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Thread: How do I get going fast in sealed/drafts?

  1. #1

    How do I get going fast in sealed/drafts?

    Hey guys,

    I'm a new (1 week old) player that has already done dozens of arena runs with near perfect records and I'd like to move on to the next step so I'm trying to learn drafts and the new set. I've been watching ne0's old tutorial videos as well as alucards' new one, and I understand how the tourneys function and basic BREAD strategy now. What I don't understand (and is hard to find info) is card selection and synergy (as well as shard synergy) in the current set. I know that's the kind of stuff you just learn from experience, but I would like to get some kind of primer before I jump into the pool of cold water. I don't have large sums of money (or grinding time) to blow on 20 or 30 terrible runs to find out in the trial by fire way. Can anybody point me in the right direction of some guide or card specific breakdowns?

    The only thing I have found is this guide on AoM archetypes on hexprimal but it's from july 28 and I don't know to what extent it is still relevant. (this here:

    As another example, I got pretty good at Hearthstone and this ( was extremely helpful to me early on, and even though I later outgrew it, it gave me a baseline to work with so I wasn't completely terrible in the beginning. I don't know if Hex has anything similar.

    I have read some folks saying to just watch streams, and I am doing that (I was even drawn for the first time in a raffle today but lost it because I was watching tutorial videos when it was doled out :S). However, the streams are not necessarily that helpful as I typically can't read the cards due to small text/low resolution and the discussion is often a bit advanced or abstract.

    P.S. I do want to add that the community has been great to me so far and I've been doing well in arena thanks to a few cards and tips to improve my orc deck that I received on my 2nd day.

    Thanks in advance for any pointers.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Master Theorycrafter
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Liberty Lake, WA
    I recently returned to this set, and it just took me a couple of Swiss Drafts to get into it. After about two drafts, you'll go from totally ignorant to knowing most of the quality combo cards to look for in the next draft.

    The swiss drafts don't fire as often, but they are a better way to get more gameplay for your money. So I tend to favor them. The Limited Gauntlets are similar, just a bit more expensive. Probably better to save up for one of the scheduled sealed tournaments. They are Swiss format and a lot of fun. Plus great rewards.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by icecon View Post
    The only thing I have found is this guide on AoM archetypes on hexprimal but it's from july 28 and I don't know to what extent it is still relevant. (this here:
    This is still a pretty good overview of the meta to get started.

    There is also a popular W/S Wintermoon deck that focuses on a lot of cheap actions, prophecy effects, and card draw that I'd put at tier 2. Beyond that, almost any 2 shard combo is possible if you can get the good cards in the shards, but you may want to get used to the most common combos before branching out.

  5. #5

    1st Sealed

    Thanks for the replies folks. I studied those invitational lists a bit and just ended up diving into a Scheduled Sealed (and went 2-2! in my first run). Here's the AAR:

    This was the deck I made:
    edit:bigger pic:
    +10R/7W Shards

    This was the pool: W(23), S(19), R(17), D(16), B(10), Neutral(5+1 Acorn)
    +1 ashwood soloist not pictured
    edit: bigger pic

    How it all went down:

    My (novice) deckbuild initial thoughts:
    - So I ruled out blood right away, fewest cards and not enough meat there.
    - Then I saw diamond had a couple of cards I had become familiar with which were good (ethereal, chimera, and the removals). The mechanics seemed rather unfamiliar to me though.
    - Moved on to ruby and immediately spotted the two wolvir bashers + first blood, which along with veteran raiders and staggering blast seemed a really enticing aggro option (again i have a hearthstone background heh).
    - Moving to Sapphire my impression was that there were quite a few spider generating cards but didn't seem like enough to build a deck around, and I had very little blood to complement. Some good cards though.
    - Then came wild, and I immediately spotted what seemed like one of the better synergies of good cards I had spotted so far in periwinkle and 3x rotroot. It wasn't in keeping with the ruby aggro but I figured it would be my transition into midrange if the early aggro didn't do the job and the rotroots would shut down flier based decks.
    - Of the artifacts, I had seen some streamers run mecha filk ape and it seemed solid. The Charge colossus seemed good but too expensive for my deck and the mass charges would not work that well with the charge sipping urgnock I was going to go because of the ruby aggro cards.

