Eternal Masters goes on sale tomorrow! If you are lucky, there’s a EMA sealed tournament at your local store. Here in Denver we have two EMA sealed PPTQs this weekend. I’ll be playing in at least one of them.

What do you want to do in Eternal Masters sealed? Opening Jace, the Mind Sculptor sounds like a good plan A, but you should come prepared with some backup options. Visara the Dreadful is also a broken sealed card. Play it if you can. Beyond that, what do you do?

Here’s a big one: Mishra’s Factory is uncommon. Yes. Every deck has access to a colorless creature land. By itself it attacks as a 2/2 and blocks as a 3/3 (except for the turn you play it), and it animates for one mana. I cannot fathom a pool that doesn’t put as many factories as it can into the main deck. If you somehow open four of them, you may have to focus your deck on a primary color with a support splash. Regardless, you should play as many as you can, and expect to face them often.


“The specimen seems to be broken.”

What about card advantage? We got a couple sweet draw spells: Fact or Fiction and Harmonize are both uncommon. They are both premium sealed cards. Blue also offers Deep Analysis. If that’s not deep enough for you, there’s Oona’s Grace. Shocker: blue has some card draw spells. There’s also Brainstorm if you happen to work in some Squadron Hawks or Civic Wayfinders to shuffle back your dead cards.

Black also brings a lot of card advantage to the table. Night’s Whisper is back, and Phyrexian Rager helps keep up. If you really want card advantage on a creature, may I suggest Gravedigger? Both it and Urborg Uprising provide graveyard recursion, which is one of the most underrated mechanics in sealed. Try combining those cards with Shoreline Ranger and Twisted Abomination. Useful expensive cards that cycle for lands are great. Redrawing them later is even better.

You may be surprised to learn that blue and black are the slow card avantage colors. Eternal Masters offers plenty of ways to go long. What about the other colors? Red and white are clearly tilted toward aggression, while green is expectedly midrange. All three offer multiple token makers that can give removal-and-card-draw decks a run for their money. You aren’t going to curve out with Elite Vanguard and friends very often in Eternal Masters sealed. But you should be able to overwhelm opponents with impressive armies.


I have the perfect idea!

Does Eternal Masters have a lot of token engines? I’d say so.

Cards that make tokens:

Young Pyromancer, Imperious Perfect, Siege-Gang Commander, Goblin Trenches, Honden of Life’s Web, Tooth and Claw, Call the Skybreaker, Field of Souls, Lys Alana Huntmaster, Raise the Alarm, Mogg War Marshal, Wakedancer, Sengir Autocrat, Roar of the Wurm, Beetleback Chief, Elephant Guide, Dragon Egg, and Tidal Wave.

Cards that want tokens:

Braids, Cabal Minion, Glare of Subdual, Intangible Virtue, Ashnod’s Altar, Siege-Gang Commander (goblins), Imperious Perfect (elves), Heritage Druid (elves), Regal Force (green), Timberwatch Elf (elves), Battle Squadron, Lys Alana Scarblade (elves), Rancor, Undying Rage, Wake of Vultures, Rally the Peasants, Orcish Oriflamme, Shaman of the Pack (elves), Flame-Kin Zealot, and Torrent of Souls.


I generally prefer original art, but this is an all time great.

What removal are we working with? Here’s a tiered ranking of the common and uncommon “removal” spells:

Tier One, the elite: Swords to Plowshares, Chain Lightning, Faith’s Fetters, Nekrataal, Eyeblight’s Ending, Carbonize, Roots, and Pacifism.

Kill things dead, or close enough. If you have these cards in your pool, you should play them. Splash as appropriate. Various crzy rares also fit in this category, like Control Magic, Pyrokinesis, Visara the Dreadful, Crater Hellion, Vindicate, etc.

Tier Two, the sometimes great: Tragic SlipFirebolt, Ghitu Slinger, Annihilate, Second ThoughtsGaseous Form, Innocent BloodHavoc Demon, Prodigal SorcererZealous Persecution, and Flame Jab.

These get the job done, but require some setup or specific circumstances. Annihilate should be good, but it does cost five mana. Tragic Slip and Firebolt might be Tier One, depending how the format plays out. All of these are strong cards that you’ll be happy to have in your deck. You can also include bounce cards like Silent Departure and Man-o’-War if you like.

Tier Three, the project cards: Pyroblast, Hydroblast, Burning Vengeance, Honden of Infinite Rage,Lys Alana Scarblade, Stupefying Touch, Mogg Fanatic, Humble, Tidal Wave, Plague Witch, Nausea, and Ticking Gnomes.

Some of these are good if you build the engine, like Burning Vengeance. Others are niche sideboard cards, like Hydroblast. And then some of these just suck. You should feel Nausea if when you shuffle it into your deck, but sometimes you need to kill a lot of tokens or a Prodigal Sorcerer or something. If you really need to shut down utility creatures, you can also try Stupefying Touch. Doing well in sealed requires getting creative with your removal slots, so don’t overlook these.

So what else? Here are four cards you should put in your main deck:

If you want to blow up enchantments (or maybe artifacts), theis is what you’ve got. The rare slot adds Vindicate, Unexpectedly Absent, and Void. Faith’s Fetters can turn off activated abilities of an artifact or enchantment, so if your opponent plays Necropotence you can make them hate life. Pyroblast and Hydroblast can hit enchatments of the correct color. But that’s it, other than counterspells or discard. Or Nevinyrral’s Disk, if you want to go big.

So what enchatments are we worried about? First off, green-white is an enchatnment-themed archetype. But most decks in other strategies will have enchantments too. Here are good ones that you may want to destroy.

Commons: Pacifism, Stupefying Touch, Gaseous Form, Roots, Elephant Guide

Uncommons: Hondens, Burning Vengeance, Faith’s Fetters, Animate Dead, Intangible Virtue, Field of Souls, Armadillo Cloak, Tooth and Claw, Ancestral Mask

Rares: Glare of Sudual, Goblin Trenches, Sulfuric Vortex, Control Magic, Sylvan Library, Future Sight

Random artifacts you also might want to kill: Isochron Scepter, Winter Orb, Duplicant, Nevinyrral’s Disk, Worn Powerstone, Mishra’s Factory, Prismatic Lens, Juggernaut, Millikin, and Ashnod’s Altar.

You think you’ll have good targets for Nature’s Claim? Two of the big ones are Glare of Subdual and Goblin Trenches. Those rares can be unbeatable, and you should expect players to put them in their sealed decks when they can. At the least, you should expect to see Mishra’s Factory often, and the animated version is an artifact.

Here’s a final question to ponder: is Mana Crypt playable in sealed? What about Chrome Mox? I hope you get the chance to find out!

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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