Though I’ve been a lifelong Pokemon TCG collector, Disney Lorcana is my first paper card game, which means I’ve had a lot of firsts. I went to Gen Con, my first tabletop convention, and played in my first tournament there. I built my first deck, an amber/emerald Rockstar Stitch deck sometimes called Lemon-Lime, and experienced my first brutal defeat, losing 1-3 at my local league thanks to an abundance of Steel players. I also played in my first sealed event, and earned my first undefeated record. This led to my second sealed event, and subsequently my second undefeated record – a first for me.
If you’re not familiar with the sealed format, it’s a type of tournament where you buy booster packs, open them, and build a deck using only the cards you pulled. In Lorcana, the format uses six booster packs to build a 40 card deck. There’s no limit on the ink colors, you can use as many as you want, and there’s also no limit on the number of copies of the same card you can use. If you pull five Dragon Fire, you can use all five if you want.
Before my first sealed event, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be for me. When talking to other TCG newbies just starting out with Lorcana, a lot of them have the same reservations I did. Deckbuilding is very difficult, and quite different from deck playing. There’s not much time to open your packs and assemble a deck, and there’s a lot of pressure to make the right decisions without any information about the kinds of decks you’ll go up against. In constructed, you can find a deck on the internet that’s been tested to perfection, then practice with it as much as you need to until you’re comfortable piloting it. Sealed is the wild west, and a lot of people, myself included, find it intimidating at first.
But having played sealed (and won) twice now, I can’t recommend it enough. Not only is it a creative way to play Lorcana, but it teaches you a lot about the game. It forces you to use cards you may not otherwise have an experience with, and it will have a positive impact on the way you build your decks and play them. It’s a great change of pace from the grind of constructed, and a relief for anyone that’s already sick of playing against Ruby/Amethyst control decks. It evens the playing field by removing the most expensive meta decks from the competition, giving everyone an equal chance to win, regardless of how much they’ve spent on Lorcana cards.
And being more random doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of strategy that goes into playing sealed – you just have to look at your card pool from a sealed format lens. High-impact cards that don’t rely on synergies or deck strategies are especially powerful, so Evasives like Jetsam and Tinker Bell, Peter Pan’s Ally, who normally don’t see any play in the constructed format, can be game winners in sealed. There’s also more room for well-stated vanilla cards, like Mr. Smee, Jumba Jookiba, and Kronk, because it’s far more unlikely your opponent will have a good answer for them. Build-around cards and gimmick decks aren’t really viable in this format, but you will be rewarded for making careful considerations about your ink curve and flexibility.
Most importantly, playing sealed will get you six packs to open, which might as well be gold bars these days. You might have a hard time finding a store that still has enough product to run sealed events right now, but as soon as the second wave comes through in October, start looking around for a sealed game to play. You can ask your store if they’d be willing to host one, and encourage your friends to do the same, especially if you need a break from constructed.
Next: Here’s My Most Unreasonable Lorcana: Rise Of The Floodborn Predictions