Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Suggested block sealed formats of Magic: The Gathering

I was recently in discussions with a L3 Magic: The Gathering (MTG) judge from one of my local game shops (LGS), Games Laboratory, around the suggested / recommended configuration to be used when playing sealed deck format when it comes to block sets. Sealed deck is a form of a limited format where players make a 40 card deck from a restricted pool of cards. Over the history of MTG, the pool has varied, but it appears that the current most preferred pool is using 6 booster packs. Other ways in the past is by using a Tournament pack and some additional booster packs.

The sealed limited format in MTG is the format I play the most with my "kitchen table" group.

The L3 suggested for any Large-Small-Small block (and the size refers to the card pool size of each individual set), it should be 2 boosters from the first set, 2 boosters, from the second set, and 2 boosters from the third set. This will take into account the way blocks are designed. So therefore, we have come up with the following recommendations:

Return to Ravnica block (Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, Dragon's Maze)

  • 2 from Return to Ravnica, 2 from Gatecrash, 2 from Dragon's Maze

Innistrad block (Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored)
This block has the two types of sealed pools:
  • 3 from Innistrad, 3 from Dark Ascension
  • 6 from Avacyn Restored

Scars of Mirrodin block (Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, New Phyrexia)

  • 2 from Scars of Mirrodin, 2 from Mirrodin Besieged, 2 from New Phyrexia

Zendikar block (Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi)
This block has the two types of sealed pools:
  • 3 from Zendikar, 3 from Worldwake
  • 6 from Rise of the Eldrazi
Alara block (Shards of Alara, Conflux, Alara Reborn)

  • 2 from Shards of Alara, 2 from Conflux, 2 from Alara Reborn
Note that this was the last block to have the Tournament Pack, so people that played MTG when this was released may have had different experiences.

Lorwyn-Shadowmoor block (Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, Eventide)
This block was actually made up of 2 mini-blocks, so the suggested way of doing a sealed game with these are:

  • 3 from Lorwyn, 3 from Morningtide
  • 3 from Shadowmoor, 3 from Eventide
I will stop there (for the moment), as I find it more difficult / expensive to obtain any sealed booster boxes older than the Lorwyn-Shadowmoor block.

I welcome any feedback around these suggestions / recommendation, and may edit this blog entry from time to time. Keep in mind, these are only suggestions and recommendations, and should not deter you from playing sealed formats with 6 different boosters from different sets.