I wasn’t really happy about the deck. Except for Ghitu Slinger no removal spells and not that many good creatures. I expected to make 2-2 with this deck, but not more.
What I feared happened. I played first round against Erwin Cetl and he got a very good B/U deck, containing Attrition, Corrupt, and lots of good black removal and fliers.
In the first game I beat him down to one life, but he was able to Snap my Yavimaya Wurm, attack with his fliers, and Corrupt me to death.
In the second game, I was mana flooded, and he killed me with his fliers. That was not the start I would have liked to have.
My opponent was Christian Lührs from Germany, and he got a W/U deck.
In the first game, I played two Taunting Elves and a bunch of other creatures which he couldn’t get rid of.
The second game is just the same. I played Taunting Elf, creatures, but I’ve got Lava Axe and Flame Jet too, so I burned him quite fast. That was lucky cause if he had a Snap, Rescind, or anything else I wouldn’t have had a chance to win.
I played a real nice guy named Geoffrey Gray with B/R. He won the first pretty fast cause I was color screwed.
In the second game I got out my Wurm and a few other creatures, and I was able to Silk net my wurm which was blocked by Giant Cockroach and trampled enough damage through to kill him.
In the third game, he forgot that my Wurm has trample, and so I killed him one turn before he could Scent of Cinder me for two, Lava Axe me and attack with his mountainwalker. Lucky again.
A real short match.
We’ve been deck-checked and the judge told me that he had “marked sleeves”, and received a match loss for that. Not the way I want to win. After that, I looked at his sleeves, but I couldn’t find out anything wrong.
So I was looking forward to the next draft. I hoped to get a better deck as in the first draft.
This was my second draft table:
- Hacker, Brian
- Dudley, Glen
- Toikka, Seppo
- Parker, Brock
- Januska, ???
- Redi, Andrea
- Blumke, Alexander
The draft went well for me after first picking Corrupt, followed by two Skittering Skirges, a Blanchwood Treefolk, and a Winding Wurm. In Legacy, I had to pick Darkwatch Elves second pick, but then I’ve got a third pick Rancor and a fifth pick Simian Grunts. In Destiny, I took two Scent of Nightshade at the beginning, then got a third pick Attrition and fourth pick Soul Feast.
So this is what I made of the cards:
I really enjoyed that deck because of the good black cards and the green creatures. And it looked very smooth. I hoped I’ll make day two with that deck, and it really performed nice.
I played against Glen Dudley with a U/W deck.
In the first game, he played Somnophore and Serra’s Embrace later. I couldn’t get rid of the Somnophore, so I lost.
In the second game, I drew just green beef plus Sleeper’s Guile is amazing against W/U.
I took control in the third game when I drew Attrition and killed his Sanctum Custodian and Tormented Angel with my Disease Carriers. That’s card advantage! We both drew just lands for a long time, but I’ve got more creatures and Attrition was just too much for him.
So I can play and even if I lost I’ll be able to draw into day two.
Seppo Toikka drafted an R/B fast deck with just creatures and removal. He won the first one pretty fast because when I was waiting for a land to cast my Granger, Avalanche Rider did his job and I can’t find any green mana for the rest of the game with two Yavimaya Granger in my hand.
The second game was just a big creature stall on his side Ticking Gnomes, Mobile Fort, later Bloodshot Cyclops and a few other creatures. I’ve got all my three big guys and a Giant Cockroach. I finally draw the Attrition and killed his Cyclops and my remaining fat with Attrition killed him pretty fast.
The third game started with an early advantage for him when Bloodshot Cyclops hit the table. But I drew my Attrition and killed it when the Cyclops was tapped. He played a Debaser when I was at 12 life. I drew Corrupt, but hold it back in my hand.
He attacked me and the turn after I drew Scent of Nightshade. So I drew Skittering Skirge and killed the Debaser with my Scent and dropped my Skirge, and attacked him for three the next turn, so he had 8 life remaining. I drew Rancor, attacked him, and Corrupted him afterward.
