Draft B at Magic World Championship XXVI featured eight players—of course—and a surprisingly cooperative experience. Each player settled into their colors quickly, even if they weren't exactly what they preferred. Until the contentious decision to Thoralf Severin made to hard switch colors in Draft A, the players in Draft B dialed into their eventual colors quickly and the resulting decks looked much stronger on average for it.
Paul Cheon and Marshall Sutcliffe took some time to grade each of the decks to rank how things could unfold. After all, going 2-0 or 2-1 and advancing to the Winner bracket is exactly how every competitor wanted to start their format.
For a deeper dive, you can check out both Draft A and Draft B decklists to see what each competitor played.
Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa wasn't happy about drafting a white-red deck heavy on white, but that didn't seem to slow him down in the least. Before Loveman would have his advancing match against Javier Dominguez, he got to see just how tenacious the Brazilian Hall of Fame player is. Stabilizing at exactly 1 life, Damo da Rosa sculpted his attacks and set up Wrap in Flames to claim the deciding game.
Loveman put Calix, Destiny's Hand to work to outmuscle Javier Dominguez, and forced the reigning Magic World Champion to have the fight of the tournament to make it out of the Elimination bracket.
Feeling that his deck was among the strongest, Loveman showed why by taking Calix through all three modes in a tutorial for the world. In one game, Loveman used the -3 loyalty removal option before using the +1 loyalty enough times to get to "ultimate" Calix with his -7 loyalty ability (defeating Dominguez on the spot), and then in the deciding game Loveman drew Calix at the absolute perfect moment to stop Dominguez and close the game out.
A 2-1 finish in draft means @blackshirtman joins the winners bracket headed into Standard!— Magic Esports ✈️ #MTGWorlds (@MagicEsports) February 14, 2020
Tune into https://t.co/GF4H5s6srS to see how the rest of the #MTGWorlds Day 1 matches shake out! pic.twitter.com/d6Z2y46Lr6
Meanwhile, off camera, Chris Kvartek drew on his rich Limited experience and moved to a quick 2-0 tournament start thanks to Thassa, Deep-Dwelling.
2-0 after draft! Thassa + drawing well = too darn good :D— Chris Kvartek (@Kavartech) February 14, 2020
The audience at home, too, took note of Kvartek tracking as the world now expects him to.
Standard Master, Modern Master, and Draft Master? This is unfair. @MagicEsports pls nerf.— eric froehlich (@efropoker) February 14, 2020
After drafting one of the stronger decks in Draft B, Raphaël Lévy split his matches against Loveman and Leveratto before facing down fellow countryman Jean-Emmanuel Depraz. While Depraz's four-color deck looked promising, the decisive game hinged around one of the strongest Limited cards in Theros Beyond Death: Kiora Bests the Sea God.
Taking time to set up his Saga, Lévy ensured that when he created an 8/8 with hexproof Depraz wouldn't have a way out. Sure enough, getting all three steps of the indomitable first pick ensured Lévy could join Kiora in besting.
With four players advancing to the Winner Group bracket, the remaining four fell to the Elimination bracket to fight to stay alive in the tournament.
- Andrea Mengucci, after starting the day with a game loss due to a deck registration error, quickly fell in two matches.
- Matias Leveratto, too, took two quick losses and now faced elimination.
- Both Jean-Emmanuel Depraz and Javier Dominguez, as noted above, took a second loss as well and join the Mengucci and Leveratto in Elimination.