Sealed Deck Building with (3) Lukas Blohon

Posted in Event Coverage on October 8, 2016

By Tobi Henke

Champion of the most recent Pro Tour and the current number three in the Top 25 Rankings, Lukas Blohon was an obvious choice to watch during deck construction. Before, I asked Blohon what his impression of the format had been so far and what he would be looking for in his card pool. He admitted that he hadn't done a lot of Sealed Deck testing, but he had learned a lot from drafting.

"In my experience, even in draft, games go long, things move slowly," he said. So he was definitely looking for power rather than speed, especially since Sealed decks are usually even slower than draft decks.

Lukas Blohon

In any case, he was quite happy with what he opened, pointing out highlights like Fumigate and Skysovereign, Consul Flagship. After sorting through the colors, however, he began by laying out the green cards: a few solid creatures, another two rares, and mana fixing in Attune with Aether and Wild Wanderer.

The green appeared to be a natural fit with blue. Two Empyreal Voyagers, a bunch of blue cards, and several artifacts completed a rough first draft. Included among the artifacts were two Prophetic Prisms which in turn allowed Blohon to include a Bastion Mastodon and a Prakhata Pillar-Bug as well. He later told me, "These are fine creatures anyway. You don't have to be able to activate them with a hundred percent reliability."

But with this amount of color fixing, Blohon was inclined to add a little splash of an actual third color too. He looked at red where he found Welding Sparks.

Next, he tried a green-white base with a slash of red. Alas, the creatures in white—Eddytrail Hawk, Thriving Ibex, Consul's Shieldguard, a pair of Skywirl Harriers—were too dismal. As an alternative he looked at green-blue with a splash of Fumigate and Revoke Privileges. After discarding this option, Blohon said, "I'm really sad I don't get to play Fumigate, but this was just too hard on the mana."

Another possibility Blohon investigated was a straightforward red-green deck with a much more aggressive layout: a curve beginning with Voltaic Brawler and Thriving Grubs and a Skyship Stalker for additional punch in the late game. Unfortunately, the Prophetic Prisms would have been bad in this particular deck, Blohon pointed out, and without them he didn't have enough artifacts for his two Salivating Gremlins to be anything but underwhelming.

"I don't think I need to be aggressive with this pool though," said Blohon, betraying a deeply held conviction that control decks were always to be preferred. "Why would I play all of those bad cards and try to close a game early? I can just wait until my rares"—here he pointed at Skysovereign, Consul Flagship, Bristling Hydra, and Wildest Dreams—"take over."

In between Blohon repeatedly rifled through his black cards. At one point he even began to lay out a deck. But he aborted that mission when it became clear that nothing good would come of it.

He always went back to green-blue with Welding Sparks, and this also was what he registered in the end. When asked whether he was happy with the deck, Blohon said, "Well, this pool is definitely great. Five of my six rares are good, and Skysovereign is the best Limited card in the set. So I can't complain. It's unfortunate that the rares are spread among so many colors, and I would be much happier if I had another pay-off card for all the energy my Empyreal Voyagers generate—I actually considered splashing Thriving Ibex—but I think the deck is great. Though I can see myself sideboarding white against a very aggressive deck. Long-Finned Skywhale and Empyreal Voyagers aren't the best defense, I guess."

(3) Lukas Blohon's Sealed Deck

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