Sunday, 3:08 p.m. – Drafting with Chapman Sim

Posted in Event Coverage on January 25, 2014

By Pip Foweraker

Fellow coverage reporter and GP Singapore finalist Chapman Sim sat down at his final draft needing to pull out a 3-0 record to make Top 8. With that in mind, he was prepared to push a more 'all-or-nothing' strategy than his normal preferences to clinch the vital position.

Pack 1

Sim's first pack offered him little to get the pulse racing, but he settled on solid Staunch-Hearted Warrior. Thassa's Emissary in the second pack was grabbed without any contention, and a Time to Feed and a Vaporkin followed in short order. With his direction pushing comfortably in an aggressive U/G direction, Sim was happy to grab an Aqueous Form - one of the cards most commonly described as 'underrated' this weekend.

The second half of the pack saw both Green and Blue dry up almost instantaneously. Sim took what he could in a Bronze Sable, but his other picks pushed him a little bit Red, a little bit Black, and with less focus than he'd have liked.

International roamer Sim cards it up.

Pack 2

A Leafcrown Dryad was Sim's first pick from his second pack, without anything else to tempt him apart from a Heliod's Emissary, and consistency won out over power without much consideration. Sim was rewarded for sticking to his guns in the next few picks, with the awesomely powerful Centaur Battlemage, a Nimbus Naiad, a Nessian Asp and a Griptide - all solid, playable, on-colour cards.

Sim took some time considering his 6th pick of a second Aqueous Form over a Sedge Scorpion or a Dissolve. He was tempted by the Scorpion, but felt that with an Asp and a Battlemage, his end-game would be made more powerful by having the sneaky Aura to hand. His next pack gave him a third, making sure nobody would be blocking his creatures any time soon. The rest of the pack yielded a Nessian Courser, an Anvilwrought Raptor, and a Prescient Chimera as well as some filler.

By the end of the second pack, Sim's position had improved substantially. He'd picked up some important evasion and a few finishers. His deck was perhaps lacking in combat tricks and a few efficient beaters, but that could surely be resolved by...

Pack 3

Another first-pick Leafcrown Elder for Sim after nothing more exciting presented itself. His second pack gave him a choice of Feral Invocation or Savage Surge, and he took the Invocation. His third pick came down to another Battlemaster or a Nylea's Disciple. He ended up taking the Battlemaster to go with his Invocation and 3 Aqueous Forms, lacking any bounce spells to really make the Disciple shine.

In pick 4, he once again took a Feral Invocation over a Savage Surge, happily snaffling the Surge a few picks later. The latter half of Pack 3 didn't bring anything of note other than a few hate-picks and some late sideboard cards like Shredding Winds.

Building the Deck

I sat down with Sim as he constructed his deck and we ran through the choices. His picks were sparse enough across the draft that 21 of his 23 cards were decided within a few moments of sitting down, but his final decision on the deck took a little longer. It was a relatively tough judgment call behind what sort of deck was most likely to get him the essential 3-0 record to advance to the Top 8. Is it better to go for a slightly more powerful but potentially less consistent deck and hope for good luck across the 3 matches, or go for something more conservative and potentially only end up 2-1? Keep an eye on the coverage to find out how Chapman Sim fares for the remaining rounds of Swiss at Grand Prix: Kuala Lumpur!

Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur Draft #2 Chapman Sim

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