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Which Cards Get Better In 30-Card Sealed?

August 30th, 2012

Last time around, we talked about the fundamental differences between 40 card Sealed and 30 card Sealed in Battle Pack competition.  This time we’re going to focus on individual cards.  Since 30 card Sealed lets you see more of your Deck in each Duel, some cards get more powerful, while some are actually weaker.  Knowing the difference will help you make the right decisions.

These three cards are all centerpieces for their themes, and they all get better in 30-card Sealed.

These three cards are all centerpieces for their themes, and they all get better in 30-card Sealed.

Dark Ruler Ha Des lets your Fiends negate the abilities of effect monsters they destroy in battle.  That’s good in 40-card Sealed, but it’s more useful in 30-card Sealed since it’s easier to draw Ha Des, and his Fiend-Type minions.

Machina Fortress has a lot of cool powers, but the ability to Special Summon it by sending Machine-Types from your hand to the Graveyard is arguably the best.  You’re going to draw Machina Fortress more often in a 30-card Deck, and your Machine-Types will be easier to get to.  That means you can Special Summon Fortress earlier, and more often.

Play Freed the Matchless General in a 30-card Deck and you’ll draw him faster, giving you more turns to use his powerful search effect.  And remember: since your opponent will probably be playing more targeted Spells more frequently, Freed’s protection ability will be more valuable.

Generally speaking, the power levels of cards with Type-based bonus abilities are going to be increased in 30-card Sealed, because you’ll draw them and their companion cards more reliably.  The same goes for support cards like these.


You can Special Summon Gilasaurus from your hand, but when you do, your opponent can Special Summon a monster back from his Graveyard.  The best way to play Gilasaurus is in the early game: if your opponent doesn’t have any monsters in the Graveyard yet, they won’t get to Special Summon anything.  It’s easier to draw Gilasaurus in your opening hand in 30 card Sealed than it is in 40 card Sealed, and you’re going to see your high-Level monsters more often to go with it, so it’s a stronger card.

The same goes for Treeborn Frog.  Once Treeborn is on the field, it keeps coming back each turn to fuel Tribute Summons and block attacks; the faster you can play it the better.  You’ll see Treeborn more consistently in the early game with a 30-card Deck than you would with a 40-card Deck, and you’ll draw your Tribute combos and stuff like Creature Swap more frequently.

Fox Fire is similar.  When it’s attacked while face-up and destroyed by battle, you can Special Summon it in the End Phase.  You’ll usually have to Normal Summon it in Attack Position first, and that means you’ll take Battle Damage, so you want to draw it early when your opponent’s attackers are small.  In addition, playing a 30-card Deck makes it easier to draw other Level 2’s like Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter to Xyz Summon Gachi Gachi Gantetsu.

On the flip side, some cards are actually tougher to play in 30-card Sealed.


One of the great things about Vampire Lord in Battle Pack Sealed, is its ability to rob your opponent of Spells and Traps.  By making it tougher to draw those cards, Vampire Lord makes it easier for you attack and win battles.  But in 30 card Sealed, where most Decks are going to run a higher ratio of spells and traps to monsters, that effect isn’t as good.  And since Battle Phase tricks like Prideful Roar and Ego Boost will be easier to draw, Vampire Lord will be more vulnerable to attacks.

King Tiger Wanghu’s effect is great at keeping your opponent from playing their small, effect-driven monsters.  But since your opponent has a better chance of drawing a monster removal card, or just a big attacker, it’s way tougher to keep Wanghu on the field.  Its low ATK and low lifespan make it a sub-par pick in this format.

The Calculator gets really strong when you control lots of monsters, but with more removal cards flying around in 30-card Sealed, it’s tougher to keep the little Thunder-Type powered up.  It’s easier for your opponent to draw Torrential Tribute, Raigeki, or Mirror Force, too, so fields usually don’t get big enough to make The Calculator as useful.

Cards that get stronger over time, or that have to wait around to reach their full potential like Toon Gemini Elf, don’t fare as well either.  And if you have a card that’s great in the late game, but weak in the early game like Phantom of Chaos, you may want to avoid it since you’ll have a higher chance of drawing it before it’s useful.

A card that’s good in 40-card Sealed may not be so great in 30-card Sealed and vice versa!  Take some time, play 30-card Sealed yourself, and keep an eye out for cards that perform differently in the two formats.  You might be surprised at how some of your favorite cards are affected.