Ben Stark is regarded by many to be the best Limited player in the world. If you tuned in late to Pro Tour Magic 2015, you likely didn't see his draft that kicked off the event. In his first pack, he made what has been discussed by many as a controversial pick. What would you take out of this pack?
If you're familiar with the format, you've probably identified that the best common is Triplicate Spirits and the best uncommon is Cone of Flame. Red is widely considered to be the best color in the set, as well. Although Triplicate Spirits is extremely good, Cone of Flame is a rare class of card that is quite capable of providing a three-for-one. It's also harder to get, being an uncommon and all. So it's the pick, right?
Stark took Triplicate Spirits. With Siege Dragon, Forge Devil, Torch Fiend, and Blastfire Bolt in the pack, he decided the risk of putting his neighbor to the left (who happened to be Sam Black) into red was too high and went with the only playable white card in the pack.
Did he overthink things, though? He ended up losing to Andrew Cuneo in round one and Aleksa Telarov in round three, managing only a 1-2 record in this draft. Despite Triplicate Spirits being excellent, Cone of Flame is decidedly insane, more powerful in a vacuum, and from the top color in the format.
Of course, results-oriented thinking is not where we want to be. Stark may have had reasons other than what is immediately apparent: knowledge of his neighbors' preferences, a higher win percentage with white decks in testing, or just metagaming against what he felt was the biggest threat. He is a master, after all, so we owe him the benefit of the doubt.
Still, it's pretty hard to justify passing a Cone of Flame. What do you think? Did Stark make the right pick here? Or did we see the pro make a mistake on camera? What would you have chosen?