Top 8 Draft - How They Line Up

Posted in Event Coverage on August 29, 2010

By David Sutcliffe

With a Top 8 draft pod that comprised so many top players it was hard to know where to look - the champion could so easily come from any quarter; from seasoned pros like Sam Black to Swedish hope Kenny Oberg, to a wildcard like Markku Rikkola who is by his own admission playing the best Magic of his life. With such an unpredictable Top8 we thought that rather than follow a single drafter we would to take a step back and track all eight of your contenders as they entered the starting gates.

Quarter Final One: Marijn Lybaert vs. Sam Black

Marijn Lybaert had drafted a blue black that was, by his own admission, not good enough. When I asked him if he was happy he could only manage a half-hearted "Not Really". His deck was light on standout cards, and for a blue/black deck had very little solid removal either.

In Three Words: "Seven playables short"

Sam Black was much happier. Initially he wasn't sure he liked his deck, but after completing his build he felt things had gone ok. The question Sam had to face was which of his really good cards he could play, as he'd taken powerful cards in four colors. He had settled on a GR deck, but could splash or black for better cards if he felt he needed to.

In Three Words: "One Word. Rares"

Quarter Final Two: Nikolai Herzog vs. Kenny Oberg

Nikolai Herzog was solidly in a green/red deck and was pretty happy with his cards. His main problem had been trying to prioritise cheaper cards over the more exciting 4-drops that he kept seeing, and he wasn't sure that he had the balance right. "Given the cards I kept seeing it was a really strong pool".

In Three Words: "Really really aggressive"

With a strong Red/Green deck under him was Kenny Oberg destined to pick up the trophy?

Kenny Oberg was initially unsure about his deck, but once he'd finished the build he decided that it was very similar to the decks he'd made earlier in the day so he was pretty happy. Also in red/green his quarterfinal against Herzog would be decided by pure muscle power.

In Three Words: "Strong Cards. Removal."

Quarter Final Three: Anton Jonsson vs. Markku Rikkola

Anton Jonsson would only commit that his deck was 'fine, but not awesome' even though it seemed to contain most of the hallmark blue/white aggressive cards. His three word summary of his deck was similarly non-committal...

In Three Words: "Blue White Beatdown". Fair enough.

Markku Rikkola was not happy with his deck at all - perhaps not the first player to find their virgin entry to a Top8 draft a daunting experiencer. After completing the build he said that his black/white deck was quite aggressive but that it would depend on what decks he was playing against. To round out his picks he had to take some color-specific removal. Play the right deck and he was good, but he feared the two Pyroclasm that he had passed along.

In Three Words: "Needs good draws"

Quarter Final Four: Allison Abe vs. Sammi Haggkvist

Allison Abe responded to my question 'are you happy?' with an emphatic "NO!" - the verdict on his blue/green deck being that it was terrible after he had decided to switch colors halfway through the second pack. Ever upbeat, his three word summary said it all...

In Three Words: "Not good enough"

Sammi Haggkvist wasn't too cheerful either. Much like Rikkola, Haggkvist had filled his deck out with cards that were dependent on the colors his opponent played, like Combust and Deathmark. Play against a white deck and he was happy, but face a green deck and he could be in trouble. It was a situation he described as 'awkward'.

In Three Words: "Come on White!"

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