Draft Report:

Posted in Event Coverage on January 17, 2004

By Toby Wachter

Anton Jonsson is notorious for being a hardcore Magic Online drafter, and so far the practice seems to have paid off, as he's the only undefeated player in the tournament. If he can continue to ride the momentum, he'll be in his third Pro Tour Top 8 tomorrow. It will be a bit harder to remain without a loss at this table, which contains some of the world's best.

Jonathan Cassidy
Mike Turian
Anton Jonsson
Bernardo Cabral Da Costa
Nicolai Herzog
Kamiel Cornelissen
Richard Hoaen
Osyp Lebedowicz


Cassidy opened the first pack and took Shatter, Turian drafted Quicksilver Elemental, and Jonsson went into white with Skyhunter Patrol. Da Costa on his left took Iron Myr, not really committing to a color. Turian opened the next and took Terror over Fatespinner, going into blue-black. With no white cards in the pack, Jonsson went into white-green, drafting Deconstruct. Da Costa still remained colorless, taking Gold Myr. Jonsson's pack was next, and he took Mask of Memory over Empyrial Plate. Bernardo gladly took the Plate, and Herzog got Neurok Spy to go with his Fatespinner. Bernardo then opened an incredibly powerful pack, and took Grab the Reins. Herzog got Icy Manipulator, Fireshrieker went to Cornelissen, Somber Hoverguard to Hoaen, and as the pack came around Jonsson was able to get a wheel of Altar of Shadows and Wurmskin Forger. As a testament to how friendly the table was, Regress made its way to Herzog fifteenth pick. To make his deck even better, Herzog opened and gladly took Loxodon Warhammer.

Jonsson had a good position relative to his neighbors, as Turian was blue-black, and Da Costa was black-red. At white-green, he was certainly in a situation where he could get the best of it. Additionally, the packs had been light in green cards, so there was very little competition for the color at the table. Regardless, the next few picks were uneventful, as Jonsson collected Wizard Replica, Gilded Lotus, Myrs, Living Hive and One-Dozen Eyes. When Da Costa opened his second pack, he gladly took Spikeshot Goblin. Faced with no good picks in his colors, Jonsson took a Crystal Shard that would have otherwise gone into Turian's deck. Despite this, Turian was trying his best to not be confrontational. When Jonsson opened and first picked Troll Ascetic, faced with no picks Turian turned to me and said, "You're gonna like my pick" and took an off-color Spellbomb second.

The last half of the draft was fairly insane, bringing the number of Warhammers and Empyrial Plates at the table up to two each. Additionally, Turian got a second Icy Manipulator, and yet another Icy found its way to Cornelissen's deck. Jonsson just wasn't in position to receive the same game breakers, and not helping matters was the fact that the packs didn't contain many solid green cards. If they had, his deck would have been far better. A sixth pick Fangren Hunter was an example of what could have been if the packs had cooperated better.

Sideboard: How do you think it went?

Jonsson: It went okay, not great or anything. There was at least one too many white players. There were two in a row, and one shouldn't have been in it. So the white dried up, and there could have been more green coming. I think it's still fine, but the mana is pretty bad and I most likely can't play the Crystal Shard because I have things like Leonin Skyhunter and Fangren Hunter. At the time, (the Shard) seemed like the right thing to do because I had no picks.

Sideboard: So you wouldn't just play it without the blue?

Jonsson: It's not that good without the blue. I'll see when I have all the cards out, and if I don't have anything else to play I'll play it, but probably not.

Sideboard: Were you scared that Turian might get angry about that pick and hatedraft you?

Grab the Reins

Jonsson: Yeah, I was a bit surprised with that Fangren Hunter.

Sideboard: So was I. He could have grabbed it from you, but he just took a Spellbomb.

Jonsson: There was no pick for me when I took the Crystal Shard, and he has to realize that.

Sideboard: Unfortunately for you, there were only two or three green drafters at the table, but no green cards came.

Jonsson: That happens all the time, but if there had been more green cards, there would have been more green drafters. What you want is to go into a color that isn't coming out much in the first pack, and once people can't change color anymore, then you start getting more. It seemed like Kamiel got the better of the green.

Sideboard: Is there anything at the table that you're scared of?

Jonsson: There's a lot of good cards at our table, everyone has something broken like Grab the Reins, lots of Icys, two Warhammers.

Sideboard: I was kind of surprised that you got Altar of Shadows eighth pick. Is it not that good?

Jonsson: It's not that good. It's good for an eighth pick, maybe Turian should have taken it because his deck seemed kind of bad. In a good deck, you don't want to play it.

Sideboard: It's too slow?

Jonsson: Yeah. In a bad deck it's fine, because it'll randomly win games.

Sideboard: How do you think you'll be able to do with this deck?

Jonsson: I'm guessing 2-1. I'm just going to play every round.

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