That was my closest match on the first day.
I was happy cause I made day 2 at my first PT and I can play my last round without any pressure.
Now I played Brian Hacker which got a U/G deck.
He was a bit mana screwed in the first game, and I’ve got a very good draw, containing Corrupt, Attrition, 2 Grangers, Winding Wurm, Blanchwood Treefolk…
In the second game I took the risk, not to kill his Weatherseed Elf with my Twisted Experiment instead I played Blanchwood Treefolk, enchanted it with Twisted Experiment and Sleepers Guile and raced him. He tried to find a Snap or something like that, but he couldn’t get it within his remaining three turns.
I was very happy and thought about making top 32 and qualify for Chicago on day two. From this point on I really enjoyed playing on the Pro Tour and I really want to play more.
We went to bed early, Because all of us were playing day two, and this time they didn’t forget to wake us up.
So I will be on the same draft table as Erwin again cause he finished 16th after day one. My first draft table at the second game contained a lot of name players.
- Bregoli, Mike
- Rose, Kyle
- Jensen, William
- Shvartsman, Alex
- Fuller, Ryan
- Schmidt, Karl
- Cetl, Erwin
I’ve got Wizard Mentor first pick, then 2 Hermetic Studies, Heat Ray, and 2 Horseshoe Crab. In Legacy I’ve only got Slinger and Axe. After recognizing that Ryan Fuller to my right is also drafting blue, I was a bit down. And after the Legacy pack, the deck looked very bad. Only one flier and not many quality creatures. But Destiny saved my whole draft. I opened that pack and recognized: Cool, Disappear. COOL MASTICORE! So from that point on, I liked that deck. I don’t know if the deck was beatdown or control.
I just liked the deck just because of Masticore and the Crab-Study Combo. I played the deck mostly controlish until I drew one of these cards. I think I made an error in deck construction because I left my Rewind
in the sideboard and played a Flame Jet
instead. I also had an Acidic Soil
, but I thought that deck needed too much mana. A little questionable, I know.
William Jensen with B/W
The game started very slowly. Me color screwed and he mana screwed. I drew just Mountains, but the first creature that hit the table was my fifth turn Bubbling Beeble, which he enchanted immediately with Cessation.
Turn six, I played two Crabs. Turn seven, Study on one crab. I pinged him down to ten life. He killed my crab and my Coral Merfolk with Humble and Sick and Tired. I attacked him with the other Crab, Lava axed and Reckless Abandoned him.
In the second game, I played my Masticore with six mana in play. Killed all his creatures and attacked him with Masticore, Hulking Ogre, and Raven Familiar when he was at six life. He played Radiant’s Judgement on the Masticore, so I had to regenerate it.
He wrote down the life total and I played Reckless Abandon.
Ryan Fuller with W/U
In the first game, I didn’t have a chance – he just played 2 Sustainer of the Realm and I did not draw any removal.
In the second game, he attacked me with Opal Champion and a few other guys, while I was searching for something useful with my Wizard Mentor and my Raven Familiar. He brought me down to 4 life when he played Sustainer.
I drew nothing. He attacked me down to two life. At this point, I have drawn neither a Study nor any of my good cards. So I had to topdeck something. And it really happened. I drew Masticore when I’ve got about 12 lands on the table. Now the game turned in my favor. He couldn’t draw anything against my Masticore so I won.
I started the third game with Crab and Study in hand. I played the crab and afterward the study with Rewind and Intervene in hand. I countered a Slow Motion and he conceded.
Mike Bregoli R/G
Red-Green is just the toughest matchup for my deck, cause it is fast, and it has burn. He started with Pouncing Jaguar, followed by Hunting Moa, Ghitu Slinger, and Bull Hippo. That was even too fast for my Masticore.
In the second game, I played some defense creatures like Mentor and Toolbox. He played 2 Viashino Beys and a Yavimaya Wurm. I managed to kill the Wurm by blocking it with my Toolbox and my Beebles, while Mentor blocked one Bey.
