Ed Fear, the owner of a gaming store in Rochester, New York is drafting in pod three, being fed by Florida student Antonio De Rosa. Ed’s primary goal is to qualify for Pro Tour Yokohama and accumulate a few more points to help him get back on the train. A Top 8 wouldn’t make him too sad, either. His previous finishes include a boatload of Top 16’s, but he has yet to play during a Pro Tour day three. Antonio, being on the gravy train, is looking for nothing less than Top 8. De Rosa is a popular gravy trainer who tries to enjoy he game, though his competitive spirit shows in his consistently high finishes.
Antonio opened his pack and had an easy choice: Silvos or Shock
. He chose the big bad green monster with a big grin on his face. His second pick was a Skirk Commando
over a Gustcloak Harrier
, avoiding a weak color combination while taking the superior card. The third pick was the first one that offered any challenge. Faced with the option of Elvish Warrior
over Spitting Gourna
, Antonio took the elf. He explained later that he wanted the faster creature and Legions would fill out the beast quota anyhow. A late Wirewood Savage
was chosen over a Battering Craghorn
and two great black cards. The rest of the pack offered a few borderline cards to go with a Battering Craghorn
that he was able to take.
Ed’s choices were much more difficult. His first choice was a Swat over a Barkhide Mauler. His second pick was the Shock out of Antonio’s first pack. Suddenly going red behind a red drafter, Ed had to make a switch. He started taking soldiers, including a Glory Seeker and two Gustcloak Harriers. A late Piety Charm was a good signal that white would be around for pack three.
Now that Ed was feeding Antonio, he had a much better shot at red cards. Hs first pick was Shock
, over Daru Lancer
. He chose Erratic Explosion
over Dive Bomber
and Skirk Commando
second. Embermage Goblin
over Erratic Explosion
was third. The rest of the pack was unexciting, providing only a second Glory Seeker
, some mediocre fliers, and an Akroma's Blessing
. The only thing worth noting was that the Daru Lancer
made a lap around the table for Ed to take ninth.
Now that Antonio was downwind of Ed, he was forced to focus on green creatures over red spells. A Snarling Undorak was taken over some high quality white cards. Elvish Vanguard was taken second. The rest of the pack was weak, providing only some vanilla creatures and a Skirk Commando.
Back in the position of feeding Ed and getting red cards, Antonio opened a monster pack. It contained Goblin Goon
, Skirk Marauder
, Goblin Clearcutter
, and Gempalm Strider
. After much deliberation, Antonio took the Goon. His second pick was a bland Patron of the Wild
. A third pick Krosan Vorine
was nice, but nowhere near as great as the fifth pick Timberwatch Elves, which was the one card Antonio was hoping to see over any other. The rest of the pack provided nothing more than a second Patron of the Wild
Ed fared fairly well. The pack he opened, though, forced him to ship Havoc Demon to take Flamewave Invoker. The second pick Skirk Marauder was given a place in Ed’s deck, and Aven Redeemer fit in as well. Ed managed to flesh out his deck with some Gempalm Avengers and an Aven Warhark.
After the draft, Antonio was not optimistic about his chances of pulling the 3 – 0 he needed for Top 8. He believed that he drafted well, despite fighting over red with Fear. He ended up with a very fast red/green deck with a strong elf theme.
Immediately after the draft, Ed was afraid he did not pick up enough playable cards for his deck. His choice to stick with red despite getting next to none in pack one paid off as he ended up with three absolutely fantastic red cards: two Shocks and a Skirk Marauder. The Frenetic Raptor he snagged is a great asset against green decks, also. Ed believes that because he drafted a very fast deck, he has a very realistic possibility of pulling the 3 – 0 and making Top 8. “I passed a bunch of great cards, but the all cost five or six mana. By the time they go online, I should be winning the game anyway.”