Showdown Recap: Hour of Devastation Sealed
Welcome to another weekly Showdown Recap, where we take a look at what happened at Face to Face Games Toronto’s weekly Sunday Showdown, a series of 1k events feeding into the Ultimate Showdown 5k Invitational. This week, players got their second chance in a row to battle Hour of Devastation (HOU) Limited at our release weekend showdown.
Grand Prix Toronto is just days away, so some of Toronto’s best were out to battle. David Fielder ended up taking down the event with his B/W Zombies Draft deck. We learned a lot about HOU Sealed and what to watch out for next weekend at the GP. I even showed up to battle (with little success) to prepare and get a feel for the kinds of decks I want to build in the format. My impression from the Swiss rounds of the event was that HOU Sealed is one of those formats where you’re looking to play all of your bombs. There were a lot of three and four colour base-green decks that were making the choice give up some of their consistency in order to swing haymakers at each other. The opposite seemed to be true about draft, as the Top 8 draft decks were almost exclusively two colours and players were prioritizing curving out and maximizing on synergistic archetypes like B/W Zombies and U/R Spells.
Another storyline from the event was GP Toronto 2015 champion Lucas Siow’s second consecutive semifinals appearance in the showdown series as he gets set to look to take home another trophy this weekend. Top 8 competitor Taimur Rashid told me that he wants to be splashing in almost every one of his sealed decks in this format. He believes that HOU slowed the limited environment down a lot and that you should be looking to take advantage. With this said, cards like Oasis Ritualist, Traveler’s Amulet and Gift of Paradise become huge effects to look for when you’re sorting through your Sealed pool at the GP. These cards gain a lot in Sealed and should be prioritized less in draft.
After taking a look at the Draft decks from this week’s Top 8 I did notice a stark transition from Rich Hoaen’s victory last week. Players at the pre-release seemed to be trying to take that three and four colour Sealed strategy and bring it to the Draft table, whereas this week that has all but disappeared. Now, this could be a result of the cards that were opened, but it’s worth noting the adjustments players might be making to have success.
Shawn Dhaliwal has solidified himself as a presence on the at the Showdown series after following up a strong showing at the Ultimate Showdown with his Top 8 on Sunday. Dhaliwal can’t get enough of G/B after running Jund Death’s Shadow in Modern and then drafting an impressive looking Golgari deck in this event.
A card that stood out all day long was Oketra’s Avenger, acting as the lone aggressive stalwart in a room full of robust bomb-heavy decks. If you’re looking to beat down in Sealed white-based exert strategies are obviously your go to and I think this card is a must-have.
Thursday at Face to Face Games Toronto is the last in-store chance you’ll have to play Sealed before the big dance so come on by. After that you’ll have to jump into some testing on Friday on-site at the Enercare Centre.
With his win in this event, Fielder qualifies himself for the next Face to Face Games Ultimate Showdown and the rest of the Top 8 have started their march toward the top of the Showdown leaderboard. This coming weekend is the big dance, the event these past two Sundays of battling have prepared you for, Grand Prix Toronto, hosted by Face to Face Games.
First Place: David Fielder, Black/White
Second Place: Jamie Naylor, Naya
Third Place: Fadi Hirmiz, Black/White
Fourth Place: Lucas Siow, Blue/Red
Fifth Place: Alex Neale, Blue/Green
Sixth Place: Shawn Dhaliwal, Green/Black
Seventh Place: Taimur Rashid, Blue/Red
Eighth Place: Duncan McGregor, Blue/Green