Draft 2: Bob Maher

Posted in Feature

By Trey Van Cleave

Bob Maher, a Pro Tour Veteran and "The Extended King," prefers control decks in both Constructed and Limited formats and seemed to follow this preference in both of his drafts. He drafted a blue/white deck in the first pod and aimed to do that again if luck was on his side.

The draft:

His Masques pack contained Stinging Barrier, Airship, Thermal Glider, and Shock Troops. He took the Stinging Barrier which is the right logic despite there being another quality card in the pack in blue because Thermal Glider and Shock Troops would most likely be taken first leaving the blue player hopefully 3 seats away. The next offered few choices for Bob, but he got a solid second pick in Rishadan Brigand. The white opened up a bit in the 3rd pack offering him a Lieutenant, Sailmonger, and Cowardice in his colors and he obviously chose the Lieutenant. A fourth pick Noble Purpose and he was on his way to his most desired color configuration. His fifth pack had only Fresh Volunteers and War Monger. The Fresh Volunteers was an okay 5th pick but it just showed that the average card pool wasn't amazing in the Masques pack. He rounded out his deck with Orim's Cure, Darting Merfolk, Crossbow Archers and a few counter drafts in Red and Green. Masques was good to him but not great, but he was content with 8 solid cards in blue and white.

Nemesis took an early turn for the worse with only a Jolting Merfolk as the best pick in either blue or white. Things get better with a second pick Belbe's Armor in the same pack as a Hydra when Preyer to his left was playing red for sure. That had to scare Maher a little. The third pack is extremely weak showing where the blue and white cards had been picked up at the table. His only two possible choices were Chieftain en Dal and Rootwater Commando. I think the Rootwater is a particularly good choice and should most likely go in his standard deck because most likely with the thin blue that showed up late 3 other people at least were likely playing blue. His draft picks up with a 5th and 6th turn Lightbringer after a 4th turn Cloudskate. The next pack gave him a Seal of Cleansing. He counterdrafted a red card in the next pack but got two nice late picks in Seal of Removal and Cloudskate and was basically off to a nice start moving into Prophecy with 17 solid cards for his deck and most of the blue/white players most likely too far away from him to damage his card pool.

He got a fair pick in Diving Griffin first out of Prophecy followed by a Troubled Healer which got a smile out of our recent Chicago Pro Tour Winner. The third pack gave him a choice between Rethink and Rhystic Scrying where he made the right choice taking Rhystic Scrying which in my experience is a relatively late drafted card considering its card drawing power. The next pack offered one of the few tough choices that Maher was faced with in the draft. He got passed Reveille Squad, Coastal Hornclaw, and Stormwatch Eagle. I think Reveille Squad might be the strongest card but with no way to search for it he took the more versatile and evasive Stormwatch Eagle. The second and last tough decision he had to make was in the following pack where he had to choose between Windscouter and Withdraw. He said after the draft that he wanted the flying and a creature that would be good in the late game where he can attack and feasibly block with it. He also said that he didn't think he would get passed any more fat flyers later on. Much to his pleasure and displeasure concerning the Withdraw choice, he was passed a 6th pick Spiketail Drake which I deem to be his best pick for the pack number in the entire draft. That is always a good first pick and definitely his best Prophecy Card. He grabs up a Mirror Strike, Aura Fracture, and Foil (very nice 10th pick) to round out what I would consider to be a very solid draft deck. The card pool seemed a little thin but he could be facing some bombs considering the Hydra in his second choice Nemesis pack. Best of luck to Bob Maher in the rounds to come as he works from an extremely solid 7-2 record into a potential top 8 berth with the 2-1 or 3-0 performance I would expect out of him and his deck.

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