Draft One, Pod Two: Kai Budde

Posted in Event Coverage on February 25, 2001

By Mark Wraith

Kai did well on the first day, making it through comfortably to the second day. In this first draft pod of the day, he found himself sandwiched between Trey van Cleave and Eivind Nitter. Kai would prefer to pick up a Red/Black deck, if possible - as these are the strongest colors in Invasion. Red is strong in Planeshift as well, but black is considerably weaker - perhaps even the weakest color in the set.

The very first booster opened - with Trey passing to Kai - was perhaps the most interesting of the whole draft. Kai opened a booster with Probe, Spite/Malice, Power Armor, and Serpentine Kavu. Already he was faced with a tough decision. Given his penchant for black the choice was really between Probe and the Spite/Malice, but whereas Probe requires you to play U/B, the split card is perfectly reasonable in a deck playing black but not blue, the blue ability merely adding extra functionality to an already powerful card.

Meanwhile Trey was faced with what would prove to be a draft-defining pick - opening his first booster he finds it full of powerful black cards, Agonizing Demise, Yawgmoth's Agenda, Recoil, and Goham Djinn, as well as Llanowar Knight and Benalish Lancer if he doesn't want to play black. Trey fully intended to play black, but explained after the draft that he didn't want to lose the option to play it as a splash, and so took the Agonizing Demise.

Since Kai had now been passed a booster with Yawgmoth's Agenda, Recoil, and Goham Djinn, he almost certainly took this as a signal that black was available to draft, as all of these cards are perfectly reasonable first picks in that color. Indeed by passing the Agenda, Trey virtually ensured that Kai would play black, almost irrespective of the card that Budde had first-picked from his own booster.

Kai only got a Shackles in the third booster - a card he would probably have been disappointed to take, as he wouldn't want to play White, especially as Trey meanwhile had chosen his colors with picks of Rainbow Crow, Exclude, Shackles, and Phyrexian Slayer.

This was only a minor trough in the quality of cards the German was receiving, as he picked up quality creatures for the deck he intended to play - Shivan Zombie, Vicious Kavu, and two Kavu Aggressors, as well as a Zap.

One has to wonder whether Trey had a definite drafting plan before he started, as he picked the Rainbow Crow over a Sunscape Master, before picking up a Shackles, and a Galina's Knight meaning that the Master would have been a good card in his deck. But then again, unless Trey had specifically intended to go white/blue, and just picked the Demise because there were no good cards in that color combination, it makes less sense to take the Demise over Agenda, as he could have made a perfectly reasonable Black/Blue or Black/Red deck of his own.

Passing the other way in the second set of boosters, Kai's deck continued to become strong. His first pick of Duskwalker was perhaps worse than he had anticipated, but it got much better very quickly. He picked a Scorching Lava over a Plague Spores in the second booster, and third pick he received another Yawgmoth's Agenda! The second Agenda isn't quite as good as the first, but it is better to play multiples to make sure you always draw one.

He continued with Ancient Kavu, Tribal Flames, Hypnotic Cloud, and Rage Weaver. The picks dried up, but then he received an eleventh pick Hooded Kavu, and a thirteenth pick Rogue Kavu!

At the moment his deck looked like it was mainly creatures - on a good mana curve, but with few tricks, which was possibly the only drawback to his deck at this point. Meanwhile, Eivind had solidified the green/white that he had taken in booster one, and Trey continued with his W/U/b strategy - picking up a Crypt Angel first over a Samite Archer, then cards such as Metathran Aerostat, Probe, and Glimmering Angel.

Kai would be lucky to get many good black cards in Planeshift, but he was obviously hoping for a Magma Burst or Terminate to add to his removal. Unfortunately he didn't get anything like the picks he wanted - taking Mire Kavu first and second pick which at least improved his mana curve because at this point he had lots of three mana spells, and only an Ancient Kavu for four mana.

He also added a Phyrexian Bloodstock and a Sinister Strength to his deck, but most of his picks were spent hate-drafting green/white cards away from Eivind. "I already had a deck by the end of Invasion", he commented, "and I didn't want to give Eivind a better deck as well, since he already had the White master, and two Lashknife Barriers. Those things could wreck me." True, since his removal was Scorching Lava, and Tribal Flames.

Kai's decklist:

Kai Budde

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