Tom van de Logt is used to being a champion. He is the reigning Dutch National Champion (for the third time), as well as the incumbent Magic World Champion. His current goal, aside from trying for the repeat at Worlds, is to lead his countrymen—considered by some to be heavy favorites—to the Worlds team title.
The man to his left, Eugene Harvey, has the same goal. Eugene, the current US Champion, carries the bulk of that team's burden. Whereas van de Logt's teammates are PT mainstays Kamiel Cornelissen and Noah Boeken, Eugene's mates have a combined one Pro Tour of experience between them.
Neither team quite lived up to expectations on Day 1, with the US's sixth-place performance besting the 11th put up by the Dutch. Good drafting will be necessary for both teams to move up the standings.
And just to complicate things, the Japanese champion, Kazuhiko Mitsuya, is drafting for his country's honor on Eugene's left. Call in Champion's Row.
The rest of the table:
- van de Logt
- Mattias Wåglin (Sweden)
- Jesse Cornelissen (Netherlands)
- Leonardo Uzcategui (Venezuela)
- Antonino DeRosa (USA)
- Andrew Wolf (USA)
Eugene's first pack contained a Wild Mongrel, but no Cephalid Looter (the card that most often accompanies Mongrel in the packs), so his choice was easy. Mystic Zealot and Patriarch's Desire were tempting, but the Mongrel is far better than either of those cards. Van de Logt had to choose between a Morbid Hunger and a Hallowed Healer, and took the Healer. Blue/white defensive decks are hard to beat in this format, and the Healer is a key component.
The white kept coming van de Logt's way; he took a second Healer, then a Shelter, then two Blessed Orators and an Aven Cloudchaser. No other color seemed as underdrafted as white, and van de Logt just kept taking what was given to him.
Eugene ended up taking blue to go with his green, selecting Elephant Ambush, Aether Burst, Peek, and Scrivener. But other player's were drafting those colors (as opposed to white), so Eugene's cards dried up much faster than Tom's, and at one point Eugene had to counterdraft a Graceful Antelope that van de Logt didn't bother with.
Van de Logt's last few picks in Odyssey included two Seafloor Debris, a Predict, and a Rites of Refusal, which was bad news for Eugene. If Tom stuck with blue in Torment, he'd be cutting Eugene off in Judgment.
Eugene stuck to his guns at the beginning of Torment, taking a Seton's Scout, Arrogant Wurm, and Aquamoeba. But then his colors dried up again, and he had to start counterdrafting—first a Violent Eruption, then a Sickening Dreams, and later a Pitchstone Wall.
The Violent Eruption pick proved to be particularly bad for Eugene. Van de Logt had started taking red cards early in Torment; after his first-pick Deep Analysis he took a Fiery Temper, and later a Grim Lavamancer. Had Eugene shipped the Eruption, Tom would have certainly cemented himself in red and probably abandoned blue.
Van de Logt's first Judgment pack offered him the choice between Scalpelexis and Shieldmage Advocate. Needing ways to win, he took the flier, and Eugene was out of luck on blue. Van de Logt was rewarded with a second pick Wonder, and he got a decent selection of white and blue cards to flesh out the deck.
Eugene took Treacherous Vampire second, deciding to go three colors to have a good victory condition. He picked up a bunch of little green creatures, Sudden Strength, and Exoskeletal Armor to finish out the draft.
If Eugene had passed Violent Eruption, both players would have had much better decks. As it stands, both decks are severely lacking in power, especially of van de Logt doesn't play red. Both players will be lucky to end up 2-1 at this table.
Worlds 2002 (Booster Draft): Green/Blue/Black
Worlds 2002 (Booster Draft): Blue/White
Tom van de Logt