Monday, April 1, 2013

Festival Of Old Limited Sealed (Esper Fools!)

Today Wizards decided to fire off a series of sealed events named "Festival of Old Limited Sealed." The announcement article went something like this:
Added: Additional Event Times

Magic R&D is constantly developing new formats and testing them within the confines of the pit at Wizards HQ. They are offering a peek inside the testing process with a chance to try out a new format: 10 assorted booster packs from throughout Magic Online’s history, called the Festival Of Old Limited Sealed!

The Festival Of Old Limited Sealed is designed as one of the most skill-testing formats ever. Do you have what it takes to tackle the Festival Of Old Limited Sealed? This Phantom event will be available Monday at 12:00 PM PDT, 1:00 PM PDT, 2:00 PM PDT, 3:00 PM PDT, 4:00 PM PDT, 5:00 PM PDT, 6:00 PM PDT, and 9:00 PM PDT. Please note that the cards played with will not be added to players’ collections because this is a Phantom event.

Festival Of Old Limited Sealed
START TIME: Monday, 04/01/2013, at 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, and 9:00 PM (all times PDT).
LOCATION: Scheduled Events room.
ENTRY OPTION(S): 6 Event Tickets.
PRODUCT: Magic Online will provide 10 assorted Phantom booster packs for this event. Cards that players play with in a Phantom event are NOT added to those players' collections.
SIZE: 16-512 players.
DURATION: Deck building time plus four rounds, Swiss pairings.
PRIZES: Prizes for Swiss pairing events are based on the total match points at the end of the tournament. Each match win awards 3 points and each match loss awards 0 points.
For many people, it looked like the hardest part about the event was to complete building their deck and hit the 'submit' button in the allotted time of 20 miinutes:


 I finished with only 1 minute left and there were definitely some build mistakes involved. At the very least, I should have had 1 more swamp and 1 less plains. I also think there were better choices than Stand/Deliver & Tower Drake.

Anyway, the event fires and here's my pool:


 The pair of Serra Sphinxes get my attention immediately. I scan my blue and have found my first color. Dromar, the Banisher is tempting, but can I really make it work? The other big color for me was red. With a pair of Magma Jets and a handful of other burn. If I stuck to esper I would basically only have bounce for removal, but I'd get to play Dromar and some nice dimir multi-color cards. I figured I was just going to live and die on tempo and go all in on esper. In this end, my deck looked like this:


  • Serra Sphinxes were as good as ever.
  • Dromar actually connected on 2 players and I even got to choose a non-esper color to bounce. (Picking esper would bounce himself.)
  • Peel from Reality & Familiar's Ruse did a lot of work since I had so many creatures with ETB effects.
  • Dimir Infiltrator was a nice unblockable finisher once their life totals got low and I even got to transmute him once to grab Familiar's Ruse to protect Dromar and grab a win.
  • 3 creatures with morph kept my opponent's guessing.
  • A lot of my draw spells doubled as discard spells and worked well with my bounce.
  • In the games that I won, I crushed. I would just drop some early creatures and my bounce kept them from staying online for long. And just when they thought they were safe, I'd drop a sphinx or a dragon.
Overall, I think I did pretty good. I've been playing magic for a long time (since Revised), but I've taken multiple breaks from the game and there are definitely gaps in my card knowledge. I have no experience with either Lorwyn or the original Ravnica. I'm familiar with some Planar Chaos cards, but not all. This is part of the reason why I took so long in deck building.

I ended up going 4-0 in the event and earned myself 11 Gatecrash Booster Packs for only 6 Tickets. :)


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