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What’s Different in 30-Card Sealed Play?

August 28th, 2012

One of the cool things about Battle Pack: Epic Dawn is that you can use it to play all sorts of Sealed  Play and Draft formats.  If you’re like most of us, your first experience with Epic Dawn was probably 40 card Battle Pack Sealed Play.  It’s a great format, because it’s easy, fun, and it gets you familiar with a lot of cards you probably haven’t seen lately, if ever.  It’s a nice introduction to the concept of Sealed Play, and if you’ve only ever Dueled in the Advanced Format, it’s an absolute must so you can adjust to all the differences.

But once you feel like you have a handle on 40-card Sealed Play, more challenges await!  You could try playing some Draft, but if you want to just up the intensity right away, then 30-card Sealed Play is the place to be.  On the surface, the only difference is that your minimum deck size is smaller.  You still start with ten Battle Packs, and you still build your deck from the cards you opened.  Nothing too different about that, right?  But look a little deeper, and you’ll find that 30-card Sealed Play is faster, with more high-impact plays; more important decisions; and a more advanced Deck building process.  Since 30-card Sealed Play is emerging as the big competitive Battle Pack format (it’s going to be used for YCS Sheffield in September), here are the major differences between 30-card and 40-card Sealed Play.

More Choices!

The first thing you’re going to notice when you sit down to play 30 card Sealed is that Deck building is more of a challenge.  When you build a 40-card Deck out of a 50-card pool, it’s not too tricky: you’ll take all your Xyz Monsters and put them in your Extra Deck, cutting your pool down to about 46 cards.  From there you’ll look at the cards you have left, choose five or six of them to drop, and the rest become your Main Deck.

Creating a 30 card Deck takes more thought.  You’ll still build your Extra Deck first, but now you’ll have to cut about fifteen cards to get your Main Deck down to size: that’s a third of the cards left in your pool.  You have to make more decisions about what you want to run, and cutting those last few cards can be really tricky since they’re bound to be useful cards.  It’s a tougher Deck building process, and it takes more time.

More Thrills!

With a smaller Deck, you don’t need to play as many of the lower power level cards from you pool if they don’t fit your overall strategy.  Everything you draw is good, and if you opened cards that require combos you don’t have, you won’t wind up playing them just to get your Deck up to 40 cards.  Here are three monsters you’d probably run in 40-card Sealed, but might not play in a 30-card Deck:


If you cracked a Buster Blader, then Skilled White Magician is a powerful defender; a decent attacker; and a great combo that can bring Buster Blader to the field!  But without it?  Well, it’s just a 1700 ATK monster with 1900 DEF.  Not bad, but not great.

Twin-Barrel Dragon’s effect doesn’t always work, but it’s worth playing if you need Machine-Types to fuel Machina FortressAbyssal Kingshark is really good with Torrential Tribute and Needle Ceiling, but if you’re just playing it for its 1700 ATK, it might not be worth it.

In a 30-card Deck, you probably wouldn’t run these cards unless you had the combos to go with them.  You’ll have better options.  The good news…?

More Combos!

If you do have powerful 2 card and 3 card combos, then playing a 30-card Deck lets you pull them off more often.  If a game lasts ten turns in 40 card Sealed, you’re usually going to see about sixteen cards from your Deck.  But if a game lasts ten turns in 30 card Sealed, you’re going to see more than half your Deck in each Duel.  That makes it easier to put together big, impressive plays.  But be careful: your opponent’s going to be making big moves, too.  The action’s faster and the stakes are higher.

More Danger!

Monster removal cards and powerful Battle Phase tricks often decide who wins and loses in Battle Pack Sealed.  Whether your Deck is 30 cards or 40 cards, you’ll have roughly the same number of Spells and Traps.  But if you’re only playing 30, you can choose to run fewer monsters, and focus more of your card slots on control cards like these.


It’s a little tougher to keep monsters on the field in 30-card Sealed Play, but battles are more exciting because there are more effects flying around in the Battle Phase.  You need to think really carefully about every card your opponent Sets, and you need to be careful with the risks you take.  Those game-changing cards are going to appear more often in this format.

From Deck building to the Battle Phase to crazy combos, 30-card Sealed raises the challenge factor and ups the intensity.  If you think you know everything about 40-card Sealed, then step up to next level of Battle Pack competition!