I have almost no sealed deck experience and have been away from Magic for about 18 months.
The tourney I'm about to play in will consist of each player getting a Invasion Tourny Box (75 cards) and 3 booster packs from Apocalypse. This Tourney is modified in that we all may add upto 6 basic land of our choosing to our decks.
Any thoughts on colors that do particularly well in these sets? I realize that the specific cards tend to dictate what cards I should select, but I also know that some colors tend to play sealed better than others.
Any other strategies to recommend?
For invasion use the green for mana help, harrows, qurion elfs etc. in apocalypse it's all about black and blue, blue green elfs, black removal, spirit monger, fliers, and walls to stall out their ground game.
I can think of only one wall in the apocolypse set, so I'm not sure what mike is referring to.
In Invasion sealed, blue black and red are stronger than the other colors. The Apocolypse boosters will contain stronger cards in general than the deck, and the gold cards from the different sets will not mix well.
I would recommend that you build a three color deck containing a color, and both of it's natural enemies. This will not allow you to use any gold cards from the starter box. Your other option would be to play an allied arc of three colors. That gives you one enemy color combination instead of two. Either way, you allow yourself three gold combinations.
Ive leared a lot from limited experience
First thing about limited, LOTS of creatures, make sure at least half your non-land cards are creatures.
From experience from the Prerelease: BWG is a very strong combo with Invasion/Apocalypse, I played the same format as you, 1 starter and 3 apoc boosters. WG will work together in Invasion with cloak and such, and u have BW and BG for Apocalypse. Look for removal, and fliers
Also, like ppl above said, 3 colors is mostly key, especially in Draft/Sealed. Find as many alt mana producers (Uborg Elf, Heilonaut, LLanowar Dead, Utopia Tree, Fertile Ground), things like that. IF and only IF you see an amazing rare or like 2 or 3 cards from the 2 colors u do not use, I suggest you do splash it in, but only run about 1/3 of the lands u run with the other colors, and have lots of other mana producers so u can get your card out. (Collective Restraints and Dragons make good splahsers, as does Lobotomy or even Fact or Fiction, in sealed its god)
All the colour combinations are strong. What is important to remember is that you want every card you draw to be "good". It may sounds funny, but many people play with sub-par cards in their decks just to stick to the "neat" cards. A single spirit monger does not make a deck.
The strongest possible combination is BRu, assuming you open some combination of prophetic bolts, jilts, fire/ice, demise, annilihate, fliers, razorfins (ect). However, that is not to say you won't open a bunch of gaea's merfolk (3?) and temporal springs, mutations and other fliers. This would make UG extremely powerful! You have to go with the most "solid" deck possible.
Each possible card combination offers some amazing bombs, but the cards to note are the fliers -- merfolk and living airship are BEYOND amazing. In fact, in one recent sealed, the guy I played had three merfolk and two living airships. It beat my deck that ran multiple jilts, had demises/curses/annhilate. Those quick fliers are AMAZING.
(un)Commons that are worth noting --
Jilt. This card is just stupid. Someone put it well. I'm playing, playing... stabilize, starting to take control. Opponent jilts, I lose. Game, after game, after game.
Captains maneuver. Pretty good, and very solid. Often doubles as removal, combat trick, and finisher!
Coastal drake. Wow! Only good vs r/g for the most part, but it is just... wow! You don't realize how many kavus are in this set till you play this guy.
Consume Strength. Only really "good" common card for BG, that other combinations don't have. Too bad it requires two targets, but you often get 2-1 or 3-1. The more removal you and the opponent pack, the worst this card *can* be. A few times it has sat in my hand as my opponent beats me down with a single creature.
Skyfolk. Amazing, 2/2 flier for two mana. It is just solid.
Living airship. 2/3 flier good. 2/3 that can block dragons and live? Really good.
Illuminate. Lemme see, heat ray is ok. Heat ray with blaze is quite good. Heat ray with blaze and stroke? Really good. At worst it is removal, at best finisher, removal, and 3-1+
Jungle barrier. Pretty good, though I have *yet* to open one. Annoying when opponents play it though.
Fire/ice. Really good. Just, really good.
Life/Death. I like this better than fire/ice, and this card wins games more often, IMO. Almost always played it when I have it.
Order/Chaos. Really good too! Helps in stalled games, or where you can't deal with an evasion creature.
Penumbra. Really really good, annoying as hell. Overall though, they haven't been performing the way I thought they would. Too much bounce/springs and fliers. Still, amazing in a ground vs ground battle. The 6/6 rare guy is nuts!
Rager/gargantua... Very good, I place them better than bobcats because you *draw* that extra card. More land, finding your better cards seems better than a solid 3cc drop (where you could get a 2/1 flier instead of a 2/1 ground creature)
Quicksilver dagger. Fits a certain type of deck, so be careful not to just put it in. If you don't have many bombs and fear stalling out, it is amazing. You often overrun your opponent and ping him too!
Savage Gorilla. Quite good, but the 5cc has seemed kinda high, and you are rarely planning on going these three colours. Still amazingly good, but don't overvalue to the point of going these three colours, though splashing a single colour (4c) is ok if you are playing harror or elves.
Squees embrace. This card is amazing in RW, and in aggro decks with legionaire, it is REALLY amazing.
Legionaire. The best 2/2 since it kills all the other 2/2's, and can trade with one (in)directly, or hit your opponent, or save a large creature.
Razorfin. Pretty amazing, though it only shines when killing 2/1's or disciples. Doesn't offer as many combat tricks, but when was prodigal bad?
Llanover dead/putrid warriors. 2/2's for 2 mana, their abilities are sometimes handy, but not as much. Rather have an elf over the dead most of the time, and rather have a protection creature than either most of the time.
Ebony treefolk. If you are solid GB this card wins games. If not, it is still one of the most amazing uncommon creatures in the set.
The disciples are all fairly good, the black or red ability seems to be the most solid right now. Good combat tricks.
Coalition guys. Very good, but sometimes situational. They stop disciples, tappers and combat tricks, which can make them really good! Not as good when you have a 1/1 and fliers are hitting you, or when you jilt it out of the way. Good trade for demise though, or shackles.
Sancuaries. There are no "bad" sanctuaries, but I am split with how good they are. The red one can backfire, the black one is slow (but amazing if you get it to three/turn!). The green one is inferior to red generally, but it can't backfire. You have to time playing this card very well. The white one is definately the weakest, and yet if you gain 4 life for several turns while stalled out, you can often race... The blue one seems inferior as well, but late game it can turn land into good cards. Depends on your deck more than anything else.
Dodecopod. Probe, recoil, blazing spector, cloud, rats. There are enough reasons to run it, and the best one is that it is a 3/3 for 4 colourless mana! Generally it is an auto-include in my decks, unless I really have no room, and am including cards that are noticably better. (Think ancient kavu!)
Oh well, that's my view on it. Overall, I have yet to play the same 3cc combination. In sealed with in/ps/ap, i have almost always gone RBu or RBg, but in apoc it has always depended on the UG fliers, BG bombs (rares) or UR common bombs. I think you should try testing building in apprentice or similar to get a feel for it. Good luck!