by Luke Hancock
The first draft of the Australian Nationals saw the great and distinguished Rod Ho seated at a table where the other 'name' player in Australia was Jonathon Chan from NSW. Despite feeling somewhat poorly, Rod managed to just turn up in time for the seating of the very first draft pod and drafted a solid W/B deck.
His choices in the initial Mercadian Masques pack began with a first pick Lunge, over the cards Cateran Enforcer and Cho-Manno, Revolutionary. His picks continued opening up into blue, with a 2nd and 5th pick Blockade Runner, and later in the pack Rod began drafting some white control elements such as a 8th pick Cho-Manno's Blessing and a 10th pick Wishmonger. The rest of the pack was filled out with some blue creatures and some more red card choices.
The Nemesis pack saw Rod solidify his color choices into blue and white with an opening pick Topple and then following this up with a number of multiple blue creatures such as 2 Wandering Eyes. Rod was then gifted with successive Seal of Removals in the 6th and 7th positions, before the rest of the draft pack was filled with amazing randomness.
The Prophecy section of the draft was filled to the brim with bombs in Rod's colors. Opening with a Troubled Healer, Rod managed to draft another 2 in the 3rd and 5th picks. His 2nd choice was a Spiketail Drake for 3/3 flying beatings and drafted a total of 3 Soul Charmers for early blocking. Also in the pack came 2 Excise and a 13 pick Rethink.
Rod's deck ended up containing -
Cho-Manno's Blessing Steadfast Guard Wishmonger 2 Blockade Runner Chambered Nautilus Saprazzan Outrigger Excise 3 Soul Charmer 3 Troubled Healer Spiketail Drake Rethink Lightbringer Topple Oraxid 2 Seal of Removal 2 Wandering Eye 8 Island 9 Plains
In the first round, Rod won the first game but lost the 2nd and 3rd games due to mana stall on 3 and 4 land respectively.