Drafting with Antonio Del Moral León

Posted in ARCHIVES - ARTICLES on September 13, 2015

By Tobi Henke

Pro Tour Fate Reforged champion Antonio Del Moral León finished Day 1 with a pristine record of 9-0, but if he wanted to remain undefeated any longer he now needed to draft a strong deck first of all.

Things didn't start off badly, as his first booster contained a Gilt-Leaf Winnower. He quickly decided on the mighty rare, eschewing other options like Eyeblight Massacre, Stalwart Aven, Celestial Flare, and Ringwarden Owl. The next pack included various black cards like Eyeblight Assassin, Shambling Ghoul, and Blightcaster, but Del Moral León went with the arguably stronger Lightning Javelin here.

Antonio Del Moral León

For his third pick, candidates included another Lightning Javelin, Fetid Imp, and Akroan Sergeant as well as a Sword of the Animist which he took after some deliberation, possibly for its colorlessness allowing him to stay open with regards to colors. The next booster was curiously low on good cards and he picked Llanowar Empath over things like Read the Bones or Enshrouding Mist.

It was back to both black and red immediately afterward, though, with Blazing Hellhound as pick five. The rest of the pack gave him two Eyeblight Assassins, Foundry of the Consuls, Chandra's Fury, Bonded Construct, Flameshadow Conjuring, and a few mediocre cards outside of his colors.

Del Moral León's first pick out of pack two was a second Lightning Javelin, followed by Scab-Clan Berserker. Since he hadn't taken any black cards recently, he chose Boggart Brute rather than Blazing Hellhound or Fetid Imp for his third pick.

His fourth pick then was a surprising Skysnare Spider, taken over Runed Servitor or Goblin Piledriver as literally the only cards in his colors. Something was definitely not going according to plan here.

It was back to red next, however, with Akroan Sergeant followed by Dragon Fodder. Then came Dwynen's Elite as pick number seven, then Meteorite. The rest of pack two added Smash to Smithereens, Macabre Waltz, Negate, Dark Dabbling, Bone to Ash, and Reclaim to his draft pile.

So far Del Moral León had drafted, depending on your tolerance, at best 14 playables in black and red but was also very much stuck with the color combination. He opened his third booster and picked a Nantuko Husk over Akroan Sergeant—both fine cards but not exactly first-pick material.

Del Moral León's second pick was Boggart Brute over Gaea's Revenge, once again passing on a sweet option in the color he had earlier flirted with for a while. He passed another Gaea's Revenge next in favor of a third-pick Volcanic Rambler. I may have heard a little sigh from Del Moral León here, but maybe it was just in my head.

He was rewarded with a bunch of options for pick four—Ghirapur Gearcrafter, Act of Treason, Read the Bones, and the Ravaging Blaze he ended up taking—but he'd obviously much rather had all of these cards arrive one after another.

Pick five was Mage-Ring Bully, pick six was Rogue's Passage. Seventh came Alchemist's Vial, eighth Veteran's Sidearm. Then, weirdly, the Akroan Sergeant he had opened earlier returned to him and suggested that maybe Del Moral León wasn't in the wrong colors after all but was simply suffering from a bad case of bad luck.

Yeva's Forcemage, Guardians of Meletis, Llanowar Wastes, Infernal Scarring, and Prism Ring wrapped up the draft ...