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Week in Review: June 11-17

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Welcome to Week in Review.

Let's see what's in the news today.

Nationals: Mexico

Mexican Nationals took place the weekend before last in sunny... Mexico. 78 players showed up, but only 77 got to play. Apparently, the last guy forgot his deck at home, I'm not really sure. More details on that as they become available.

The 2003 Mexican National Team is Gustavo Chapela, Ivan Cortes and Jose Luis Leal.
The tournament was three rounds of Rochester Draft followed by four rounds of Standard. A notable shift in the metagame can be seen in the Standard portion, where r-g and black creature decks dominated. Despite fewer Swiss rounds than normal, many of the country's top players made the Top 8. Ivan Cortes (the defending champ), Gustavo Chapela (the first Latin American champion, former Mexican Champion, and Top 32 at PT Venice), and Carlos Medina (former gravy trainer). The Top 8 contained 3 black creature decks, 3 Wake decks, 1 u-g deck and a Psychatog deck. The finals pitted Gustavo Chapela with his Black Shavings homebrew against Ivan Cortes with Wake. The matchup favored Chapela, and he took it without much fuss.

Here's Gustavo Chapela's winning deck

Black Tar Shavings feat. "Doctor" Rancid Earth
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

61 cards

Cabal Coffers
20  Swamp
Unholy Grotto

24 lands

Cabal Archon
Cabal Therapy
Graveborn Muse
Nantuko Shade
Rotlung Reanimator
Undead Gladiator
Withered Wretch

21 creatures
Chainer's Edict
Diabolic Tutor
Ensnaring Bridge
Mind Sludge
Oversold Cemetery

16 other spells

You can check out the rest of the Top 8 decks here.

Nationals: Brazil

Brazil. Not only the title of Terry Gilliam's landmark film, but also a country.

Mirari's Wake
Carlos Romao swept the Swiss rounds of the tournament without losing a match. Joining his Wake deck in the Top 8 were two other Wake decks, two r-g decks, a u-g deck, a black creature deck, and a Psychatog deck.

Carlos Romao lost his first match of the tournament in the finals versus Rafael Barros (black creatures) after he was awarded a game loss after already being down one.

The 2003 Brazilian National Team is Rafael Barros, Carlos Romao, and Pedro Motta. Quite a strong team, even aside from Romao, considering Pedro Motta was on last year's team and has Pro Tour experience. Anyway, if you ask me, the World Champion should get to automatically win his own Nationals - it's only fair. Nevertheless, I wish this jovial bunch the best in Berlin.

Coverage for the event can be found here.

Nationals: Philippines

53 players were in attendance at last weekend's Philippines Nationals.

U-g dominated the Standard portion of the event, leaving two players with undefeated records.

After six more rounds of drafting, the favorite for the event, Mark Herrin (defending champion,) had missed the cut at 9th place.

The Top 8 of the tournament contained a Zevatog deck, 3 u-g madness decks, 3 monoblack control decks, and a Wake deck.

The finals had Gerald Camangon (mbc) playing against Francis Profeta (u-g). Camangon took it in three after a Haunting Echoes for "the works" sealed the deal.

The 2003 Philippines National Team is Gerald Camangon, Francis Profeta, and Michael Batac.

Thanks again to everyone that emailed me with details about their Nationals, it was very much appreciated. I will be needing information on Venezuelan, Japanese, Uruguayan, and Argentinean National tournaments, so if you're attending one of these events please let me know how it goes at Good luck to all of my children!

Week in Review: Quarantined

Apparently I made some mistakes in last week's Week in Review. Shall we?

This Week's Top 10 Mistakes I Made Last Week

1. I misspelled Carlos Romao, Wilfried Ranque, and Jose Barbero's team name, Ranko Bongo Wheshiwheshi several times. Sorry guys, but you must admit - the name's a little strange.

2. I misspelled Rotto Ottovordemgentschenfelde's name as Rotto Ottovordemgentschenfel. His name was cut off by the DCI software. Apparently, though, according to Kai Budde, his real name is Rolf Otto Freiherr von und zu dem Gentschenfelde. No, I am not making this up.

3. The link to Peter Szigeti's MTGplanet Searing Flesh article did not work.

4. Last week's Play of the Week, unfortunately, was false. Radoslaw Gromko only finished in the Top 32, not the finals, and Ola Rogula, the supposed Polish Champion and sender of the Play of the Week email was not even qualified for the event! Shame on you Ola!

I was not playing a joke on the Polish people, as one irate emailer suggested, I was merely duped by a clever play forger. She played me like grand piano. Do not think I will be had again! I have taken actions to ensure every Play of the Week from now on is genuine. For reference, the actual Polish champion is Przemek Oberek

5. Brett Shears didn't actually win two Grand Prix in one year

6. I did not intend to glorify Peter Szigeti's Searing Flesh shenanigans, only to note that he's learned his lesson and is now playing the card correctly - as a gentleman.

7. Last week's Bad Play of the Week contained some faulty information. First of all, Kai was playing against Pierre Huber not Andre Muller. Second, the match slip hadn't actually been signed, Kai realized his mistake mid-game and conceded. The fact remains, however, that this will be remembered as one of the most colossal misplays in the history of Magic: the Gathering, or any game, for that matter. Whether or not it will send Budde reeling back to the minors (PTQs) or not is yet to be seen.