I returned the Mentor and the Beebles to my Hand. After that, he killed all my islands with Wake of Destruction. That’s game. Next turn, another Yavimaya Wurm hit the table. Game Over.
Erwin Cetl, another time. B/G
In the first game, I put out my Crab-Study combo. He was able to Eradicate the Crab, but I’ve got my Masticore in hand, and it won me another game.
In the second game, I’ve got an early Crab-Study too, and intervened his Eradicate.
Note: What was ommited from this report was, that before Round 11 there was a lunch break which all of us, Benedikt, Erwin and myself spent together. Repeatedly asking Benedikt (who was the only person among us with PT experience) if he thought the break was over already, we finally went and checked and it was already the start of the round. Both Erwin and myself where quite reliefed, that we were playing each other. Benedikt obviously wasn’t so lucky and caught a game loss for his late showing.
So I had very good chances to make top 8. That was more than I had expected after losing the first round on the first day. So I had to win one and then maybe I can draw into top eight.
Now I’m seated on the first table, and it will now get really tough.
- Bregoli, Mike
- Rubin, Ben
- Mowshowitz, Zvi
- Roc, Herms Pont
- Refsdal, Gunnar
- Rose, Kyle
- Hubble, Bryan
I opened my Saga pack and picked Expunge as the best card in the booster. I’ve got Lurking Evil second pick and Worship third pick. So my colors are fixed. I opened Karmic Guide in Legacy and Nightshade Seer in Destiny. I liked that deck very much, except I’ve got too many creatures and too few removals. But the creatures I had are very, very good.
Here is the decklist:
He also got a B/W deck very similar to mine.
In the first game, he beat me down to one life very fast. I top-decked Academy Rector with Broodlings already in play. I now started to attack him. Then he Swated my Rector, trying to outnumber me. I searched for Worship and the game is open again.
When he drew Erase for my Worship he attacked me with all his creatures and one will come through. But I’ve got my Expunge in hand for a while and killed his False Prophet. He played Nightshade Seer and enchanted it with Archery Training.
I played Sanctum Guardian and Skittering Horror. Attacked him. He had to block with the Seer and tap it for Archery Training. I prevented the damage with my Guardian. The only creature he drew after that was a Phyrexian Denouncer which he used for chump block.
The second game starts very excitingly. I drew my Expendable Troops and Academy Rector. I decided to Rector for the Lurking Evil and not the Worship. I activated my Evil, he responded with Erase, I activated it another time, he responded with Erase so I had to activate it a third time.
He was on 17 life, I was at 2 life after that. Then I played Broodlings and Reliquary Monk. He played Cockroach. I attacked and played Karmic Guide at my Troops and Unearth on my Monk. Lurking Evil and Karmic Guide killed him very fast.
I talked with my friends about how many points will be enough for top 8 and Zvi told me 32 will be enough. We calculated it and I decided to ask my next two opponents for an intentional draw.
He agreed on drawing, so I hoped to get an opponent in the last round who wants to draw too.
Mike Bregoli again.
Mike led the field at that time, and he agreed in drawing too.
It wasn’t 100 percent sure that I am now top 8, but I thought so.
Now I was really nervous. Mike Rosewater calling my name was a relief for me. It was so unbelievable. I am top eight. What follows was so exciting. Interviews and photo-shootings and that stuff. People who are congratulating me. I can’t describe all that feelings, you have to experience them. It’s fantastic.
THE TOP EIGHT
On Sunday morning, I ate a few pancakes and then went by underground to the exhibition halls. I was half an hour too early, so I just sat around and did nothing. I just tried not to be nervous. After all the top eight competitors arrived, we went to the London Tower for photo shooting.
To my right in the draft sat Mike Bregoli and to my left Billy Jensen. I was happy to open a Pestilence, so it was very easy to find my colors after a 5th pick Pacifism.
I built my deck a bit unorthodox, but have a look:
I put in fewer lands because I had so many low casting cost spells and i thought i can get some early advantage out of my fliers.
