The players at Table 2 eyed each other warily as they sat down to draft. All 5-1, each of them wants to pick three wins, putting them in range of the Top 8. Competition at Table 2 is usually the highest in the draft, with a large compliment of skilled players, but with this year's pairings based on yesterday's Standard results, this was not the case. The only name players here are Itaru Ishida and Masayuki Higashino. Still, the fact that the others made it to the Nationals means they can't be underestimated.
1st pick: Rabid Elephant. Other picks: Aven Fisher, Krosan Archer
2nd pick: Patriarch's Desire
3rd pick: Cephalid Scout
4th pick: AEther Burst. Other picks: Syncopate
5th pick: Cartographer.
6th pick: Morgue Theft.
7th pick: Cartographer.
8th pick: Chatter of the Squirrel. Other picks: Dematerialize
9th pick: Deluge.
10th pick: Rites of Initiation.
11th pick: Words of Wisdom.
12th pick: Scorching Missile.
13th pick: Overeager Apprentice.
14th pick: Nomad Stadium.
15th pick: Tremble.
1st pick: Crippling Fatigue. Other picks: Violent Eruption, Compulsion
2nd pick: Balshan Collaborator. Other picks: Basking Rootwalla, Cabal Torturer
3rd pick: Gloomdrifter. Other picks: Nantuko Cultivator
4th pick: Hydromorph Gull. Other picks: Skywing Aven, Acorn Harvest
5th pick: Hydromorph Guardian. Other picks: Shade's Form, Liquify
6th pick: Strength of Lunacy. Other picks: Gravegouger
7th pick: Acorn Harvest.
8th pick: Obsessive Search.
9th pick: Liquify.
10th pick: Cabal Surgeon.
11th pick: Ghostly Wings.
12th pick: Ghostly Wings.
13th pick: Equal Treatment.
14th pick: Restless Dreams.
1st pick: Treacherous Werewolf. Other picks: Lost in Thought
2nd pick: Lost in Thought. Other picks: Sudden Strength
3rd pick: Nullmage Advocate. Other picks: Anurid Brushhopper, Arcane Teachings
4th pick: Giant Warthog.
5th pick: Mental Note.
6th pick: Harvester Druid.
7th pick: Prismatic Strands.
8th pick: Anurid Barkripper.
9th pick: Nantuko Tracer.
10th pick: Swirling Sandstorm.
11th pick: Suntail Hawk.
12th pick: Flash of Insight.
13th pick: Mists of Stagnation.
14th pick: Morality Shift.
15th pick: Folk Medicine.
"It's going to be an uphill battle." This was the only comment Ishida was willing to give about his deck. He started out trying to make a UG deck with Odyssey, but wasn't able to pick up any decent green, and eventually switched to black in Torment with Crippling Fatigue. This proved to be a good choice, as he was able to get a Balshan Collaborator and Gloomdrifter, and added to his blue with the solid Hydromorph Gull. However, the blue and black dried up after that, leaving him with suboptimal support cards. Unfortunately for Ishida, he was stuck between Sasahara, drafting UW, and Higashino, who was forcing RB. Ishida continued with blue-black in Judgment, but branched into green with his third pick, Nullmage Advocate. In the end, this worked out for him, enabling him to put together a UG deck with a splash of black. In hindsight, he expressed regret about not taking the Compulsion and Basking Rootwalla from his Torment packs. In the end, Ishida said "I don't know if the packs were weak, or if people were trying to cut me off from my colors. I just wasn't able to open good cards."
2002 Japan Nationals 1st Draft