Grand Prix Yokohama: Limited Chances (Part 2)
Less than 24 hours until GP Yokohama and I should be feeling pins and needles everywhere, but I guess I’m just not as invested in this Grand Prix as the Nagoya one because it’s sealed. I’m looking forward to having fun. It’s only my second Grand Prix EVER, and even if I don’t do well I’ll still get something out of it. Six packs of Gatecrash, a Primeval Titan promo, and if I sign up early enough I could get cool playmat as well. Sure the GP will cost 4000 yen, but the packs are worth 1800, the promo is at least 1000 yen, and if I get a playmat that will be about 2000 yen. That’s what I love about sealed events. Even if you fail horribly, you still have some stuff to show for it. But I’m not here to talk about those cards, I’m here to finish up talking about Gatecrash cards that would be good in limited.
Today I’ll be talking about the rest of the set: Black, Red, Green, and Multicolor.
Black is chock full of removal spells, and none are better than Devour Flesh early in the game. Killing Glare, Grisly Spectacle, and even Death’s Approach (later in the game) are good removal spells. Access to both the white removal spells like Smite and black removal like the ones mentioned above is what makes an Orzhov deck so dangerous. If you have enough kill spells, some tough blockers, and plenty of extort cards, an Orzhov deck can be pretty potent.
I know that most people say you should stay away from blue in sealed events, but if the only cards you have are in black and blue, all hope is not lost. During the prerelease I managed to pull 3 Mortus Strider and this card, and I had a lot of fun sacrificing them at the end of the turn to mill my opponent, then casting them again the following turn and doing the whole process over again. Combo this with a Mind Grind and you have one heck of an alternate win condition. Dimir needs a little more though, so it’s usually played with Orzhov to give it a little more reach. If you have the right cards, Esper (BWU) can be amazing. Even if you don’t have these cards to combo with, Undercity Informer is still a good card in limited due to it’s 2/3 body for 3 and the ability to sac itself for mill.
As for other cards in black, Sepulchral Primordial is also pretty good in limited. It lets you steal a creature form their graveyard, and since most people play Naya, its intimidate will almost insure that you’ll deal 5 damage a turn with him. He’s a great finisher in Orzhov decks.
This is a severely overlooked card in limited. At first I didn’t think it was that good ever, but once I realized that you DON’T have to sacrifice the enchantment to do the damage, it blew my mind. The problem with a lot of pure WR Boros decks is that they lack reach. Once their creatures get outclassed by bigger Gruul or high defense Orzhov creatures, the deck can have problems. However, adding this card into your Boros deck gives you a lot more reach and can end the game a lot faster. If you’re attacking with 5 creatures a turn, that’s 5 damage from Five-Alarm Fire. If you’re blocking with 5 creatures, that’s 5 damage. If you’re playing an aggressive deck, put this in there!
If you’re playing Gruul or Boros, put this card in there. You’re opponent is going to take a lot of damage early on, or they are going to lose 2 creatures blocking your one creature. Either way you have the advantage.
Another card that I think will be great in limited (especially in Gruul or Boros decks) is Wrecking Ogre. It’s the only creature with double strike in the set (aside from Boros Charm and the Minotaur that gets it with Battalion), and in an aggressive Gruul/Boros/Naya deck with other Bloodrush cards, he’s big trouble for your opponent. Ghor-Clan Rampager (+4/+4 and trample) plus this guy can pretty much end the game. I think the other Bloodrush cards in red are also playable, just be sure you can consistently use their ability. Playing a double red bloodrush might be difficult for a 3 color deck like Naya or RUG.
Remember how I said that Gatecrash only has a few flyers? That pretty much means this guy is unblockable. If you’re running Gruul, and put a Madcap Skills on this Elf, your opponent will be dead in 5 turns. This card is also a great target for bloodrush since he’s so hard to block. Don’t pass him up in draft or in sealed! Wasteland Viper is also another one drop creature that is amazing in Sealed/draft. A 1/2 deathtouch for one mana is already a great deal, but being able to throw it’s power and ability on a creature makes it even better.
I also want to say that Green has some of the best finishers in the set (for sealed). Giant Adephage, Skarrg Goliath, and Sylvan Primordial are all great finishers and can destroy your opponent if they don’t have an answer for it.
The Denizen is another great card in limited, especially if you’re playing Gruul or Simic with a lot of green creatures. Multiples can very easily make a small creature unbeatable on the battlefield. If you go to 3 colors though, he might not be worth it. If you have lots of green creatures, definitely run him.
If you’re playing a fast Boros deck, you probably don’t want this card slowing your draws down, but if you run into trouble and need more reach, this card can refill your ranks in no time. In an Orzhov deck with a splash of red, this is an amazing card. It gives you a chance to attack while your extort creatures sit back and drain your opponent’s life away.
This card will absolutely dominate your opponent in a Boros or Naya deck. With no flyers in the air, it will hit for 3 damage almost every turn, as well as spear a creature or opponent at the same time. All of this on top of gaining life. This is a bomb rare in limited, and you could definitely build a deck around her I think. Ghor-clan Rampager is another card that is worth it’s weight in gold in limited. It’s 2 mana bloodrush for +4/+4 and trample is probably the best bloodrush in the set.
Master Biomancer is another amazing card in limited, even if you’re running Naya. If you get him you MUST splash blue into your deck. His ability is so oppressive in limited that you’d be crazy not to. Each creature you put out gets +2/+2, and even at 3/3 your small creature will outclass most things on the board. Speaking of mythics, Obzedat and Aurelia are also good cards to put in your set. Pretty much any mythic you get will be worth putting into your deck.
A few other multicolor cards that I think are great in limited are: Skynight Legionnaire for its haste and flying, Urban Evolution to draw cards and keep your deck moving, Wojek Halberdiers because 3/2 first strike when attacking with 3 creatures is just nasty, and Zhur-Taa Swine because it’s a big body as well as a massive boost of power.
I wish I had more time to talk about cards, but I’m taking a late bus to Yokohama from Nagoya tonight, so I must go. I’ll be back with a full report next week, and if you want to follow me on Twitter at GP Yokohama this weekend, please add me @yoschwenky. THanks for reading and see you next week!