SEALED DECK BUILD #1: DUKE/JENSEN

Posted in NEWS on June 28, 2014

By Corbin Hosler

Earlier we showed you a Sealed pool that, despite a few obviously-powerful rares, wasn't necessarily simple to build. At least, it wasn't for Hall of Famer William "Huey" Jensen and No. 1-ranked player Reid Duke, who fittingly worked together to build the pool after completing a shared presentation to fans on Friday about the best way to build Sealed pools.

The first decision was whether or not the green was playable. Despite the powerful rares and mythics, the card quality in the color wasn't very deep. That meant if they were to play the most powerful cards in the pool they would need a second color to provide a foundation for the rest of the deck.

Jensen examines a handful of cards to determine the final inclusion in the deck. He and Duke hosted a Sealed deck building seminar on Friday and followed that up by building our mystery pool this weekend.

The first direction the pair looked was green-black. With Temple of Malady and Gray Merchant of Asphodel, a card strong enough to make waves in Standard, it looked like an attractive direction. But as the two quickly began to cut down to the best cards, it became clear to them there wasn't enough depth to make a consistent deck.

"There's good removal and some good creatures, but it's just not as powerful as our other options," Jensen said. "Feast of Dreams is good, but we already have enchantment removal spells."

Quickly eliminating red and blue as options thanks to their limited power, the pair finally settled on white, but perhaps not for the reason you think.

"Karametra isn't a draw," Duke said. "Even in a green-white deck we'd think about cutting it. It's just not that strong."

What was strong was the solid creatures white could provide to help the deck's pilot survive long enough to cast the green gamechangers. Solid early bodies in a pair of Sightless Brawler and evasive threats with Dawnbringer Charioteers, Supply-Line Cranes and Akroan Skyguard gave the deck a path to victory even if it didn't draw or resolve its biggest threats.

At this point the pair were still considering using Temple of Malady and Opaline Unicorn to splash black for Erebos's Emissary. But, taking their own advice from the seminar they hosted on Friday, Duke and Jensen decided it wasn't worth the chance of losing games to mana troubles, especially given how powerful the deck's late-game already was.

While the Unicorn and the Emissary left the deck in favor of a Nyx-Fleece Ram, the temples remained as the duo decided it was best to play 18 land and aim for the long game.

"I'll almost always play off-color temples," Jensen said. "Maybe if you have four Solider of the Pantheon you wouldn't run four of them, but I'll run any within reason. With this deck and with the two temples coming into play tapped, you want to run 18 land. I don't think it's a bonkers deck, but the rares are so good."

Here's the final build Duke and Jensen decided on.

Duke/Jensen Sealed Deck Exercise

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