by Sideboard Staff
Both of the teams featured here are very much in contention for the top four. All of the players on both teams have been around the Pro-Tour scene for several years and between them quite posssibly have more Pro level experience than any other match taking place this round.
Potato Nation (Scott Johns, Gary Wise, Mike Turian) kicked off the draft by setting their central player, Gary Wise into Green and Turian on the left into Blue. Wise seemed a little distracted through the first couple of boosters as he failed to pick within the time limit on two occasions causing the judge to interrupt and hand him a random card. Whilst this didn't cause any huge problems it did mean that he failed to get a Jhovall Rider that probably would've made it into his deck. Scott Johns meanwhile found time to have a chuckle over his first few picks. He was able to pick up a Squee and two Arms Dealers which although a fragile combination can set him up to deal four damage to a creature every turn for just five mana. As Scott Johns goes into heavy red Hacker starts hating him picking up two Oraxids through Nemesis. Being a teams only green player in seat A can sometimes be beneficial as Brian Hacker found out. He managed to pick up three Blastoderms in four boosters and his deck started to look very strong indeed. The overall level of power in the boosters was pretty high and this should make for some exciting matches.
Gary Wise takes his Green/White deck up against Gabe Tsang's White/Red deck in the first match of this round. Wise's deck is pretty solid with some huge creatures such as Blastoderm, Thresher Beast and Hunted Wumpus. Two Angelic favors, a Topple and a Desert Twister also give Gary more removal options than most Green/White decks get. Tsang's deck mostly consists of smaller Rebels and it looks like he's going to have trouble defending against and punching through Gary's army. Tsang has a couple of Rebel fliers which he will probably need if he wants to beat Gary but no other evasion apart from that. Tsang does have Rupture which he can use with either of his two Lesser Gargadons to seriously hurt Wise and Wise will have to be careful not to overcommit during their match.
Turian has an excellent Blue/Black deck but is playing a mirror-match against Frayman who drafted identical colors. Turian definitely has the advantage in the flier department as he opened an Extravagant Spirit and picked up a Hatchling, some Cloudskates and a Belbe's Percher. Frayman's strength lies in his removal. Dehydration, Snuff Out, Vendetta and two Seal of Dooms will make it very difficult for Mike to keep a non-black threat on the table. Despite Turian's slightly better creatures Frayman looks favorite due to his superb removal and other tricky creatures such as Undertaker, Jolting Merfolk and an Islandwalking Rootwater Commando.
Scott Johns has the difficult task of trying to beat Brian Hacker's deck containg the three Blastoderms. Johns does have a Crenellated Wall as an answer and he can also repeatedly cast and block with his Squee should the need arise. Johns may find it difficult to find a way to get passed Hackers Oraxid's although his pair of Laccolith Warriors will no doubt make blocking decisions difficult for Hacker. Johns also has an Avenger en-Dal which while unable to deal with the Blastoderms is excellent at holding off the rest of Hacker's forces. Hacker really needed an Ensnare or Jolting Merfolk to secure the win, but he does have a couple of Counterspells which he'll want to draw so that he can prevent some of Scott's key creatures from ever hitting the table.
Prediction: 2-1 to Team B.I.G.