Pod two of Day two were pro heavy; Antoine Ruel, Jelger Wiegersma, Raphael Levy, Sigurd Eskelard, Jonny ‘rare drafter’ Chapman, Simon Carlsson, Rudiser Klings and Dennis Nilsson. The draft managed to reflect the players’ combined experience, there was no hate-drafting, only one color conflict and as a whole things proceeded amiably.
Draft highlights include Ruel starting the draft busting a Reiver Demon, whilst Nilsson took the rather more dubious pick of Vorrac Battlehorns third, maybe he knows something we don’t. The second booster saw Sigurd popping the first of his two Spikeshot Goblins whilst Nilsson grabbed the first of his two Slith Ascendants, he could have had three but he valued a Somber Hoverguard higher than the third.
In booster four, Levy took a One Dozen Eyes from a comparatively poor card pool which left Jonny his first Chrome Mox fifth pick. Nilsson made a second miss pick a three boosters later, misidentifying a Rust Elemental as some other card, such are the skills needed for a 7-1 record. The last booster of the first set was a collection of fourteen dire cards and a Triskelion that slid its way into Jonny’s pile.
The second set of boosters saw everyone picking up cards in their respective colors with relatively few exceptions. Klings’ near mono-Green deck furtively stole Carlsson’s Crystal Shard and Antoine, sitting to the right of Sigurd, began dipping into Red, much to the Norwegian’s frustration. Levy thought to compete with Chapman in the rare race having opened a Triskelion of his own, but the Englishman sailed ahead, adding a second Chrome Mox, a Pentavus, a Lumengrid Augur and four bad rares to his growing collection of gold symbols. The most controversial pick of this set was Eskelard’s choice between his second Goblin and a Grab the Reins, both had been passed to him after Nilsson drafted a Luminous Angel, Sigurd chose the later and was rewarded by opening another of the fearsome Red men in his next pack. Klings picked up a Molder Slug third whilst Levy wheeled a Predator's Strike, rounding off the second lot of boosters.
The last set of clockwise boosters gave everyone what they needed, bulking up people’s respective creature/equipment/removal/myr counts where necessary, whilst the cards were kind to some, giving Carlsson the amazing Crystal Shard and Nilsson a Domineer. Jonny managed to get Leonin Abunas, his second Arrest and a plethora of awful rares, bringing him to eleven in total, sealing his place as the ‘Champion Rare Grabber’. With the draft finished, I headed to the deck construction tables to evaluate how each player had dealt with the draft.
Ruel’s deck was awesome, one of the top two decks of the table. His RB monstrosity boasted huge amounts of creature and artifact removal, a solid artifact creature base, a Spikeshot Goblin of his very own, three Myrs and a Reiver Demon to top it all off. Non Enchantment permanents would not be staying around long, his removal arsenal consisted of two Consume Spirits, two Irradiates, a Shatter, a Detonate, a Pyrite Spellbomb, an Electrostatic Bolt and the raving Demon himself.
Chapman’s deck was the other ‘best’ deck. A solid WU deck with just the right balance of evasion, defense and removal, topped off by some lovely rares. Highlights included Triskelion, Pentavus, Altar of Shadows, Leonin Abunas, Lumengrid Augur, two Arrests, a Blinding Beam (the only one of the draft), an Annul and two AEther Spellbomb. With a solid creature base the only thing the deck lacked was acceleration, having only one Myr. I would expect Jonny and Antoine to be duking it out for the 3-0 slot.
Levy’s RG deck was ultra fast. His two drops consisted of three Alpha Myr, a Tel-Jilad Chosen, two Atogs and an Iron Myr. The upper end of his creatures were a lot less impressive the only quality cards being a Triskelion and a One Dozen Eyes. He had, however, managed to draft a Bonesplitter, a Deconstruct, a Predator Strike and a Viridian Shaman to keep the momentum going. An interesting deck that will do well.
Carlsson drafted a very solid UB deck. With an evasive creature base consisting of two Neurok Spys, two Nim Shriekers, a Somber Hoverguard and its big brother, the Looming Hoverguard, the deck had some good attacking power. Backed up by good removal in the form of a Crystal Shard, a Betrayal of the Flesh, a Terror, a Consume Spirit, a Wail of the Nim and an Annul, his deck had the punch needed to challenge the two superior decks.
Klings’s deck ended up almost mono-Green. He splashed for a Crystal Shard, two Goblin Replicas and a Detonate. His deck had a solid creature base including the insane Molten Slug. He was a bit short on tricks with only a Bonesplitter, a Deconstruct and two Predator's Strikes but this is definitely not a deck to rule out.
Wiegersma had drafted a solid WR deck that was a bit short on men. His Isochron Scepter was very daunting along with his two Bolts and two Shatters; these went well with his Altar's Light and Pyrite Spellbomb. His deck is solid enough to do well but I would not fancy his chances against Antoine’s removal heavy beast.
Nilsson was definitely the player who made the most draft errors but despite that, he had ended up with an above mediocre WU deck. Heavy on evasion with two Slith Ascendants, two Somber Hoverguards, a Luminous Angel and some smaller flyers, his deck still lacked any real defensive power and was baulked out with some fillers. An Arrest, a Regress, a Domineer and an Altar's Light were his only spells. He and Sigurd will probably battle it out for the wooden spoon.
Eskelard’s draft was unfortunate. He started with what looked to be a really promising RG deck but then the cards just stopped coming. Antoine correctly moved into Red on his right but that does not explain the degenerate card pool Sigurd ended up with. The green men just did not come. His deck does have some really good cards like two Spikeshot Goblins, a Grab the Reins, a Bonesplitter, a Predator's Strike, a Sword of Kaldra (not the best, but on a Goblin…), an Icy Manipulator, a One Dozen Eyes and a Tel-Jilad Archers. Other than that though the deck seems pure filler, with a shabby creature base. Best of luck Sigurd.