternal has finally reached its official release, and I’m enjoying playing my constructed decks for the moment, so overall I’m pleased with the state of the game. I hope they can keep this up as the tournament scene develops. Limited tournaments when?

As for my next post here, I’ll probably discuss my November results before I take off for my December travels to the AGU meeting in Washington, D.C. I may also try to do some Arena draft writeups, as I’ve been enjoying being able to play Magic at relatively low stakes compared to MTGO. It hurts a lot less to 0-3 a draft on Arena than it did to 0-3 on MTGO, that’s for sure.