Japanese Language Sideboard
Archives Table of Contents Event Coverage Question Mark Facts Book Fantasy Pro Tour Links

Draft 2 Feature - Dave Humpherys and Casey McCarrel

Humpherys took a 2nd pick Lunge instead of Thermal Glider, Intimidation, Arrest, or Cho-Manno's Blessing in an effort to send clear signals to Casey. Casey did take one of the 3 good white cards (he elected for Thermal Glider), but he kept dipping into other colors for a while.

Humpherys took 3rd pick Spidersilk Armor and then with his 4th pick he took Groundskeeper over Vine Trellis. Vine Trellis has gone way up in the estimation of many Pros so this pick may have confused Casey. he took Vine Trellis 5th as his first green card. After that point McCarrel took Deepwood Ghoul (over Disenchant) and Muzzle (also over Disenchant) as pick #7. Humpherys spent these picks continuing his campaign to cut off red and green by drafting Hired Giant, Rushwood Dryad, and Cavern Crawlers. It didn't work out the way he wanted, though, when Casey took Pulverize and Kyren Glider. Humpherys wound down the pack with Deadly Insect, Spontaneous Generation, and Ancestral mask.

McCarrel went into Nemesis with a more black cards than any other color, but none of them were great. He also had lots of red cards, but only one was high quality (the first pick Thunderclap). He had only 2 white cards, but they were both good (Muzzle and Thermal Glider). It was a really interest comparison for me to look over at as Humpherys reviewed his own cards -- every single one of them was red or green!

McCarrel's Nemesis pack didn't clarify matters any -- he had lots of options (Belbe's Percher, Topple, Seal of Strength, Lawbringer) but elected for the big artifact creature: Flowstone Thopter. Humpherys shook his head in disgust and was forced to settle for Stampede Driver #1 over Dark Triumph and Rust Golem. He was then equally unhappy with 2nd pick Seal of Strength. McCarrel cemented himself in black with a 2nd pick Massacre (over Defiant vanguard, Rathi Intimidator, Seal of Fire, and Lawbringer). Humpherys, of course, took Seal of Fire out of that pack. McCarrel's next choice was to take Phyrexian Prowler and pass Rath's Edge to Humpherys. Then he took Plague Witch, passing Laccolith grunt and Lightbringer. Humpherys took the grunt, naturally.

I thought the interesting packs might be over, but pack #5 totally changed the draft. McCarrel got passed an Ancient Hydra. He read it twice and then added it to his pile. When his next pick was Laccolith Grunt I knew Humpherys was in trouble. When Humpherys drafted Treetop Bracers and noticed 4 blue cards left in the pack I think he knew he was in trouble too and that his work cutting off red hadn't worked out. McCarrel proceeded to draft Murderous Betrayal, Flowstone Strike, Eye of Yawgmoth, and then Lightbringer. The Lightbringer gave him 3 quality white cards versus 5 decent red ones. Humpherys got nothing but one Mogg Toady in the second half of Nemesis.

Before Prophecy the others at the table cross their fingers, prayed, and knocked on their packs. McCarrel just stared at the ground. McCarrel's first pack included Troubled Healer, Jolrael, Thresher Beast, Agent of Shauku, and Wall of Vipers. I expected him to take either Agent of Shauku (which was the best card in his preferred two colors) or Troubled Healer (to follow up on his potential white splash). Since he'd been given what I thought was a clear "go white" signal from Humpherys during Masques, he could expect to be passed white in Prophecy. The white cards aren't great, but Troubled Healer is. Casey decided on Wall of Vipers. He obviously values the card a lot higher than most people do. Maybe he's right or maybe he just blew this pick.

When Humpherys passed him an Avatar of Hope (the white Avatar), I'm sure he was wondering if he'd chosen his colors correctly. He took Fault Riders -- not an unreasonable 2nd pick, but it's no Avatar. Casey's third pack included yet another Troubled Healer! He stared at the ceiling for a few seconds, but knew it was too late to turn back now and drafted the Steal Strength. The rest of the draft for McCarrel was Fault Riders, Death Charmer, Outbreak (over Bog Glider), Wall of Vipers (over Mageta's Boon), and then Chilling Apparition (over Zerapa Minotaur). When he got passed a 9th pick Mageta's Boon it was just adding insult to injury.

Humpherys, on the other hand, did a lot better than in Nemesis. He took 2 Thresher Beasts, a Flameshot, a Rhystic Lightning, a Keldon Berserker, and a Fault Rider. Pygmy Razorback and Ridgeline Rager rounded out a decent red/green deck. McCarrel's deck is a decent black/red, but he knows it could have been so much better.



© 1995-2003 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wizards is headquartered in Renton, Washington, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057.

PRIVACY STATEMENT