ate Stavola is a twenty-four year-old amateur Magic player, who currently hails from Summerville, New Jersey. She played in PTQs back in Urza and Masques blocks, but then joined up with Wizards of the Coast after college, where she worked until September of 2003. After that, she moved to Summerville, New Jersey (home of fiancé and TOGIT storeowner Patrick Sullivan), where she started playing Limited with some of the best Magic players America has to offer. She entered the Grand Prix with no Byes in spite of having made the Top 8 at two PTQs this season because, as she puts it, "My Limited rating was literally below 1600 at the ratings cutoff." It certainly isn't anymore, as she entered the final draft before the top 8 at 11-1, meaning she had gone through 12 rounds of an 854 person Grand Prix with only a single loss, quite a feat for someone who just picked up the game again last November.
(Cards in Bold are the cards Kate picked.)
Pick 1: Skyhunter Patrol, Vermiculus, Myr Enforcer, Goblin Replica, Isochron Scepter, Silver Myr, Stalking Stones
Pick 2: Talisman of Unity, Quicksilver Elemental, Pewter Golem, Disciple of the Vault
Pick 3:Luminous Angel, Somber Hoverguard, Nim Lasher, Iron Myr, Pyrite Spellbomb
Pick 4: Mirror Golem, Soul Nova, Aether Spellbomb, Krark-Clan Grunt
Pick 5: Wurmskin Forger, Vulshok Berserker
Pick 6: Pearl Shard, Frogmite, Viridian Joiner, Dragon Blood
Pick 7: Alpha Myr, Wall of Blood
Pick 8: Chromatic Sphere
Pick 9: Yotian Soldier, Leonin Elder
Pick 10: Wanderguard Sentry
Pick 11:Steel Wall
Pick 1: Leonin Sun Standard, Neurok Spy, Leonin Den-Guard, Slith Firewalker, Detonate
Pick 2: Blinding Beam, Soul Foundry, Barter in Blood, Pyrite Spellbomb
Pick 3: Predator's Strike, Rustmouth Ogre, Leonin Den-Guard, Slith Firewalker
Pick 4: Banshee's Blade, Clockwork Vorrac, Silver Myr
Pick 5:Deconstruct, Aether Spellbomb
Pick 6: Raise the Alarm, Tower of Eons, Flayed Nim, Irradiate, Krark-Clan Grunt
Pick 7: Goblin Dirigible, Goblin War Wagon, Tel-Jilad Exile
Pick 8: Malachite Golem
Pick 9: Viridian Joiner
Pick 10: War Elemental
Pick 1: Skullclamp, Karstoderm, Oxidda Golem, Mycosynth Lattice
Pick 2: Pulse of the Fields, Darksteel Gargoyle, Echoing Decay
Pick 3: Leonin Battlemage, Razor Golem, Loxodon Mystic, Auriok Glaivemaster
Pick 4: Razor Golem, Rebuking Ceremony,
Pick 5: Razor Golem, Pteron Ghost, Quicksilver Behemoth
Pick 6: Emissary of Hope, Arcbound Overseer
Pick 7: Death-Mask Duplicant, Echoing Truth, Dross Golem, Whispersilk Cloak
Pick 8: Pteron Ghost, Arcbound Fiend
Pick 9: Tangle Spider, Viridian Acolyte
Pick 10: Darksteel Citadel
Pick 11: Reap and Sow
Pick 12: Reap and Sow
Kate wasn't pleased with her deck at first. "Leonin Sun Standard pretty much has to stick, otherwise I could be in trouble. Actually, this deck is awwwful. It's a bad deck with some good cards in it. It's definitely better than I thought it was when I was drafting it, which is a good thing, since I thought it was pretty bad then. It has some powerful cards, but I really don't feel like it has any synergy. I got lucky a Joiner came around so late, or it would be that much worse."
When building the deck, Death-Mask Duplicant and Goblin Dirigible were two early cuts, while Alpha Myr and Yotian Soldier stayed in. Kate waffled a bit though, as she was clearly annoyed that both the Soldier and the Myr were going to make her deck. Eventually she tossed the Alpha Myr out in favor of the Dirigible, saying, "I'm gonna have to get lucky, and maybe really, really lucky to pull this off. The Blimp might help."
Asked for some general comments, Kate said, "Playing in New Jersey was like the best thing possible for my playskills. The guys at TOGIT were extremely patient and they went with me through all the stages of awful. I'm still bad, but not nearly as bad as I was. Oh, and by the way… I'm not the best girl Magic player, and I really don't like the whole 'You're pretty good for a girl' line that you hear. This isn't football, so it's not like guys have some inherent advantage."
Future opponents would be well-advised not to underestimate Kate based only on her gender.