This week was the start of the new Team Draft League season. It would be the first time playing with my team consisting of Nick Forker & Dominic Neitz, and as a team we form “The Lucky Chumps”. Because it was a snow day or because my teammates were lazy they wanted to play in Forker’s Brooklyn studio where they had been drafting all day anyway instead of at the Dojo. Although we hadn’t played as a team before, I have played with them before so I knew that they could put up results. But were we ready as a team to face our opponents of Kadar Brock, Webb Allen, and James Chang or FARTS as they were so named? I was about to find out.

I got there early and just in time to add onto an order of Thai food (it was a mediocre dish of chicken pad thai, original I know) the guys had just made. While my team was all there on time we had to wait for the lingering FARTS to arrive. Luckily it wasn’t too long until the last FART sneaked in and we could start drafting.

The FARTS from left to right: James Chang, Webb Allen, and Kadar Brock

The FARTS from left to right: James Chang, Webb Allen, and Kadar Brock

We sat down and I was positioned across from the oldest FART Kadar and between the two younger FARTS: Webb & James. I cracked open my pack and was greeted with the Azorious dragon Ojutai, Soul of Winter. I think this card is a serious bomb, granted it costs seven, but the impact it has on the opponent is back breaking. My next pick was interesting and I probably took the incorrect card. I had the choice between the solid Sandsteppe Outcast which would compliment my first pick or a red rare Flamerush Rider which would either mean I would be playing Jeskai or abandon my first pick. I took the Flamerush Rider and for the remainder of the pack I took all the red and blue cards I could (luckily white was shut off, but that still doesn’t necessarily make my pick correct). I followed suit with the next two packs of KTK and took Izzet cards and whatever dual lands I could so that I could play my dragon.

My deck didn’t look too impressive after the final pick but it thought that I could steal some wins with a red two drop into a Jeskai Runemark or just curve out before my deck got outclassed. Dom drafted a nice looking Abzan deck and Forker also had the Izzet bug, but he was playing a bigger splash of white.


Izzet beater


My first opponent was Kadar. Kadar drafted an insane Mardu deck that featured not only a Butcher of the Horde, but also a Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury as well as some excellent removal. He quickly beat me game one, however game two I managed to win with only five mountains in play. Game three went a bit longer but I managed to beat him. Kadar was upset that his deck performed so poorly and I consoled him by agreeing that I would also be mad if I lost to my pile of cards.

I was facing Webb next. Webb’s deck was Temur and featured some mana elves and big green and red creatures, as well as some bounce to get them through. He beat me pretty easily game one and I didn’t think my deck had a chance. Game two I managed to curve out and the Flamerush Rider he passed me was copying a Flamekin that could kill his creatures or just dome him. He saw the writing on the wall and conceded that game. In game three I enchanted a Leaping Master with a Jeskai Runemark and attacked five times for the win. Huzzah!

Forker laying down the beats

Forker laying down the beats

While I was over performing, my teammates were not faring as well. Dom was still in his first round but lost an extremely long game even after getting James to one life. Forker also lost his games to both Kadar and Webb. The Lucky Chumps were down but not out. We just had to win three games to snuff out the FARTS.

Forker ponder's Dom's choices

Forker ponder’s Dom’s choices

James was my final opponent and he drafted what looked to be an insane Orzhov warriors deck, filled with removal and efficient creatures. This was not going to be easy. Try as I may with psychological warfare (kids I am a professional, don’t try this at home), he easily beat me. Although I lost I was still happy with my deck’s performance,

It was up to my teammates to pull it together and get the Lucky Chumps their first win! I’d like to say they fought to the bitter end and they won their matches, but tonight was not our night and we lost to the silent but deadly FARTS.

There are always some growing pains whenever you start with a new team, so I think getting this loss out of system early was a good thing and I look forward to the remainder of the season.

Andrew Longo has been playing Magic: The Gathering at a mediocre level since 1994. He managed to get lucky on the backs of his teammates to win Grand Prix Providence. When not playing Magic he runs a D&D campaign, plays video games, and reads comics (a real triple threat for the ladies).

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