2004 United States National Championship Feature

Posted in Event Coverage on June 18, 2004

By Ted Knutson

Mitchell Tamblyn

Mitchell Tamblyn is a seventeen-year-old Magic player from Phoenix, Arizona. He finished in the top 8 at Grand Prix: Oakland earlier this year, and came in 13th at Pro Tour: San Diego in May. He 3-0'd the first Constructed portion of Nationals this year, which, by his own estimation, is a miracle, since he considers himself a Limited Specialist.

Mitchell: "When I sat down, I planned to force White… if it had been before Fifth Dawn, I probably would have gone Green with the Fangren Hunter, but I figured people have started drafting Green again, since Sunburst seems pretty decent in the last pack.

I feel like the table passed me some very good picks (like the early Icy Manipulator), but I was having a hard time late because I was passing things like Spire Golem so as not to go too deep into a second color and keep my options. I ended up with three Blue cards and two Black cards, but I had to pass out some real power cards like Devour in Shadow to keep my mana base in shape. Generally when a new set comes out, I like to play the cards that are more consistent, and avoid the rares or picks that might be confusing. A lot of people are attracted to cards with gold symbols on them, but unless they are really good or I don't have other good choices, I tend to avoid them.

I had a really tough choice in the first Fifth Dawn pack between Acquire and the new Looter (Thought Courier). Think I made the right call, because Acquire seems very good, but Thought Courier is probably a little more consistent.

Predictions: Probably 3-1. I think the deck is pretty good, but not ridiculous. It's just solid. I'm gonna run seventeen land, and that may be a mistake, but I can always sideboard it out."

These were the pick choices Mitchell ruminated over during the draft. The actual cards he chose are in bold.


Pack 1: Leonin Skyhunter / Fangren Hunter / Hematite Golem / Krark-Clan Grunt

Pack 2: Myr Enforcer / Icy Manipulator/ Goblin Replica

Pack 3: Pyrite Spellbomb / Silver Myr/ Banshee's Blade / Creeping Mold

Pack 4: Frogmite / Thoughtcast

Pack 5: Lightning Greaves/ Tooth of Chiss-Goria

Pack 6: Banshee's Blade/ Alpha Myr / Nim Devourer

Pack 7: Irradiate and nothing

Pack 8: Wall of Blood/ Tel-Jilad Exile


Pack 1: Chittering Rats / Razor Golem/ Purge

Pack 2: Loxodon Mystic/ Essence Drain / Leonin Bola

Thought Courier

Pack 3: Leonin Battlemage/ Echoing Decay / Pteron Ghost / Pulse of the Tangle

Pack 4: Razor Golem/ Leonin Bola

Pack 5: Vedalken Engineer/ Pteron Ghost

Pack 6: Nim Abomination / Arcbound Worker

Pack 7: Auriok Siege-Sled / Arcbound Hybrid

Pack 8: Arcbound Stinger and Nothing

Pack 9: Shield of Kaldra / Arcane Spyglass / Vex

Pack 10: Darksteel Brute / Echoing Calm

Pack 11: Late Pteron Ghost

Fifth Dawn

Pack 1: Stasis Cocoon / Thought Courier / Acquire/ Furnace Whelp / Fleshgrafter

Pack 2: Advanced Hoverguard / Devour in Shadow / Healer's Headdress / Stasis Cocoon

Pack 3: Night's Whisper/ Plunge into Darkness / Suntouched Myr / Lose Hope

Pack 4: Wayfarer's Bauble/ Blind Creeper

Pack 5: Leonin Squire/ Condescend

Pack 6: Battered Golem / Goblin Cannon / Desecration Elemental/ Fill with Fright

Pack 7: Horned Helm / Fleshgrafter / Suntouched Myr

Pack 8: Condescend/ Plasma Elemental

Pack 9: Pentad Prism

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