HOURS OF NEED - DRAFTING WITH JON STERN

Posted in NEWS on May 25, 2014

By Olle Rade

Not only did Canadian Jon Stern end up Day One with a 9-0 record. He did it with a deck that on first sight didn't look spectacular. It was Green/Blue, looked a bit slow, and Stern opted to play only 16 lands, smoothing out his draws with two Font of Fertility, a Divination and two Font of Fortune. It turns out the sealed portion was a good sign of his preference in draft as well.
"Green/Blue is really where I want to be in this format, and in a lot of our practice drafts I've ended up as the Green drafter," he explained.

The draft instantly put a test to Jon Stern's color preferences when he opened a good rare in Harness by Force along with the strong uncommon Hour of Need and one of the best commons in Supply Line Cranes. He didn't hesitate a second to pick the blue uncommon.
"The pack also had a few other red cards, and I already don't like drafting red. So I didn't mind setting up Nathan Holiday on my left with a good red deck," Stern said after the draft.

The pack passed from fellow Canadian, Alexander Hayne was lacking in Blue, but did offer a Mogis's War Hound and a Supply-Line Cranes, Stern settling for the latter. As it turned out though, Hayne had picked a White rare over it and to Hayne's right, William Jensen also first picked an Hour of Need. So it didn't look as Stern's colors would be open. In fact Nathan Holiday had also opened the blue uncommon, but quickly moved into Red when he saw the signals and grabbed the Harness of Force second.

A third pick Hydra Broodmaster raised Stern's eyebrows a bit, taking it as a good signal of Green being open. A fourth pick Golden Hind seemed to agree, and he rounded up the pack with a Leonin Iconoclast, a pair of Font of Fertility and some green two-drops. Making his options look very Green, with one Blue and one White card, postponing his decision on a second color to Born of the Gods.

A choice that was made for him by his own booster, which contained a Hero of Iroas, and no Green or Blue other than a Snake of the Golden Grove. A second pick Elite Skirmisher suggested that Stern had made up his mind, but a third pick Sudden Storm hinted that the Canadian wasn't scared to splash Blue with the help of his Font of Fertility. A pretty sweet gift came in a sixth pick Reap What Is Sown, and Stern felt confidant he was the only Green/White drafter at the table.
"Green/White is a pretty unpopular color combination, so there was a good chance of getting a Reap What Is Sown if one was opened. And Font of Fertility really allows me to splash Blue if I need to," Stern explained his decisions during pack two.

Theros did, as suspected, deliver solid Green, and after first picking an Ordeal of Heliod, Stern picked up a Nemesis of Mortals before being faced with the classic choice between Nessian Asp or Voyaging Satyr. While once in triple Theros draft you might pick a first Satyr over an Asp, those days are gone, and nowadays the Asp is a pretty given pick. Jon Stern could only smile as he saw a Voyaging Satyr a few packs later, and in the end he was very happy to end up in Green.

"That went well," he commented, predicting his deck good for at least a 2-1 record.

On a side note, this coverage reporter was extra impressed not only by Jon Sterns good memory of the tricks he passed in the draft, but also that he took time to write them down during deck construction to know what to expect from his upcoming opponents.

Jon Stern

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