Top 8: Kyle Rose

Posted in Event Coverage

By Adrian Sullivan

Kyle Rose is a professional card player and another one of the very accomplished competitors in this year's Top 8 for Pro Tour - Los Angeles. Twenty-one year old Kyle Rose is often considered something of constructed specialist, winning the 1998 US Nationals and finishing in the Top 8 of two Constructed Pro Tours (Los Angeles 1998, Chicago 1998). He isn't looking to prove anything of his Limited skills: his victory at Pro Tour London more than proved he can draft.

For Pro Tour London, Kyle didn't feel he practiced particularly much. "I understood the concepts for drafting and I knew what to value for Urza's Block. I didn't have the chance to practice very much, and I didn't think I needed to."

This Pro Tour was very similar for Kyle. Before this Pro Tour, he said he only played in 4 or 5 Invasion Booster Drafts. For many players, this lack of practice would be unthinkable, but Rose decided to trust his own intuition when it came to the drafts. Kyle Rose might just be one of the few players able to get away with it, as he is considered to be one of the most solid technical players on the Tour.

His success on the boat might be attributable to that intuition. Kyle was one of the only players to not have a preference for any particular color combination when polled by the Sideboard at the beginning of the weekend. With many players extremely excited about Blue, Kyle ignored such color conventions completely, and instead went with an old standard of draft, regardless of the format: draft efficient, cheap beatdown creatures.

"I drafted some combination of Green, Red, or Black every round. Basically, I went for creature removal and creature enhancers - bolts and growths - every time. It seemed like most of the other people were fighting for the things like Blue bounce."

In the Top 8, Kyle, like many other players there, continued with his draft strategy from the Swiss. He avoided fighting with his neighbors by staying away from the possibly tempting Green that Klauser used, and didn't go anywhere near Creech's Blue/White control deck. His final deck was an aggressive Black/Red deck filled with fast 3/1 and 2/2 creatures. Very suited to Kyle's style, we'll see how the Pro Tour London Champion fares in this draft.

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