nline Extended is an interesting format without a real analog in the world of "paper" Magic. It encompasses all the sets in Magic Online (Invasion - Darksteel, plus the last two Core Sets), and Entomb
is banned, just as it is in regular Extended.
Because the pros don't have much time to dedicate to the format, so you might expect it to simply be a hodgepodge of old Standard decks retrofitted with a couple random cards. That's partly true. Goblin-Bidding and Ravager Affinity are both good, as are old standbys Psychatog and Blue-Green Madness. But there is also room for innovation, such as Brian Kibler's "Red Rock" (which includes the particularly vicious anti-Affinity sideboard card, Destructive Flow).
Alas, such creativity is not on display here in the Invitational finals. Both Bob Maher and Mattias Jorstedt are playing Ravager Affinity. Bob added a single Cabal Therapy to an otherwise Standard-legal list, while Mattias squeezed in four Artifact Mutations, good for turning Myr Enforcers into armies of 1/1 Saprolings.
As Bob won the Auction of the People and Mattias won Mirrodin Block Constructed, this event will decide who wins the Invitational and gets his face on a future card of his own design.
Bob was the first player to get Arcbound Ravager in play, but that didn't mean much as Mattias was the first to get a Skullclamp into play and the only player to get a Disciple of the Vault in play.
The Disciple meant that Bob lost life anytime he sacrificed one of his own artifacts, and that handicap was too much to overcome. At one point Mattias sacrificed a Clamped Enforcer and drew into a second Disciple, and was able to take Bob from 11 to 0 without hitting him with a creature in combat.
Mattias 1 - Bob 0
Mattias sideboarded in three Naturalizes and Bob brought in Furnace Dragons and Seething Songs.
Bob's turn 2 Ravager was Naturalized, but his turn 3 Ravager stuck around. He added one Disciple to the table, then an Ornithopter and a second Disciple.
Mattias responded to the second Disciple by playing Artifact Mutation on the Ravager. Bob simply sacrificed every other artifact he had to it, then sacrificed it to put 7 counters on his Ornithopter. The 'Thopter then attacked Mattias down to 1.
With two Disciples in play, Mattias needed a way to stop the Ornithopter that didn't involve sending an artifact to the graveyard. Such a way didn't really exist, so Mattias scooped with Bob still at 20 life.
Mattias 1 - Bob 1
This is it--the final game for all the marbles.
Mattias may have sealed his own fate by not maligning. His opening hand was not very explosive: Ravager, double Disciple, double Mutation, Frogmite, Vault of Whispers. He was going to live or die based on if he could draw a second artifact land by turn 2.
He did not. Bob ended it mercifully fast, however with the following sequence:
Turn 1: Citadel, Clamp, Thopter.
Turn 2: Seat of the Synod, Frogmite, Somber Hoverguard, Clamp the Thopter and attack for 1.
Turn 3: Attack for 6, Glimmervoid, Seething Song, Furnace Dragon.
Mattias had a lowly Disciple, and Bob had 8 power of fliers. That was that.
Maher 2 - Jorstedt 1
Bob Maher wins the 2004 Magic Invitational lightning quick!