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Rare Earths: Invasion Draft
By Russell Sherman
Rare Earths: Invasion Draft

So, I went to an invasion draft. A casual thing. Me, Dave, Peter Z, Jonas, and Josh. But, because I was raised on Wakefield, I won’t start at the tournament, but a little before.

At 2:35 AM, I was online, chatting. As was Dave (We were talking together) My blood was coursing, I was on a caffiene-high. By 4:00, I was asleep.
My alarm clock went off when I was in the shower. I’d woken up 10 minutes early. Get out, dressed (all black, and a new shirt), and packed myself a lunch. Pondered briefly over which decks to bring. Finally decided that my white-blue control deck was usable, and my extended Sneak attack deck was good. Brought along a couple cards for Dave to sign, too. If nothing else, I figured it would bug him.
Packed and ready, I had just finished as Josh pulled up. Jumped in with my decks, lunch, money, and a decklist for “10,000 Maniacs” with me.
We start to move. Josh turns to me and says “Well, are you all packed?”
“Yeah, you?”
“Yep, got my cards and my lands.”
Dammit. I knew I’d forgotten something. Lands. Oh well, too late now, I guess I’ll borrow Josh’s.

We arrived 15 minutes early to the store, and it wasn’t opened yet. Window-shopped for a while, (Did you know they reprinted Nightmare in 6th?) got the guy who works there annoyed at us for tapping on the windows, and waited for them to open.

When they opened, we had 5 people there. Not the same 5 we used though. Jonas wasn’t there, but a Slick was there. We sat down and I played with some other people for a while, dominating with white-blue control against elfball, green beats, and blue counter. Slick told us he couldn’t stay for the draft, leaving us with 4 people. We had expected 2 more, but Peter N and Sean didn’t come.

So we started the draft with 4. Open my first pack: Verdeloth. Aww, cool! But wait…. Agonizing demise was lurking right in front of it. Ahh, fattie or removal? I took the demise, passing the Verdeloth on to Josh. He took it. I was passed a set of cards, with tough choices. Took a frenzied tilling. The passing continued. Total cards from the first pack: 2 Frenzied tillings, 1 Agonizing demise, 1 assault/battery, and an assortment of Kavus, which ended up being the feature of my deck. Mainly Viscious Kavu. The last drafts were ALL white/blue.

Second pack: I open a pack with a white rare. Nothing special. I take a Fire of Yavimaya. I get passed a 3rd Frenzied Tilling, 3! Those go in. 1 more Viscious Kavu comes my way along with an assortment of others, including 2 Uborg Shamblers (4/3, all other black creatures get -1/-1) and a couple Firescreamers. White/blue was the lasts drafts again!

Third pack: Nothing amazing. I draft another Fires of Yavimaya and pass. I get a maniacal rage, and a few others. My third viscous Kavu, and 3 Kavu Climbers are being passed, I nab 2 of them. Damn. No brokenness, but this deck is solid. A smoldering tar, as well, for removal value. And white for the last three passes. Well, at least we know what color nobody’s playing!

I side out almost all the unneeded cards, and find myself with a 42 card eck, with 16 lands. I take out ravenous rats and tainted well. The well may have been a mistake, but not a big one.

Game 1:
So I set out, and begin to play against Dave, playing B/U/R and crop a scarred Puma early, and hit him with that and a firescreamer. He draws land for the enxt 7 turns, and his 5 nonlands aren’t enough to hold off my threats.
Oh, and Jonas shows up. We give him 3 packs and tell him to make a deck, so he’ll be in the tournament with us.

Game 2:
Tough game. He plays a nightscape apprentice early, with a dream thrush, and my attacks are thwarted. He then lays down a Vodalian serpent w/ kicker, and begins to beat on my, using his dream thrus to give me islands. I topdeck removal. Play a cursed flesh on his apprentice, and blow his serpent to high heaven using a demise. My Kavus come through for a win.
Games: 2-0
Matches 1-0

Next is peter, playing r/g. Not really worried. His deck works like mine, only he doesn’t have my removal. Plus he limited himself to 2 colors.

Game 1:
He drops a lanowar elite, and begins a minor beatdown, but I establish control. I smack down with Kavus, which are just bigger than his.

Game 2:
Nasty game. Peter has 5 drops all through his hand, but misses a land drop, and I topdeck all three of my frenzied tillings. They shut him down, and allow me to push through the game-ender.
Games: 4-0
Matches: 2-0

Okay, now Jonas, who’s joined in, playing 5c. This guy is a wild card, and I don’t know what to expect. He’s lost once to dave.

Game 1:
I hate mana screw. I should have mulliganed the hand. Stuck with 1 forest and 2 swamps, when most of my spells need red. I bring out a nomadic elf, but njot enough mana to cast anything, and, thought it gets him to 12, he takes it out and crushed me, with my creatures all sitting in my hand.

Game 2:
Aha! Breakthrough. Duelling Elves at the start, with a little other thrown in. Jonas plays down some dangerous beats, but nothing enough to phase me I get my mana and till a couple times. My Climbers and firescreamers overpower him. He sits with a llanowar knight that I can’t hit, but I just walk over, eventually, with too big an army.

Game 3:
HE gets in trouble. 4 mana, and the game isn’t even fun to watch. My Kavus climb all over him.
Games:6-1
Matches:3-0

Break for lunch. I play G/R sneak in a 4 way game, teams. Me and elfball beatdown on a coupld of kids. I don’t feel to proud of that. If I lose the next match and Dave wins his two, he beats me.

Now Josh. Josh has the worst record that day, but I’m a little worried. He has an odd deck, and I know for a fact that he has verdeloth, which I’d need a demise to get rid of. 5c again.

Game 1:
Did I mention that I hate mana screw? 1 forest, 2 swamps, and NO CREATURES. Some bad. Oh well, my mistake. Game ends slowly, and I’m, a little relieved. His deck is slow, and I think I can outrace him.

Game 2:
I can beat him. Fair enough game. He was light on creatures though. I have my army out, and was readyn for the final strike, when he casts “Breath of darigazz”
Ahhh! His glimmering angel survives. Thank god I am Mr. Topdeck today. Bring out a viscious Kavu and Sparring golem. Maniacal rage. I just deal more damage than him.

Game 3:
This is it- the final match. Josh and I mirror each other, laying down creature after creature. Side are pretty even, but I draw a smoldering tar. Cast it and blow away a big fella of his. Start to attack. He just can’t keep up, and my Kavus seem to spring from nowhere as I tilling away his land. He looks pissed. Shows me the verdeloth I kept him from casting with my tillers. It’s right next to the Urza’s rage he couldn’t cast with no mountains…
Games: 8-2
Matches: 4-0

I swept the tourney.

My first draft win ever, Thanks, guys.


-Russell Sherman, Guildmage

anachronism42@hotmail.com

Read More Articles by Russell Sherman!

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