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Cavalier of Thorns (M20) Art by Jehan Choo

Core Set 2020 Sealed – A Complete Guide

Core Set 2020 Sealed Event is a great way to build up your collection to the new expansion set. Our in-depth guide will equip you with all the information you need so you can get ahead of your opponents and win maximum rewards.

Core Set 2020 Sealed Event is a great way to build up your collection to the new expansion set. Our in-depth guide will equip you with all the information you need so you can get ahead of your opponents and win maximum rewards.

Core Set 2020 Limited Tier List

MTG Arena will be the first Magic: The Gathering platform to get a chance to collect and play with Core Set 2020 cards on July 2. The Core Set 2020 Sealed Event will also be available to play at the same time, which is a great way to boost your collection. If you are familiar with paper Magic, this experience is similar to the prerelease events held in your local gaming stores – so if you plan on doing that as well, read on!

My first Sealed deck in Core Set 2020 got me to 7 wins pretty quickly!

Update July 3, 2019: We now have a few Sealed decks under our belt and will be updating the guide accordingly!

Event Information

Duration: July 2 2019 to July 26 2019
Format: Core Set 2020 Sealed
Cost: 2000 Gems
Match Structure: Single matches (BO1)
Rewards: Depending on amount of wins (up to 7) before 3 losses:

  • 0 Wins – 200 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 1 Win – 400 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 2 Wins – 600 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 3 Wins – 1200 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 4 Wins – 1400 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 5 Wins – 1600 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 6 Wins – 2000 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs
  • 7 Wins – 2200 Gems, 3 Core Set 2020 Packs and Scholar of the Ages card style

The reward structure means that even if you do not win any games, you will still get the equivalent number of packs you would have got with 2000 gems, although you do not get any wildcard progression with Sealed packs.

What is Sealed?

Sealed is a type of Limited MTG format where you will receive 6 fifteen-card Core Set 2020 packs and using them plus (basic lands) to build a 40-card deck. Unlike Draft, you are limited by what cards you open and your job is to choose the best cards to make a deck.

In MTG Arena, you will then play best-of-1-matches with that deck, which means you cannot use the rest of your cards as sideboard. However, you can change your deck as often as you like in between matches.

Read on to find out how you can make the best Sealed deck possible, and make sure to refer to our Core Set 2020 Limited Tier List for a complete view on all the best cards!

Limited Archetypes

Firstly, it is important to take note of the archetypes the game developers intended for us to play (more information here). We can make use of any synergies and identify what is more viable. In Core Set 2020, it is designed to be more fluid, as the themes are more general in nature.

  • Flying (blue-red-white)
  • Elementals (green-blue-red)
  • Go Wide (white-black-green)
  • Aggro (red-white-black)
  • Control with “Enters-the-Battlefield” Effects (black-green-blue)

This means that a lot of the color combinations will be viable, as each color will have cards that fit one or more of the three of the archetypes above.

Mythic Rares and Rares

The first thing to take a look when your 6 packs are opened, are your Rares and Mythic Rares. Generally, they will be your most powerful cards and often will be the direction you want to go when picking your colors for your deck. There are 15 Mythic Rares you can open in Core Set 2020 – Cavaliers, Planeswalkers and the multicolored Legendary Creatures.

The Cavaliers (shown below) are above average, but not unbeatable. They are also quite restrictive in their mana cost as well. Of course, you would try and play these if you can, especially if they fit into a two colored deck.

Chandra, Awakened Inferno is the best Planeswalker out of the 5. Vivien, Arkbow Ranger and Ajani, Strength of the Pride are very good, but not on the same level as they require a little bit of synergy from your side. Mu Yanling, Sky Dancer is has the potential to pump out 4/4 flying tokens if your opponents cannot apply pressure on her. Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord relies too much on the Vampire tribal theme, and is average at best.

On a personal level, I do not like playing three colors in Sealed or Draft as I am a stickler for consistency. It is a necessary evil sometimes, especially in Sealed where often you might be desperate for playable cards, or you just want to splash that third color for your bomb rare. The fixing is not too bad in Core Set 2020 either, where we have access to Evolving Wilds and all 10 common dual lands.

The Legendary multicolored creatures, unlike the elder dragons in Core Set 2019, are cheaper to play and have some interesting effects. Kethis, the Hidden Hand, Kykar, Wind’s Fury and Kaalia, Zenith Seeker have pretty average effects and I would be reluctant to splash a third color for them. Yarok, the Desecrated can be quite powerful with the right cards (e.g. Ferocious Pup, Cloudkin Seer), and Omnath, Locus of the Roil I feel does not require too much work to make it good and is worth making that splash for.

The cycle of Rares are are also great in this set, and are fairly costed. though Vilis, Broker of Blood might be a little bit of a stretch at 8 mana, the rest are good as your curve toppers to finish off the game. The other rares also stand out among the other average ones in the set and would be great inclusions.

