he Magic Pro Tour history is filled with stories of David versus Goliath. This PT Seattle match set up with that very theme.
Pocket Rockets (Russell, Derro, Wood) have made it to the Top 4 in their first Pro Tour ever, qualifying on their first try at a local Toronto PTQ. Across the table is Von Dutch (Remie, Wiegersma, Cornelissen), a threesome who might not remember what PTQ stands for. The PT-points qualified team hasn't needed to play in a PTQ in a long time. They have seven Top Eights between them not including today. A discussion of which one of the three is the best player is pointless because they are all so good and so close in skill.
Pocket Rockets' Joe Derro started off his first Top 4 team draft with a Pewter Golem while Matt Wood took Spikeshot Goblin. When Wood opened Betrayal of Flesh next, it meant he would be playing some black as well. Granite Shard, Skyhunter Patrol and Electrostatic Bolt were left in the pack for the Dutch. They gave Jeroen Remie the Shard, Jelger Wiegersma the Patrol, and the Electrostatic Bolt went to Kamiel Cornelissen.
Von Dutch opened their first pack and the only big card was Looming Hoverguard, which was sent down to Cornelissen. The early color breakdown for the draft saw the Dutch playing red/black in the A seat, white in B, and blue/green in C.
There next pack had the powerful Crystal Shard and Blinding Beam. Cornelissen must have been pleased to receive a Shard to combo with his Looming Hoverguard. The Canadians adopted a different strategy, deciding it would be best to place their green mage against red/black. That meant Derro would be picking up all the green cards.
The last pack for Von Dutch didn't have any bombs. Before Cornelissen took Pyrite Spellbomb, the team had to conference. Russell drafted his second Tel-Jilad Archers while Derro solidified his blue strategy with Somber Hoverguard. Wiegersma got a strong wheel of Raise the Alarm and Loxodon Punisher that illustrated Von Dutch's skill in the format.
The Canadians opened up the final pack of Mirrodin and were happy to see Viridian Longbow. Their strategy seemed to value the Myr very highly, as Russell took Silver Myr over powerful cards such as Thirst for Knowledge. Wood kept going with his red/black strategy with an Electrostatic Bolt.
The Darksteel pack left Russell looking at his previous picks. Even though he saw only green and white cards, he still took Flamebreak first out of a mediocre pack. Remie shook his head as Derro got to wheel a late Viridian Acolyte.
Cornelissen opened up a pack and saw two golems, Tangle and Razor. The Juggernaut was waved off as he took Tangle Golem. Wiegersma took Razor Golem and Remie got the bomb from the pack, Greater Harvester.
Another Juggernaut came out of Wiegersma's booster. Everyone knows he must attack - except, apparently, Von Dutch. The second Juggernaut in a row went to the Canadian team. The pack was full of strong cards that really helped the Canadians, as they were taking second from the pack. Even though Wiegersma took a Leonin Bola and Remie got an Essence Drain, the Canadians made out like bandits on the pack.
Remie opened and grabbed a Leonin Bola of his own. This left Essence Drain for Wood, Spire Golem for Derro, and Leonin Shikari for Russell. Russell was hoping to see just one more Bola to use with the Shikari.
The Canadians wisely positioned Murderous Betrayal into Derro's deck, since he would be facing off versus the equipment-heavy deck of Wiegersma. Russell got the always-powerful Stir the Pride as well.
The last pack of Darksteel gave the Canadians the high-flyer Hoverguard Observer and Tangle Golem. Wiegersma picked up his second Razor Golem and Remie got a little disruption with Chittering Rat.
At this point, the set strategies from Mirrodin and Darksteel always begin to warp. Fifth Dawn plays havoc with the Team Draft format, and the first pack of Fifth Dawn started off the party. Bringer of the White Dawn is nothing to scoff at, but the Canadians let the Dutch have a chance at it. The Dutch didn't feel they could use it, so they let Russell have a shot at it. When he let it by finally Cornelissen took the White Bringer. There might have been more interest in the White Bringer had a Mindslaver been in the draft.
Wood's Fifth Dawn pack saw him open and take the littlest Dragon, Furnace Whelp. Cornelissen seemed as if he was shifting into a Sunburst strategy as he got both Suntouched Myr and Skyreach Manta out of the pack.
The Dutch get three picks in a row out of Remie's pack but the pack is unusually weak. Remie first-picked Guardian Idol, Wiegersma took Hunter's Headdress for his White deck, and Cornelissen took a third-pick Wayfarer's Bauble. Wiegersma's pack was a little better for the Dutch but still not exceptional. Wiegersma picked up his second Loxodon Anchorite while Cornelissen took Sylvok Explorer to help his mana. The Canadians got a lot of equipment from the pack, taking Ensouled Scimitar and Cranial Plating. The Plating will give a large offensive bonus for Derro's deck.
Cornelissen first-picked a Relic Barrier leaving the Canadians with Sylvok Explorer, Acquire and Guardian Idol. Since the packs have had a decent number of repeats, the positioning of colors has been crucial. Russell opened his pack and took Stasis Cocoon. Derro grabbed a Thought Courier while Cornelissen finished off his sunburst theme with Pentad Prism.
Von Dutch - Seat A
Von Dutch - Seat B
Von Dutch - Seat C
Pocket Rockets – Seat A
Pocket Rockets – Seat B
Pocket Rockets – Seat C