Gabriel Nassif

Sealed Deck Analysis

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Gabriel Nassif - Prepares To Build The letter A!s soon as Gabriel heard his sealed deck was going to be featured he warned me that this would be his first individual sealed deck - he had played team sealed with Mirrodin already in the French Team Cup. His sealed deck would prove to be rather tough, with removal concentrated in black and red, and his creatures concentrated in white and blue.

He started out by separating his good cards from the bad ones. Terror, two Betrayal of Flesh and Slith Bloodletter featured the black pile; Shatter, Detonate and Goblin Replica were the highlights of his red cards. White had two Auriok Transfixer, an Auriok Bladewarden, Leonin Den-Guard, Slith Ascendant, Arrest and Loxodon Punisher. His next move was obviously to check what kind of equipment he had, but it was rather poor: A Viridian Longbow and Vulshok Battlegear were the only ones he'd like to play. Slagwurm Armor would provide him with the third equipment but he was unsure if that'd make the white good enough. His blue featured a Wizard Replica, two Cobalt Golems, a Thoughtcast and a Neurok Spy. Green was rather mediocre, not sporting any artifact removal and One Dozen Eyes, Predator's Strike and Fangren Hunter being the only playables. His artifacts included Mind's Eye, Myr Incubator, Tower of Champions plus a Leaden Myr and Gold Myr.

Gabriel was quick to dismiss the green and blue as unplayable, but after that his decisions became more difficult and painful to make. He started by laying out the white, red and black altogether - giving him about 32 playables. He felt his white was mediocre due to a lack of quality equipment. Auriok Bladewarden is fine on his own, but it doesn't shine until a Bonesplitter or the likes equip it. Leonin Den-Guard and Loxodon Punisher however, really need to be equipped before they make an impact on the game. His black and red added much needed removal to the deck, but provided very little in the terms of creatures. His next experiment was to pull the white, and go for a removal heavy black-red deck. That didn't work out too well, with only 9 creatures making it into the deck.

Up next was removing his red from the deck, keeping it at a white-black deck. Even though it looked solid, he was a little short on playables, having 22 with 2 Myrs wasn't good enough. Splashing red into that deck was a possibility he considered but it would mean he'd run Slith Ascendant and Slith Bloodletter with a red splash. Lastly he considered running his deck as a white-red tempo deck. That too fell somewhat short on the creature count, which isn't what you're looking for in a tempo deck. More importantly, he had to leave Terror and his two Betrayal of Flesh in the board that way. This process of switching between a white, black and red combination would keep the yellow Frenchman occupied for the next fifteen minutes, until time forced him to make a final decision. With 6 minutes left on the clock, he finally settled on a base white deck, which would splash both black and red based on the strength of his Talisman of Indulgence.

Even with that decision made, Gabriel still had to worry about some other choices - How good is Myr Incubator? How good is Tower of Champions? Should I play Slagwurm Armor? Is Titanium Golem good enough? He wished he had played more Mirrodin limited in the past few days, because he figured he'd know the answers to those questions if he had played only a little more. In the end he settled for playing his Slagwurm Armor and Myr Incubator. All in all he wasn't too happy with his deck, feeling it could be better if he knew more about the format. He figures it is possible to make day 2 with the deck, but it's rather unlikely.

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