The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals I took from the New Wave page, because I couldn’t remember the details that well.
In the quarters I played Gunnar Refsdal from Germany.
Thomas calls heads, wins the flip and chooses to play first. Neither mulligans, and Thomas opens with a Lurking Skirge on turn 2.
Gunnar plays out a Jhoira’s Toolbox, and it puts Thomas to 18 before he makes a Fog of Gnats. Gunnar is in desperate need of black mana to play out more of his hand, but puts Cloak of Mists and Sigil of Sleep on the Toolbox, puts Thomas to 17 and returns the Fog of Gnats.
Thomas then answers with a Pacifism and plays out the Fog of Gnats again. Gunnar does nothing, and Thomas puts Brilliant Halo on the Gnats to put Gunnar to 18. Gunnar plays a Bouncing Beebles. Thomas attacks again, putting Gunnar to 16 and playing a Phyrexian Denouncer.
Gunnar finally draws a swamp, and decides to use the Duress, pulling nothing as Thomas has False Prophet, Plains, and Swamp in his hand. Gunnar goes to 12, and decides to attack with the Beebles. The Denouncer does the job and activates the Lurking Skirge.
Gunnar drops to 9, but plays Opportunity in the end phase, and plays out Spawning Pool, Weatherseed Faeries, and Phyrexian Ghoul. The Gnats put Gunnar to 7, and Thomas plays out a Reliquary Monk.
Gunnar answers with a Chime of Night on the Pacified Toolbox, sacs them to the Ghoul destroying the Monk, and then kills the Halo. Gunnar then plays Peregrine Drake, Unworthy Dead, activates the Spawning Pool, and serves for 10 with the Ghoul as the Dead and Pool get sacrificed.
It’s looking bad for Thomas, as he is at 5, but he pulls out Voice of Reason, Halo’s the Skirge and says go.
Nothing happens for two rounds, until Thomas pulls Soul Feast, putting the life totals from 9-3. He then attacks with the Skirge, which is double blocked, but it also kills both creatures, clearing the board except for the Ghoul.
Gunnar plays a second Chime of Night on the Ghoul, rescues the Ghoul to his hand and destroys the Voice, but he has no answer for the Fog.
The Fog puts him to 1, and Thomas plays the Pestilence in his hand, activating it for 1, and ending the game.
Preyer 1 – Refsdal 0
Again, no mulligans for either player. Thomas starts with a Duress and pulls Power Sink, seeing Thornwind Faeries and Phyrexian Ghoul. He then plays out Fog of Gnats, which Gunnar matches with the Faeries. Thomas plays out a Reliquary Monk, and leaves only one black mana open for regeneration, which doesn’t stop the ping, untap ping of the Faeries.
The Ghoul attacks, putting Thomas at 18, and Gunnar plays a Plague Beetle he put in from his sideboard. The Beetle skirts through for a few more and puts Thomas to 15 even after a Soul Feast. Gunnar plays out quite a few more creatures, and plays Cloak of Mists on his Ghoul, coming in for 14 and a ping from the Faeries for 15 in one turn!
Preyer 1 – Refsdal 1
Thomas again gets out an early Fog of Gnats, but loses a Soul Feast to a Duress. Gunnar matches again with Thornwind Faeries, but they die before ever losing summoning sickness to Twisted Experiment.
Gunnar has plenty of tricks though, laying out Metathran Soldier and Plague Beetle. He then lays Sigil of Sleep on the Soldier, and returns the Gnats to Thomas’ hand. This happens twice before Thomas topdecks another Twisted Experiment to kill this Soldier. He did have Lurking Skirge in his hand but did not play it out. Gunnar pulls out another Soldier, and that plus the Beetle come in for turn after turn of 2 points, slowly killing Thomas.
Preyer 1 – Refsdal 2
Gunnar opens with Denouncer, Toolbox, and Beetle, but only gets Thomas to 19 before he puts out Phyrexian Broodlings. The Denouncer dies to a Twisted Experiment and allows Thomas to play the Field Surgeon in his hand.