8. Last week's Ten Mistakes I Made Last Week failed to mention an error in my first Week in Review... I accidentally referred to Shoreline Ranger as Shoreline Raider. Many readers were completely confused. To these people I say, come on, use some common sense. Nevertheless, I apologize.

9. Mike Long's Drain-Life-upon-you-for-forty quote is actually from the 1998 U.S. Nationals, not 1999. Mike is one of the most charismatic players to have ever played the game, and if you get a chance, I would suggest watching the 1998 U.S. Nationals video to see Mike ("I prefer Michael") Long in his prime. As an added bonus, young Matt Linde and young Jon Finkel speak candidly about their favorite Magic cards.

10. I said I saw a red-breasted nutcracker bird. I lied. I just saw an ordinary pigeon.

Sorry guys, hopefully I'll get the kinks worked out this week.

Of Note * Gary Talim and Phil Freneau have dropped Brian Davis as their third for the Pro Tour and are opting instead for Kyle Rose. Rose is up for grabs since his usual team, The GP-New Jersey winning Jokas, currently lack the Pro Tour points necessary to qualify for PT-Boston. On a sadder note, Kyle Rose, former U.S. National Champion, will not be trying to repeat his performance at this year's Nationals. He is not attending.

* Due to popular demand, I will in fact be writing my "16 Magic Pros Talk about Their Families" piece. If you have ten or more pro points this season and would like to be included in this, please contact me. *Rachel Reynolds, girlfriend of Pro Tour-New York winner Mike Turian, qualified with her team, Mr. Nice Guy Games along with Ron Kotwicka and Chris Fennell, this weekend for Pro Tour-Boston! Active within the Magic community, and renowned for her gamesmanship and integrity, her qualification is noteworthy. Nice going.

Magic Trivia

Mossfire Egg
This week's Braintickler stumped even me. Good luck to all you gumshoes!

"What is the mana cost of Counterspell?"

and the answer to last week's question:

"What Odyssey Block Constructed deck did four-time Pro Tour Top 8er Benedikt Klauser design?"

"Eggs Benedikt!” This version of the Magic Colony's Scrambled Eggs deck used an Immobilizing Ink/Cephalid Looter/Alter Reality/Quiet Speculation/Holistic Wisdom engine to recycle Eggs. Read more about Scrambled Eggs and its variants here.

Play of the Week: Nitter Fit-'Er

This week's Play of the Week comes to us from Fabio Reinhardt, who made Top 8 at this year's Pro Tour-Chicago.

Decree of Savagery
At Grand Prix-Amsterdam, Reinhardt's squad of himself, Jens Krause, and Arndt Meier was paired up against the Scandinavian team of Eivind Nitter, Nicolai Herzog and Lovre Crnobori. The match rested on game three between Arndt Meier and Eivind Nitter, and the situation was not looking good for Meier. In fact, he was in what many would call the full, hard, lock. He was playing r-g, had out a bunch of scraggly ground creatures, and was at one life, while Nitter was with u-w, had an Aurification in play, several defensive creatures and fliers, a Righteous Cause, and was at 47 life. Herzog and Lovre chuckled to themselves, and made plans to eat before Day 2, and Herzog left the table to purchase Nitter "a victory soda”. As soon as Herzog left, Nitter passed the turn. Meier played a Decree of Savagery, turning his ten-odd creatures into giants. He untapped and threw a Wave of Indifference onto the table, as Herzog returned, Fanta Grape in hand, just in time to witness Nitter dropping sixty dream-crushing points in one turn.

Arndt Meier, I award you Play of the Week.

Bad Play of the Week: Latin Letdown

Undefeated in fourteen rounds, Carlos Romao only had one more to go in order to become the 2003 Brazilian Champion. He was with Wake against Rafael Barros's black creature deck. Down a game, but still confident in the matchup thanks to his four copies of Circle of Protection: Black in the sideboard, Carlos began making the necessary adjustments to his deck when he realized something was amiss. He called a judge over, and let him know what had happened - he had accidentally been using a Tempest Circle of Protection: Green instead of its counterpart (the art on the two cards is notoriously similar). Romao was awarded a match-loss - his only defeat in the tournament - and the title was given to Barros.

This is the second week in a row in which a top player has been felled by sneaky art. Keep your eyes peeled, guys, this isn't blind man's bluff, alright? Or Marco freakin' Polo. You gotta look before you leap, walk before you can crawl and all that.

Carlos Romao, I award you Bad Play of the Week.

Quote of the Week

(from Jason Moungey's 1997 Pro Tour-Chicago Report from the Dojo Archives)

"Round 1: Jeff Donais. First impression - weirdo. He had two little lions, named Captain Fuzz and Mr. Smiley. Interesting."

Next Week - National competitions heat up: Canada, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay . - More mistakes, comma splices, and lewd misspellings. - One Magic player's "A-ha!" moment. - U-g: the latest mutation (Ken Ho's Osaka decklist, card for card). - Magic Online clan wars: the 604 vs. JJJ rivalry heats up (I'm talking 'bots, 'hacks, and baseball bats with nails in 'em!).

Later guys!

A highly respected Pro Tour competitor and popular Internet writer, Jeff Cunningham has been playing Magic for more than 10 years. In 2006, Jeff was voted as a "Fan Favorite" choice into the Magic Invitational, where he finished 2nd. Other Magic accomplishments include Top 8 at Pro Tour–San Diego 2002, and three Grand Prix Top 8s including a win in Philadelphia.

Jeff currently attends the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

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