On May 25, 2019 (Memorial Day weekend), eight members of Team Serious gathered in Painesville (Ohio, USA) for a special Middle School “chaos draft,” orchestrated by Paul Blakeley. Planning for this event began in November, so there was a lot of hype built up among the selected participants.
Overview, the Draft Setup
The idea was to have one pack each of Middle School-legal sets, starting with Ice Age and going through Scourge. Some allowances were made to accommodate this: Portal Second Age and Portal: Three Kingdoms were eliminated because of availability; 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Edition were eliminated because of Core Set-ness; but Alliances (a 12-card pack) would be augmented by allowing whomever drafted it to open one of the Core Set packs and add any three cards they chose. It’s a powerful addition to an otherwise fairly weak set. The draft and tournament would be as usual, playing three rounds, with standings based on record. Middle School rules would apply, so there would be mana burn and damage on the stack.
Following the event, players would redraft the rares based on placement. If any really valuable cards were opened (something like Force of Will or Grim Monolith) we agreed beforehand that we would sell the card and redistribute the money to the players. We each paid $65 to cover the cost of packs.
Here are the packs in chronological order (except for the Core Set stuff at the end):
More importantly, here is the taco bar provided by our gracious host John Poggemeyer. Not shown (unfortunately) are the shrimp ceviche and the braised pork (in the covered container, foreground), which formed the base for most of the taco constructions. There were also doughnuts in the box in the back. We ate well.
The packs were snake-drafted to begin. And Paul “randomly” chose himself to go first (he actually randomly chose himself to go first; there was no suspected foul play). First I’ll list the order the packs went in, then the packs each player ended up with with in their place in the draft.
1. Alliances (supplemented with 7th Edition)
2. Urza’s Saga
3. Urza’s Legacy
10. Urza’s Destiny
14. Ice Age
20. Mercadian Masques
Paul Blakeley – Alliances (1), Weatherlight (16), Planeshift (17)
John Poggemeyer – Urza’s Saga (2), Mirage (15), Torment (18)
Geoff Moes – Urza’s Legacy (3), Ice Age (14), Prophecy (19)
Nam Q. Tran – Tempest (4), Onslaught (13), Mercadian Masques (20)
Rajah James – Stronghold (5), Visions (12), Scourge (21)
Nat Moes – Invasion (6), Apocalypse (11), Portal (22)
Pete Harlan – Exodus (7), Urza’s Destiny (10), Nemesis (23)
Jake Hilty – Odyssey (8), Judgment (9), Legions (24)
Alliances with 7th Edition was a clear first choice for Paul since he got to look at another set of cards for potentially good first picks for himself. Urza’s Saga and Torment both going to John was a potential coup since both have strong mono-black options (Did you know Pestilence was a common in Saga?!). That pairing was unintentional, but John did end up in black. Tempest, Stronghold, and Exodus all have creatures with the shadow ability, which is potentially game-breaking in a draft otherwise unprepared for it. Jake’s Odyssey-Judgment wheel is a nice play. Ice Age probably went too high and Portal may have gone too low, based on their power in the draft.
I got to do one of the most popular draft formats ever – an IPA Draft – except I replaced Planeshift with Portal to go with Invasion and Apocalypse. Also shown is the participation prize; everyone received a Chaos Confetti signed by everyone in attendance.
Picking packs. Hell is about to be unleashed in this suburban kitchen.
Rajah and Paul head for Drawsville thanks to Weatherlight’s Peacekeeper.
Force Void (Ice Age) counters Kamahl’s Sledge (Torment) while Akroma’s Devoted (Legions) and Armored Pegasus (Tempest) look on.
Nam versus Nat, and Nat is about to lose because he has no Islands in play.
That’s the hand Nat lost with. Treva, the Renewer (Invasion) never saw play all day.
Damage goes on the stack with Paul’s Shaman en-Kor (Stronghold) in play, so combat gets pretty hairy for Nam.
When all is finished, we redrafted the rares. There were few money cards to speak of, including Peacekeeper and Crawlspace. A Chaos Warp, numbered Fireball, and altered Land Tax were also given out as prizes.
Paul drafted packs first and then won his own goshdanged tourney. Here are the standings.
1st – Paul Blakeley
2nd – Nam Q. Tran
3rd – Pete Harlan
4th – Nat Moes
5th – Geoff Moes
6th – Jake Hilty
Also includes 10 Swamp, 5 Island, 2 Mountains, and a Coral Atoll, not shown.
7th – John Poggemeyer
8th – Rajah James
Kudos to Paul for providing packs and John for providing the venue and to everyone who chipped in for prizes. The event was a lot of fun, and well worth the challenge and expense of collecting all the packs to play it. Decks were interactive and competitive, as the difference between weaker sets and stronger ones was tempered by everything in between. We didn’t open any big money cards, but you certainly could!
Feel free to Tweet at us to complain about our almost certainly flawed deckbuilding choices, but we’ll feel free to ignore you and enjoy ourselves. Thanks for reading!