Beginner Planeswalker Guide: Sealed Deck FormatNovember 8, 2018
This is an ongoing series of Magic articles aimed at welcoming people into Magic: The Gathering!
The Sealed Deck format is a limited format, meaning that you do not need to provide any cards. You will build your deck from 6 booster packs (sometimes 4) and basic land. I believe that the Sealed Deck Format is the best option for newer players to explore limited formats for the first time.
Benefits to playing this format:
- This is a very popular format, especially for prerelease events when a brand new set is coming out. Prerelease events are a great way to jump into a new set and learn the cards while playing them for the first time. Prereleases are also aimed at newer players, so they are a good event to attend for your first in-store tournament.
- Because it doesn’t require building a deck beforehand, it takes less time to prepare and everyone is theoretically on a similar playing field as far as the chances of having good cards in your card pool. The cards you have to build a deck with are 100% dependent on what you open in your booster packs.
- You will walk away from the event with at least 90 new cards for your collection!
Unlike drafting or creating a constructed deck, in Sealed you have all of the options available in front of you at the same time. This makes the concept of building a deck easier to grasp and practice.
When you open up your booster packs, the first thing you should do is sort them by color. After you have done this, make sure you know what your rare cards are. If you have a lot of rare cards in one color, you should strongly consider playing that color. Keep in mind that you are not only looking for good cards, but you also want to ensure that you have a lot of cards in the colors you choose to play.
Sealed decks need to be 40 cards, including basic land cards. Deck size is measured as a minimum amount of cards in a deck, but I recommend staying as close to the minimum as possible to increase the variance of drawing your best cards. For a 40 card deck, you generally want to stay in 1-3 colors (2 is generally the best choice in my opinion). For your ratio of creatures, spells, and lands, the general guideline is 17 lands and 23 spells/creatures. I don’t recommend playing less than 12-14 creatures in a deck and I highly recommend focusing heavy on good creatures and removal spells (spells that destroy or deal damage to creatures).
If you are new, feel free to play whatever you are the most comfortable with (assuming your card pool can support this strategy). However, if your card pool is very good in colors you have never played before, this might be your opportunity to branch out and learn how to play something new to you. Don’t be afraid to try something new in Magic, it’s the only way to grow as a player and get better.
I hope this was helpful in trying out the limited format Sealed out and has prepared you to try your hand at a prerelease event in the future!