Top 8 Draft: Justin Schneider

Posted in Event Coverage on March 11, 2001

By Rui Oliveira

Justin Schneider

Probably the most exciting first pick of the draft belonged to the comeback kid, Justin Schneider. He opened a Rith, The Awakener and never looked back. The player feeding him, Damian Brown-Santirso, went along with that plan by taking a first pick Probe.

This collaboration helped the players during the draft with Damian getting what was called by some players a "brutal deck". Justin was a bit nervous about the Rith, because he prefers Black dragons. A few picks later he eagerly grabbed a card that might allow him to live out the dream of players from all over the world: To be Brian Kibler. He took an Armadillo Cloak.

So he centered the rest of his draft around getting a good mana base and solid creatures to complement his Dragon. Damian sent him a present in the Planeshift pack in the shape of a Shivan Wurm. His only visible problem might be his lack of removal, since he only has two Scorching Lava. Despite that deck is solid and Justin's careful picks reflected his good analysis of the needs of the deck.

Meanwhile Damian was pumping up his W/U/B monstrosity ending up with two Rushing Rivers, Recoil, Probe and a Lashknife Barrier to complement his good creature base. To Justin's left, Ernesto Mingorance built a very powerful B/U/W deck with the highlights being a Glimmering Angel, Samite Archer and three Faerie Squadrons.

Alex Shvartsman had a wicked smile during deck construction and it was easy to see why. He had a Collective Restraint, Global Ruin and three Dream Thrushes to lock his opponent down while the rest of his strong U/B/W deck slowly gained control of the game and destroyed any opposition. He also had a solid set of creatures that included the jack-of-all-trades Cavern Harpy and the bomb: Crypt Angel. He felt very happy about the draft, not only because he got his favorite color combination, but because he felt confident he could turn this Top 8, his eleventh, into another great result.

Carlos Romao started of with a few medium Blue picks but when that color quickly dried up he turned his gaze to Black, Red and Green. In the end he built an original G/B/R/u deck using only two Quirion Trailblazers to balance his mana! We are not sure if this gambit will work but if it does, his high-quality cards will rule the day.

To Carlos's right sat young Rafael Alvarenga. The seventeen old Brazilian, one of the best players in the country, drafted B/U/R getting a Fact or Fiction, two Probes, a few good removal spells and a host of small creatures. The last Brazilian player to make the top 8, Daniel do Carmo, sat between Rafael and Alex but he still found B/R/U deep enough to take that combination as well. Still, he was locked between players drafting the same colors and his deck was rather weak compared to the others.

Rafael Le Saux felt forced to draft G/W/R from the start of the draft and despite his amazing success with that combination today he was very uncomfortable. He doesn't like the combination because he doesn't trust its depth. He again ran out of good picks during the draft despite a Fires of Yavimaya and an Armadillo Cloak. He did have a strange moment during the second pack when he received a Treva, the Renewer on his fourth pick. He took it, but never found other reasons to dip into Blue. Unlike Carlos he did not want to stretch his mana base to play four colors so his Dragon sat in the sidelines during the Top 8.

Below is Schneider's final build.

Justin Schneider

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Sideboard (1)
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