Drafting with (2) Jérémy Dezani

Posted in NEWS on June 29, 2014

By Tobi Henke

The No. 2-ranked player in the world Jérémy Dezani certainly didn't need to prove anything anymore this season. Thanks to his win at Pro Tour Theros, he'd made the elite ranks of Platinum players and earned his qualification to the World Championship several months ago. But there was still the matter of the Player of the Year race.

Nothing less than winning this Grand Prix would allow him to dethrone current leader Reid Duke, but that was beginning to look like a real possibility. All Dezani needed to do to enter the Top 8 was to win two more matches. And the first step on that way was, of course, to construct a strong deck now, in the second draft of the weekend.

 

The Journey into Nyx pack he opened wasn't particularly strong, though. Dezani considered Brain Maggot and Cloaked Siren but luckily found a Dictate of Erebos hidden at the back. For his second pick, he was faced with the interesting decision to either pick Bloodcrazed Hoplite to stay in and signal black or to draft Ajani's Presence. Dezani took the Hoplite, and yes this pack wasn't exactly full of goodies either.

 

The third booster he saw probably had the strongest line-up of cards yet: Golden Hind, Oakheart Dryads, Renowned Weaver, Cast into Darkness, and Satyr Hoplite, all of which Dezani moved to the front of the pack. Would he pass on the green and let others fight over the three cards? And if he did, would he again go for the black option? In the end, he chose Golden Hind.

Next, he picked up Pharika's Chosen, the first sign in quite some time that black might be open. Then he drafted Supply-Line Cranes out of a pack which had neither black or green on offer. But black made its return soon enough, with Dezani's next picks being Gnarled Scarhide over Nyx Infusion, followed by Pharika's Chosen and Squelching Leeches.

His ninth pick of the pack was Consign to Dust over Aspect of Gorgon, and finally he collected two Renowned Weavers (great with Dictate of Erebos!), and Goldenhide Ox, and an Agent of Erebos to wrap up Journey into Nyx.

Dezani's first pick from Born of the Gods was Nessian Wilds Ravager, passing Nessian Demolok and Shrike Harpy, followed by Pheres-Band Tromper, before green and black appeared to dry up for pick three. Literally, the only green and black options here were Grisly Transformation, Charging Badger, and Mortal's Resolve. Dezani took the latter and passed better cards in other colors like Fall of the Hammer or Akroan Conscriptor.

After this little scare, his colors returned once again, though. The rest of Dezani's picks from Born of the Gods were Fated Intervention, Nessian Demolok, Weight of the Underworld, Pheres-Band Tromper, Satyr Wayfinder, Marshmist Titan, Eye Gouge, and Archetype of Endurance.

Theros continued to provide Dezani with a steady stream of green and black. First was Nessian Asp over Centaur Battlemaster, then came Keepsake Gorgon over Leafcrown Dryad and Nylea's Emissary. Time to Feed had no serious contenders for third pick, and for his fourth pick Dezani chose Lash of the Whip rather than another Time to Feed.

The rest of the draft gave Dezani two copies of Agent of Horizons, Nylea's Disciple, good sideboard options in Shredding Winds as well as Dark Betrayal, and Nylea's Emissary made it all the way around the table to be Dezani's tenth pick.

Dezani could be pleased with how the draft had went. And the resulting didn't look bad either: