The second week of Team Draft League is upon on us and this week we’re facing the fearsome team of Dylan Heister, Derek Gallen, and Alex Owen’s substitute for the draft, James Chang. Collectively they were called “Cat Symbol.” This was our second week with a team whose name was seemingly chosen at randomly by a dolphin. However, I didn’t expect them to draft in such a manner.

We were playing at the Dojo this week, rather than my teammate Nick Forker’s studio, which I like much better because not only do I live here (so the commute is nonexistent) but the environment is better suited for battle. We have a good-sized draft table that is always set up with playmats and there are life pads, pens, and ample dice. When you walk in you know that it is business time.

We sat down, cracked our packs, and I found myself first-picking Bathe in Dragonfire. While it wasn’t one of the insane rares that everyone seems to open, it was a pretty good removal spell so I wasn’t too disappointed. I followed it up with an Ugin’s Construct. So far my draft was going well, as I hadn’t committed to really any colors yet and I had a good creature and removal. The trend would not continue, though, and I spiraled into a janky blue-red deck with very few creatures and expensive removal spells. I actually wound up with three Goblinslide, but as bad as my deck turned out it wasn’t the time to go with that particular nuclear option.

Don't draft this at home

Don’t draft this at home. Glare is intentionally to protect the innocent.

My first-round opponent was the young FART who beat me last in our first week of TDL. While James is relatively new to Magic you would never tell by the way he plays. He is definitely someone who you wouldn’t want to sit across from in a tournament. Even though I had home field advantage, he was able to beat me in three games. I will best you one of these days, Chang!

Next up was Dylan. Apparently when Dylan isn’t in commercials he plays Magic. He built a very good Abzan deck but his mana did not cooperate with him in either of our games. I was able to take advantage of this by casting the few creatures I had and sending them into the red zone without much interference.

By the time I faced Derek, Forker would already be up two matches and Dom had also picked up a win, bringing our total to four wins. We needed another win to dig us out of our losing record and get us back on track. Derek was playing a Sultai deck that seemed pretty good, but also had a shaky mana base. He was able to beat me game one and at around the fourth or so turn Dom turns and to me and said he got us our win. Since my team did all the dirty work for me, I didn’t need to finish my game so I didn’t bother playing it out.

The teams battling it out in the Dojo

The teams battling it out in the Dojo

It was such a relief for me that Dom and Nick handily won our team’s matches this week. I got very lucky getting that one win, but I have confidence that they would have been able to win this week without me. I feel like we are really starting to come together as a team and this win really gave the the Lucky Chumps the momentum we need if we are going to take this whole thing down.

Next week we face the Quietest Spikes and they better bring their “A” game if they think we are going to roll over. We are the Lucky Chumps, after all.

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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