I guess there are no bad tables at the Masters Series. Thirty-two players all guaranteed to win at least $2,000 just by their presence at the draft table. While everyone at the table has an impressive Magic resume, I chose to follow the drafts of previous limited Master Series winner Mike Pustilnik and US Nationals champion Eugene Harvey. Other studs at the table included Tomi Walamies, Brian Davis, and Eric Froehlich.
Mikey P opened an extremely unexciting pack with only Glory Seeker, Sunfire Balm and Ascending Aven as worthy candidates of first pick status. Mike made the decision to find out if he was the blue mage and took the 3/2 high flier. Eugene had a stronger candidate pick and backed the incumbent Shock. Mike had a choice to make in pack two, would he compliment his blue with black (Screeching Buzzard), red (Pinpoint Avalanche or Skirk Commando), or white (Battlefield Medic). Mike followed the removal and decided to try and be the U/R mage. Eugene was even more underwhelmed by the pack Mike opened and took the Glory Seeker with only Sunfire Balm as a possible other pick—it was that thin a pack.
Mike saw no blue in his third pack and consoled himself with another Pinpoint Avalanche while Eugene took Mike's castoff Skirk Commando. There was still no blue to be found in the next pack and Mike flirted with the idea of going black and took a Severed Legion and Eugene also experimented with black and took Thrashing Mudspawn. Finally Mike saw another blue card and took his second Ascending Aven while Eugene took a Commando Raid. Suddenly mike was deluged with blue and he took a Mistform Wall over Riptide Entrancer and Screaming Seahawk. Eugene picked up an Erratic Explosion.
When the first pack was over Mike was looking to be solid U/R with two Ascending Aven
s and two Pinpoint Avalanche
. He was in need of a Lavamancer's Skill
but he had two more packs to find one. Eugene meanwhile was happy to draft white and any red cards Mike missed when he was picking blue ones. The highlights of Eugene's first pack are Shock
, Skirk Commando
, Glory Seeker
and two Erratic Explosion
Pack two kicked off with Eugene trying to decide between Gustcloak Harrier and good ol' Skirk. Eugene eventually took the harrier after much deliberation. Mike took a Goblin Taskmaster. Eugene took a Solar Blast next passing Mike the Lavamancer's Skills his deck was crying out for. Mike took the Skirk with his second pick although he considered Threaten and Ghosthelm Courier. Eugene took his second Sunfire Balm—there were not many low casting cost soldier to be found thus far—and Mike snagged the Skills.
By the end of pack two Eugene's deck was still W/R but he was not filling up the bottom of his mana curve as he would have liked. Mike's U/R deck had the Skills it needed to be successful along with the Voidmage and a pair of Seahawks.
Mike first picked his second Lavamancer's Skill
s and Eugene took a Skirk Commando
. Mike took Erratic Explosion
over Snapping Thrag and Eugene grabbed a Dive Bomber
. Mike took his third Pinpoint Avalanche
while Eugene was pleasantly surprised to find the Thrag. Mike took a random Daru Lancer
—maybe he thought he needed men and planned to play it as an off color morph while Eugene found another Harrier.
In the end both players stayed the course from their earliest picks. Mike ended up U/R with FOUR Screaming Seahawks multiple Mistform Walls and some removal while Eugene was W/R with THREE Daru Cavaliers and excellent red removal. Mike is running a Goblin Burrows as his eighteenth land over a ninth Mountain to power up his Skirk Commandos and Mistform Walls which seems like the only questionable choice in an otherwise very solid deck.
Master Draft Top 32, Pod B
Master Top 32 Draft, Pod B