Ernesto Mingorance placed Top 8 at Grand Prix Rio. Today, he has already started off 3-0. Doing well in the second draft would ensure a comfortable spot for tomorrow. Going 3-0 or 2-1 in this draft would give Mingorance some space to take a few losses in tomorrow's Standard portion and still make Top 8.
Ernesto was in the first seat, and opened Zanam Djinn, Duskwalker, Galina's Knight, Glimmering Angel, Kavu Climber, Kavu Aggressor and Ordered Migration. The Zanam Djinn was picked up easily as a first pick. The interesting thing here was that everyone to Ernesto's left took the signal, and stayed away from blue. Damian Brown to his right took the Aggressor, and the next drafters picked Kavu Climber and Duskwalker. Still, this left all the blue cards, and they were picked up by three of the four players to Ernesto's right. This meant that he would be cut off in blue unless there was some major color switching.
To make things worse, Damian Brown opened and drafted an Exclude, cutting off Ernesto's blue on all sides. He had the last pick, and took Traveler's Cloak and Quirion Sentinel. The next pack saw the player to Ernesto's right take Dream Thrush. This was enough of a signal, and Ernesto went further into green, taking Might Weaver. Damian then wheeled Urborg Phantom and Cursed Flesh, heavily signaling black/blue. Ernesto also managed to wheel a Hunting Kavu, and it looked as if he could abandon blue altogether.
The next pack contained a ton of great red cards. Urza's Rage, Scorching Lava and Cinder Shade were there, along with Armadillo Cloak and Stormscape Apprentice. The red cards were taken quickly, and the Stormscape Apprentice was also picked, making Ernesto's best option the Armadillo Cloak. The next pack saw Ernesto take Crusading Knight over Wash Out, suggesting that he may have abandoned blue. After all, he hadn't really touched the color since picking the Zanam in the first pack. Crusading Knight was drafted in the next pack, and the following one gave Ernesto a Thornscape Apprentice. A second Crusading Knight popped up next, making Ernesto's deck quite good against black mages.
It was now time to go into Planeshift. At this point, Ernesto was only in Green/White, and was probably leaning towards drafting blue as a third color if possible. Still, his options for a third color were wide open, and he could go just about any route depending on how the packs turned out. The first pack saw him counterdraft Lava Zombie and Singe. Ernesto drafted Silver Drake in the following pack, and wheeled March of Souls. Taking Silver Drake signaled his intentions of going back into Blue. The next pack was very kind to Ernesto, as it saw him get a sixth pick Lashknife Barrier. The following pack gave him an Aurora Griffin, which he took over Samite Pilgrim.
Sawtooth Loon was drafted next, and in the same pack Ernesto got a thirteenth pick Treva's Ruins, which will help him smooth out his mana base. The next pack passed him another gift- a third pick Lashknife Barrier. He even got a fourteenth pick Primal Growth. The pack that followed presented the eternal question, "Is there such a thing as too many Lashknife Barriers?" Ernesto apparently thought so, because he took a Hobble over what would have been his third. Also in the pack were Sunscape Battlemage and Silver Drake. The Battlemage would have also been excellent in this deck, since he can activate both kickers, and already had two gaters to bounce it back. The next pack, however, did give him a good creature to abuse with gaters- Hunting Drake.
Apocalypse was opened, and Ernesto drafted a first pick Coalition Honor Guard. The next pack saw him get a Coastal Drake. The third Apocalypse pack was somewhat strange, as Ernesto decided to take Gaea's Skyfolk over Jungle Barrier. The Barrier is obviously a very solid card, but it's even better in Ernesto's deck thanks to Sawtooth Loon and Silver Drake. The next pack gave Ernesto another opportunity to take a Jungle Barrier, but he instead took Urborg Elf. The rest of Apocalypse was kind to him, as he collected the second copies of Coastal Drake and Gaea's Skyfolk, as well as Temporal Spring and Penumbra Kavu.
Enesto's deck is quite good, but it could have been even better. Lashknife Barrier is the kind of card you rarely want to pass, and when you get three, the odds of drawing one every game are pretty high. Plus, the card becomes absolutely sick in multiples, as it makes combat impossible for the opponent, as well as nullifying any direct damage. The Jungle Barriers also would have been incredible in this deck, as they would have given his deck five board shifting cantrips- a massive advantage in Limited. Nevertheless, his deck has a wealth of powerful cards, so he can expect a strong finish.