nton Jonsson started today as one of three players with a 7-0 record. After a messy draft three that saw him sitting last along a three player string of green drafters he found himself dropping his first two matches today. Now only Antoine Ruel remained undefeated and Anton had slipped back into a pack of twenty-two players with 7-2 records. It's possible he could only afford to take one more loss for the remainder of the day if he hoped to make the Top 8. If he accomplished that feat it would be his fourth Top 8 out of eight Day Two appearances--a pretty heady batting average.
Despite his green troubles in the previous draft, Anton was not going to swear off the color as many other players have this weekend. Rather, when he opened his first pack he seemed to be avoiding blue. He passed both Domineer and Somber Hoverguard to take a Bonesplitter. His next pick offered him a choice of Electrostatic Bolt, Blinding Beam, and Goblin Replica. He quickly narrowed the decision down to the Beam and the Bolt and after much deliberation took the removal spell.
His third pick was an Arrest with nothing else in the pack to warrant much attention. Anton was startled to find another Bonesplitter awaiting him in the fourth pack. His next two picks were Altar's Light and Frogmite. He rounded out the first wave of Mirrodin with a couple of Ancient Dens, Leonin Elder, and a Duskworker. To his right Antoine Menard was base black with a smattering of everything else save green. He had taken the Blinding Beam but had also taken Domineer and Detonate preceding that pick. He settled into black around pick four but the next pack would determine his second color and he could easily end up taking either red or white and stepping on one of Anton's.
Anton and Antoine both opened Spikeshot Goblins putting them both in red. That was good for Jonsson though since it cleared white for him--his base color. After taking the Spikeshot Menard passed the Swede his choice of Arrest, Skyhunter Cub, or Luminous Angel and Jonsson took the enchantment. His third pick was unexciting as he chose between an off-color Myr and Alpha Myr, choosing the beater for his double Bonesplitter deck.
He took Leonin Den-Guard and Vulshok Gauntlets with his fourth and fifth packs. He took nothing else of note until his tenth pick when, much to his visible surprise, the Skyhunter Cub tabled back to him. As he closed the book on Mirrodin he had the makings of a solid white-red deck with a pair of Bonesplitters and Arrests; decent removal with Spikeshot Goblin, Bolt, and Altar's Light; and good guys to exploit the Bonesplitters in Den-Guard, Cub and Spikeshot. He was short on men though and really needed to see some Razor Golems in the third pack.
The first two picks in Darksteel were exactly that. He had to pass on Test of Faith to take the first one but he did so without hesitation. His third pick was a Pteron Ghost over an off-color Oxidize. He wanted to take Leonin Bola in the fourth pack but could not pass Leonin Battlemage to do so. He took two more Ghosts with his next picks and rounded out the relevant cards with a pair of Auriok Glavemasters picks eight and nine.
He was pleased with his draft although concerned, "The cards seem better all the way around the table this draft than the last one. I really needed one more piece of equipment like a Bola or a Scimitar. I could not take the Bola over the Leonin Battlemage because I still needed guys at that point and he is insane. Plus he can pump my Spikeshot."
When asked about which picks he could have made differently he thought that his pick of Bolt over Blinding Beam could have been dangerous. Maybe I should have taken the Beam there. With a Bonesplitter I really want to be white. I don't know if he took Beam to my left but that could have put him into white." He pointed to his second pick Arrest and the tenth pick Skyhunter Cub, "I don't think he ended up white because of these two cards from the same pack but my deck would have been largely the same. I think I should have taken Beam even though it worked out in the end."
Anton explained that he was hoping to set both players to his left into blue by shipping the Hoverguard and Domineer. "Don't get me wrong I like both of those cards much more than Bonesplitter but they can't not take both of those cards." They did both take blue cards. Menard ended up not playing the Domineer and went red-black while Gerard Fabiano ended up with a very aggressive base blue deck with plenty of fliers.
Anton wanted more equipment for his two Auriok Glavemasters but was happy with his Vulshok Gauntlets. "Gauntlets is insane in my deck. I have the Den-Guard and two Razor Golems not to mention the Battlemage--it is great with Battlemage! I saw zero Unforge going around the table which is great for me although I do have the three Pteron Ghosts. Forge Armor should also be insane in my deck with Spikeshot and the Razor Golems."
Anton figured he needed to go 4-1-1 over the remainder of the day to make the Top 8. When asked what he thought he could accomplish with the cards he would be playing over the next three rounds he was hesitant to call for the 3-0. "I think that 2-1 is a fair call--I mean I need at least a 2-1. I would hope it could 3-0 and I think this deck can accomplish that," he laid a Bonesplitter on top of one his Auriok Glavemasters. "Especially if I do this a lot. I would be shocked if the deck went 1-2."
He will have to contend with a formidable line-up of talent that included Mike Turian, Gary Wise, Bram Snepvangers, and Gerard Fabiano over the next three rounds and should he accomplish his goals in this draft he could expect the final table to be even harder.
Draft 4 Deck