Draft 1: Michelle Bush and Steven O'Mahoney-Schwartz

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Mason Peatross

After Day One, and with no byes, the mighty mighty Michelle Bush sat at 7-0. Before the draft, she talked about wanting to draft the same colors that she played yesterday - blue, black and red. Fellow Your Moves Gamer (and on again boyfriend) Darwin Kastle commented that Michelle's sealed deck from yesterday had 4 of the top 10 cards he would want to open today while drafting, notably Crosis, the Purger and Blazing Specter. Michelle was framed by two Pro tour winners - Steven O'Mahoney-Schwartz and Casey McCarrel. She should have been framed by an astounding THIRD pro tour winner in Trevor Blackwell, but he overslept, and missed draft one, despite Mike Long running across the street to the player hotel to try and gather him for the tourney.

Michelle Bush opened up her first pack, and as she sifted through it, came face to face with Blazing Specter. To her right, OMS took Exotic Curse, and to her left, McCarrel took an Annihilate. They weren't going to make it easy for Michelle Bush to draft an amazing deck, it seemed.

Michelle was determined though, and throughout the first pack, she stuck to her red and black guns, taking a second pick Vicious Kavu over a Yawgmoth's Agenda, a card that doesn't seem to rate very highly for the pros in draft. The rest of her first pack netted her a Plague Spores, Tribal Flames, as well as a Shivan Zombie (very important in red/black) and some other cards that probably won't make the cut in her deck. OMS pulled in two Recoils and a Vodalian Zombie, making it obvious he wanted to draft the tempo based blue/black deck that is so popular among the pros these days.

Pack 2 began with a fairly difficult choice for Michelle, with a pack that contained Soul Burn, Pouncing Kavu, Probe, and a bomb for another player - Molimo, Maro Sorcerer. She didn't take long in deciding that the potentially game ending Soul Burn was the right card for her, though. Her second pick was easy, and I wrote it down before she had even seen the 2nd card in the pack - Reckless Spite. It would have been hard for her to find a better card in the pack that fit into her play style. The hits kept on coming for Michelle, as she picked up an Ancient Kavu, Phyrexian Slayer, Cinder Shade, and several Kavu, many of which may fill out the "dork" role in her deck. One of the ways that black/red can work is that you draft a ton of efficient removal, and some "dorks" - creatures that are "ok" but not "savage". Those creatures do the damage, and you clear the way with your removal. Pack 2 was unkind to OMS, though. His picks strayed away from the deck he wanted to build, as there was little that fit the fast and furious style he had started to draft in pack one. His first pack had nothing for his deck, and a Dragon for someone else. Treva, the Renewer was in OMS's thoughts, but there was no way he could draft it. He did however pick up his 2nd and 3rd Alloy Golems! I'm not sure if all 3 will make his deck, but they certainly present a beefy threat if his opponents are able to deal with his early beats.

Going into pack 3, I don't think Michelle could have been happier with the deck she was building, and the spectators watching her seemed to agree. She opened Stalking Assassin, something she may consider splashing for, considering its amazing level of power. She picked up a second Cursed Flesh, and some more removal, in the form of Shivan Emissary. She also picked up a Zap, a second or third Hooded Kavu, and a little guy who may be good in black/red: Tsabo Tavoc. Bush's cheering section (and it was sizeable) could barely contain their glee when they saw the Legend. She took it over a Smoldering Tar, but I don't think her deck suffered due to the lack of removal. I think that if she draws the right amounts of mana, no one is going to be able to slow down Michelle's deck. Steve's deck got back on track in the third pack, gifting him with his 4th Recoil, and his 3rd and 4th Vodalian Zombies. His deck didn't look good going into pack 3, but afterwards, I think he will find it easy to go at least 2-1, if not 3-0. I don't think it's inconceivable that Bush and OMS will meet to decide who goes 3-0 at their table.

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