Feature: Drafting with Adam Chambers

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The letter S!o I look up and down the first few tables after the Constructed portion of U.S. Nationals, looking for someone who's drafting skills should be well honed so as I might get to learn something as well as the rest of you guys.
Adam Chambers went into the draft 3-0.

The person amongst the 3-0 pods whom I most respected was Adam Chambers, who appeared in the finals of Pro Tour-Atlanta (Team Limited) - which was the last time any Americans made the finals of a Limited event so it seemed like a good choice. He had come off of a nice 3-0 with Tooth and Nail, which he claimed never to have played a game with, but apparently the deck is just retarded and can't be beat.

Anyways, onto the draft and after a lengthy delay for who knows what, we are off to the races and busting boosters, which is obviously just the best thing ever.

Pack 1

Chambers' picks in all caps, other key cards listed.

1st pick: TELLER OF TALES, Kabuto Moth, Frostwielder, Kashi Tribe-Reaver
2nd pick: NEZUMI GRAVEROBBER, Kabuto Moth, Petals of Insight, Befoul, Kitsune Blademaster, Gibbering Kami, Burr Grafter
3rd pick: KAMI OF THE FIRES ROAR, Devouring Greed, Candles Glow, River Kaijin
4th pick: KIKU NIGHTS FLOWER, Rend Spirit, Samurai of the Pale Curtain
5th pick: REND SPIRIT, Wicked Akuba, Blessed Breath
6th pick: KAMI OF THE WANING MOON, Ashen Skin Zubera, Cursed Ronin
7th pick: HISOKA'S DEFIANCE, Kami of the Painted Road
8th pick: NO DACHI
9th pick: KASHI TRIBE-REAVER, Reverse the Sands
10th pick: PAINWRACKER ONI, Soul of Magma, Counsel of the Soratami
11th pick: VENERABLE KUMO

Pack 2

1st pick: TAKENUMI BLEEDER, Torrent of Stone, Shimmering Glasskite, Patron of the Nezumi, Three Tragedies
2nd pick: MATSU TRIBE-SNIPER, Torrent of Stone, Shimmering Glasskite, Ogre Recluse
3rd pick: MISTBLADE SHINOBI, Phantom Wings
4th pick: SKULLSNATCHER, Split-Tail Miko, Ronin Cliffrider
5th pick: NINJA OF THE DEEP HOURS, Skullsnatcher
6th pick: HIRED MUSCLE, Goblin Cohort, Sakura Tribe-Springcaller
7th pick: QUAILLMANE BAKU, Toils of Night and Day, Crawling Filth
8th pick: PHANTOM WINGS
9th pick: KAIJIN OF THE VANISHING TOUCH
10th pick: VEIL OF SECRECY, Loam Dweller, Sakura Tribe-Springcaller, Goblin Cohort
11th pick: CRAWLING FILTH
12th pick: QUAILLMANE BAKU

Pack 3

1st pick: KAMI OF THE EMPTY GRAVES, Sink into Takenuma, Ghost-Lit Nourisher
2nd pick: SKULL COLLECTOR, Briarknit Kami, Elder Pine of Jukai, Sokenzan Spellblade
3rd pick: GHOST-LIT STALKER, Sink into Takenuma, Elder Pine of Jukai, Sokenzan Spellblade
4th pick: DEATHMASK NEZUMI, Freed From the Reel
5th pick: KAGEMARO'S CLUTCH, Kuro's Taken, Overwhelming Intellect
6th pick: KURO'S TAKEN, Raving Oni Slave, Maga Traitor to Mortals
7th pick: SORATAMI CLOUD CHARIOT, Skull Collector
8th pick: NIGHTSOIL KAMI
9th pick: SOKENZAN SPELLBLADE, Murmurs from Beyond, Shape Stealer
10th pick: CUT THE EARTHLY BOND
11th pick: SINK INTO TAKENUMA, Freed from the Reel

This is the main deck that he decided to play in the end after about 30 seconds of deck building:

So his deck isn't too hot but it doesn't seem like there is much more he could have done. Black was obviously the best colour for him to be in, as the fourth-pick Kiku shows, and also the fifth-pick Clutch in pack 3, he was just very unlucky that there were no powerful black cards opened in pack 3 by the guys seated in all four spaces to his right.

Chambers opted for the Teller over the Moth.

When I asked him about his first pick of Teller over Moth, he said that he only ever likes to draft white when he is white-red, and he genuinely thinks that Teller is the better card. I have seen many pros do that this weekend and in fact the guy on his right made the exact same pick in this draft, which kind of screwed him a bit, as is evident in the draft analysis.

Adam says that blue-black is one of his favourites which is why he didn't switch out of blue although it was quite apparent that not much was flowing from his right hand side, hoping to reap the benefits in pack 2. The reason why he took the Matsu Tribe-Sniper with the second pick in pack 2 is because he feels that it is the most powerful green common in the set and takes every chance he gets to put them in his deck. I would have to agree on that pick here, as it was obvious that blue was being cut and that there weren't many green drafters because Kashi Tribe-Reaver lapped out of his opening pack.

I would have to say that he was very unlucky in the way that the packs worked out for him, as the guy to his left seemingly went black, cutting him from the Betrayers goodies and there was just nothing coming for his deck in a very unfortunate pack 3. According to Adam, the secret involved in drafting the blue-black archetype is knowing which of the bad cards that come round late are good in the deck.

I sincerely hope he is right as he has two Quillmane Bakus and a Crawling Filth in his deck, but he still feels that he is good for a 3-1. I think that the deck is good for 3-1 on a normal pod, and although Chambers is the best player at his pod, the power level of the cards that he had no option but to pass might come back to haunt him.

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