DRAFTING WITH CHRIS FENNELL

Posted in NEWS on May 25, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

For No. 18 Ranked Player Chris Fennell, drafting is just another day. There are few players in the room more focused and on-target when he finds a signal than he is in drafts, proven by his consistent string of cash-finishes in Limited Grand Prix over the years.

And there have been fewer times than today where that consistency really needed to come into play. Fennell sits at mere points away from Platinum Pro status, and a Top 8 here would lock him into Platinum as long as he shows up to Pro Tour Magic 2015. A 3-0 would be necessary for that. Nothing else would be good enough.

And when Fennell began his draft with Hubris (over Akroan Mastiff) into Daring Thief into Sigiled Starfish (over Fleetfeather Cockatrice), it became clear that he had a plan. Pin to the Earth and Hubris followed, and then Golden Hind and Dictate of Karametra. Blue was his strong point, and it appeared green was open.

No. 18 Ranked Player Chris Fennell

It became clearer that he was in the right colors when an eighth pick Font of Fertility made it his way. Rise of Eagles made it around the table into his draft pile, and when the next pick had nothing but green and blue cards, he held them for me to view and smirked. He knew that this was the way to start things off. He took Desecration Plague over Font of Fortunes, then smiled as he got a tenth pick Ravenous Leucrocota. The draft was shaping up well.

Fennell's Born of the Gods pack also continued to bolster his strength. A first-pick Retraction Helix was followed by Nyxborn Triton, then a Kiora's Follower, which Fennell couldn't put into his draft pile fast enough. A criminally late Siren of the Fanged Coast followed, and a Nyxborn Triton that Fennell saw in the same pack that the Kiora's Follower was in surprisingly made its way around the table and back into Fennell's draft pile.

Theros left Fennell frustrated, but this was mainly due to having two Gray Merchant of Asphodels pass through him and to his left. His deck picked up a couple of key cards, mainly big-mana threats that are capable of pushing damage through in two Vulpine Goliaths. Voyaging Satyr gave him some added ramp, his first pick of the pack, and two copies of Anthousa, Setessan Hero rounded out his deck.

Ultimately, the deck did its job, earning Fennell his Top 8 goal, as well as Platinum status when he attends the next Pro Tour. Of course, another win here in the Quarterfinals would get him Platinum before the Pro Tour. You can see his final deck below.

Chris Fennell

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