4 Surprise Picks in Battle Pack Sealed
One of the coolest things about Battle Pack Sealed, is that it reinvents cards you thought you knew. Sure, Battle Pack: Epic Dawn is crammed with powerful stuff: from modern favorites like Tour Guide from the Underworld and Forbidden Lance, to classics like Raigeki and Harpie’s Feather Duster. But the biggest surprises come from some of the most unassuming cards. Stuff you wouldn’t look at twice in the Advanced Format can actually be game-breaking in Battle Pack Sealed, so you really have to think about every card you open. Here are four cards that wound up surprising me!
When you open up your ten packs of Epic Dawn, you’ll generally get thirteen to fifteen Spells and Traps. You’ll probably want to use nearly all of them: since Battle Pack Sealed has fewer monsters with Special Summon effects than you’re used to, you’ll quickly discover that a lot of your comebacks and most powerful moves involve your Spell and Trap Cards. You’re going to want to draw them as often as you can, and Vortex Trooper’s effect lets you trade extra monsters for another shot at powerful non-monster cards.
The great thing about Vortex Trooper is that you can play it two different ways. First, you can Summon it and then leave it on the field to be attacked: you’ll take damage, since Trooper has 0 ATK, but you’ll get another draw. But my favorite way to play it, is to use it as an Xyz Material. If you have a Level 3 monster on the field, you can Summon Vortex Trooper; use its ability; and then stack it immediately to unleash a Rank 3 like Grenosaurus or Number 17: Leviathan Dragon! That gives you a powerful monster, plus a better chance at a powerful follow-up. You can make similar moves with DUCKER Mobile Cannon, Worm Barses, or Shield Warrior, all of which can grant powerful effects right before, or right after, they’re used as Xyz Materials. Watch for opportunities to make Xyz Summons that way, because it’s a winning tactic.
Vortex Trooper is good because it gets you to your Spells and Traps. Vampire Lord does the opposite! If your opponent destroys Vampire Lord with a card effect, you just Special Summon it back next turn, so they won’t want to waste their removal. At the same time, Vampire Lord can force your opponent to send a monster, a Spell, or a Trap from their deck to their graveyard if it deals battle damage. In the Advanced Format that was never a big deal. But in Battle Pack Sealed, a few shots from Vampire Lord – even if you’re only dealing 100 damage by attacking over a 1900 ATK monster – can drain your opponent dry of their Spells and Traps. If all your opponent can draw is monsters, they’re way easier to defeat.
Toon Gemini Elf is another deadly monster that packs a dangerous effect when it deals battle damage. In fact, it proved to be one of the most dangerous monsters in Sealed when I played it. Not only is the Elf a powerful 1900 ATK Level 4, but it forces your opponent to discard a card if it deals damage. It can’t attack the turn it’s Summoned, but if you have at least one Set Spell or Trap, your opponent’s going to have to think really hard about attacking. If they blunder into a battle thinking they can win, and you flip something like Ego Boost or Prideful Roar, they’ll lose their monster and a card from their hand. Follow up with a direct attack for another discard next turn, and it’s extremely difficult for your opponent to recover.
One of my favorite strategies in a couple of my Sealed pools was to protect Toon Gemini Elf with Number 39: Utopia’s ability. Utopia could keep bigger monsters from attacking Gemini Elf, and take out smaller blockers so the Elf could make direct attacks. You can create the same situation with any big attacker plus Swords of Revealing Light.
Liberty at Last! barely sees play in the Advanced Format, but it’s utterly devastating in Battle Pack Sealed! If you don’t have something like Mystical Space Typhoon, it’s almost impossible to play around. Think about this: if you believe your opponent has Mirror Force face-down, you could always turn one of your monsters to Defense Position to keep it from being destroyed. But as long as you have two battle-worthy monsters face-up, Liberty’s going to get you no matter what you do.
This card is a huge equalizer, because it’s devastating when it’s played against Xyz Monsters or high-Level bruisers you had to Tribute Summon. Though Liberty at Last! must send exactly two monsters back to the opponent’s deck, losing an Xyz Monster you had to give up multiple cards for can really pile on the hurt. And if the monster that’s being destroyed has an effect that gets your opponent extra cards, like Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive or Witch of the Black Forest? Liberty’s controller comes out even further ahead.
One of the most vicious combos I’ve had thrown my way so far involved Liberty At Last! and Mask of Darkness. Forced to Xyz Summon Gem Knight Pearl to get over a big attacker just turns before, I lost Pearl and another beatstick to Liberty. Next turn, my opponent set Mask of Darkness, which I attacked into. He got back Liberty, Set it, and I just couldn’t field more than one attacker for the rest of the game. I knew if I did, I’d lose both of my monsters and get wrecked. I held out for a while, but lost anyways against an overwhelming swarm of attackers.
Playing Battle Pack Sealed changes the way you look at cards. In order to succeed, you have to be sharp and resourceful, and be ready to see things in a totally new light. With longer games and more variety, every card counts! Stick with us, because you’re going to hear about more surprise picks from the rest of the crew.