Team Sealed M14 at Spellbound Games Tournament Report by Ru Macdonald

M14 Sealed Pre-release Event & Deck Tech and Set Observations by Ruairidh Macdonald

Team Sealed M14 at Spellbound Games Tournament Report

Two weeks ago I attended my first Team Sealed Event at Spellbound Games. The format was M14 and I was teamed up with my friends Laurence and Graeme. Once again our numbers were too many for the shop, and so we were playing in a local pub. I met with Graeme and we started limbering up for the event –  i.e we played Commander. I feared that Laurence may not show up for the event due to memory loss/sleeping/League of Legends but before I knew it his looming (and comforting) shadow was upon me.

Team name : T.E.A.M (Tarmogoyf‘s Everywhere Around Me) Dollar Dollar Bill Ya’ll

Thanks Laurence!

lifebane zombieWe opened up our allocated 12 boosters and promptly vomited on the table. We had managed to hit a few duds in the rare department, a la Guardian of the Ages(x2!), Quicken, three others so bland that I am failing to remember them.  The rares of note were,

Domestication, Bogbrew Witch, Fiendslayer Paladin, Witchstalker, Lifebane Zombie, Xathrid Necromancer.

After splitting all cards up into colours we then allocated Graeme mono green, Laurence White Blue and myself Black Red. I am not a fan of Black Red or aggro in general, so I was not feeling excited about the deck I was going to have to rustle up. At least as the Black Red player I would have removal covered right?

Wrong. In those 12 boosters, they yielded only two pieces of spot removal; 1x Wring Flesh and 1x Shock.


I’ll put my dummy back in and admit that I did have 2x Pitchburn Devils and 2x Deathgaze Cockatrice, but I still felt pretty inadequate in the removal department. Laurence made a pretty sweet Blue White aggro/control deck packing Domestication, 1 or 2 Serra Angels, 2x Pacifisim and the other usual suspects.

Graeme ran a heavily green deck with a sliver sub theme, splashing red for Blur Sliver and Marauding Maulhorn. His bombyest cards were Enlarge and Trollhide, strong limited cards but you will forgive him if he wasn’t doing the conga.

The Deck

So here’s what I played for most of the matches.

Rakdos Team Sealed Deck - Ru


It has a pretty good curve, but is opening itself up to 2 for 1’s with all the auras. Unfortunately though, this was the best our pool could provide (or so I thought, but more on that later!). There was almost no sharing, though I might have played the Marauding Maulhorn if it hadn’t been better in Graeme’s mostly-mono-green deck.

I was pretty happy with the 2 power drops, 2 of them gaining me life and the other 2 gaining me better creatures in the late game. I played Academy Raider on the grounds that intimidate + power boosting aura is good, and because he is a human for Xathrid Necromancer.

Nightwing shade was not in the original roster, but was added after match 1 at Laurence’s suggestion (among a few of these other choices).

The Games

Gnawing Zombie

M1G1: I was up against a cool guy playing a mono-black deck sporting a sweet Gnawing Zombie + Tenacious Dead engine. I mulled to five cards due to land-less hands. I kept a shocker in the form of Pitchburn Devils, Mark of the Vampire x2, Mountain x2, Swamp. I was so excited to see land in my hand that I ran it anyway and died soon after to the aforementioned engine.

M1G2: I only had to mulligan to 6 here (phew!) and started to game feeling okay about my hand. After putting an aura on a creature only to get it Quag Sickness‘d the turn after I was started to really dislike my deck. The same interaction happened again and I lost shortly after.


I made a big mistake after game 1 by not sideboarding in an Altar’s Reap or two against a removal heavy opponent. I had the mind block of thinking I lost due to having a bad hand of 5 cards, and forgot to reassess the deck for game 2. I should have also sided out the Regathan Firecat (‘Bobcat’ as I like to think of it) as it’s low power plays very poorly with auras vs Quag Sickness. They should have been replaced by Undead Minotaur‘s.

Incidentally though I did look through my opponents deck post games only to see a Liliana’s Reaver and Shadowborn Demon. Yeah, I was not winning that game anyway! Laurence and Graeme did however, giving the team an overall win – thanks guys!

