And here are some quick highlights.
A Gift for Brian Kibler
Dragonmaster Brian Kibler's all-time favorite card is Knight of the Reliquary. It brought him the trophy at Pro Tour Austin 2009, and he has been playing it ever since. Including, as it turned out, in today's Modern Masters draft.
|Brian Kibler couldn't even get away from his all-time favorite card even in Limited.|
Kibler could only smile as he was passed the green-white knight in the first pack. "I think it's actually a pretty powerful card in a multi-colored green deck because it fixes and ramps your mana," he said. Of course, Kibler took Knight of the Reliquary and took some land cyclers to be able to splash it in his Green-Blue deck.
Two Tarmogoyfs were opened next to each other, as both Stanislav Cifka and Shi Tian Lee opened the mythic rare in their second pack of the draft. However, the 2012 Magic World Championship players are not here to pick a Tarmogoyf for their collection. There are bigger prizes, such as the title of World Champion. Yet, Brian Kibler, who sat directly to the right of Stanislav Cifka, got a chuckle out of being passed Tarmogoyf twice.
|Round and round they go. Where will they stop? Well, for one of them, Kibler knows.|
"Yeah, that was pretty funny," he said. "I took the first one because it was the best card for my deck. Between cards like Æther Spellbomb, Terramorphic Expanse, and Traumatic Visions, I could assemble a bunch of ways to get cards of various types into my graveyard. I didn't end up playing it in my main deck, but I did board it in. I didn't take the second Tarmogoyf because there was a Search for Tomorrow, which is just too good of a card for my deck." If you want to see how late that second Tarmogoyf went, check out the draft viewer.
The Sunburst Domain
Yesterday, I asked Grand Prix Top 8 collector Martin Juza and Pro Tour Return to Ravnica champion Stanislav Cifka what their favorite two-card combo in Modern Masters Limited was, and they came up with this.
Kodama's Reach and a basic land.
|Kodama's Reach and a basic land: great two-card combo, or greatest two-card combo?|
Today, both of them ended up with a five-color green deck for the Modern Masters draft. Was this a strategy that the Czech players were planning to force all along? As it turns out, their comment from yesterday was just a joke. "The cards went this way in the draft," Juza said. Cifka also explained that he wasn't planning to force this archetype. "There simply weren't many good cards in the packs, so I took the mana fixers," he said. It didn't really work out for them, as they only scored six points between the two of them.
The Hardest Pick
The main story of this draft belonged to renowned Limited master Ben Stark. When Stark, who won an astounding 71% of his Limited matches this season and usually decides on a pick in seconds, mentions "that was one of the hardest picks I've ever had," we should pay attention.
Allow me to set the stage.
Stark started the draft by keeping his options open with a first-pick Kitchen Finks and a second-pick Careful Consideration, passing an Errant Ephemeron and a Yosei, the Morning Star to his left neighbor Tom Martell. Subsequently, Stark received notably late Etherium Sculptors and Æther Spellbombs. This convinced him that no one else was drafting Affinity at the table, and he moved in. He got rewarded in the second pack with multiple Myr Enforcers, and was putting together a very solid Blue-White Affinity deck. All that despite the fact that his neighbor Tom Martell was drafting the same colors. "Colors don't matter as much as synergy when you're drafting Affinity," Stark said. "There can be a blue-white control deck next to me and it doesn't matter because we're both looking for completely different cards."
The big moment came when he opened his third pack and was presented with the choice between Meloku the Clouded Mirror and Sanctum Gargoyle. Wow. "Meloku is one of the best cards in the set, but Sanctum Gargoyle is one of the best cards for my specific deck," Stark explained after the draft. "It was super close, possibly one of the hardest picks I've ever had, and I took the full amount of time on that pick. I decided that Sanctum Gargoyle is the better card for my deck, but I also had to consider some other things. First off, there was a chance that Sanctum Gargoyle would wheel, but the pack was far from deep, so I was afraid that someone else would hate it. On the other hand, Meloku would be good in another player's deck." After using up all the time available to him, Stark had to make a pick.
Sanctum Gargoyle it was.
Boasting a 3-0 record, Stark showed the world once again that when it comes to making draft picks, he's the best of the best.