Power Overload

Posted in GRAND PRIX BEIJING 2015 on October 24, 2015

By Chapman Sim

In Team Limited, the decks are more powerful than in regular Sealed Deck or Booster Drafts.

Way more powerful.

With twelve boosters being opened, you can more reliably count on receiving the key Commons and Uncommons to craft the specific deck you want. Most Team Limited decks will also have a better curve, access to more sideboard cards and more synergy.

This means that one can expect most Team Limited decks to be more streamlined and more overpowered than usual.

Let's take a look at some of the top archetypes in the format, along with some awesome-looking decks that one would be envious of having in a regular Sealed Deck or Booster Draft!

Red-Green Landfall

For instance, the Red-Green Landfall decks are easier to build, since it relies so heavily on its signature low drops such as Snapping Gnarlid, Makindi Sliderunner and Valakut Predator. In addition, you're almost guaranteed to get a combat trick or two, cards that you want a couple of, but never too many anyway.

The chance of opening Evolving Wilds has also increased, but team members will need to decide how to best allocate this precious resource. Most players opt to give it to the Landfall deck for that extra kick.

Blue-Black Devoid

The Blue-Black Ingest decks also value specific commons greatly. While Culling Drone might do the trick in regular Limited formats, you cannot count it to break through your opponent's defenses . In times like this, you need specific commons for the job, in particular Sludge Crawler, Mist Intruder and Benthic Infiltrator, three of the most reliable ways to quickly exile a card for processing.

Once that little problem is out of the way, it's time for the Murk Striders, Ulamog Nullifiers and Ruin Processors to come out to play. Coupled with a light touch of removal, bounce and countermagic, the Blue-Black Devoid deck is one of the most obvious and most powerful strategies that most teams will be happy to adopt.

Black-Red Devoid or Blue-Red Devoid

The Devoid decks will also be happy to rip open more boosters, such that they can accumulate as many Nettle Drones as possible. A damage-based deck with a lot of reach, it strives to take advantage of payoff cards such as Kozilek's Sentinel, Vile Aggregate and even Molten Nursery.

Those who seek to pair these red, colorless cards (kinda oxymoronic) with black will enjoy having Dominator Drones and Skitterskins in their card pool, while the blue at heart will be hoping for as many Eldrazi Skyspawners and Ruination Guides as possible.

White-Blue Awaken or Fliers

A great way to maximize the power of a card pool is to diversify a little. If you're attempting to build three aggressive decks, you're not only competing for resources, but also leaving the defensive cards in the lurch.

As such, it's best to have a nice combination of decks in order to fully harness the power of your card pool. For example, the White-Blue Awaken or Fliers deck should be happy to put Fortified Ramparts to good use, a "crappy" common that no other deck would be happy to have.

The control decks can also be very dedicated and can slow down matches to a halt before the pilot takes over the game with end-game bombs and "value cards" such as Sheer Drop and Coastal Discovery. These White-Blue shells are also a good home for the slowest cards of the format, in addition the the next archetype I'm about to discuss.

Eldrazi Ramp / Converge

Another way to full extract value from the entire card pool is to build a deck to play with as many bombs as possible. Many of the largest Eldrazi like Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and Desolation Twin are best supported by Eldrazi Scion producers and mana ramp cards, in order to not to "waste" these resources.

Coincidentally, many of these "ramp" cards such as Natural Connection and Lifespring Druid also provide the ability to splash a third (or fourth color), perfect for stuffing in Converge cards and off-color bombs into your forty.

For example, the Black-Green Eldrazi deck would be happy to include a single Island to splash Sire of Stagnation, rather than keeping a powerful mythic relegated to the sidelines. Some other gold cards such as Roil Spout, Skyrider Elf and "not-quite-gold" Radiant Flames are also best in the Green deck who can afford the manafixing.


The chance of assembling the Allies deck has also improved, since the archetype relies on accumulating a critical mass of specific commons such as Kalastria Healer.

If anything, the Ally deck is the biggest victim of Sealed Deck, since a lot of the archetypes irreplaceable and gamebreaking cards are in the uncommon and rare spot.

Aside from Kalastria Healer, the other common Allies are not particularly exciting in multiples. To make matters worse, a lot of the game-swinging Allies are in the uncommon and rare slot, including Lantern Scout, Veteran Warleader, Hero of Goma Fada, Tajuru Warcaller and Resolute Blademaster.