1999 Canadian Nationals
Second Draft Report

Posted in Event Coverage on September 2, 2015

By Wizards of the Coast

- Elijah Pollock

The head table at the second draft of these Canadian nationals possessed, not suprisingly an immense amount of talent in the magical cards by it's occupants. With 7 3-0 players, and a 2-0-1 record there truly were some of the very best draft talents in Canada in this drafting pod.

As a side note, the winner of this draft will most likely become this year's Canadian limited event winner (if they still give trophies for that) and will take that title away from yours truly.

Although the players were for the most part friendly to each other during the draft, there were a few notable exceptions of players hate drafting another, and more than one player left the table bearing hard feelings.

The table was seated as such:

  1. Jeff Fung
  2. Terry Tsang
  3. Jurgen Hahn
  4. Gary Wise
  5. Nick Chen
  6. Boyd Hardie
  7. Gary Krakower
  8. Alex Rennet

At least for Canada, the number of pro-tour points at this table was astounding with Fung, Tsang, Krakower and Wise all contributing their share. Rounding out the table was last year team member Nick Chen, '98 worlds competitor Boyd Hardie, and locals Jurgen Hahn and Alex Rennet.

These are the picks for all the Urza's Saga packs:

Pack 1:

  1. Fung - Pegasus Charger
  2. Tsang - Argothian Swine
  3. Hahn - Phyrexian Ghoul
  4. Wise - Disenchant
  5. Chen - Blood Vassal
  6. Hardie - Smoldering Crater
  7. Krakower - Curfew
  8. Rennet - Fiery Mantle

This solid but unexciting pack got the draft off to a stable start. The first three players all grab good creatures in separate colors. Gary then takes a Disenchant over some mediocre cards and the rest of the picks are fairly poor, although the underrated Fiery Mantle could have gone a little higher.

Pack 2:

  1. Tsang - Jagged Lightning
  2. Hahn - Corrupt
  3. Wise - Pacifism
  4. Chen - Heat Ray
  5. Hardie - Energy Field
  6. Krakower - Unworthy Dead
  7. Rennet - Goblin Raider
  8. Fung - Pendrell Flux

Tsang decides to open this pack up with a bomb, and grabs a Jagged Lightning. He seems to be going for the archetypal green / red deck. Hahn then takes an excellent black card to go with his Ghoul, and Wise tries to cut off white by taking the Pacifism. Chen then grabs the best cards left in the pack which was the Heat Ray. Hardie rare drafts the Energy Field, and Krakower grabs his first of many black cards. Rennet takes another beatdown red spell, and Fung slams the Pendrell Flux declaring "I want to play blue white"!!

Pack 3:

  1. Hahn - Child of Gaea
  2. Wise - Sanctum Custodian
  3. Chen - Symbiosis
  4. Hardie - Shiv's Embrace
  5. Krakower - Bog Raider
  6. Rennet - Cave Tiger
  7. Fung - Veiled Sentry
  8. Tsang - Treefolk Seedlings

Hahn opens up the amazing Child, and lacking any quality black cards in the pack decides that he will be willing to fight Tsang for green. Wise rolls along with another quality white pick, then Chen stuns the table by taking Symbiosis over the Embrace when he already had a red card. Hardie picks his first playable card in the Embrace, and passes it over to Krakower who takes another mediocre black creature. Rennet grabs his first green spell and Fung and Tsang continue their archetype drafting with their respective cards.

Pack 4:

  1. Wise - Energy Field
  2. Chen - Smoldering Crater
  3. Hardie - Retromancer
  4. Krakower - Skirge Familiar
  5. Rennet - Argothian Swine
  6. Fung - Disenchant
  7. Tsang - Crosswinds
  8. Hahn - Phyrexian Ghoul

Wise opens this disappointing pack for his blue white deck and takes the rare instead of making enemies through hate drafting. Chen then doesn't draft his card on time and is forced to take a cycle land. Hardie continues into red with a Retromancer, and Gary continues black by taking Skirge Familiar (although many people prefer the Phyrexian Ghoul). Rennet takes another green creature and it looks like the table has it's second green red mage. Fung and Tsang get descent picks for their decks, and Hahn gets a great 8th pick Ghoul.

Pack 5:

  1. Chen - Arc Lightning
  2. Hardie - Acidic Soil
  3. Krakower - Witch Engine
  4. Rennet - Bull Hippo
  5. Fung - Pacifism
  6. Tsang - Goblin Raider
  7. Hahn - Vielded Serpent
  8. Wise - Pendrell Flux

After passing the Embrace two packs ago, Chen decides he likes red after all and takes an Arc Lightning. Hardie gets an excellent finisher in Acidic Soil, which is followed by another black creature for Krakower, which seem to get a little better each time. Rennet takes his third green creature in a row, and Fung grabs some important kill in the form of pacifism. Tsang takes another weenie creature, then Jurgen literally take a Serpent out of the blue which was nothing less than pure hate on the person sitting to his left. An upset Wise has to settle for a Pendrell Flux.

