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Draft #1 Round #3 Adrian Sullivan (R/B) vs. Josh Smith (R/B/u)
by Jonathan Pechon

Josh, drafting two seats to the left of Adrian, never really saw the incredible cards that Adrian did during the draft. While he started out purely R/B, he shifted into blue in order to increase the power-base of his deck by picking up a Spinal Embrace in pack 10; he also picked up a Tsabo's Assassin along the way. He ended up with a fairly powerful deck, as evinced by his 2-0 record at this pont. We've already gone over Adrian's powerful R/B machine with Skizzik, Blazing Spectre, and 3 Soul Burns. This match would decide the table-winner, and would give the victor a great advantage heading into the second draft.

Josh ended up going first in this match. Both he and Adrian had solid opening hands, and started play. Adrian made the first play on turn two, playing a Ravenous Rat, causing Smith to discard an Island. Josh couldn't make a play until turn 4, when he dropped a Vodalian Zombie on the board. By then, a Hooded Kavu had joined the ranks, but couldn't attack. But that was fine; the Blazing Spectre charged in and hasted it's way through the red zone. Josh managed to play a Cavern Harpy next turn, but Adrian managed an even more powerful play: Skizzik. It attacked, knocking down to 11 in short order. The next turn didn't make things any better as a Hate Weaver joined the fray to pump up the Skizzik. Adrian attacked with it and the Spectre, putting Josh at 4. At the end of Sullivan's turn, Josh Zapped the Hate Weaver and drew, then drew for his turn, and scooped his cards, searching his sideboard for a solution for game two.

Starting again, Josh led off with a Salt Marsh. Both players had kept their hands, and Josh actually made the first play with a Viashino Grappler; Adrian followed up with a Hooded Kavu. The Grappler attacked Adrian down to 17, while the Kavu swung back for 2. However, Adrian followed that up with a second Hooded Kavu. The Grappler swung again, putting Sullivan down to 14, while Smith dropped a Tsabo's Assassin on the board. The Assassin was immediately Soul Burned away, while the Kavu attacked Smith down to 14. Josh Probed with kicker, searching for an answer, then attacked again down to 12. The Kavu swung again, and the Viashino joined the Assassin in the graveyard via Soul Burn. Josh cast Plague Spores the next turn, killing one of the Kavu and a Swamp; however, Adrian simply wasn't out of gas yet, casting Bog Down the next turn, finishing off Josh's hand. A couple of removal spells later, the road was still clear for the Kavu as it did the last few points of damage needed to allow Adrian to aim a Magma Burst at Josh's head, finishing the match.

The total match lasted 17 minutes, which, according to Adrian, was the longest of the three matches he ended up playing that day. With a 3-0 record, Sullivan started off strong in day one, with another draft to go, this one at one of the top tables. Personally, I think I'd be happy to have half the deck that he had, any day. More reports coming to you guys over the week!

-Jonathan Pechon