Gunnar lays Spawning Pool but Thomas plays Skirge Familiar. Gunnar has the answer, Sigil of Sleeping the Plague Beetle, returning the Familiar to Thomas’ hand, and playing Peregrine Drake from his own.
As this was covered over the video system, a shout of “Mise!” came from the crowd on the second floor as Thomas topdecks his second Experiment, taking care of the Beetle. Gunnar plays Bubbling Beetles and puts Thomas to 14.
Thomas puts the Skirge Familiar back into play, Pacifies the Beebles, and puts Gunnar to 17 with the Broodlings. The game gets truly interesting as Gunnar finds a Cloak of Mists and puts Thomas to 12 with an unblockable Drake.
Thomas answers with a Feast and attack with the Familiar, raising himself to 16, and putting Gunnar to 10. Gunnar again has an answer, putting Illuminated Wings on the Toolbox, and attacks Thomas to 13.
Thomas puts out Hollow Dogs, but still has no answer for the unblockable Drake. The commentators go wild as Gunnar topdecks a Rescue. If he plays it well, he might be able to rescue the Cloak of Mists and put it on the Ghoul, and win the game with unblockable 10 points of damage.
He attacks with the Toolbox, putting Thomas to 10 and setting up the kill for the next turn. Thomas finds an answer though in Brilliant Halo, putting it on his Skirge and making the Drake block. Gunnar does not draw a creature and loses the match to the Skirge.
Preyer 2 – Refsdal 2
This proved to be a dramatic finale, as both players have excellent starting hands. Thomas does not draw the swamp he needs and has to discard before drawing his next land. Gunnar plays Toolbox, which is killed in short order by a Phyrexian Denouncer.
This allows Thomas time to put out a Hollow Dogs and Opal Champion, and put Gunnar to 15. He follows it up with a Skittering Horror, and puts the life totals 20-6.
It is looking grim, so Gunnar plays Sigil of Sleep on his activated Spawning Pool, attacks, and returns the Hollow Dogs. He takes five though, as a Brilliant Halo put on the Horror drops him to 1.
Thomas knows he won’t get through again, so he plays out Capashen Knight, and Halo’s it. Gunnar plays Ghoul, Plague Beetle, and Metathran Soldier.
Thomas goes to 19 from the Beetle, but has no breakthrough for the final 1. The game completely shifts as Gunnar pulls card after card to deal with what’s on the table. But, all Thomas has to do is draw either Soul Feast or Pestilence to win the game instantly.
He does pull False Prophet, which dies to Broodlings, and keeps the game at 7-1. A top decking race occurs for 3 turns, and Thomas pulls it out with Soul Feast.
Preyer 3 – Refsdal 2
I was sure that I win that match cause I had the better deck and I just had to draw my Pestilence. I was mana flooded in all 5 games, even with that few lands. That was the curious thing.
The funny thing is when you’re top eight of a PT you have to take a judge with you EVERYWHERE you go. I was too nervous to eat. I just smoked as long as I had time between the rounds.
In the semifinals I played Ben Rubin from USA.
Rubin seems to have an advantage in this matchup against the rookie Thomas Preyer. His blue-white deck can battle Preyer’s multiple fliers and his ground defense is strong enough against a black-red deck. In the first game Preyer’s fliers get into a race against Rubin’s ground creatures. Despite Preyer enchanting his creature with Twisted Experiment to deal extra damage, Rubin is faster and wins the game.
Preyer is forced to mulligan in the second game and the new draw he gets is mana light again. Rubin on the other hand has a fast draw and is on the offensive, casting creature after creature. The game is over quickly.
Third game is a giant creature stall, with both players having many fliers and a Field Surgeon. Preyer is able to win by drawing Pestilence and dealing 7 points of damage – he uses Skirge Familiar to generate extra black mana.