Pack 6:

  1. Hardie - Sanctum Custodian
  2. Krakower - Pestilence
  3. Rennet - Phyrexian Collosus
  4. Fung - Pendrell Drake
  5. Tsang - Goblin Patrol
  6. Hahn - Order of Yawgmoth
  7. Wise - Cathodian
  8. Chen - Hollow Dogs

Boyd opens up perhaps the best common ever printed in Pestilence, but takes his first white card in Custodian instead. Krakower obviously takes the Pestilence in his so-far mono black deck. Rennet decides to go for some serious beef in the Collosus, and Fung gets an excellent flier in Pendrell Drake. Tsang keeps the weenies coming with a Patrol, then Hahn and Wise get very solid creatures for their decks. Chen then keeps up his patented three color draft strategy by taking the Hollow Dogs.

Pack 7:

  1. Krakower - Expunge
  2. Rennet - Voice of Law
  3. Fung - Pegasus Charger
  4. Tsang - Smoldering Crater
  5. Hahn - Elvish Herder
  6. Wise - Disciple of Law
  7. Chen - Blasted Landscape
  8. Hardie - Healing Salve

Gary takes some excellent black kill in Expung to start of this pack. Rennet, seeing nothing he likes decides to kill of the Voice of Law which forces Fung to settle for a Pegasus Charger. The rest of the picks were all mediocre cards at best.

Pack 8:

  1. Rennet - Morphling
  2. Fung - Veiled Serpent
  3. Tsang - Goblin Raider
  4. Hahn - Corrupt
  5. Wise - Lilting Refrain
  6. Chen - R. Skirge
  7. Hardie - Shower of Sparks
  8. Krakower - Pendrell Flux
What to you do when you open up the best card in the set and it's not in your color? If you're Alex Rennet you kill it. It's not clear whether it's Fung or the Morphling he hates but either way Fung gets stuck with a Serpent and his second disappointing pick in a row. Tsang gets another Goblin, and Hahn happily takes his second Corrupt. Wise grabs a whatever card, and Chen picks up his third black card, a Ravenous Skirge. Boyd and Krakower end the Saga picks with mediocre cards.

After the first pack, the color selections look like this:

Fung U/W
Tsang R/G
Hahn B/G
Wise U/W
Chen B/R/G
Hardie R/W
Krakower B
Rennet R/G

This makes it four players drafting the U/W and G/R archetypes, and only two situations where players sitting next to each other are drafting the same color. Of course, with Chen that's hard to avoid.

The highlights from the decks after the final picks are as follows:

Fung- Jeff has some great creatures with 2 Pegasus Charger, 4 Expendable Troops, a Vigilant, and Pendrell Drake, with some creature removal like a Pacifism and 2 Disappears.

Tsang- Terry will definitely be "axing" his opponents some questions with this deck that contains: 2 Ghitu Slinger, Cinder Seer, Jagged Lightning, 2 Flame Jet, 2 Lava Axes, Scent of Cinder, Reckless Abandon, Thorn Elemental, and a bunch of Goblins.

Hahn- Jurgan's deck features 2 Corrupts, Eradicate, and some great creatures in Order of Yawgmoth, Child of Gaea, 2 Ticking Gnomes, and Hunting Moa, in addition, he has Thran Golem, plus a Rancor and Twisted Experiment to load it up with.

Wise- Gary's deck has some good fliers in a Thieving Magpie, Sustainer of the Realm, and 2 Weatherseed Fairies, with good control like Field Surgeon, Sanctum Custodian, Pacifism, and Planar Collapse to back them up.

Chen- Nick ends up splashing red for Arc Lightning, Parch, Heat Ray, and Ghitu Slinger. Green for a Symbiosis, and a few fatties. The rest of the deck is medium quality black creatures and 2 Nightshade Seers.

Hardie- Boyd's very solid deck has Mantis Engine, Sanctum Custodian, Ghitu Fire Eater, and 2 Hulking Cyclops which he backs up with a Reckless Abandon, Scent of Cinder, Parch, Acidic Soil and Shiv's Embrace.

Krakower-Krakower's mono black deck has 2 Phyrexian Debasers, and Witch Engine, but it's strongest points are it's kill spells which include, 2 Scent of Nightshade, Eradicate, Attrition, Expunge, and Swat. He also has Phyrexian Reclamation.

Rennet- Alex features the Yavimaya cards with a Hollows, 2 Elders, a Scion, and a Wurm. Along side these are a Pattern of Rebirth and the Collosus.

The early picks in this round? They have to go to Gary Krakower's incredibly powerful mono black, and Terry Tsang's draft deck with ridiculous amounts of burn.

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