• Shawn Yap

Meta Talk | The PTSD Guide to Sealed

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Introduction


It’s a controversial topic. Some people hate the idea (I am one of them), others welcome it with open arms. Yes, it’s the idea of sealed being a part of the Energon Invitational.


What is sealed? It's basically a limited format where players are handed 3 packs of Siege 1 and 3 packs of Siege 2 to form a 25 star team and 25 card battle deck to duel it out with other players. While it would have been a terrible format at the time it was announced (with Siege 1 released), Siege 2 brought at least some semblance of balance, making it a more palatable format. With sealed locked in as 3 of the 8 Swiss rounds to be played at Pax Unplugged, we would just have to help our team adapt to and prepare for this wild format - at least for the one member (Tim) who would be flying over.



The Basics


With 6 packs, you will have 6 big bot cards, up to 6 Battlemasters/Small guys/combiner parts and 36 battle cards.


The simplest thing to do is to take a combination of 25 stars worth of characters/battle cards, cut the unplayables and cherry pick a few low powered cards out of the battle cards to get your 25 card deck. But that is not why you are here to read this. There are other factors involved which I will get to briefly.


What you should be doing immediately when cracking open the packs is sorting the cards by colored pips and stars. This is to have an overhead view of what will the majority of my pips will be and the type of strategies that are opened to me.


Set the star cards aside for when selecting your team lineup, in case you are considering various costs between bots and deciding if playing a certain star card is worth the lower bot cost and possibly stats.


Make a small mental note of the ratios you have sorted. This is important as we’ll need to re-arrange the cards again for the next step.


Take the un-starred battle cards and re-sort them in the following order: Weapons, Armor, Utility, Actions. This is to give yourself an overview of the types of cards you have access to. Take note of faction specific cards e.g Autobot only or Decepticon only cards.

We can now proceed to character selection.



The Casting Couch - How many “Actors” Should I Choose?


2 Wide Strategies

2 Wide Strategies rely on 2 heavy-hitting bots which can take a few punches. They should be in the 10+ star range in order to have a very large base attack and health pool to weather all incoming hits.


Pros:

Hits Hard.

Flip Efficient (usually)


Cons:

Lower total hp pool, less attacks.

Poor control over attack orders


When would I consider using a 2 wide strategy?

When you have 2 bots in the A+ tier list. (More on that later). You have a load of good weapons and attack pumps that enable you to 1 shot opponent bots or a very heavy orange/blue pip pool. Black is negligible since you are going to be hitting for way more than how many black pips you can flip. You also want the reduced damage from wide attacks. An example of a good 2 wide lineup would be Springer and Ionstorm.



3 Wide Strategies

The most common and balanced of strategies. They usually contain 1 small guy (4-6 stars) 1 medium(7-9) and 1 large(10+) bot. These can also be 3 similarly costed bots with similar stars like three 8s.


Pros:

Good flow and control of battle.

Flexible strategies and sideboard options


Cons:

May fall short on attack to KO opposing bots.

Poor decisions are more punishing comparatively


When do I go 3 Wide?

I usually favor the small medium large (SML) builds when doing 3 wides. I would usually look at a small battlemaster, a medium size character like mudflap and a top end like Astrotrain or the likes. You usually end up in this build most of the time because it gives you the most flexible strategies when it comes to pips and deck building. Heavy black? No problem. 2 of your guys will be able to push some level of damage close to their attack values. You can save your pumps and upgrade for the big swing. Heavy blue? Have confidence that you will be untapping with 3 guys and grinding your opponent to a halt.



4+ Wide Strategies

Usually involves 4-5 guys that are hoving around the 4-6 stars range. Decks like these tend to have very low base stats. They make up for it by having more attacks and benefiting more from cards like Designated Target. Deck composition would have to be heavy black or some ways to get them bold. If you have a vanguard and a decent amount of white pips, this is also a consideration as your guys are unlikely to die in 1 hit.


Pros:

Annoying in numbers.

Wide Attacks and good control of attack flow.


Cons:

Poor Stats



Siege 1 Tier List


Here, I will attempt to classify each character card based into various tiers. For certain cards, they may move up a tier depending on what synergy or strategies you may be going for. Note: This is based on my opinion. There will be some that are underrated or overrated by me.


Low Star Cost Characters

In the lower star count category, they tend to be very similar. You probably won't be flipping them as much. I give higher ratings to battlemasters due to the synergy and similar stats they have to the rest of the small guys. The higher rated ones tend to have more hp or better stats in the tier or an occasionally useable ability.


S Tier

Raider Roadhugger

The reason why he is the only S tier i placed is due to his ability to give a leap into battle onto any 1 of your guys. He also has ok stats on his own.


