Round 7 Draft: Zabuton Nemonaut vs. Mount Cleverest

Posted in Event Coverage on September 13, 2003

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

Zabuton Nemonaut is made up of two-thirds of the team that won Pro Tour - New York 2000. Gary Wise and Mike Turian had to find a third player to replace the retired Scott Johns, but they didn't need to look outside of their CMU-TOGIT playtest group. Former U.S. National Champion Eugene Harvey has turned in an impressive pinch-hitting role. It is not unlike having Barry Bonds coming off the bench. The first part of their team name harkens back to Pro Tour Japan when the CMU crowd became obsessed with an expensive--and delicious--cut of meat at a local Korean Barbecue joint. The second part . . . ?

Mount Cleverest features Jeff Cunningham, Tomi Walamies, and Brett Shears. While many teams choose their team names to play off of current Magic lingo (Barns & Noble or the Mixed Bag for example), their choice of team name is further confirmation that Jeff Cunningham marches to the beat of his own drummer and is hands down the funniest guy on the Pro Tour.

Tomi was sitting in the B seat and was calling the draft. While they are all great players, Tomi has the most actual combat experience in the format. He piloted the Finnish national team to a second place finish at Worlds and was looking to improve on that this weekend.

While Mount Cleverest had the benefit of Tomi's experience, no team had put in more practice than the CMU-TOGIT conglomeration. When Zabuton won the flip they elected to receive. Leading up to the event, teams waffled back and forth on which was better, and it seemed to have swung back to receiving. According to Victor van den Broek, the reason for this is largely due to Anurid Murkdiver. Whichever player takes a Nantuko Husk can expect to face the 4/3 swampwalker.

Onslaught Pack One

Tomi Walamies Infest Rummaging Wizard
Brett Shears Solar Blast Tranquil Thicket
Mike Turian Wellwisher Voice of the Woods
Gary Wise Secluded Steppe Goblin Taskmaster
Eugene Harvey Nantuko Husk Fallen Cleric
Jeff Cunningham Wirewood Herald Krosan Groundshaker

Onslaught Pack Two

Brett Shears Daru Lancer Demystify
Mike Turian Stag Beetle Broodhatch Nantuko
Gary Wise Prowling Pangolin Battlefield Medic
Eugene Harvey Cruel Revival Fade from Memory
Jeff Cunningham Krosan Tusker Elvish Warrior
Tomi Walamies Festering Goblin Goblin Sledder

Onslaught Pack Three

Mike Turian Insurrection
Gary Wise Gravel Slinger Mistform Mutant
Eugene Harvey Solar Blast Aphetto Dredging
Jeff Cunningham Towering Baloth Treespring Lorian
Tomi Walamies Lavamancer's Skill Krosan Groundshaker
Brett Shears Secluded Steppe Piety Charm

Onslaught Pack Four

Gary Wise Weathered Wayfarer Sandskin
Eugene Harvey Chain of Plasma Headhunter
Jeff Cunningham Snarling Undurak Mage's Guile
Tomi Walamies Complicate Fallen Cleric
Brett Shears Charging Slateback Crown of Suspicion
Mike Turian Mistform Dreamer Taunting Elf

Onslaught Pack Five

Eugene Harvey Visara, the Dreadful
Jeff Cunningham Daru Lancer Taunting Elf
Tomi Walamies Choking Tethers Barren Moor
Brett Shears Crowd Favorites Demystify
Mike Turian Tranquil Thicket Charging Slateback
Gary Wise Haunted Cadaver Daru Encampment

Onslaught Pack Six

Jeff Cunningham Elvish Warrior
Tomi Walamies Riptide Shapeshifter
Brett Shears Grassland Crusader Skirk Prospector
Mike Turian Mistform Dreamer Cabal Executioner
Gary Wise Festering Goblin Battlefield Medic
Eugene Harvey Skirk Commando Goblin Sledder

Legions Pack One

Jeff Cunningham Skirk Marauder
Eugene Harvey Embalmed Brawler Goblin Turncoat
Gary Wise Akroma, Angel of Wrath Skirk Drill Sergeant
Mike Turian Keeneye Aven Patron of the Wild
Brett Shears Deftblade Elite Wingbeat Warrior
Tomi Walamies Glintwing Invoker Gempalm Strider

Legions Pack Two

Eugene Harvey Crested Craghorn Macetail Hystrodon
Gary Wise Skinthinner Starlight Invoker
Mike Turian Echo Tracer Totem Speaker
Brett Shears Liege of the Axe Daru Sanctifier
Tomi Walamies Covert Operative Mistform Ultimus
Jeff Cunningham Goblin Dynamo Stonewood Invoker

Legions Pack Three

Gary Wise Skinthinner
Mike Turian Timberwatch Elf
Brett Shears Gempalm Avenger Daru Sanctifier
Tomi Walamies Deathmark Prelate Gempalm Polluter
Jeff Cunningham Krosan Vorine Wirewood Hivemaster
Eugene Harvey Crested Craghorn Echo Tracer

Legions Pack Four

Mike Turian Keeneye Aven
Brett Shears Skirk Marauder Wall of Hope
Tomi Walamies Aphetto Exterminator Hundroog
Jeff Cunningham Berserk Murlodant Skirk Outrider
Eugene Harvey Infernal Caretaker Riptide Mangler
Gary Wise Cloudreach Cavalry Lowland Tracker

Legions Pack Five

Brett Shears Flamewave Invoker Starlight Invoker
Tomi Walamies Mistform Seaswift
Jeff Cunningham Stonewood Invoker Defiant Elf
Eugene Harvey Embalmed Brawler Spectral Sliver
Gary Wise Sootfeather Flock Liege of the Axe
Mike Turian Covert Operative Primal Whisperer

