2013 Hall of Fame member and Grand Prix Oakland 2013 Champion William Jensen is one of the most experienced players in the room, and he's been showing why he has such an impressive resume in the game this weekend. Following an 8-1 performance during Day One's Sealed Pack rounds, Jensen went on to 3-0 his first Theros Booster Draft of the day with a powerful multi-color deck featuring a green base with multiple copies of Nylea's Presence.
The result of his draft was a deck that contained one powerful card after another, all of which were relatively easy to cast thanks to Jensen's mana fixing.
Now, he was only a few wins away from locking up what would be his eleventh Grand Prix Top 8.
Jensen started off the draft by taking a Nessian Asp, though he debated for a moment on taking Heliod's Emissary. "The white card was the best card in the pack," Jensen said after the draft, explaining the reason why the decision was not an easy one. Other notables in the very first pick included Magma Jet, though it was not quite on the same power level as the two cards that Jensen was really looking at. The second pick brought Jensen a Griptide, which he took over Fanatic of Mogis and Tymaret, the Murder King.
From there, Jensen took Sip of Hemlock, followed by two copies of Mnemonic Wall. A Fleshmad Steed followed, and then he took Nylea's Presence. After that, picks started to dry up, and Jensen was juggling three colors: blue, black, and green.
Well, he was juggling green until shortly into the second pack. His first pick out of the second pack was the powerful Gray Merchant of Asphodel, which he took over Sea God's Revenge, Divine Verdict, and Dauntless Onslaught. Thassa's Emissary followed immediately after that, with Jensen spending all of five seconds on the decision once he fanned through the pack. Keepsake Gorgon gave Jensen a powerful late-game creature, and the deadly uncommon was followed by back-to-back Voyage's Ends.
After that, however, cards started to dry up. Jensen added the fairly lackluster Meletis Charlatan, Bronze Sable, and Guardian of Meletis after, as he struggled to find any reasonable creatures or early plays.
Jensen started off the third pack by taking Griptide, which ended up as his pick over Curse of the Swine (which he thought about), as well as Ordeal of Thassa and Mogis's Marauder (which were not considerations, since Jensen's deck was not going to capitalize on given the nature of his defensive deck). The second pick proved to be a debate over a wealth of riches, as Jensen took his second Gray Merchant of Asphodel over an excessive third Voyage's End and a Thoughtseize. Read the Bones followed that, as he shipped what was already a very late Fleecemane Lion.
Then, the pack started getting awkward. Jensen added a necessary Felhide Minotaur to his pile of cards, taking it over Wingsteed Rider, Nessian Asp, and the Karaga Warcaller. Another Wingsteed Rider came in the next match, as Jensen was forced to take one of the few playable options for his deck, March of the Returned (which could prove to be very annoying with his Mnemonic Walls post sideboarding against slower decks). However, Jensen was able to shore up his curve a little bit in the final few picks, adding Returned Phalanx and Disciple of Phenax to his pile.
After the draft, not much needed to be said. The key decision point of the draft was pick one, pack one, when Jensen took the Nessian Asp over Heliod's Emissary. "I don't like red or white that much," Jensen explained, one of his main reasons for sticking to the Nessian Asp, a safe bet, over Heliod's Emissary, a card he considers to rank a little bit higher over Asp.
"I'm not too unhappy with how it turned out," Jensen said, referring to his draft. "I certainly don't have the best deck I could have had at my seat [referencing to the white creatures that he could have ended up with in the third pack], but the deck I ended up with certainly fits my style."
Jensen's choice to draft a deck that fit his style served him well, as it earned him two wins before he reached the fifteenth round, where he was able to safely draw into the Top 8 with the only other 13-1 competitors left in the event, Seth Manfield.
You can check out what Jensen's final deck looked like below.