Cheering Against Phil Napoli

Concerning: Momir Vig, Simic Visionary (not really)

Earlier this week, five friends decided to run a fantasy draft RE: the 2010 World Championships.

  • The hashtag? #WorldsDraft
  • The success criteria? Individual PT Points earned at Worlds 2010.
  • To the winner? Some number of #FloresRewards (
  • To the loser? He is forced to write an in-depth strategy article on the format Momir Vig.

Pick order was [somehow] determined by Star City Somebody Ted Knutson; it went a little something like this:

  1. Osyp Lebedowicz
  2. Jamie Parke
  3. YT
  4. Phil Napoli
  5. Patrick Chapin

The format was a traditional Rochester wheel for the first four rounds of picks; but Patrick (before he was assigned #5, mind you), asked that pick orders be identical for rounds four and five. That is, 1-5, 5-1, 1-5, 5-1, 5-1. The theory being that in the last round most of the prime picks would be gone anyway, and it would be unfair to give Osyp another first crack. With that out of the way, this is how things shook out:

Round One:

  1. Osyp – Brad Nelson
  2. Jamie – Luis Scott-Vargas
  3. YT – Martin Juza
  4. Phil – Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa
  5. Patrick – Gerry Thompson

Osyp’s first pick here was hella obvious. All five of us would have made the same first pick. I would have second picked LSV, as Jamie did as well. This left YT with an interesting decision. I went with Juza, though there are a number of reasonable options… for example Phil’s pick of PV. Patrick set up his wheel with Gerry Thompson, a nod to his friend and collaborator… Who coming off a number of strong domestic fishes — err finishes — recently, might have been hotter than the PoY standings indicated.

Round Two:

  1. Patrick – Gabriel Nassif
  2. Phil – Brian Kibler
  3. YT – Joshua Utter-Leyton
  4. Jamie – Shuuhei Nakamura
  5. Osyp – Tsuyoshi Ikeda

Patrick made another wild pick; his theory (and it is a good one) was just that Nassif is the 3d best player of all time, and still a heck of a performer. I mean how long ago was his PT win? Exactly. I mean what would the PoY race have looked like if Nassif, LSV — or heck, Brad — decided to travel to as many GPs as the Japanese?

Phil’s slam of Brian Kibler looked prophetic through the first two days… and who wouldn’t want to root for a Kibler?

I took what would be a controversial pick in Joshua Utter-Beatings. I took some flak from Teddy after the draft, but I had a clear idea of who I wanted on my team, and I didn’t want to risk Josh being taken by one of the other drafters. As Osyp would later point out, National Team members are “more motivated” due to higher EV… But that isn’t why I took Josh. He had hands-down the best deck at US Nationals (even though his collaborators played everything from Pyromancer Ascension to DredgeVine), and Worlds has two Constructed events.

Jamie stole Shuuhei, and Osyp made basically the worst pick of the draft in Ikeda. Nothing against Ikeda — he has 300+ PT points and not-distant PT finals appearance, but he could have gone way later… I guess I am making the same argument against “the other Tsuyoshi” that Teddy made against my Utter-Leyton pick.

Round Three:

  1. Osyp – Antoine Ruel
  2. Jamie – Paul Rietzl
  3. YT – Andre Coimbra
  4. Phil – Michael Jacob
  5. Patrick Guillaume Wafo-Tapa

This round was 80% sentimental picks and 20% “Phil trying to put Patrick on tilt.” Phil was successful. I know I could have gotten Coimbra later in the draft but was afraid that Osyp would try to do to me what Phil did to Patrick this round so I pulled the trigger.

Round Four:

  1. Patrick – Katsuhiro Mori
  2. Phil – Ben Stark
  3. YT – David Williams
  4. Jamie – Conley Woods
  5. Osyp – Yuuya Watanabe

This round was my only real dilemma. I wanted Katsu Mori — one of the most successful players ever at making Top 8 at Worlds and reigning Japanese National Champion — was going to be my Round Four pick. Patrick had the same information I did and made a superb fourth pick there. I decided to go with my planned fifth pick. Osyp rounded out the round with what looked like the best pick of the draft, Watanabe at motherloving on zillionth or whatever.

Final Round:

  1. Patrick – David Ochoa
  2. Phil – Kyle Boggemes
  3. YT – Guillaume Matignon
  4. Jamie – Matt Sperling
  5. Osyp – Christian Calcano

This round didn’t seem particularly strategic to me as an observer or a participant. I mean I was planning to take Dave this round. Osyp said he was so satisfied with his first four picks that he almost took Jonny Magic here out of respect; who would have known his highest finisher would be Calcano?

The players I had left on my list of people I was willing to pick were Guillaume Matignon and Efro; the first three days of play tell us that they are now paired against each other in the Top 8. I was actually pretty surprised that no one took Efro!

I was always going to take Andre and Dave — I knew they would have the best Standard deck — plus who doesn’t root for the home team? Incidentally, how great is the Wave deck? It beats all five of the five most popular decks in Standard, and has a 75/25 edge over Valakut! The Extended deck (which to my knowledge no one played) was even better. [sad face]

Anyway, this is where we stand right now:

Nominally I am tied with Jamie and Patrick for first place, but the only players who can likely win — based on Top 8 — are YT, Patrick, and Phil. Jamie can’t improve; whereas Phil is nominally 9 points out of the lead, but that is deceptive. The Swiss numbers are misleading to begin with. For example My Utter-Leyton and Jamie’s Shuuhei are both “37 points” but IRL Utter-Leyton made Top 16 and Shuuhei finished 18th; Josh will probably be worth more points when PT points are announced.

And #WorldsDraft is ultimately going to be tallied by individual PT Points.

I hope you will all join me in cheering for Lukas Jaklovsky — but more importantly Jonathan Randle — as we go into Day Three. I can’t really cheer against EFro for something as silly as #WorldsDraft, but if PV wins… It’s not just the pall of Phil coming back from his initial lead thanks to having Kibler on his squad (incidentally Phil was the only drafter with two premium players on his squad, and only then because Patrick made two unusual ones to start)… But Brad will lose the PoY title!

Let’s go Jonathan Randle!


PS: Follow the action at #WorldsDraft on Twitter!

PPS: To Osyp – would love to have your Momir Vig article!

facebook comments:


#1 MTGBattlefield on 12.11.10 at 4:29 pm

Cheering Against Phil Napoli…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#2 Five With Flores » There is Nothing on TV on 01.06.11 at 9:27 am

[…] you know from here and here, I crushed our Worlds Draft on Twitter. The challenge? To repeat with a win in Top Chef […]

#3 #WorldsDraft2011 Recap Mania! — Five With Flores on 11.14.11 at 7:40 pm

[…] took the predictable second-pick PVDDR pick; I took Juza over PVDDR in a similar position in last year’s Worlds Draft, and despite PV making Top 4 (and Juza not […]

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