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Meme or Dream? Acererak's Unsealing (Historic)

It's been a while since we've had an episode of Meme or Dream?—the series where we take lists Wizards publishes from Magic Arena that (apparently? maybe? somehow?) got six wins in a row at platinum rank or better and put them to the test. Today, the series returns with Acererak's Unsealing, a deck looking to play Sarkhan's Unsealing, use Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma to reduce the cost of Acererak the Archlich to just one mana, and then play Acerark a few times, triggering Sarkhan's Unsealing along the way to burn the opponent out of the game! The rest of the deck leans pretty heavily on Sarkhan's Unsealing, with cards like Death's Shadow and Rhonas the Indomitable that aren't very good in our deck on their own but offer cheap ways to trigger our namesake enchantment. Is the plan of playing and bouncing Acererak the Archlich a bunch of times with a Sarkhan's Unsealing on the battlefield a meme or a dream? Let's find out!

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Meme or Dream? Acererak's Unsealing

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Record-wise, we finished 2-3 with Acererak's Unsealing. This technically makes it a meme, even though we really should have beaten Jeskai Control, which would have given us a winning record and made the deck a dream. I guess this makes the deck a meme with potential. 

The core synergy of the deck—Acererak the Archlich with Sarkhan's Unsealing along with Terror of the Peaks, Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner, and Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma—felt really strong. We had some pretty insane games where we were able to burn our opponent out in just a single turn from 20 life! I think the package is more than worth building around. It was that impressive.

On the other hand, I'm not sold on the support cards. While Death's Shadow, Rhonas the Indomitable, and Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger are cheap ways to trigger Sarkhan's Unsealing, they are all pretty clunky if we don't have Unsealing. We had a lot of games where we drew a Death's Shadow or two but simply couldn't play it because our life total was too high. We aren't really built to support it. The same is true of Rhonas the Indomitable (many of our creatures are too small to turn it on, and Acererak the Archlich never sticks on the battlefield) and Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger (which we did manage to escape a couple of times after control wrathed our board, but we generally aren't very good at filling our graveyard). It would be nice if we could replace these cards with threats that still triggered Sarkhan's Unsealing but also did something when Unsealing wasn't on the battlefield.

Finally, the numbers on our mana sources are a bit weird. We have two Llanowar Elves, three Paradise Druid, and four Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner (which sort of counts as ramp since it can untap a land) along with 25 lands. I'm pretty sure 25 lands is just too many for the deck, especially considering the amount of ramp we have access to. I think cutting down to 23 lands and adding in a couple more copies of Llanowar Elves would be ideal. Many of our best games involved getting Sarkhan's Unsealing or Terror of the Peaks on the battlefield a turn early. More mana dorks would maximize our odds of having this happen while also reducing our chances of drawing too many lands (which was also an issue in a couple of games).

All in all, Acererak's Unsealing felt like a really cool idea that's like 80% of the way toward its optimal form. With a bit more tuning, the deck could be really sweet and possibly even pretty competitive. If you've got some ideas on how to improve it, make sure to let me know in the comments!


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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