Sealed Deck Analysis: Rickard Österberg

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Sometimes you wait in anticipation for that Sealed Deck and it turns out to be golden. Two colours stand out as the obvious choices. The mana curve fits nicely. The cards have great synergy together. Building it takes no time as it pretty much builds itself.

Other times you can open your cards and be looking at a nightmare…

This is what Rickard Österberg, winner of Pro Tour New Orleans last month, opened. Go ahead. You have thirty minutes, starting now!

Raise the Alarm
Skyhunter Cub
Slith Ascendant
Sphere of Purity
Taj-Nar Swordsmith

2 Annul
Dream's Grip
Lumengrid Warden
Neurok Spy

Barter in Blood
Nim Lasher
Nim Shrieker
Wail of the Nim

2 Electrostatic Bolt
Fractured Loyalty
Goblin Striker
Incite War
Krark-Clan Grunt
2 Molten Rain

2 Bloodscent
Creeping Mold
Hum of the Radix
2 Journey of Discovery
Predator's Strike
Tel-Jilad Archers
Tel-Jilad Exile
Viridian Joiner

AEther Spellbomb
Alpha Myr
Altar of Shadows
Clockwork Beetle
Copper Myr
Farsight Mask
3 Frogmite
Goblin Replica
Goblin War Wagon
Gold Myr
Isochron Scepter
Leonin Bladetrap
Lifespark Spellbomb
Necrogen Spellbomb
Neurok Hoversail
Power Conduit
2 Pyrite Spellbomb
Rustspore Ram
Sculpting Steel
Silver Myr
Skeleton Shard
Soldier Replica
Steel Wall
Sunbeam Spellbomb
Sword of Kaldra
Talisman of Dominace
Viridian Longbow
Wizard Replica

Österberg laid out the cards in an organised fashion, separating the playables from the unplayables and the creatures from the spells. It didn’t look any prettier. There weren’t enough creatures. Each colour only had a couple of good spells in it. He tried out the combinations while the clock ticked away and it still didn’t get any better. Finally the clock was down to a minute and he had to make a decision, frantically marking the decklist sheet.

Afterwards he summed it up succinctly: “A mess.”

He wasn’t really happy with how he built it. He had to play white for creatures, and then he had to play the Hoversail and Sword of Kaldra just to make his creatures good. Time had just caught up with him. He knew he also should have dropped a card, but wasn’t sure what it should be. In the end he’d ended up with 41 cards and 17 lands, which he knew was wrong.

“So little time left.”

He played the Sword of Kaldra but wasn’t sure about it. Some players like it, others loathe it. Österberg wasn’t sure. He also felt maybe he should have played the Isochron Sceptre. He laid out his deck as we talked and still shifted through the combinations. He took out the black, tried green. Whichever way he went it still looked ugly.

Österberg won Pro Tour New Orleans this year, he made the final of the team Pro Tour before that and also has a Grand Prix title under his belt from Warsaw. Unfortunately I think he’ll struggle to survive to Day two with this card pool.

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