Top 8 Draft – Your Top 8 Contenders Line Up!

Posted in Event Coverage on November 28, 2010

By David Sutcliffe

The Top 8 draft took place deep within a scrum of Italian onlookers - the home nation had booked up no less than half the Top 8, and with players like Mario Pascoli and Pierluigi Aceto they certainly had the strength they needed to ensure that Italy claimed it's second Grand Prix of the year. The rest of the year featured some excellent players as well, though, headlined by Shuuhei Nakamura.

With the Quarter Finals lining up to start let's look at how the draft went for all eight of our surviving competitors, and see how they match up.

Your Top 8 Contenders Line Up!


Quarter Final One: Jorg Unfried (DEU) vs. Nicola Landoni (ITA)

Jorg Unfried was not confident in his deck when he first sat down in the deck building area "It's ok - I'm not too happy but I think it's ok" but had cheered up once he had finished building. His deck was a blue-green mix that featured a mixed bag of infect and non-infect creatures but also some of the most powerful rares in the format - Sword of Body and Mind , Mimic Vat , Tower of Calamities and an Argent Sphinx . He certainly had the firepower to win games, and knew it "Yeah I like it - it's look funny!"

Nicola Landoni actually had quite a similar deck - he had his own blue flyers from his UW deck and his own Argent Sphinx ! "Yeah I like this, it should be good - I have good blue flyers, and although I don't have much removal the creatures are solid".

It promised to make for an intriguing matchup, and I would follow it in the Quarter-Finals.


Quarter Final Two: Tommi Lindgren vs. Shuuhei Nakamura

Tommi Lindgren was not happy at all "But then I'm never happy! I think it's UW, maybe some green as well". As it turned out he had sold his deck short, and he wound up also playing some red for a Galvanic Blast . His deck was pretty poor - it had the standout Sunblast Angel and some solid creature, but virtually no spells at all - two Stoic Rebuttal s his only instants.

Shuuhei Nakamura had one word for his draft "Dead!" and even after he had finalised his deck he seemed no happier "Still dead! I'll never win." what Shuuhei had was a very standard red/green aggressive deck featuring multiple Molder Beast s but pretty much no actual creature removal. The only ray of hope for Shuuhei was the distinct chance that Lindgren's deck was actually worse than his own.


Quarter Final Three: Pierluigi Aceto vs. Anders Melin

Pierluigi Aceto was everything that Shuuhei Nakamura was not - his deck was good and he knew it. Being the sole Infect deck in a draft is perhaps the best position to be in for Scars Limited, and this time Aceto had that honor. His deck featured a trio of Plague Stinger s, with all the usual Infect suspects in support and enough black removal to suggest they would get the job done. "Yeah I'm really happy - I like this deck a lot, I think it's really good!"

Anders Melin was less emphatic about his deck. It was a GW deck that featured some strong creatures but not much else "I've not decided if I like my deck or not. It's got some really good cards but it has it's weakness too - I don't really have answers. My plan is to curve out"


Quarter Final Four: Mario Pascoli vs. Guido Citino

Mario Pascoli was sat at the head of a strong Black-Red deck. The theme for many players in the draft was a lack of removal, and the reason why was clear - Pascoli had it all! Galvanic Blast s, Instill Infection s, Flesh Allergy , Skinrender - he had it all, and half of it he had twice. The rest of his deck was solid aggressive creatures, but the key to success would be his opponents failing to get anything to stay in play. "Yeah it's good - I'm happy."

Guido Citino was less emphatic about his deck "Not so much, I wanted White/Red and I didn't get any red. I'm mono-white with just a little red for Vulshok Replica and my Saberclaw Golem ". Still, Citino had all the Glint Hawk s from the table, and although he didn't have the nuts White metalcraft deck it still featured enough flyers and enough artifacts to mean he could win games. His big problem was that it probably wasn't a great matchup against Pascoli's removal - although he didn't know that yet.

So that was layout of our Grand Prix Florence Top 8, and it looked intriguing. We had the blue flyers clashing, perhaps the two worst decks struggling against each other, Melin hoping to outrace the Infect, and an all-Italian clash in the last Quarterfinal.

Could Italy defend the Grand Prix? In Pascoli and Aceto they looked in good shape...

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