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The Road to Tourneyland: Draft Night!
By Mark Ortego
The Road to Tourneyland: Draft Night!
by Mark Ortego

When: Saturday Night 4/17/04
Where: My House
Who: My Friends
List of Friends (not real names):
~Mr. Moose
~Big Guy
~Gene Shalitz
~Missy
~Joshua
~Queenie
~Bib Gunner
~Rapper "DG"
~Trout Man

The Format: 10 Man Draft, 5 rounds of Swiss, Mirrodin, Mirrodin, Darksteel, 60 card decks (20 Basic land and 40 of the 45 cards you drafted).

Prizes: 1st., 2nd., 3rd. and 4th. (6 packs / 6 packs / 3 packs / 3 packs).

For the seating, Bib Gunner (UW) sat to my left and Gene Shalitz (UW) to my right. I did not know before hand what colors these guys would draft and really, none of us are big-time drafters and have typical colors that were known for except for me, Ill usually be drafting Red/blue or Red/black. Tonight was an exceptional night because I went Artifact R/u/b.

Pack one: Shatter
Pack two: Pyrite Spellbomb
Pack three: Shatter

All of my picks were either Red, Blue, Black or Artifact related to these colors. All thanks to the guys on either sides of me drafting mostly blue or white .

60 Card Deck w/ 20 basic land and 40 of the 45 cards we drafted.

Here's my final deck list:

UBR "Uber" Control:

LAND
6x Island
9x Mountain
5x Swamp

CREATURES
1x Chittering Rats
1x Cobalt Golem
1x Copper Myr (green mana producer)
1x Disciple of the Vault
1x Dross Prowler
1x Golem Dirigible
1x Krark-Clan Shaman
1x Krark-Clan Stoker
1x Neurok Prodigy
1x Neurok Spy
1x Rust Elemental
1x Somber Hoverguard
1x Wizard Replica

SPELLS
1x Annul
3x Barbed Lightning <-------!!!!!
1x Chromatic Sphere
1x Crystal Shard
1x Dismantle
1x Echoing Truth
2x Essence Drain
1x Fireball
2x Forge Armor
1x Incite War
1x Necrogen Spellbomb
1x Machinate
1x Psychic Overlord
3x Pyrite Spellbomb
1x Scale of Chiss-Goria
2x Shatter <---TWO!!
1x Talisman of Dominance
1x Talisman of Indulgence
1x Terror
1x Vex

The 5 cards I didn't put in the deck (I think):
2x Darksteel Citadel
1x Seat of Synod
1x Tree of Tales
1x Island

Details are vague (I'm old):

Round 1 vs. Trout Man (RG)
~Game 1: His deck works at a text book level with small efficient creatures doing enough early damage to win the race. I only get in one Essence Drain and no creatures. Too little too late.
~Game 2: He gets mana screwed and my deck is working at peak efficiency with my Neurok Spy doing it's share of pounding to get him close enough for me to Fireball him for the finish.
~Game 3: He gets a little bit better mana but is still choked by not having enough. I Pyrite his early Spikeshot Goblin and he manages to get something out but too late since my Neurok Prodigy (2/1 Flying) has pecked at him and I finish him off with a Barbed Lightning.

Games:
2 - 1 - 0
Matches:
1 - 0 - 0


Round 2 vs. Bib Gunner (UW)
~Game 1: We battle back and forth with small creatures. I lose the race due to that Artifact that when you pay two you tap the artifact and remove a creature you control from the game, then sac the artifact to bring back the removed creatures and they both were flyers and I had no blockers or removal. He wins.
~Game 2: Nearly the same scenario and we go to time and do the "5 turn rule". He's at 8 and I'm at 7 and I attack for 3 via Hoverguard. But my Shatters and other removal finally gain me "board control" and I win via Fireball express for 5! On Turn 3 of the 5 turn rule.

Games:
3 - 2 - 0
Matches:
1 - 0 - 1


Round 3 vs. Rapper "DG" (B/W/r)
~Game 1: Rapper "DG" is an avid drafter and I am nervous about playing him. His opponents are usually some kind of former pro-tour players or folks who are on their way. So he has experience on his side from heavy competitors. This is his first time playing with us scrubs.

Anyhoo, He gets mana screwed Game 1 and mana flooded game 2 and I win both within 10 minutes. We battle another game for fun, I sweep him quickly again and wonder if I won by skills (playing or drafting) or did he just have bad luck?

Games:
5 - 2 - 0
Matches:
2 - 0 - 1


Round 4 vs. Big Guy (Art Black?)
~Game 1: He takes a one land hand and smacked me for two turns with a Disciple of the Vault. He never gets another land and I put out Somber Hoverguard and finish him off nicely.
~Game 2: He manages to get more land but my deck is starting to hit it's stride in the tournament and I get board control and win the game.

My board control spells are strong:
2 Shatter
1 Terror
3 Barbed Lightning
1 Dismantle
1 Echoing Truth
2 Essence Drain
1 Psychic Overlord
3 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 FIREBALL (a third pick from the pack TWO!)
and basically 3 counter magic spells in the way of Annul, Vex and Wizard Replica.

By this time of the night my deck is a well-oiled UBER control deck. And that's not even to mention that I have a cheesy little combo in the way of Chittering Rats and Crystal Shard.

Games:
7 - 2 - 0
Matches:
3 - 0 - 1


Round 5 vs. Gene Shalitz (UW)
~Game 1: This guy passed me my 3 Barbed Lightnings, an Echoing Truth, 2 Essence Drain, and a Vex. I wanted to show my appreciation by using these on him. His deck had those pesky 1/1 white creatures that have you gain life when an artifact comes into play. He beat me senseless with those to get me to 8 life, but, by then my deck took control and I Krark-Clan Shamaned his weenies away. I Forge Armor one of my Neurok's for 3 +1/+1's (I saced Scale of Criss-Cross)and he plays Shared Fate. I'm dead because I haven't seen my Echoing Truth yet. I draw a card from his deck next turn and its that Darksteel equipment that makes the equipped creature unblockable and untargetable. I win.
~Game 2: Again he gets me to 8 life when my deck comes alive and I win via beat-down Neurok!

Games:
9 - 2 - 0
Matches:
4 - 0 - 1


I win the for the night and 6 packs of Darksteel are on their way to me! I open up a Pulse of the Fields and a Skullclamp and random other stuff.

This is our second time drafting with this play group. The first (a couple of months ago) we drafted Mirrodin, Darksteel, Darksteel. I draft G/R with several Molten Rain and 4 Reap & Sow's and tied for first with Bib Gunner. This is fun and I don't mean because I think I can win, it's fun because I think drafting is the best way to test your deck building AND playing skills.

Mike Turian recently wrote, "I learn more from tournament reports than any other class of articles." I doubt one can learn much from this one but as Johnny "Friggin" Rizzo once said, "Everyone has a story to tell." This was NOT a normal draft but I think I can make Red, blue, black work for the next REAL one I'm in, maybe.

Later, Mark O.

Read More Articles by Mark Ortego!

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