he conversation opened with Mattias and Jin trying to remember what round they had played each other in the recent Magic Invitational. Neither could remember, but when Mark Rosewater walked over it turned into a strategy discussion about the Pack Draft format, where players were able to draft packs from different sets and then later create sealed decks with them. Mattias started out the draft with three packs of Scourge
and finished up with a Darksteel and a 7th Edition, but he was now thinking that he should have switched to Legions
once the Scourge
In any case, his Darksteel pack gave him a Skullclamp, so he couldn't complain. Then someone mentioned Drooling Ogre and he brightened, "I should have just gone for Darksteel and played all the Drooling Ogres. They're just 3/3s for two mana. No one has artifacts."
In the match at hand, both players are 2-0-1. Mattias has brought a White/Green deck and Jin showed up with Red/Green.
Okamoto started with Leonin Bola and Viridian Longbow followed by a Viridian Joiner. Mattias just had a Yotian Soldier, which attacked in on turn four. Jin blocked and the attack turned out to be a bluff. Jin then tapped out for Ageless Entity, but it was promptly Arrested and the Yotian took first blood. On his next turn he summoned a Krark-Clan Stoker and a Bottle Gnomes that looked quite forlorn next to a useless Ageless Entity.
Jin tried to equip his Stoker with the Longbow and Mattias hit it with Altar's Light in response. Okamoto frowned, but eventually tapped the Stoker to eat the Longbow and used the mana to summon a Molder Slug.
Mattias's reaction was priceless. Let's just say he looked…unhappy. That's the thing about booster draft. You get much more satisfying reactions when you reveal your bomb rares.
He untapped, lost his Yotian Soldier, and laid down a Tel-Jilad Archers, then passed the turn. Jin lost his Bottle Gnomes on upkeep, essentially giving up three life to keep his Leonin Bola for a turn. The Slug hit for four and Jin equipped the Bola on the Joiner.
Jorstedt summoned a Taj-Nar Swordsmith, choosing not to pay for the ability, and a Pteron Ghost, leaving one card in hand. Jin simply tapped on end step, then sacrificed his Bola and sent the Slug again for four.
The Pteron Ghost swung for one and Matthias summoned a Skyhunter Cub. Well, more like a Skyhunter Gray Ogre, as it didn't seem like it was finding equipment any time soon.
Molder Slug rumbled into the red zone and Mattias went for the triple block with Archers, Swordsmith and Cub. His only hope was that Jin hadn't expected this and would be forced to lose his Slug. Instead, Jin targeted the Slug with Battlegrowth, killed the Swordsmith and Cub, and now had a 5/7 Molder Slug instead. Well, it almost worked.
The rest of the game was merely a formality. The Slug beat down and a Predator's Strike finished it.
Jin Okamoto 1 - Mattias Jorstedt 0
Mattias had to send back his first seven. His six seemed strong as he led with a turn two Leonin Shikari and turn three Soldier Replica. Jin drew for this third turn and paused, staring at a grip of eight. No land?
Wow. Predator's Strike headed to the bin, and all of a sudden Jorstedt's mulligan looked like it might not matter. He attacked for three but could only follow up with Viridian Joiner.
In his next draw phase Jin not only found his third land but also his second color, and summoned a Krark-Clan Grunt. It stepped in front of Viridian Joiner when Mattias represented Predator's Strike and sent the team. He didn't have it, so Soldier Replica was sacrificed to kill the Grunt before damage, and Jin fell to thirteen.
He took advantage of the lull in pressure to cast Journey of Discovery, then played a Mountain and passed the turn back with seven cards. Mattias attacked for four but could only add a Pteron Ghost to his team of less than stellar creatures. His equipment was seemingly nowhere to be found.
Jin made sure that would always be true as he played his fifth land and tapped out for Molder Slug.
Pteron Ghost snuck in for one and Mattias was done. He looked to be in trouble with a single card against a full hand. Even worse, Jin confidently attacked with the Molder Slug on his turn, then played a sixth land and said go. Mattias broke out into laughter at the obvious tell.
"Spider?" he asked.
He could only play a Cub and end his turn. Jin played out the Tangle Spider on end step. Slug attacked for another four, making the life totals 12 to 8, and he played a Fangren Hunter and Silver Myr, looking like he was in firm control of the game at this point. Mattias, who had a fairly useless Altar's Light in hand, cast a Taj-Nar Swordsmith and pondered whether to search out an equipment to thin his deck. He chose not to.
Jin played an eighth land, with three cards in hand, and sent the team. Mattias quad-blocked the Slug with a team of Joiner, Shikari, Cub, and Swordsmith (a combined 7/9 creature). Slug was targeted with Predator's Strike, making it 7/9 as well. Everything but the Joiner and the Slug hit the graveyard, as the Slug put another three notches in its tally of kills. Jin made an Ageless Entity, with Grab the Reins still in his hand, and Mattias could do nothing but scoop.
Mattias pointed at the Slug and gave a thumbs-up, then flipped through his deck and showed the Loxodon Warhammer that his Swordsmith could have fetched out. Ah, the power of the Slug.
Jin Okamoto 2 - Mattias Jorstedt 0
Draft 2 Deck