Team record: 1-0

chandra's outrage

M2G1: By this point the Bobcats were out and Undead Minotaur’s had replaced them, though other than that the deck remained the same. I was facing a Blue-Red… deck. I saw a Chandra’s Outrage and Nephalia Seakite (expected customers) but also Merfolk Spy and Coral Merfolk. I would only imagine playing these in a full blown aggro deck which this was not, so I feel they were a bit out of place. After a bit of trading here and there I won game 1 quite easily.

M2G2: I had a Shiv’s Embrace in my opener but played around Chandra’s Outrage for a while. Once I had two creatures and a Blood Bairn I was able to safely load up the Bairn and go to town.


I asked to look through my opponents sideboard to see if I could suggest some cards he should be playing. I found 2x Essence Scatter (!), Chandra’s Pheonix, Opportunity, ArchaeomancerTime Ebb, Shiv’s Embrace

I don’t know what those card were doing not in his deck, but I got off lucky! Laurence’s opponent had a Bubbling Cauldron + Tenacious Dead + Dark Prophecy combo netting the guy 3 life, a card, and a chump blocker every turn for just 3 mana! Unfortunately for him Laurence had curved out and had approximately a million power on the table by this point. It was not pretty.

Team record: 2-0

M3G1: I found myself facing an almost mono black deck with removal to boot – I was so jealous.

Xathrid Necromancer

His splash was Red, for Act of Treason into a sac outlet. My opening hand yielded my only two pieces of removal along with two 2 drops, Xathrid Necromancer and a land of each type. We traded the same removal for the same two drops while I missed a couple of land drops.

I hit my third land and slammed the necromancer. With a Corpse Hauler in the graveyard and one in my hand I started to have optimistic visions of looping the two of them to create an undead army with the necromancer. My opponent had different ideas. He cast Act of Treason on my necromancer, bashed me for a ton and then sacrificed him to get a 2/2 zombie. I felt used. Needless to say, I lost that one.

M3G2: This was a slow grindy attrition based match, where my Nightwing Shade was actually able to keep bashing in past a slightly smaller Nightmare. A top decked Shiv’s Embrace on my other creature ended this game in my favour and took me to game 3.

M3G3: Our creatures and plays were almost mirrored, though our removal suites were not. Afterwards I found out that he even had two Doomblades! The cheek!


My team mates also had mirror matches against this team, and they also lost them.

Team record: 2-1

Blood Bairn

M4G1: Due to 1 land hands I found my self with a starting hand of 5 cards. This hand also included but one land, but had a curve of 2 drop, 3 drop, 4 drop, 5 drop in the unlikely event that I draw 4 lands off the top. Luck was with me and I top decked 3 lands straight off the top.

My opponent was playing green-black and we had been trading small creatures in the early game. He then puts Trollhide on to his remaining Child of Night. I think about how there is nothing my deck can do to kill this threat, and about how daunting a 8 life swing per turn is.

I disregard conceding and get my head back in the game. I had a Blood Bairn and Xathrid Necromancer at this point and go for the only option available – race him! In order to negate the life gain I blocked with the Necromancer and sacrificed it to Blood Bairn. I top decked Accursed Spirit to join the cause and won two turns later.

I hit the sideboard and I hit it hard. I deemed that I had only won the race because I had access to the all time power that is sacrificing. I removed some of the auras and the combat trick and added that following four cards: Tenacious Dead, Festering Newt, Bubbling Cauldron, Bogbrew Witch.

I had not included the Bogbrew team ( ‘Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’)  because I did not think one Newt was worth it, however I feel that is incorrect now. The cauldron and the newt are quite good by themselves, and the witch makes the deal insane. Having 2x Corpse Hauler did also mean I had access to more newts than I was giving myself credit for too.

M4G2: Festering Newt into Child of Night, into Lifebane Zombie (exiling his Deadly Recluse), into Accursed Spirit got me an intimidating win shortly after. I even had the Witch in my hand, and regretted not playing the trio earlier in the day.


Team record: 3-1

Wrap Up

If you do find yourself playing a lot of auras, make sure your creatures have decent toughness to start with to decrease the chances of being 2 for 1’d.

Play the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’ combo if you can, it’s sweet.

Blood Bairn is stronger than it looks, allowing you to trade weaker creatures for bigger ones.

LifeBANE Zombie was also born in the dark, and is also awesome. Even when it misses you get information, and a 3 power of intimidation.

small thumbs upThe most fun deck to try and draft in my opinion would be the Act of Treason-sacrifice deck, go crazy!

Till next time nerds!




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