    So I settled on the ruby/wild, it seemed pretty decent and not to difficult to execute. But I did have lingering thoughts that maybe a better player would have gone diamond but I just had very little grasp of diamond cards and champions.

    How the tourney went:
    Match 1 (2-0). More or less aggro wins. I was able to get my bashers out early and then steamrolled with first blood into blast. Second game was a bit more rampy as the rotroot into furyseeker won it as he got shard screwed.

    Match 2 (1-2): This guy had Houndmaster and Pyresoul. I took one win off of him with the ruby aggro cards, but I think he was always going to win the long game because my deck had very little removal to get rid of his bombs (I was aware of this flaw before I went in but didn't feel I had the time or expertise to switch shards). It was really close though, I had double rotroot out in one of my losses with him at 6 health but with the houndmaster he just had a bit too much stuff that I was never quite going to get through.

    Match 3 (0-2): This is the one that really sucked because I lost both games to shard screw. Even mulliganing to get more of them. He seemed to have a decent elf deck with an Ashwood Blademaster and heavy swiftstrike. In the second game I had a periwinkle on board and double rootroot in hand with 4 shards for multiple turns. If I drew any shard, I would have stabilized and possibly won.

    Match 4 (2-0): First game I got a near perfect curve including periwinkle -> rotroot. He had what looked like a good blood diamond deck with flying threats. Second game was a slower curve but I played Playing with fire on 4, into bigs like rotroot and then furyseeker to seal it.

    I rarely did any changes in between games which didn't seem right but my sideboard struck me as not that great. Cards I switched in and out were Lyricist, Soup, Skydancer, and Snarlbrute. None of which I drew or saw play except stinkhorn (which honestly was mostly useless). Deathmask surprisingly did nothing even though I know it is supposed to be very effective, I blocked an invoker with it once which seemed like the smart move at the time.

    Overall, I was super happy to come out without a losing record (going 5-4 overall). If you guys have any tips or if you think there was a better deck/shard combo in that pool, it would help a lot.
    Last edited by icecon; 11-03-2015 at 03:21 PM. Reason: minor misnaming

  6. #6
    The Transcended
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    I would try to maximize Periwinkle and play a slower game.

    Change champ to Alyndra (amazing with Colossus)

    -1 Deadeye Ripper
    +1 Lyricist

    -1 First Blood
    +1 Minstrel

    -1 Furyseeker
    +1 Snarlbrute

    -1 Playing With Fire
    +1 Sylvan Duet

    -1 Stinkhorn
    +1 Bombwright

    -2 Baa-sher
    +1 Redfur Ranger
    +1 Exoshaper

    -1 Scorch
    +1 Charge Colossus

    +1 Wild Shard
    +1 Feralroot Acorn
    -2 Ruby Shard

    17 shards +4 resource cards should get you to 7 reliably. Could potentially drop Stagger for another Wild shard.

    Sideboard versus aggro:
    +1 Scorch
    -1 Charge Colossus
    +1 Healer
    -1 Snarlbrute

    Sideboard versus Anana, Ovo, and other buffs:
    -1 Staggering Blast
    +1 Scorn of oberon

  7. #7
    Sealed is definitely a good way to learn the set. After you know most of the cards in the format, then you can follow the stream easier(you don't have to read the card anymore) and truly understand the synergy, combo and others related stuffs.

  8. #8
    I like those a lot. Can see that I kind of forced dual archetypes when I could have just gone for the ramp approach. Still getting the hang of it. Alyndra seems quite slick as well.

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