Draft Report:

Posted in Event Coverage on March 28, 2004

By Duncan McGregor

Drafting With Bob Maher

Bob Maher, "The Great One," has a multitude of high tournament finishes - he won Pro Tour Chicago 1999, among other impressive finishes, and can often be found near the top of the standings. He is 9-2-1 going into this draft, and needs to win out to have a chance at top 8.

His first pack offered him the choice between Soul Nova, Pyrite Spellbomb and Fangren Hunter. Bob took the full time available to make his decision, finally abandoning the green card in favor of the Pyrite Spellbomb. His next pack offered no good red cards, but had Skyhunter Patrol, Raise the Alarm, Bonesplitter, Predator's Strike, and One Dozen Eyes, and Bob took the equipment.

He next had the options of Mirror Golem, Aether Spellbomb, Hematite Golem, Skyhunter Cub and Pewter Golem, and he decided to go into white with the Skyhunter Cub to go with his Bonesplitter. He snapped up an Arrest from the next pack, as the only other options were Raise the Alarm and a couple mana Myr. His next pack offered Nim Shreiker, Fireshrieker and a Talisman, and Bob took the Fireshrieker.

The quality of the packs dropped sharply here, though, as Bob only managed a Great Furnace (over Dragon's Blood) and a Leonin Elder from the next couple packs. His eighth pick found a Loxodon Punisher still in the pack, though, and he took the equipment-hungry elephant. He got the Grid Monitor back from the pack that he opened and then a Tower of Eons from the next pack, but nothing else of note except a Slagwurm Armor.

Thought Dissector

The second pack Bob opened had very spicy red, with Spikeshot Goblin, Detonate and Slith Firewalker along with some playable black and green cards. Bob took the Spikeshot. His next pack was also very deep, with Troll Ascetic, Roar of the Kha, Blinding Beam, Pewter Golem, Skyhunter Cub, and Nim Shambler all jostling for attention. Bob debated for a while, but finally took his second Cub.

The third pack Bob looked at had Iron Myr in his colors, but Bob bypassed it, deciding instead to shift into blue with a Somber Hoverguard. His next two picks were twin Gold Myrs, neither over anything good, and the sixth pack still had a Domineer in it, which Bob snapped up quickly. The next pack had an equally obvious Goblin Dirigible.

The next pack passed to him had Krark-Clan Shaman, Omega Myr, Trolls of Tel-Jilad, and Wurmskin Forger. Bob decided to counter-draft the Wurmskin Forger, passing the Trolls on. He also got a late-pick Seat of the Synod and an even later Fabricate to round the pack out. Heading into Darksteel, Bob didn't seem too pleased with his deck.

His first Darksteel pack had Spire Golem, Loxodon Mystic, Darksteel Brute and Vedalken Engineer, and Bob took the 2/4 flier. His second pack was disappointing, though, with Echoing Truth and Arcbound Bruiser being the only respectable cards, and Bob took the Truth.

The third pack saw Bob take an Arcbound Crusher over a couple lesser Arcbound creatures (Hybrid and Stinger), but his fourth pick gave him pause. After stopping to read the Thought Dissector, Bob took a Darksteel Ingot over Arcbound Hybrid or Loxodon Mystic.

Bob selected a Vedalken Engineer over Arcbound Stinger for his fifth pick, then a second Echoing Truth over Arcbound Hybrid, Quicksilver Behemoth or a second Engineer or Ingot. His next pack had a Soulscour in it, but he grabbed the Auriok Siege Sled instead. Arcbound Stinger, Arcane Spyglass, and Vex rounded out the pack.

Bob was unhappy with the end result. He explained that he was planning on forcing black/red when he sat down, but that he never saw the cards that would let him do that - in fact, due to the lack of those colors that he saw, he was guessing that the person on his right was black/red. His drafting was also affected by the knowledge that he needed to win all his matches to have a chance at top 8. "3-0 or bust, and I certainly busted." He's now hoping that he can go 2-1, but guessing more likely 1-2.

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