Draft 2 with Chapman Sim

Posted in GRAND PRIX MEXICO CITY 2015 on February 1, 2015

By Josh Bennett

Singapore’s Chapman Sim has been hard at work proving his skills as a member of Team MTGMintcard. With Grand Prix Top 8’s in Singapore and Nagoya he has been a fixture in the APAC region, but his travels for Pro Tours give him a chance to strut his stuff elsewhere. He’s still chasing that first Championship, and here at Mexico City he needs to finish with two wins and a draw to secure his shot.

Pod 1 was no joke, featuring strong Mexican talent like Axel Martinez (leading the standings since this morning) and Fernando Dominguez Roldan, as well as Canada’s Pascal Maynard. The first pack presented him with a choice of Ainok Beastmaster or Mardu Strike Leader. Said Sim, “I don’t think this is a particularly close pick. You don’t really go off with that guy unless your opponent isn’t doing anything. Yeah, he trades for a morph and gives you a 2/1, but the Beastmaster is going to give you a bigger advantage than that.”

Chapman Sim

He followed up With Orc Sureshot, then Gurmag Angler over Ethereal Ambush and Feral Krushok. “I didn’t want to go into a third color this early, and the Angler is very strong. He comes out a lot faster than you’d expect.” Next was Sultai Emissary, then back-to-back Jungle Hollows and another Angler. “The Emissary is very strong. It obviously combos with the Sureshot, but it’s also a great speedbump and delve enabler. Also in the late game it acts as a kind of scry, since you don’t want to draw land anyways.” He closed out the pack with a tabled Grim Contest, signalling that green-black was a good place to be, and another Emissary. He also got a late Ainok Guide. “I like this guy a lot. He lets you mulligan fewer hands, and him having a counter works great with all the Abzan guys from Khans.”

I asked him if he was already leaning Abzan or if he was willing to go Sultai if it was there. “I was definitely open, and I didn’t see much white in pack one, but then I opened Abzan Falconer, which is just an incredible card and got passed Abzan Charm.” Third pick put him to a difficult decision: Dead Drop or Mer-Ek Nightblade. “It was really hard giving up on Dead Drop, but I don’t want to be playing that much delve. It’s also less effective against me thanks to the Emissaries.” Next he took a Blossoming Sands he desperately needed over Throttle, then got Death Frenzy. Sixth pick offered him his choice of Ruthless Ripper, Bitter Revelation or Woolly Loxodon. He took the Ripper.

“This one was definitely not close. Ripper is one of the top uncommons. It’s ‘free’ to flip so you almost always catch people with bad attacks when you’re tapped out.”

The good fortune continued as Sim got an Archer’s Parapet eleventh. “I couldn’t believe that. It was absolutely what I needed.”

Pack three had an Utter End waiting for Sim in the rare slot, but it got bumped when Armament Corps showed up among the uncommons. “Utter End is good, there’s no question, but it’s never going to be more than good. Armament Corps is almost always great, a huge swing.” He scored another Ruthless Ripper second, then Blossoming Sands and Alpine Grizzly. Fifth pick he took Throttle over Scout the Borders despite not having any delve enablers yet. “Well first of all I knew I needed more removal. I had a couple, and the Rippers almost count as removal, but I could still just lose to something like Abomination of Gudul. Also, it’s not like the cards I’m delving are that expensive, so Scout isn’t essential.” A second late Parapet came around ninth, and he wound up getting a Scout twelfth.

“Overall I think this is a pretty good deck, but it’s not great. It’s made up of good cards, but I don’t have any bombs. If I did I would be love this deck.”