Rubin has sub-optimal draws in the remaining two games, while Preyer gets literally god draws. In the final game, for example, he played Duress, Gargoyle, Champion, Voice of Reason against Rubin’s double mulligan. Preyer manages to return from 0-2 to win the match.
Preyer 3 – Rubin 2
After those 10 games, I was really tired. I had nearly no time between my matches and I hadn’t slept very well, so I just want to play the finals whether I lose or win. I was happy at this point. I’ve won a lot of money and I have won enough PT-Points to be qualified for the entire season. So you understand that I wasn’t very disappointed after losing in the finals.
Finals against Kyle Rose from USA.
Rose won the flip and played a land. Preyer cast a Duress, but failed to discard any cards, as Rose only held creatures and lands.
He did, however, learn of the Ghitu Slinger in Rose’s hand and so did not cast Fog of Gnats until turn 3. Meanwhile, Rose mounted an offensive with his Goblin Raider, Dromosaur, and Keldon Champion.
Preyer summoned a Field Surgeon and a Phyrexian Denouncer to slow down the damage. He made a timing mistake which forced him to lose a Field Surgeon in combat – not a major loss since he intended to play a Pestilence anyway.
Pestilence cleared the board, but not until he was down to 3 life. Rose played a Ghitu Slinger, dealing two to Preyer and forcing him to find a blocker. Preyer got out a Hallow Dogs, preventing the Slinger from coming over.
Preyer cast a Skittering Skirge, hoping to race in the air while the Dogs protect him. Rose cast a Thran War Machine on the following turn, but Preyer had an answer again – he blocked with Reliquary Monk and used its ability to kill the 4/5 artifact.
Playing the Monk did force him to lose the Skittering Skirge as well. On the following turn, Rose top-decked a Landslide and sacrificed a Mountain to deal that final point of damage.
Preyer 0 – Rose 1
Preyer had just about the perfect hand for this matchup. He opened up with a Field Surgeon, following it up with Phyrexian Broodlings and Opal Champion and an Opal Gargoyle.
Rose could not compete with that – he played a Goblin Mason and used Despondency to slow down the Broodlings.
He was forced to cast another creature and activate the Opals, but he could not possibly win the race – even after getting three-for-one with Sick and Tired, able to kill a Field Surgeon and an Opal Gargoyle which got enchanted by Twisted Experiment.
Preyer 1 – Rose 1
Rose cast a Denouncer and then used a Ghitu Slinger to activate and immediately remove an Opal Gargoyle. He followed those up with a Giant Cockroach and Brass Secretary.
Opal Champion was only a speed bump in Rose’s way to victory – it got Abandoned out of the way and the abovementioned creatures, joined by a Keldon Champion, came in for the win.
Preyer 1 – Rose 2
Preyer kept a hand with two Plains as the only land. He had a Pestilence and was hoping to draw the black mana shortly. None would come, and his Opal Gargoyle began a race against Goblin Masons.
To slow down the damage, Preyer was forced to cast Pacifism on the Dromosaur. Rose just kept on casting creatures, bringing out a Cockroach and enchanting an Opal Gargoyle with Despondency.
Preyer cast a Skittering Horror, that could trade for the Cockroach, but Rose simply sacrificed the Pacified creature to a Reckless Abandon and came over for 8. Preyer chump blocked with a Gargoyle and then cast a Duress on his turn to deal with Despondency.
He could also play an Engineered Plague, but it did not deal with the problem and so Preyer conceded the game.
Preyer 1 – Rose 3
I was more than happy to finish that high at my first PT. I’m now looking forward to the next Pro Tours, Worlds, and all the other amazing tournaments I can compete in now.
I won’t give any Props or Slops because I hope that all the guys I met know what I should’ve written. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and excuse my poor English.
See you all
Final Note: The coverage for this event is lost since quite some time now. I tried investigating and retrieving information a couple of years ago through the Wayback Machine and also reached out to Brian David-Marshall.
He confirmed, that they couldn’t find any of the coverage at WOTC. That was even way before they erased all the of their match history.
So there really isn’t much left, hence the decision to republish this report.