Draft 2, Table 1: Alex Shvartsman

Posted in Event Coverage on March 11, 2001

By Rui Oliveira

Alex's seat for this draft probably looked good on paper. He had the two Americans to his left and was seated between two relatively unknown Latin players: Argentina's Ernesto Mingorance to his left and Brazil's Julio Cesar Maciel.

The first booster gave Alex an interesting choice: Exclude, Recoil or Goham Djinn. While Alex looked at these three cards Julio was deciding between a Shivan Emissary, Armadillo Cloak, Thornscape Apprentice and a Prohibit. Everything seemed to go Alex's way when the Brazilian took the Shivan Emissary letting two Green cards go by. Alex picked the Exclude.

Julio then got an Agonizing Demise and a Scorching Lava cementing his colors. Alex took that Cloak as a signal to dip into Green and White. He grabbed the Cloak and then a Vodalian Serpent, two Thornscape Apprentices, a Crimson Acolyte and a Canopy Surge. Maciel kept true to his colors but also went into blue due to a irresistible Sleeper's Robe. He also took a late Prohibit and, after reading it twice, a Cauldron Dance.

The second round of packs seemed prone to disappoint Alex. While the four players to his right, the ones feeding him in the first and third pack, were staying away from Green his left side was a totally different story. Both Justin Schneider (who got two Armadillo Cloaks in his first two picks) and Ernesto Mingorance where taking Alex's crumbs and going G/W as well. So the second booster was very difficult for Alex.

Surprisingly the G/W cards were good enough for all three players. Alex got a second Exclude, Wash Out (over a Glimmering Angel and Kavu Climber), Llanowar Knight, Sunscape Apprentice, Wings of Hope, Fertile Ground and a Harrow. He was visibly surprised to see a Recoil in a booster after eight picks. That showed how strange the draft was going. He basically used his picks in this pack to balance his mana. He got an Harrow and a Fertile Ground to ease his fears in that department.

With three Green drafters within four seats of each other it could have been a very compromising situation for all of them, but the boosters came forward to save them by providing such deep picks in Green and White that the players probably didn't even notice the potential hazard.

Planeshift meant Alex was out of Justin and Ernesto's grasp and back under the comforting wing of Julio Maciel's B/R/U picks. He kicked off with a Fleetfoot Panther followed by a Gerrard's Command, Gaea's Might, Hunting Drake and two Samite Pilgrims! He took a chance by passing a Treva's Ruins he really wanted to help his mana balance but the land made a full circle ending up in his pile of cards on the later picks.

Alex told me he really likes to draft blue, usually going U/W or U/B so he had no second thoughts about first picking the Exclude. He then got the Cloak and decided to stick with it since he doesn't need to do 3-0 in this draft. He only needed one more win to get into the ID zone and he felt G/W, and especially the Cloak, has the uncanny ability to randomly win games. G/W is very hard to draft correctly and is a fairly unexplored archetype. Thus Alex felt it was a good bet to let the rest of the table battle over B/R/U and build a solid G/W/U deck that would get him a Top 8 spot.

Alex Shvartsman

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