Halfway through the Masters Gateway, sixteen players sat down at two draft tables with the winner of each table advancing to the Masters and winning a minimum of $2,000. I watched William "Baby Huey" Jensen who was flanked on his left by Kyle Rose and on his right by Trey van Cleave. After the draft, Huey asked if he could add a note to my draft coverage. He grabbed my notebook and pen and wrote "DEAR GOD!!!" and underlined it three times. During deck construction he commented to me "I can't imagine the combination of cards that could have been opened that allowed me to get this."
His happiness started as soon as he opened his first pack and saw Cabal Patriarch hanging out in the rare slot. He didn't even look at the rest of the cards in the pack before putting the rare legend face down in front of him. Huey then did the smart thing and started cutting off black, trying to make sure that van Cleave and the other players on his left wouldn't get any black cards worth drafting and would therefore hook him up in the second set of packs. When it came time for Huey's fourth pack, he decided it was time to pick up a second color because Resilient Wanderer was still in the pack. He then went back to cutting off black for the rest of the pack, scooping up two Patriarch's Desires in the process.
All that work paid off in the second set packs as Huey got passed two more Resilient Wanderers and an 8th pick Caustic Tar. He explained later "That was a very good eye by me on the white, I thought." The only problem with his deck was that every card in it seemed to cost four mana. He went into pack #3 with a Gravedigger, 2 Dirty Wererat, 3 Patriarch's Desires, 3 Resilient Wanderers, 2 Whispering Shades, and a Mystic Zealot. Huey was clearly delighted by his card quality, but he had to be a bit concerned about his mana curve.
Pack 3 was more of the same . . . he opened a good black card (Ghastly Demise) and then drafted some more expensive black cards (Morbid Hunger and Diabolic Tutor). He also got passed some nice late black goodies, included his 2nd Cabal Pit and an 11th pick Afflict. When Rose passed him that Afflict, Huey shook his head in disbelief, id a double take, looked back, saw that it was still there, and then drafted it quickly before it could disappear.
In the end, Huey wound up with only 3 creatures in his deck that he could play for less than four mana. He then had 7 4-drops, a 5-drop, and a 6-drop. Six of his spells also cost four mana or more, for a total of 15 cards that could not be played for less than 4 mana. Of course, all fifteen of those were really good cards. The next three rounds of the gateway should be a good test of whether card quality or mana curve is more important in Odyssey booster draft.