Three Ways of Going 3-0 in Draft

Posted in PRO TOUR SHADOWS OVER INNISTRAD on April 23, 2016

By Tobi Henke

While 60-card decks get most of the press at Pro Tours because a majority of the rounds as well as the Top 8 are played in Standard, one shouldn't forget about Booster Draft. After all, players need to navigate a full six of the sixteen rounds on the way to the playoffs by drafting.

So far, 47 of them had gone 3-0 in the first draft yesterday. Before diving deeper into the new environment later, we decided to show three particular interesting decks for an early look at a few of the cool things possible in Shadows over Innistrad Limited.

For example, take a look at the following Zombie army assembled by former Player of the Year and current No. 23 Brad Nelson. He had won all of his matches yesterday, three with this deck.

Brad Nelson

"I didn't want to draft the deck," said Nelson. "It just came to me. Zombies isn't a deck you get to draft often."

In this case, the Zombies kept coming and coming and, as they're wont to do, some of them kept coming back from the grave. He pointed to the synergy between his two Stitchwing Skaabs and Prized Amalgam, which was a very prized possession here indeed.

Nelson was happy about his three copies of Sleep Paralysis, and happy with the deck and result overall. Still, he attributed some of his success to the fact that he didn't have to face any really outstanding decks. "The weakest deck I probably played in the finals [of the draft pod]."

Meanwhile, Valentin Mackl, the captain of Austria's Top 4 team at last year's World Magic Cup, had drafted something completely different. With a mana curve starting on three 1-drops, he went all out on Red-White Aggro, a strategy which brought a surprising number of players to 3-0.

Valentin Mackl

"The deck looks strong on paper, doesn't it?" Mackl laughed. "The truth is, it wasn't all that great."

He mentioned that, with just eleven Humans in total, the two Thalia's Lieutenants never actually grew beyond 1/1. "Of course, as soon as I traded it for Rancid Rats, I drew a second, then another Human from the top," he whined. "Naturally, I never saw Nahiri either."

So how did he win with the deck?

"Not so much through fancy synergies, but rather with lots of dorky creatures plus equipment," he explained. "Well, the combination of equipment and Avacynian Missionaries—that was just as good as advertised. I really can't complain."

Given the choice, however, Mackl said he would always prefer to draft Rise from the Tides. "I had that deck many times in testing and I won every single time. It's so much fun too!"

In case you haven't heard yet, this deck is based on many, many spells, at least one, ideally two of which should be Rise from the Tides, although Pieces of the Puzzle can act as a substitute while also filling the graveyard. Most often the deck is blue-red, but blue-black is possible.

For a prime example, check out World Champion Seth Manfield's 3-0 deck below!

Seth Manfield

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