Ask The Pros:

Posted in Event Coverage on January 16, 2004

By Toby Wachter

Lumengrid Warden
Over the past few years, every Magic block has forced players to think about the game in a different way, especially when it comes to Limited and drafting. In Invasion, any number of colors was viable, in Odyssey the last two packs were heavily weighted towards specific colors, and Onslaught had morph and emphasis on tribes. Since this is the first Pro Tour to feature Mirrodin Limited, it's interesting to see what the Pros have to say about the new format after getting a feel for it at the highest level of competition.

Bob Maher- "I don't necessarily have enough knowledge on it to make an educated guess, but I don't like it much. There's certainly a lot of skill involved because there's a lot of quirky picks for each decktype, but I'm so looking forward to when they're going back to typical drafts, when they're all not just artifacts or morphs; when if someone doesn't draft correctly they end up with three colors and it's a bad thing. There can be themes, as long as they're color specific. It makes the drafts a lot more skill based."

Terry Tsang- "It's definitely the most interesting draft set. Everyone isn't setting colors early on, and they're just jumping around due to broken cards getting busted open. It's different, and it makes it interesting to draft. It's not like everyone is set and you just pass the cards (based on your colors)."

Carlos Romao- "This set is very, very hard. Sometimes you don't have enough picks and you have to play cards like the 1/3 (Lumengrid Warden). I really like equipment, but I preferred Onslaught because I tested it more. I didn't test much for this Pro Tour, so I don't know.

Gary Wise- "Like the last two sets, the field has been leveled by the subtracting of advanced draft strategy from the format. There's no point in cutting off colors and stuff like that, because people just take the best card anyway. Any format where 'Take the best card' is usually the right rule is not a good draft format. Not if you want to test skill. If you want to test luck at who can open the best cards, Mirrodin, Onslaught and Odyssey are all good for that. In Odyssey Block, if you cut off the black, the guy behind you would just open Faceless Butcher and take it, no matter what you did. It was just stupid, and the same thing goes for this format. You cut off red, and they open Grab the Reins, they're going to take it because there's no reason not to."

Mike Turian- "I like the artifacts. I think it makes for pretty interesting drafting. There's a weird comparison to Invasion and the multi-colored cards, because no matter what you open, there are a lot of possibilities for the best card to take. I think it makes Rochester Draft more interesting. In Rochester Draft, everyone falls into a certain color, but here you're always thinking. You need to think about who's going to take the Frogmite, who's going to take this or that card. So artifacts are good, there are more choices and just more fun."


Brian Kibler- "I think that in Mirrodin draft, power is generally less important than synergy in terms of overall drafting. But, I think that some cards are far off the power curve. The one thing that I really don't like about this format is that there's no way to smooth out mana draws. If you draw all land, then you draw all land. Previous sets had Wild Mongrel, or Looter, or Spellshapers, or cycling lands. This set, you draw fifteen land, you just draw fifteen land and lose. That's my biggest complaint about the entire format."

William "Huey" Jensen- "It's good, it's fun. People always make excuses when they lose. It's never their fault. I think most people value the cards wrong in this set, actually."

Jeff Cunningham- "I like it a lot. I like it because you can run thirteen land, play four colors. It's a lot of fun. You can go beyond different colors, there are different draft styles, like Affinity."

Tomi Walamies- "Booster draft is really good. Rochester is also skill intensive. I think the drafting is better than in other formats, but the games themselves are dumber. It feels like it's easier to get lucky in this format when you're playing. The draft itself is harder than in other formats because no one sets into their colors, so people are taking cards for a third color, and there's a lot of splashing. It's harder to get the playables often, and in the previous set you always got the playables due to off-color morphs."

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