This Kaldheim Sealed Guide is coming just in time for the Arena Open. Of course, there’s also March Strixhaven Qualifier Weekend, which will feature Kaldheim Sealed as well. So now is a perfect opportunity to take a look at how to improve your win rate in Sealed.
This article will be a bit shorter than our usual Draft Guides. It’ll include:
- 4 tips for Kaldheim Sealed
- Tips for sideboarding in Traditional Kaldheim Sealed.
- Traditional VS Best-of-One – Which one to choose?
Let’s get right to it.
#1 Play Your Bombs
This is true for many Sealed formats, and it’s especially true for Kaldheim. You really want to build your deck in a way that you’ll be able to play as many of your best rares and mythics as you can. (Also your most powerful uncommons, like Binding the Old Gods.)
The reason is pretty simple. The best cards in the format are pretty busted. In a game where all other things are equal, the one who plays the bomb usually wins.
So if you get a card like Starnheim Unleashed or Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor in your Sealed pool, you just put in in your deck. Then build your deck in a way that you’ll be able to cast it. How will you do that?
You can play most of your bombs by splashing a third (or even a fourth or fifth) color with your two main ones. There’s a lot of mana fixing in Kaldheim. Most of it is in green with cards like:
However, you can also get the common snow dual lands, and Shimmerdrift Vale as well. This means you aren’t limited to just green when you want to splash.
There are also cards like Seize the Spoils and Vault Robber, which make Treasure tokens. While Robber is quite mediocre, you can happily play a copy of Seize the Spoils in your deck, especially if you’re splashing.
Nevertheless, the decks that go all in on splashing are mostly green. I’ve seen a lot of 5-color base-green monstrosities running around in Kaldheim Sealed events on Arena, and they weren’t preforming too badly.
Of course, you should still aim for at least some consistency, so don’t go too crazy with your splashes if you don’t have enough ways to get your colors.
Quick note about snow synergies. If you have powerful snow cards, like Avalanche Caller for example, you can probably get away with playing snow dual lands that share only one of your colors.
You still probably don’t want to play lands that don’t produce any colors that you don’t need. However, if you don’t have cards with double colored symbols in their mana cost, and you have plenty of snow synergies, you might get away with playing a Snow-Covered Plains in your blue-black deck.
#3 No Bombs? Aggro Plan!
But what if you didn’t open any bombs? Well, that isn’t optimal, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to do anything. In such cases your best bet is to find an aggro build, that will hopefully win before your opponents can leverage their bombs.
The best two colors for an aggro deck in Kaldheim Sealed are probably white and red. Both combine well with one another, and also with green. However, all of this depends on your specific pool.
White Go-Wide Aggro
If you got a pool with many smaller creatures, you’ll be hoping for a Warhorn Blast as your finisher in white. If you can get in early for some damage and have a board full of mediocre creatures, it can win you the game.
It’s also fine when you just pair it with flyers – there are quite a lot of them in white.
Red Sneak Damage In
Red aggro decks can also be efficient. You’ll often get good removal spells in red, with Frost Bite, Demon Bolt and Squash being commons.
You’ll try and play various two drops, and get some early damage in. For sneaking the final points of damage in, you can use cards like:
No matter which colors your aggro deck ends up in, you’ll want to keep your mana curve low. You’ll want to play lots of cheap creatures, and only the best cards that cost 4 or more mana. If you don’t have much card advantage, and you have a low mana curve, you can go down to 16 lands (potentially even 15).
#4 Build Multiple Decks
Final tip of advice – don’t just build one deck that looks good enough and start playing. Try to build as many different variations as you can.
You should really take your time during the deckbuilding portion. Try different things, different builds, swap a few cards. Don’t rush it – there’s no timer for building your deck.
Even though you’re 90% sure, you’ll probably play red-green, try some other options. Maybe you’ll figure out that green-white with a red splash is actually better.
Also, you can change your deck during the rounds, and you should probably do so. It can be incredibly hard to build your deck correctly on the first try, without playing with it. So when you finish a match – revisit your deck. Maybe a certain card is under-preforming in your build and you could swap it with something better. Maybe you lack some power level, and you need to find a splash.
Whichever the case, revisiting your deck certainly won’t hurt your chances of winning.
Traditional Sealed – How to Sideboard
Finally, if you decide to play Traditional Sealed, here are some tips for sideboarding:
- Pay attention to what your opponent is doing. Try to sideboard depending on what their game plan is. Consider which size of creatures they’re using. Is their deck quick or slow? All of this can and should affect your sideboarding decisions.
- Board in cards that are good for the matchup. Some cards that are usually mediocre, might be good against your opponent. Does your opponent have a bomb flyer, like Burning-Rune Demon and a couple of Bound in Gold? Board in Broken Wings or maybe even two.
- Board out bad cards. Sometimes you might have zero obviously good cards to board in. Does that mean that you just submit your deck? No, you should take a look at which cards in your deck don’t work well against your opponent’s deck. If they have a bunch of 2/3s, board out your 2/2s – board in Gods’ Hall Guardian or something, at least it’ll affect the board.
- Sideboard based on play / draw. You can potentially cut a land, when you’re on the draw, as you’ll already have more resources to work with. When you’re on the draw you’re usually a bit less aggressive, especially if you’re opponent has an aggressive deck as well. Maybe sideboard Run Amok out when you’re on the draw.
If you want more in-depth commentary about sideboarding in Limited, you can check our Traditional Draft Guide. There I discussed these concepts for Draft, but they are also perfectly applicable to Sealed.
The one concept that’s more often applicable to Sealed is changing your deck completely.
Changing Your Deck Completely
Let’s say you have a regular midrange deck, ready to play a long game, with some good rares, but nothing special. Your opponent has a similar deck, but with better rares like Koma, Cosmos Serpent.
You can’t find a way to beat it with your deck in a regular game of Magic. So what can you do? You can try and finish the game before Koma even hits the battlefield. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but it’s a somewhat viable plan.
You can transform your deck into more aggressive version. Maybe you were playing black-white. Now you can change it to red-white and become more aggressive.
Of course, there’s one big problem with this on Arena. You have a time limit during sideboarding. If you’ll attempt something like this, you better be very familiar with the interface, so you won’t just make an unplayable pile – don’t forget to change your lands too.
This is yet another reason, why you should spend a lot of time during your deckbuilding phase. If you’re familiar with your pool, you’ll be able to quickly make the necessary changes.
The Arena Open: Traditional Sealed or Best-of-One?
If you’re not sure if you should play best-of-one or best-of-three, just go for the option that you’re more comfortable with. You need to preform at pretty much the same level in either of them to get to Day 2.
In general, the more confident you are in your playing and sideboarding skills, the more you should prefer the Traditional Sealed. Best-of-three matches reduce the overall variance, which makes it better for better players.
If you’re just looking to get your Phyrexian Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, and try to maybe get lucky, you should probably play the best-of-one Sealed.
Anyways, that’s the end of our Kaldheim Sealed Guide. Hopefully, you learned something that will help you win more matches. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
In case, you’re looking forward to the next MTG set, you can find Strixhaven spoilers here. There are also some special cards coming along with it – they are called Mystical Archives.
Until next time, have fun, and may your Kaldheim Sealed pool contain a ton of bombs in your favorite colors.