Lovespell Draft Analysis

Posted in Event Coverage on June 30, 2002

By Toby Wachter

Lovespell, made up of Eric Froelich, Chris Benafel and Alex Borteh, went up against ODB (Mike Long, Pete Leiher, Sam Fog) in the first draft of the day. Benafel opened to start, "kicking off" for his team. The pack included Painbringer, Mortivore, Second Thoughts, Crashing Centaur, Diligent Farmhand, Pardic Firecat, Dusk Imp and Whispering Shade. Surprisingly, Lovespell gave the Mortivore to ODB. Benafel picked Diligent Farmhand, Froelich took Second Thoughts, and Leiher gladly scooped up the Mortivore. The pack swung around to Leiher's opponent Borteh, who took Dusk Imp and Whispering Shade to threaten Leiher's black deck.

In the second pack, Froelich took a Looter, going into blue/white. Leiher picked Aven Cloudchaser, and Benafel got a late Nantuko Disciple. Leiher then opened his pack and gladly took a Psychatog, while Long got Rabid Elephant. Froelich had an impressive wheel of Aven Fisher and Dreamwinder. Fog then got a Repel in the next pack, while Long got his second Rabid Elephant. Long then cracked his pack, and it was quite strong. It contained Overrun, Wild Mongrel, Firebolt and Hallowed Healer. Interestingly, Long took the Mongrel instead of Overrun. Borteh got Firebolt, Benafel happily took Overrun, and Froelich picked up the Healer. Things got even better for Lovespell in the next pack, as Froelich obtained a Persuasion.

At this point, Borteh was locked into black/red in the A seat, which is optimal since it allows that drafter to get the most out of Torment. It paid off, as Borteh collected plenty of Torment's goodies, including a wheel of Possessed Barbarian, Fiery Temper. In addition, Benafel got Narcissism to go along with his Overrun.

Judgment saw Long develop his deck much better, as he picked up Arcane Teachings, Jeska, Warrior Adept, Phantom Centaur and Thriss, Nantuko Primus. Fog drafted a pair of Wormfang Drakes as well. At one point during the draft, Pete Leiher drafted out of order for a second time. The resulting penalty was a game loss, and some unpleasant words were exchanged between Benafel and Long in the ensuing argument.

Sideboard: How do you guys think it went?

Benafel: Probably about the best it can possibly go for you. They have a game loss too, so that's not too bad.

Froelich: Alex (Borteh) has about the best black/red deck I've ever seen, versus a fairly shady black/white splash blue deck. All of them are three colors for the most part, and Chris' deck is pretty phenomenal against a pretty bad blue/red deck that has about nine three-drops.

Sideboard: What do you think about Long taking Wild Mongrel over Overrun?

Benafel: It's the right call.

Sideboard: Why?

Benafel: I just think the Mongrel is better.

Borteh: I'd just like to say, my deck is Der Gas, Chris' deck is Der S#$%, and EFro has a Der-Suasion. So, I think the winds of change are blowing in our favor.

Sideboard: You guys shipped the Mortivore first pick, first pack. Why was that?

Borteh: Actually, I'd like to clarify: Bortevore.

Benafel: There were just a lot of black cards in that pack, and there was no way they could "D" them all up.

Sideboard: Chris managed to get a Narcissism and an Overrun.

Benafel: (sarcastic) Right, which is key, because you want to have both in a green deck.

Sideboard: Any specific bad blood between you and Mike Long? That seemed kind of...

Benafel: I feel like if we had made mistakes, he definitely would have chimed in and said something about it. So, you know, that's the penalty, I know it's the penalty, and he was awarded the penalty.

Sideboard: Any predictions?

Benafel: Yeah, we're gonna smash.

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