Sunday, 12:23 p.m. - Drafting with Luis-Scott Vargas

Posted in Event Coverage on January 19, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

Hall of Famer Luis Scott-Vargas managed to evade coverage duties for the weekend. The reason? He is playing in Day Two of Grand Prix Sacramento with an 8-1 record. His record landed him in the eighth seed for the start of the day, bringing him into Pod 1 with a slew of undefeated opponents.

The players sat down and got underway with their drafts. Scott-Vargas was faced with very little choice in the matter when he opened his first pack, choosing to take the powerful Celestial Archon over Nimbus Naiad and Sentry of the Underworld. He followed this up with a Keepsake Gorgon in the next pack, taking it over the Gray Merchant of Asphodel. It was an unfortunate signal to send but nonetheless the correct pick if you just want the most powerful card in the pack, and the Keepsake Gorgon was arguably one of the best non-rare cards you could get.

However, the pack quickly crumbled into some awkward decisions. While Scott-Vargas was happy to pick up an Akroan Horse, a card he feels is very valuable in slower control decks, the signals began to mix shortly after that. He took Chained to the Rocks, the most powerful card in the pack after that, but then black quickly dried up and he opted for a fifth pick Vaporkin, keeping blue as a viable option to audible into. Battlewise Hoplite enforced this decision, but Ephara's Warden and then Calvary Pegasus were not ideal follow-ups for him.

When Sentry of the Underworld came back around, Scott-Vargas knew that black and white were going to be his colored, and he took that, following it up with some underwhelming but unsurprising picks to round out a mixed first pack.

Hall of Famer Luis Scott-Vargas

The second pack featured a strong first pick from Scott-Vargas, who took Spear of Heliod. He followed with Read the Bones, then Baleful Eidolon. Traveler's Amulet ended up being his fourth pick, giving him an option to splash Chained to the Rocks if he'd like to. The very late Lightning Strike that Scott-Vargas picked up immediately after taking the Amulet solidified a chance to splash. Scholar of Athreos and multiple Mogis's Marauder followed, giving Scott-Vargas a much more solid series of picks to finish off his second pack. A very late Battlewise Hoplite caushed Scott-Vargas to slump a bit in his seat, but nonetheless he stood by his chosen archetype.

The third pack started off strong once again for Scott-Vargas, who found a Keepsake Gorgon staring at him in the first pick, which he happily took over Nighthowler as well as Sentry of the Underworld. Lagonna-Band Elder was not quit the follow-up he was looking for, but he took it nonetheless, and the Hall of Famer followed with a third pick Burnished Hart. Disciple of Phenax came next, then Lightning Strike, solidifying Scott-Vargas's splash. The rest of the third pack rounded out his draft with a couple of reasonable but underwhelming cards, though it did give him a chance to add a Sip of Hemlock and Scholar of Athreos to his playable set of cards.

After the draft, Scott-Vargas immediately got to work, registering cards on the sheet like clockwork, and giving himself as much time as possible to build. Within only a few minutes, Scott-Vargas has his deck nearly complete, with few playable options sitting in the sideboard as he ultimately chose to leave the Dauntless Onslaught in the sideboard.

"Pack One was kind of messy," he said in regards to his draft. He ended up jumping from one direction to another, with the packs not helping him in a decision to go into either a blue-white heroic strategy or a black-white control plan. That being said, his second pack made that decision easy, as the only real options presented to him were the makings of control. "I ended up in a pretty decent Black-White control deck," he followed, noting his powerful selection of uncommon and rare cards at his disposal.

To see what Luis Scott-Vargas settled on for his final deck, check out his list below.

Luis Scott Vargas Theros Booster Draft – Grand Prix Sacramento 2013

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