Round 8 Draft: Zabutan Nemonaut vs. I Thought You Quit

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.

What would the ultimate Swiss round of a Pro Tour be without a tale of the local heroes vs. the big bad pros? Mike Turian, Gary Wise, and Eugene Harvey were the beneficiaries of a concession from Phoenix Foundation last round that has left them in a position to win out into the Top 4. Standing in their way are three local players--Jacob Rabinowitz, Danny Mandel, and Jeff Magid. None have anything approaching the resume of the titans that stand in the way of their shot at a Pro Tour Day 3 appearance, but they are seasoned products of the YMG machine.

Zabutan won the flip and elected to kick off, counter to early reports of the CMU strategy. While they waited to look at cards, they bantered about Team Rochester being the format that is the most rewarding for good players. "I like the format because it is rewarding for skillful play and the good players take me along for the ride."

There was the potential for an extremely exciting Top 4 with Bob Maher, Neil Reeves, and Dave Williams playing for the right to play on Day 3 one table over. Dave Williams occupies Gary's old roster spot on the team, and the possibility of the Gary getting a crack at them with his new team is a mouthwatering possibility.

Onslaught Pack One

Gary Wise Towering Baloth Fever Charm
Eugene Harvey Daru Lancer Crown of Awe
Jeff Magid Riptide Shapeshifter Treespring Lorian
Jacob Rabinowitz Mistform Shrieker Renewed Faith
Danny Mandel Severed Legion Misery Charm
Mike Turian Mistform Wall Slipstream Eel

Onslaught Pack Two

Eugene Harvey Mobilization Shaleskin Bruiser
Jeff Magid Elvish Warrior Wirewood Pride
Jacob Rabinowitz Ascending Aven Daru Healer
Danny Mandel Skirk Commando Profane Prayers
Mike Turian Choking Tethers Chain of Vapor
Gary Wise Goblin Sledder Tranquil Thicket

Onslaught Pack Three

Jeff Magid Lightning Rift Aggravated Assault
Jacob Rabinowitz Battlefield Medic Crafty Pathmage
Danny Mandel Prowling Pangolin Screaming Seahawk
Mike Turian Imagecrafter Fallen Cleric
Gary Wise Krosan Tusker Wirewood Herald
Eugene Harvey Misery Charm Forgotten Cave

Onslaught Pack Four

Jacob Rabinowitz Daru Lancer Renewed Faith
Danny Mandel Haunted Cadaver Crown of Fury
Mike Turian Ghosthelm Courier Misery Charm
Gary Wise Elven Riders Cover of Darkness
Eugene Harvey Crown of Awe Barren Moor
Jeff Magid Wave of Indifference Shieldmage Elder

Onslaught Pack Five

Danny Mandel Slice and Dice Backslide
Mike Turian Mistform Shrieker Fallen Cleric
Gary Wise Pinpoint Avalanche Birchlore Rangers
Eugene Harvey Screeching Buzzard Wretched Anurid
Jeff Magid Tranquil Thicket Wirewood Herald
Jacob Rabinowitz Riptide Shapeshifter Battlefield Medic

Onslaught Pack Six

Mike Turian Cruel Revivial
Gary Wise Shock
Eugene Harvey Festering Goblin
Jeff Magid Elvish Warrior Goblin Sledder
Jacob Rabinowitz Battlefield Medic Aphetto Alchemist
Danny Mandel Cabal Executioner Imagecrafter

Legions Pack One

Mike Turian Needleshot Gourna Root Sliver
Danny Mandel Goblin Dynamo Mistform Sliver
Jacob Rabinowitz Lowland Tracker Mistform Wakecaster
Jeff Magid Lavaborn Muse Shaleskin Plower
Eugene Harvey Sootfeather Flock Glowering Rogon
Gary Wise Skirk Outrider Flamewave Invoker

Legions Pack Two

Danny Mandel Frenetic Raptor
Jacob Rabinowitz Echo Tracer
Jeff Magid Needleshot Gourna Macetail Hystrodon
Eugene Harvey Deftblade Elite Aven Warhawk
Gary Wise Nantuko Vigilante Whipgrass Entangler
Mike Turian Embalmed Brawler Gempalm Polluter

Legions Pack Three

Jacob Rabinowitz Aven Redeemer
Jeff Magid Enormous Baloth Shaleskin Plower
Eugene Harvey Corpse Harvester Nantuko Vigilante
Gary Wise Wirewood Channeler Patron of the Wild
Mike Turian Echo Tracer Glowering Rogon
Danny Mandel Gempalm Polluter Smokespew Invoker

Legions Pack Four

Jeff Magid Gempalm Strider
Eugene Harvey Daru Stinger Hundroog
Gary Wise Aphetto Exterminator Goblin Grappler
Mike Turian Noxious Ghoul Bloodstoke Howler
Danny Mandel Embalmed Brawler Infernal Caretaker
Jacob Rabinowitz Mistform Seaswift Wingbeat Warrior

