M12 FNM Sealed – A Painful Quandary with Mark Pinder

Support Your Local Playgroup by Mark Pinder


I have to admit I am a big fan of ‘Sealed’ it comes from some of my early good results being with the format, my first tournament win being a Coldsnap Sealed in the Store Team Challenge within my first six months of returning to Magic. A few Pre-Release T-shirts later and my love of the format is still great even though many of my friends consider me to be a constructed player.

Now I went to Nationals in Sheffield this year, missed out on qualification so whilst I have all the M12 I will probably need I decided to give it a go with my friends and also get some deck construction practice in as Sadie Russell had convinced me to be her partner in the 2 HG the following day, something I was rather wary of.

My pool.
Act of Treason 1
Blood Ogre 1
Fiery Hellhound 2
Fireball 2
Goblin Piker 1
Goblin Tunneler 1
Goblin War Paint 2
Incinerate 1
Lava Axe 1
Lightning Elemental 1
Shock 1
Slaughter Cry 1
Volcanic Dragon 1
Warstorm Surge 1
Brink of Disaster 1
Dark Favor 1
Diabolic Tutor 1
Disentomb 1
Doom Blade 2
Drifting Shade 1
Hideous Visage 2
Mind Rot 1
Rune Scarred Demon 1
Smallpox 1
Taste of Blood 1
Tormented Soul 1
Warpath Ghoul 1
Zombie Infestation 1
AssaultGriffin 1
Benalish Veteran 1
Demystify 1
Griffin Rider 1
Griffin Sentinel 1
Guardain’s Pledge 1
Oblivion Ring 1
Pacifism 2
Spirit Mantle 1
Stave Off 1
Stonehorn Dignitary 1
Timely Reinforcements 1
Birds of Paradise 1
Brindle Boar 1
Carnage Wurm 1
Dungrove Elder 1
Giant Spider 1
Gladecover Scout 1
Greater Basilisk 1
Jade Mage 1
Reclaim 1
Sacred Wolf 1
Stampeding Rhino 1
Titanic Growth 1
Trollhide 1
Vastwood Gorger 1
Aether Adept 1
Aven Fleetwing 2
Chasm Drake 1
Divination 1
Frost Breath 1
Harbor Servant 1
Ice Cage 1
Merfolk Looter 1
Merfolk Mesmerist 1
Mind Control 1
Phantasmal Image 1
Ponder 1
Skywinder Drake 1
Time Reversal 1
Turn to Frog 1
Unsummon 1
Buried Ruin 1
Angel’s Feather 1
Crown of Empires 1
Crumbling Colosussus 1
Kraken’s Eye 1
Manalith 1
Wurm’s Tooth 1


Okay, the red has two Fireballs including a foil which I opened in the first pack, Incinerate and Shock. The Volcanic Dragon was also tempting.

The first two cards in Black which I see are the Doom Blades but with a Rune Scarred Demon present as a viable finisher with its own Diabolic tutor effect, black has some nice cards.

In my White I do like to see Pacifism so to see it has a twin and an Oblivion Ring to compliment it has me smiling. Timely Reinforcements is one of my new favourites but I am worried about the lack of creatures, at best this will be a splash colour.

I like my green, the spells are not much to write home about but we have some nice solid creatures, a bomb in Carnage Wurm and a [/card]ade Mage[/card] too.

Brilliant, Blue has flyers and a Mind Control supported by an Ice Cage and Frost Breath. Divination and Ponder can also help me get what I need to win.

Manalith! We have a Manalith; I just love this card in M12. Mana fixing J

After sorting through my packs I am dumb struck, now normally I have found I am overly negative with a pool and will whinge that it isn’t very deep and having to play filler cards. This pool was different, it has awesome cards in all the colours and worse still there is not a colour at first glance that you can discount.

In the end I made the following decisions.

The green and blue had by far the most solid creatures and needed to be played, I would splash the red for the burn spells and the Volcanic Dragon.

Black was good but no depth in creatures and this was a similar problem for white.

My Final Choice.

2 Mountain
6 Island 
7 Forest
2 Swamp 

Crown of Empires

2 Fireball
2 Incinerate
2 Shock

2 Doom Blade

Birds of Paradise
Carnage Wurm
Giant Spider
Greater Basilisk
Jade Mage
Sacred Wolf
Stampeding Rhino
Vastwood Gorger

 Aether Adept
2 Aven Fleetwing
Chasm Drake
Merfolk Looter
Phantasmal Image
Skywinder Drake

Mind Control

So how did I do?

Well I won my first two matches rather quickly and the last two matches were really close against other awesome decks. I do remember losing one game to someone “Flinging” an Inferno Titan at me after casting “Slaughter Cry” on it.

Do I stand by my deck choice, well I certainly had fun playing with the deck, I did wonder how the white would have played instead of the black but I think I would have stayed in four colours, one friend even suggested I should have been even greedier and found a home for the white as well as it was only an FNM.


So what I would like to know from you guys, how would you build the pool differently?





Please let us know what you think below...

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Mark Pinder
I have competed twice at GB nationals in 2010/2008, was Runner Up at Senior Nationals 2010, Won a Grand Prix Trial which took me to Paris 2009. My love of the game was such that I did previously win a writing competition on MTG Twincast which led to me being a Feature Writer for around a year until the Sponsor sold up but still did the occasional article. There is also a verb "To Pinder"colloquially used in northern magic communities which means "to gain life", I was a solid fan of Martyr of Sands/Proclamation of Rebirth combo and many players have heard those fateful words, Sacrifice Martyr of Sands, gain 21 life against me to see the game go out of their reach with lethal damage available to them next turn.