Draft 1’s 3-0’s

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A 3-0 performance takes solid drafting, solid play, and a bit of luck. There’s not much help to be had in the last department, but in the interest of providing a springboard for discussion we’ve assembled all the undefeated decks from the first round, and the story of how they came to be. Hoefully they will be of interest.

First up is Jon Becker, in his rumpled coat and equally rumpled features, a man who loves to play the game and keeps a very down-to-earth attitude at all times. He was as surprised as anyone to see his draft go so well. He started with Soulless One, but then saw Shock smiling at him from pack two. Third was even more extreme: Menacing Ogre. Knowing he had the red hook-up from the right, he set his eye on finding a second color. He saw good white heading his way, and never looked back.

Mike Flores isn’t one to shy away from outlandish statements. Going into this event he said that if he could survive Sealed Deck, he was guaranteed a spot in Top 8. Imagine the shock of those assuming they were hearing more exaggerations when Flores turned out a 3-0 in his first draft of the day. Flores is a notorious green drafter, so he kicked off with Spitting Gourna. Butcher Orgg came to him second, with a common missing, so he assumed David Bachmann had taken Sparksmith over the monster. He took the Orgg as insurance, but his fears were confirmed when there were no red cards in the next pack. He shifted into black for Pangolin and never looked back. Of note were his maindeck Anurid Murkdivers, a defense against rival black decks and great with his amplify beasts, and his focus on mana acceleration. Knowing Legions’s beasts would swell his curve, he gave priority to enablers. He also insists it be known that he didn’t drop a game. A game!

Lucas Glavin’s plan going into the draft was to shoot for black-white. A first-pick Whipcorder fit in with his plan, and it seemed like his neighbors were avoiding plains like the plague. Though the black wasn’t insane, he stuck with it, and scored big time in Legions. He particularly didn’t realize how huge his Smokespew Invokers would be, thanks to his deck’s endurance into the long game.

Amateur Matt Larson didn’t know it had happened until he sat down at the deck construction table, but he’d managed to draft himself mono-white. He knew he wanted it for a base, expecting it to be underdrafted, but virtually no removal made it through his neighbors while quality white creatures did, he never had a reason to pick them up as a second color. He went blue for added evasion, knowing that blue-white was better than some said. Legions, however, was where the real craziness happened. With no-one taking white cards, he picked up a whopping five Daru Stingers. It was ridiculous. He frequently boarded in his Ascending Avens to go even more aggro.

Chatterbox Zvi Mowshowitz had a plan for his draft, but the cards dictated otherwise. Looking for black-white, he opened a pack with Solar Blast and then nothing. He couldn’t bring himself to ship it. He took it assuming he wouldn’t be able to play it. Next followed a pack stuffed with blue, and he took the massive Riptide Shapeshifter. Lavamancer’s Skill made sure he stayed within his colors, but it wasn’t until Legions that his deck made the jump to “spectacular”.

Gabe Walls, known mostly on the money draft circuit, was looking for black-green. Though the cards aren’t as splashy as red-blue, the packs are usually deep in both colors, meaning you can manage well even if someone horns in on your action. His first three packs showed him Rorix Bladewing, Sparksmith, Lavamancer’s Skill. Blue-red it was! His Mistforms became inconceivable thanks to three mighty Slivers from Legions: Shifting, Blade and Synapse.

Mark Zajdner may love to annoy, but he loves winning more. To that end he had his sights set on black-white, a combination favored by many pros. He started right with Cruel Revival and Death Pulse, but there were no good white cards making their way to him. He salvaged where he could with green scraps, but going into Legions he didn’t really have a deck. That changed when three rares hit his stack: Feral Throwback, Graveborne Muse and Caller of the Claw. Skinthinner helped too. He even got to Caller – Husk kill someone, cackling all the way.

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