A Tier

Private Mudslinger

Private Pteraxdon

Raider Blowpipe

Raider Detour

Raider Nightstick

Raider Visper


B Tier

Private Flakk

Private Red Alert

Private Red Heat

Private Stakeout

Raider Laserbeak

Raider Ravage

Raider Stormcloud


C Tier

Private Topshot

Private Tote


Mid Star Cost Characters

S Tier

Private Firedrive

Raider Triggerhappy


A Tier

Private Arcee

Private Sideswipe

Sergeant Chromia

Sergeant Skywarp


B Tier

Private Lioniser

The reason why he is only B tier as compared to the constructed powerhouse he is, is due to the nature of sealed decks - it's much harder to build around his boldness with a limited card pool.

Raider Aimless

Aimless could be a potential A if you are more blue heavy or have ways to manipulate your deck into being blue heavy after refreshing.

Captain Ironhide

Captain Wheeljack

Raider Needlenose

Sergeant Hound

Sergeant Skrapnel

Sergeant Sparkstalker

Specialist Flamewar

If you are good with flips or have a way to spread out damage, her value greatly increases. The ability to focus or stealth makes her 1 of the most skill intensive characters and rewards players if done right.

Specialist Ratchet


C Tier

Raider Cindersaur

Raider Flamefeather


High Star Cost Characters

S Tier

General Optimus Prime

Major Shockwave

Raider Ionstorm


A Tier

General Megatron

Major Ultra Magnus

Ultra Magnus is not higher on the list due to how fragile his defence is. However, if you happen to pull his Armor as well, he goes up to S tiers.

Sergeant Cog


B Tier

Alpha Trion

Alpha Trion cannot consistently get his ability off. He is also way too fragile for his star cost in this format.

Major Prowl

Captain Starscream


C Tier

Captain Elita 1

If you have some sort of Skrapnel or Brave synergy going on, her value goes up to about A tier. The 0 def really hurts her.

Private Trailbreaker

Raider Runabout

Raider Runamuck

If you can somehow pull the twins in your packs, they move up to S tier.

Major Soundwave

You can move him up to A tier if you intend to play a double spy patrol deck. However, the spy patrol abilities tend to be very underwhelming.


That is Siege 1 in a nutshell.



Siege 2 Tier List


Low Star Cost Characters

S Tier

Private Sunrunner

Private Vanguard

Raider Caliburst

Raider Sights


A Tier

Private Dazzlestrike

Private Highjump

Private Powertrain

Private Seawatch

Raider Hyperdrive

Raider Nightflight

Raider Tailwind


B Tier

Private Fixit

Raider Blackjack

Raider Ratbat

Raider Rumble

Skytread

If you happen to have both parts of Skytread, they get bumped up to S class together. Otherwise they are just raw stats on the board.


C Tier

Private Sidetrack

Raider Kickback


Mid Star Cost Characters

S Tier

Mudflap

The most underrated in my opinion. Good stats for his cost, a decent bounty ability. He is usually a first pick for me.

Sergeant Barricade

Another stats monster.


A Tier

Captain Impactor

Private Smokescreen

Raider Chopshop

Sergeant Mirage

Sergeant Thundercracker


B Tier

Deadlock

Private Greenlight

Private Hot Rod

Private Turbo Board

Raider Needler


C Tier

Omega Supreme

If you get “Exodia” in your 3 packs, these go up to S rank.

Raider Novastorm


High Star Cost Characters

S Tier

Captain Astrotrain

An absolute monster in limited. Do note that if you are going 3 wide vs 3 wide, you will want to go 2nd. Reason being you need to get him online asap and to do that, you need 1 upgrade per turn.

General Optimus Prime

Octone

Lord Megatron

Sergeant Springer


A Tier

Captain Jetfire

The reason why he is not in S tier is due to his support cast tending to be terrible in 3 wide. In 2 wides. Its fine but you need to beware of heavy incoming damage.

Lockdown

Lockdown has amazing stats and rewards players for having good attack orders. It also forces your opponents into bad attack orders to prevent his trigger, allowing you to take full advantage.

Raider Spinister

Spinister is ridiculous with a battlemaster on board. If you have the luxury of having 2 battle masters, matches are almost guaranteed to be in your favor.

Sergeant Soundblaster

Specialist Sandstorm


B Tier

Detritus

Raider Apeface


C Tier

Sergeant Crosshairs




Final Thoughts

You may not agree with the tier list granted, but that is also dependent on your personal playstyle preferences. This here is what we as a collective feel after various testings. I hope you will share your thoughts on this with us so that we can all have a better understanding of how players from around the world view their communities' styles as well as your own preferences and experiences.


Here's hoping to see some really funky combos during PAX! Till next time, Shawn from PTSD out!

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