Build with the Pros - Craig Wescoe and Andrew Brown

Posted in Event Coverage on October 8, 2016

By Meghan Wolff

Meghan is one half of the Good Luck High Five podcast and an adjunct professor at Tolarian Community College. She loves Limited, likes Modern, and dips her toes into each Standard season. She's decidedly blue and is the #1 hater of Siege Rhino in the Multiverse.

We asked pro players Andrew Brown and Craig Wescoe to build a deck from the practice Sealed pool we cracked, which can be seen here

Brown is a Los Angeles-based player and member of Team East-West Bowl who made the Top 8 of both Pro Tour Oath of the Gatewatch and Pro Tour Eldritch Moon last year. He mentioned wearing a fedora to build this practice sealed pool, but when he arrived he was regrettably fedora-less.

“We have three Renegade Freighters?” Brown said as soon as he picked up the pool. He mulled over them for a minute before setting them aside to come back to later.

“I've played a fair amount of the sealed format so far, and it reminds me a lot of Khans of Tarkir. You can definitely go with a lot of colors because there's Prophetic Prism and Attune with Aether at common, so you can easily jump around or splash colors. Plus, the rare multicolor cards are very high impact, so you're definitely incentivized to play those.”

Brown sifted through each of the colors and gave his first impression of the pool.

“I see Fairgrounds Warden and Cataclysmic Gearhulk, and those are obviously insane. The creatures [in white] are fine, but there aren't too many, so I'm likely going to pair with whatever has the most creatures.”

Brown really likes Gearseeker Serpent as a win condition. Overall, however, he thought that blue's creatures didn't work well with the three Renegade Freighters he wanted to play, as they weren't the ideal size to crew them.

“We do have some green rares, but it looks unlikely that we can pair it with white because there's not enough creatures, but let me see.”

Brown proceeded to lay out a version of green-white, which he thought matched his initial assessment – the colors didn't work well together. He shuffles through the black and red cards.

“We do have one Prophetic Prism,” he said, holding two copies of Welding Sparks. “Splashing is within our range.”

He pulled two copies of Attune with Aether from a stack of spells and waffled over whether or not he wanted to play green. “Though we could just play all the colors,” he said, beginning a new deck with the Attune with Aethers.

“Which is something I kinda like doing,” he admitted. “Let's try it.”

But the four color deck didn't quite come together either, its overall power level not high enough to make the strain on the mana base worthwhile. Brown sighed and once again scrapped the deck and laid out the white cards and the Freighters he'd noticed from the beginning.

“I really want to play all three Renegade Freighters, so we need to play the maximum amount of cards that can turn it on. This card is Ace with that one,” he said, pointing a Gearshift Ace at a Renegade Freighter and using his allowed one-pun-per-interview.

Brown then proceeded to fill out his curve with creatures and removal from the pool of black cards, noting that Scraphead Scrounger crewed our vehicles particularly well.

He ended with the following deck, which made him make the following face:

“This deck is medium,” he said. “It's serviceable. Solid five out of seven.”

Craig Wescoe has made a name for himself as both a Pro Tour champion and frequent Gold and Platinum player. He has also, of course, made a name for himself as a champion of aggressive white decks, which he brews lists for in almost every format.

“Jeez,” Wescoe said, pulling the same three Renegade Freighters that caught Brown's eye to the front. He kept them nearby as he flicked through the rest of the pool. He sorting through the rest of the colorless cards, since he can evaluate those cards individually, separate from the quality of each color in the pool.

“I look at the colorless, and at the multicolor, and then I go for the white first,” Wescoe said. “I'm kinda glad I did, this white's pretty good.”

He then separated out all the cards he's most unlikely to play, to get an idea of each color's strength. Cards like Wily Bandar fell by the wayside during this sorting period, never to be picked up or considered again.

Wescoe was also looking for the best creatures to crew the fleet of Renegade Freighters. Blue had too many expensive cards, and its cheap ones only had one power, making them ill-suited to driving the train.

He quickly dismissed green and red for the same reason, as their low creature count supported neither the Freighters nor the strong white cards he wanted to play. Ultimately, Wescoe also arrived at a white-black deck making full use of the Renegade Freighters. He was happier than Brown was to be playing Rush of Vitality and Subtle Strike, Rush of Vitality being, in his opinion, a particularly strong combat trick.

In the end, Wescoe's deck differed from Brown's by only one card.

Below is Wescoe's deck, and his more enthusiastic take on it:

“Renegade Freighter is a strength,” Wescoe said when he assessed the deck, “and it has a strong curve. It has a few cards I'm not super excited to play, but it has some high power level cards as well.”

The two pros we pulled aside to build this Sealed pool with us arrived at decks just one card different. Agree or disagree, let us know your take on our Kaladesh sealed build!

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