Legions Pack Six

Tomi Walamies Toxin Sliver
Jeff Cunningham Timberwatch Elf
Eugene Harvey Goblin Clearcutter Crypt Sliver
Gary Wise Aven Redeemer Vile Deacon
Mike Turian Willbender Glintwing Invoker
Brett Shears Gempalm Avenger Gempalm Strider

Scourge Pack One

Tomi Walamies Thundercloud Elemental
Brett Shears Aven Farseer Trap Digger
Mike Turian Shoreline Ranger Woodcloaker
Gary Wise Clutch of Undeath Wipe Clean
Eugene Harvey Chartooth Cougar Death's-Head Buzzard
Jeff Cunningham Accelerated Mutation Bladewing's Thrall

Scourge Pack Two

Brett Shears Noble Templar
Mike Turian Shoreline Ranger
Gary Wise Vengeful Dead
Eugene Harvey Goblin Brigand Bonethorn Valesk
Jeff Cunningham Dragon Fangs Mercurial Kite
Tomi Walamies Mischievous Quanar Thundercloud Elemental

Scourge Pack Three

Mike Turian Wirewood Symbiote Wirewood Guardian
Gary Wise Zealous Inquisitor Guilty Conscience
Eugene Harvey Dragon Shadow Dragon Storm
Jeff Cunningham Krosan Drover Kurgadon
Tomi Walamies Vengeful Dead Raven Guild Initiate
Brett Shears Scattershot Frozen Solid

Scourge Pack Four

Gary Wise Forgotten Ancient
Eugene Harvey Extra Arms Dragon Breath
Jeff Cunningham Krosan Warchief Dragon Fangs
Tomi Walamies Shoreline Ranger Titanic Bulvox
Brett Shears Aven Farseer Spark Spray
Mike Turian Lingering Death Scattershot

Scourge Pack Five

Eugene Harvey Zombie Cutthroat
Jeff Cunningham Enrage Bladewing the Risen
Tomi Walamies Frozen Solid Goblin Brigand
Brett Shears Thundercloud Elemental Astral Steel
Mike Turian Goblin Warchief Break Asunder
Gary Wise Dragon Shadow Unburden

Scourge Pack Six

Jeff Cunningham Claws of Wirewood Hunting Pack
Tomi Walamies Shoreline Ranger Cabal Conditioning
Brett Shears Daru Warchief Dragon Wings
Mike Turian Accelerated Mutation Frontline Strategist
Gary Wise Noble Templar Reaping the Graves
Eugene Harvey Twisted Abomination Chartooth Cougar

Neither team was unhappy with their draft, although Zabuton had three bomb rares in their decks--Visara, Akroma, and potentially Forgotten Ancient. While Mount Cleverest looked for answers to bomb rares, it was a common that was on Turian's mind during deck construction. "Until he opened that Timberwatch I thought I was certain to win," Turian said. "When he opened that in the last pack the match became more random."

When asked if he could win without drawing Visara, a confident Eugene fanned out an excellent black-red deck with removal and creatures. "My matchup is pretty good."

Zabuton was trying to figure out Gary's exact build--mostly whether or not he would splash for Forgotten Ancient. Normally the splash would be a no-brainer, but he had multiple double black spells as well as the triple white Angel. "Too bad you can't get Dragon Shadow on Akroma," laughed Turian.

"I have a felling she'll be okay. I didn't have much of a deck after the first pack. Akroma gave me an instant win condition and then two Skinthinners gave me answers to stuff." Then Forgotten Ancient came along to lure him into shaky mana. Gary took the bait and tried to figure out what mana to run, "I have triple white, double black and single green. But if I get the nuts draw . . ."

Mike Turian interrupted and held up a card, "I am playing this Temporal Fissure card and it had better be as-advertised-amazing!" Gary was not too concerned about the threat of Claws of Wirewood: "They can only kill two of my guys with that."

Gary suggested that it may have been more of a counterdraft to keep it out of his hands once he showed green. "I think they took it to protect Tomi--I really wanted it." This led to a discussion of the other team's card evaluations. Gary thought that Tomi overvalued the first Thundercloud Elemental--there ended up being four in the draft--and that he should have taken the Clutch of Undeath instead.

Turian did not understand all of his opponent's picks, "What was up with that Enrage? That pick was just weird."

As you could well imagine, Tomi was concerned about the Angel. "I mainly fear Akroma but I have two answers for her: Complicate and Ixidor's Will." The startling inclusion of Ixidor's Will aside, Tomi was extremely confident running blue-black into a white deck.

"When we place white on the left and they put it in the middle, we get to take so many Soldiers away from them that they end up going Clerics, which is generally bad."

Brett was less confident in his matchup. He had no way to deal with Visara, and his opponent knew it. "Actually I can kill it with a provoker if there is a Warchief in play and I have Solar Blast . . ." He let the thought trail off and just hoped that the Gorgon would nestle deep into his opponent's deck.

Turian explained in a hushed voice, "There weren't any Torrents."

Meanwhile, Jeff was trying to trim some of the more expensive cards in his deck to create a more efficient beatdown package. Brett wanted Jeff to include the Krosan Groundshaker over the Titanic Bulvox. Jeff waved the card in his face, "Brett! You rated this card number one in Scourge!" Jeff eventually included it and a Towering Baloth while cutting the Groundshaker and a couple of other Beasts that did not have morph. With many two drop Elves and a Timberwatch, Jeff was very confident in his match.

Jeff Cunningham

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Tomi Walamies

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Brett Shears

Download Arena Decklist

Mike Turian

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Gary Wise

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Eugene Harvey

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