This week in Magic: Another set, another Fat Pack Challenge!

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Welcome back to “This week in Magic.” This week we’re going to tackle the upcoming Fat Pack Challenge. If you’ve never taken on one of these challenges, they are a fun spin on the 6-pack sealed events stores sometimes host. However, the spin on this even is that players will be opening the entire contents of a Fat Pack, which is nine booster [packs. Additionally, they’re also going to be confined to the contents of that Fat Pack. So, if there happens to be a very weird printing error where they don’t get a certain land in their land pack, well, they won’t have access to that land.


Fat Pack challenges can have huge upsides and downsides. A big upside is that you are given more options than normal. It may only be three more packs than normally opened, but it actually ends up being a lot. At the same time, this can also be a downside. This is where you, as a player, really need to know where to cut down on cards to play.


Another small challenge to the Fat Pack challenge is that there are no seeded packs. Gone is the head start in the color combination you wanted. So here you have nine packs and each of them is totally random – all other rules in regarding Sealed still apply. Once you’ve gotten your Fat Pack my advice is to lay all out you’re cards according to color. Some like to do it by converted mana cost, but I think by laying them out by color, you get a real good sense of what you’re working with.


Once I’ve got my colors sorted, I still go through each one to make sure I didn’t miss anything obvious like killer dragons or giant bombs. Looking through each pile, I can easily get a sense of what I have to play with. In most cases, the piles with the fewest cards I can easily set aside. The colors with the biggest stacks are the colors I tend to play with since they’ll usually have the most options for me to play around with.


There have been a few occasions where the biggest pile didn’t mean I was automatically playing that color. Something important to remember is the theme of the block. Remember, in Khans of Tarkir, players were introduced to five new clans – Abzan, Mardu, Temur, Jeskai, and Sultai. In Dragons of Tarkir, we now have the clans of Dromoka, Ojutai, Silumgar, Kolaghan, and Atarka. When putting your deck together, I think it’s important to keep these clans in mind. They were designed for a reason that goes beyond storytelling. Try to stick to two colors, and don’t got more than three.


Now that we’ve got some of the basic ideas behind deck building out of the way, let’s talk about some of the things I learned from this past weekend’s prerelease and how I can apply it to the Fat Pack Challenge. I finished with a final record of 3-1 this past weekend in my only prerelease event. To start things off, I chose Atarka as my clan. However, after building my deck, I ended up with a Mardu deck. I ended up losing my first match. Once that was over and done with, I took the deck apart to re-evaluate what I may have done wrong.


One of the games I had lost to my first opponent was to a vanilla 5/6 green creature. I got stuck in a loop where I had to play a creature to block it every turn and could not draw one of my removal spells. It was then I had realized that my deck was too small to compete against some of the silly dragons and larger creatures in the set. I reconfigured the deck to find the right balance. This was important because now I know I can’t build a deck like I was playing Khans of Tarkir sealed.


Something I learned is that you can never have too much removal. It seemed like everyone had a Roast in their hand just when they needed it. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I absolutely hate Morph creatures. To burn them or not to burn them, that is always the question and I’m always wrong. However, I guess it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Better to have a 1/1 rather than a 6/5 staring me down. Finally, there is no such thing as enough flying. There is nothing more annoying than playing against someone with mostly flyers for creatures. Just imagine yourself in a field being attacked by a wonderful flock of hummingbirds. Each one slowly pecking at you and there is nothing you can do about it except admire how cute they are and say, “ouch” out loud.


Well, that’s it for me this week. I have to admit, I’ve been struggling a bit to come up with some specific content. I am very open to suggestions you, the audience, may have though. With that said, if any of you reading this has something you’d like me to write about then let me know. You can either email me you ideas at or hit me up on Twitter via the Battleground Games Twitter handle. Until next time!


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!



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