You might have a general idea of what color you want to play after seeing your Mythic Rares and Rares. Now to fill up the rest of your deck…

The Removal

Enough about the dream of bomb rares and mythic rares you might be pulling from your packs, let’s get to the backbones of your deck. Core Set 2020 offers some increased power level of creature interaction spells that Magic has not seen in a while!

Each color has their own way of dealing with the opponent’s creatures, and you should aim to have at least a few of these in your deck. There are other situational removal such as Bone Splinters and Flame Sweep, which are good in the appropriate decks.

The Creatures

You want to have between 13-16 creatures in your deck, and will be the backbone of your sealed deck. These multicolored uncommon creatures are quite powerful, and maybe even worth splashing for if they fit your archetype.

Some more decent creatures to fill your deck with (Steadfast Sentry was an outstanding outperformer):


The equipments look average to good on paper and Moldervine Reclamation seems great as well. Your deck will want to have maybe one or two of these.

Building your Sealed Deck

Generally, your deck will look like this:

  • Two colors
  • 17 lands
  • 14-16 creatures
  • 7-9 other spells
How your sealed deck might look like.

There are situations where playing your third color is better if you are low on playable cards, or want to splash for a bomb rare. Ideally you want to have some fixing in the form of dual lands. Without that, you are sacrificing your ability to play your core spells.

You generally don’t want to deviate from 17 lands. You could play 16 lands if your deck is more aggro, and has a lower mana curve whereas 18 lands is also possible if your deck is more controlling and can make up for excessive lands with card draw.

Strategy, Tips and Tricks

  • In Sealed, keep in mind decks are generally more slow (compared to draft) as players do not really have a choice in picking their cards, and have to play more expensive spells to make their decks more formidable.
  • Remember the new London Mulligan rule is in place – don’t be afraid to do so as you will have a much better chance of winning than keeping a terrible hand.
  • Your removal spells are super important! Think about whether it is better off to trade your creatures off and save it for something later – you might be sorry if you cannot deal with a larger creature later on in the game.
  • Always be prepared and play around your opponent’s open mana. Click here to see all the cards in Core Set 2020 that are Instants, have Flash, and other combat tricks that can be used against you.
  • Gods Willing can be a pretty versatile card. Other than protecting your creatures, it can also remove enchantments like Pacifism and Sleep Paralysis from your creatures and make them unblockable from the color of your choice, if you need to squeeze in a bit of damage.
  • Also remember that the above mentioned enchantments means the opponent can still use abilities on the creatures that doesn’t require them to tap, such as Ogre Siegebreaker, Dread Presence, and more.
  • Goblin Smuggler and Pack Mastiff was a good way to break out of board stalls, using the excess lands to pump the Pack Mastiff after making it unblockable with Goblin Smuggler.
  • Rabid Bite allows your Deathtouch creatures such as Sedge Scorpion to kill almost any Creature.

7 Win Deck Building Example

Black / Red Removal and Bombs

Our first sealed event got us to 7 wins (and 1 loss) in no time – let’s see how me managed to achieve that!

We were fortunate to open a great card pool on our first Sealed Event – the six Rares were Cavalier of Night, Drakuseth, Maw of Flames, Vilis, Broker of Blood, Leyline of Abundance, Marauding Raptor and Thunderkin Awakener. I already had five out of six potential rares I could play in Red and Black!

It was then easy enough to identify what colors to play – White and Blue were ruled out early as they had some average cards, but not enough to sway me from playing the bomb rares that were pulled. Green was considered next in combination with Black with cards like Moldervine Reclamation and Silverback Shaman, but felt overall Red definitely had the edge over Green. This was the deck we ended up with (click on the images to zoom):

During the total of eight games played, the pair of Audacious Thief and Agonizing Syphon put in a lot of work to keep me alive and hand well stocked until the late turns of the game. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames was an insane card that won games on its own when it came down, as by then opponents had already used their removal on my earlier creatures.

White / Blue Tempo and Flyers

Our second 7 win 1 loss Sealed deck was White Blue with a flying creatures featuring 2 Pacifism. Our sealed pool was mediocre except for Sephara, Sky’s Blade. Steadfast Sentry was an unexpected performer and Cloudkin Seer was excellent at smoothing out our draws and ensuring we hit our land drops.



It is never a bad idea to do some deck building practice before heading in first into these events. Draftsim has a sealed simulator for Core Set 2020 available, which you should try at least once to get a general feel.

Wrapping Up

Just a reminder once again – please refer to our Core Set 2020 Limited Tier List along with this guide. If you have any thoughts, need help building your sealed deck, or any feedback on this guide or tier list, please come over to our Discord channel and discuss!

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