by Ben Ronaldson
Draft Table 5:
- Paul Hawkins (Eng)
- Kai Budde (Ger)
- Gunnar Refsdal (Ger)
- Alexander Witt (NL)
- Gary Wise (Can)
- Nils-Uwe Goldbaum (Ger)
- Peter Bero (Slov)
- Bram Snepvangers (NL)
Booster 1: I thought it would be interesting to watch Gary draft as I had been talking to him about his strategies as I travelled to the venue, and there were some strong named players on this table. Strategy, however, went out the window as Gary tore open his first pack to reveal a Crosis. The only problem with the dragon was that the remaining cards in the booster of any significance were all of the same colours: Exclude, Ancient Kavu and a Duskwalker. To his right Witt picked a Scorching Lava, whilst Goldbaum to his left opened the White Master (one of the two strongest).
Booster 2: Goldbaum was happy to receive his second pick Exclude so sure enough Gary's Crosis did mean that he had already begun to compete with the players either side. The best cards in this booster were Cursed Flesh, Recoil, Samite Archer and Benalish Lancer and Wise was quick to swipe the recoil, not wanting to move into four colours in the second booster. Meanwhile Witt picked a Shivan Zombie and from that point forth he was settled in aggressive r/b beatdown. Goldbaum, when passed this booster, obviously took the Samite Archer and thankfully for Gary he ended up playing U/W with splash for green as opposed to black, otherwise the draft might have turned nasty.
From this point I will CAPITALIZE the picks Gary made in each booster.
Booster 3: Choices: Hypnotic Cloud; Kavu Scout, SHORELINE RAIDER, Obsidian Acolyte, Rooting Kavu.
Booster 4: DUSKWALKER, Ravenous Rats, Galina's Knight, Glimmering Angel, Metathran Transport.
Booster 5: SHORELINE RAIDER, Phyrexian Reaper, Backlash, Fertile Ground. (Oh how we hate the Reapers).
Booster 6: Explosive Growth, DREAM THRUSH, Dromar's Attendant.
Booster 7: Prohibit, Dream Thrush, SHORELINE RAIDER, Desperate Research, Urborg Skeleton. (Gary chuckled to himself about the Desperate Research after seeing the third Shoreline Raider. By the end of the draft he had five of them.)
Booster 8: Metathran Zombie, Coastal Tower, WORLDY COUNSEL, Nomadic Elf, Wings of Hope.
Boosters 9 & 10: TIDAL VISIONARY, MANIPULATE FATE.
Booster 11: COASTAL TOWER, Traveler's Cloak, Benalish Emissary. (Gary is not a fan of the Cloaks in this kind of deck. He had many opportunities to take one during the draft.)
Boosters 12-15: METATHRAN TRANSPORT, BARRIN'S UNMAKING, X. I only feel it is worth mentioning the Unmaking because it ended up in his final deck.
So, after the first set of boosters Gary had a Dragon, but the rest of his cards were not that strong. The table so far looked like this:
- Paul: G/W
- Kai: B/R
- Gunnar: W/G splash U
- Alexander: B/R
- Gary: U/B splash R
- Nils: U/W/G
- Peter: G/R
- Bram: B/R splash U
From the little I saw of Alexander Witt's deck, it was nuts. He had a very fast beatdown deck with two Vicious Kavus.
The second set of boosters did supply the Canadian with some more powerful spells, but in his final deck he did not end up playing a single creature from it. I think Gary wouldn't have minded increasing the amount of red splash by adding a few red removal cards such as Lava and Plague Spores, but not a single one came round so his deck became very solidly black/blue with only the Crosis seeping into the red.
These were his first 13 picks: Exotic Curse, Cursed Flesh, Probe, Sleeper's Robe, Probe, Maniacal Rage, Recoil, Cursed Flesh, Cremate, Yavimaya Barbarian, Nightscape Apprentice, Opt, Scared Puma.
The interesting picks here were:
Booster 2: He had the choice of Obsidian Acolyte, Stormscape Apprentice, Pouncing Kavu, Benalish Trapper and Cursed Flesh. Now, being white was not the furthest thing from his mind at this stage so he looked at that Apprentice for quite some time before taking the Flesh. From that point on in the second set though, Goldbaum shut the white out for good.
Booster 4: Choices: Hate Weaver, Sleeper's Robe, Metathran Aerostat, Opt. This was the toughest choice of the draft for Gary and he ended up taking the Robe, but in retrospect thinks he might have taken the Aerostat, although the choice was a close one.
Booster 6: He took a Maniacal Rage over an Urborg Phantom because he didn't want Witt to have it, and he would never play the Phantom.
The lack of creatures in the second set was made up for in the third as he tore open a first pick Tek (taking it over a Vodalian Zombie which came back to him, a Repulse, and a Tribal Flames). The rest of the booster supplied him with 2 more Shoreline Raiders, a Duskwalker, Urborg Drake and a Battleflies. The spells he managed to pick up were Mourning, a third Recoil, and a 13th pick Hypnotic Cloud.
Gary was happy with his deck at the end of the draft, and I feel like it is a 2-1 or maybe even a 3-0 deck.