Draft #1 - Adrian Sullivan
We're all familiar with Mr Sullivan here at the Pojo, due to Tim's recent interview with him. Speaking with him personally on IRC, he was absolutely focused on doing well at Nationals, and had a strong belief that he could make top 8 with the practice he had put into draft and his constructed deck. With these in mind, he aproached the first draft table with an air of confidence, seated in the fifth chair. Sitting as well at this table were Nate Clarke and Jason Opalka, with Aaron Forsythe directly to Adrian's right. Jeremy Bright was drafting to the left of Sullivan.
The first pack opened was not spectacular, starring an Elvish Champion, a Benalish Lancer, a Llanowar Knight, and a Hooded Kavu. By the time the pack made it to Forsythe, only the Kavu and the Knight were left. He choose the Knight, while Adrian scooped up the Kavu. Jeremy ended up taking a Dream Thrush out of the pack. The next pack contained a Sunscape Master, an Exclude, and several black and red cards. Forsythe grabbed a Pincer Spider, passing Sullivan a Hate Weaver, helping solidify his colors, while Jeremy picked up a Galina's Knight, pointing him at a U/W draft. The third pack, however, was indicative of the rest of the draft, as a Skizzik made it to Adrian at the third pick. Forsythe grabbed an Agonizing Demise in the fourth pack, leaving Adrian another Hooded Kavu, while Bright picked up yet another Lancer. The Demise appeared again in the fifth pack, which Adrian happily gobbled up, while a Blind Seer moved over to Bright. When the eighth pack was opened, a Blazing Spectre dropped onto the table, and travelled all the way around to Adrian as a sixth pick, while Forsythe picked up a Yavimaya Barbarian (having started touching into Red),
When the packs switched directions, this is where things began to get funny. Starting off with a few utility cards, the eleventh pack held a Tribal Flames for Adrian, the twelfth pack held a Soul Burn which was immediately taken. The next pack produced perhaps the most amazing wheel ever, giving Sullivan a Ravenous Rat and another Soul Burn! He picked up another Rat and an Urborg Shambler over the next two packs before picking up his *third* Soul Burn in pack sixteen. At this point, his deck contained a Skizzik, a Blazing Spectre, 3 Soul Burns, and 3 Hooded Kavu.
Planeshift was opened starting with the seventeenth pick, and Adrian passed a Planeswalker's Scorn in favor of a Bog Down (the Scorn was immediately scooped up by Jeremy, who had ventured into black). A couple of packs later, a Caldera Kavu was in hand (taken over a Bloodstock), followed by a Terminate (taken over Lava Zombie). The next two packs produced a second-pick Mire Kavu, then a first-pick Magma Burst. Forsythe was still taking mediocre green and white cards, with the occasional red splash, while Jeremy was getting a fairly decent U/W deck. Finishing up the draft picking a Lava Zombie and a Phyrexian Bloodstock, Adrian strode away, practically having to restrain cheers about the deck.
Speaking with Adrian after the draft, he was actually very happy the Forsythe took the Knight over the Kavu. Many of the pro's, he felt, do not tend to lean towards an aggressive red/black deck, favoring other types of decks over them. This deck is generally very easy to draft, not only because of the dearth of playable red and black cards, but beacuse people do tend to shy away from it. The cards simply fell very well for him during the draft, though not as well as was initally wanting. "I wanted a Shivan Zombie deck, but ended up with a Blazing Spectre deck," were his words. He also felt that several players, including Aaron Forsythe, had ended up weakening their decks by drafting away from their initial strategies.
Asked for a prediction, he said that he felt the deck should at least 2-0-1, giving himself some room for error. He did end up going 3-0 with this deck, dominating every match. With a tremendous understanding of the draft, Adrian showed himself to be on top of his game this weekend.
3 Soul Burn
Notable Sideboard: 1 Singe