Legions Pack Five

Eugene Harvey Aven Redeemer Vile Deacon
Gary Wise Timberwatch Elf Goblin Grappler
Mike Turian Toxin Sliver Voidmage Apprentice
Danny Mandel Gempalm Polluter Goblin Clearcutter
Jacob Rabinowitz Primoc Escapee Gempalm Avenger
Jeff Magid Krosan Vorine Goblin Dynamo

Legions Pack Six

Gary Wise Stonewood Invoker
Mike Turian Skinthinner
Danny Mandel Frenetic Raptor Covert Operative
Jacob Rabinowitz Echo Tracer Daru Sanctifier
Jeff Magid Crested Craghorn Macetail Hystrodon
Eugene Harvey Scion of Darkness Starlight Invoker

Scourge Pack One

Gary Wise Chartooth Cougar Woodcloaker
Eugene Harvey Aven Farseer Guilty Conscience
Jeff Magid Dragon Shadow Accelerated Mutation
Jacob Rabinowitz Shoreline Ranger Daru Spiritualist
Danny Mandel Clutch of Undeath Kurkagon
Mike Turian Carrion Feeder Raven Guild Imitate

Scourge Pack Two

Eugene Harvey Aven Farseer Daru Spiritualist
Jeff Magid Goblin Brigand Woodcloaker
Jacob Rabinowitz Shoreline Ranger Trap Digger
Danny Mandel Lingering Death Thundercloud Elemental
Mike Turian Carrion Feeder Dragon Shadow
Gary Wise Bladewing's Thrall Raven Guild Initiate

Scourge Pack Three

Jeff Magid Goblin Warchief
Jacob Rabinowitz Zealous Inquisitor Raven Guild Initiate
Danny Mandel Undead Warchief Decree of Annihilation
Mike Turian Frozen Solid Dragon Shadow
Gary Wise Chartooth Cougar Wirewood Guardian
Eugene Harvey Vengeful Dead Unburden

Scourge Pack Four

Jacob Rabinowitz Twisted Abomination
Danny Mandel Bladewing the Risen
Mike Turian Torrent of Fire Dispersal Shield
Gary Wise Krosan Warchief Woodcloaker
Eugene Harvey Extra Arms Wipe Clean
Jeff Magid Wirewood Guardian Noble Templar

Scourge Pack Five

Danny Mandel Twisted Abomination
Mike Turian Aphetto Runecaster Dispersal Shield
Gary Wise Carbonize Woodcloaker
Eugene Harvey Aven Liberator Wipe Clean
Jeff Magid Torrent of Fire Wirewood Guardian
Jacob Rabinowitz Reaping the Graves Titanic Bulvox

Scourge Pack Six

Mike Turian Soul Collector
Gary Wise Scattershot Titanic Bulvox
Eugene Harvey Aven Farseer Daru Spiritualist
Jeff Magid Spark Spray Fierce Empath
Jacob Rabinowitz Dispersal Shield Proteus Machine
Danny Mandel Chill Haunting Clutch of Undeath

About two-thirds of the way through the draft, the pressure started to show on the less experienced team. While the Zabutan team was laughing and joking as if completely at ease, Jeff was gesturing wildly to indicate that he did not understand what was going on. Danny Mandel seemed uncharacteristically frayed as well. To his credit, B-seater Jacob kept a level head and made his wingmen take the cards he asked of them with one exception. Despite having a pair of double green Elvish Warriors, Jeff wanted a Goblin Warchief. Jacob wanted him to take a Chartooth Cougar, but Jeff insisted on the Constructed powerhouse and took it despite it's double red requirement.

The other controversial pick came when Jacob opened Twisted Abomination and Bladewing the Risen. Jacob defensively drafted the Zombie and insisted that Danny take the Dragon. Danny was reluctant but ultimately more obedient than his counterpart. Jacob explained that he was concerned about two copies of Crown of Awe and wanted to give Danny an evasion creature. He reasoned that both creatures cost seven, since you always want to leave up one black for the Abomination when you play it.

Danny was still reeling from the draft and asked, "Do you know Towly? Because I have no idea what is going on." As he and Jacob sorted through the deck, Danny bemoaned the Daru Lancers that would hold his attack at bay. Jacob flopped a pair of Frenetic Raptors in front of his teammate and yelled, "That's why I had you draft these! They are 6/6 creatures for six mana."

Meanwhile, Jeff was on the fence about whether or not to play his Lightning Rift, and overall the team seemed flummoxed about the specifics of their opponent's decks. Gary Wise, on the other hand, was brimming with confidence. "We out-opened them and we out-drafted them. They seemed more than a little overwhelmed."

Eugene seemed aggravated rather than confident, "It was obvious from the first pack that they had scouted our strategy. They took blue-black cards from Turian right away and they jumped on Misery Charm against me. I was Clerics last round but I was obviously not going to be in this round . . ."

Turian chimed in with a triumphant finger in the air, "Luckily, we are smart!"

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