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Episode 40 – Back to Basics: Sealed Deck

Noob CrossingIn this episode, in keeping with the recent Prerelease and Launch Parties for Eventide, your host dorks bring you the basics of Sealed Deck play. We cover color selection, creatures, the curve, removal, land counts, and whatever else comes to mind, sprinkled with our own experiences and anecdotes as per usual. Please excuse the horrendous pops that show up for the first 15 seconds or so, but we didn’t catch it in time to re-record that part. Stay tuned for the next episode for a follow-up to our Sealed Deck tips.

In other news, there is now a Facebook group for The Mana Pool. We’re under Common Interest – Hobbies & Crafts, since I couldn’t think of anything else that fit better. Just do a search for The Mana Pool and join up! I’m going to try to make it not just another forums page by doing something different with it, I just don’t know what yet.

Music for this episode: The Picard Song by Dark Materia. Engage!

Forum thread for this episode: http://cardshark.freeforums.org/episode-40-back-to-basics-sealed-deck-t208.html
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  1. March 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    These back to basics episodes are gems. Whenever I recommend a podcast to a new player, I always recommend these episodes, since they’re really cohesive and cover pretty much everything a new player needs to know. That and the glossary of terms episode(s). I’ve known new players to go from not knowing a thing about the game, to being able to handle themselves well enough to go through a multiplayer game without making any serious mistakes by spending a week with these podcasts and a Duels of the Planeswalkers deck.

  2. Magnor Criol
    June 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Huh. Mike mentions that sometimes, instead of a tournament pack, the organizers would do 5 booster packs for a sealed deck instead – which sounds crazy to me, in this age of 6 packs for a sealed deck.

    As someone who wasn’t playing back then, what were these tournament packs? How many cards and how were they made (what cards were they made from?)

    • June 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Tournament packs and starter decks used to be the other way to buy sealed product besides booster packs. They were issued for core sets starting with Limited Edition (Alpha/Beta) and the big expansion set for each block starting with Ice Age. They also used to be the main source of basic land cards (basics would show up in ABUR boosters, but I think that’s it).

      A starter would come with 60 cards and I think about 20 of them were basics. There were 3 rares (ABUR may have only had 2), and some proportional number of commons and uncommons (similar to a booster) filling out the rest. With Urza’s Saga, starters were replaced by tournament packs, which had 75 cards. A tournament pack had about 30 basics, 3 rares, and some proportional number of commons and uncommons.

      When tournament packs were discontinued after Shards of Alara, basics started showing up in boosters, and I think it wasn’t too much longer before the deckbuilder’s toolkit product was introduced, which comes with a bunch of basics. Though I don’t remember when fat packs first started showing up, I’m pretty sure they always came with a land brick.

      If I remember correctly, an old sealed pool consisted of one starter/tournament pack and 2 boosters, which is why a TO could substitute 5 boosters if they wanted to. If I remember correctly yet again, the move to 6 boosters in a pool happened when tournament packs were discontinued. If I don’t remember correctly, then I simply misspoke and said 5 instead of 6.

      • Magnor Criol
        June 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        That’s probably correct, it lines up with what 2008 Mike was saying here in this episode. That’s especially interesting though, switching from a tournament pack + 2 boosters to 6 boosters means an extra rare, and that’s pretty significant in terms of the power of a given sealed deck.

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