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Team Draft 2: Germany vs. The Netherlands

 

This is the one we've all been waiting for: the Germans versus the Dutch. These two national teams have both been anointed as the proper successors to Team USA as Worlds team champions, but (with apologies to the dozen other countries who still think they're in contention) only one of these two will actually get to win. The winner of their round 20 feature match will have almost clinched a seat on stage on Sunday while the loser will have some serious work left to do.

Kai Budde has played a lot of great Magic over the last two years, but nowhere has his dominance been as complete as in Team Rochester Draft. He eschewed several offers from top pros so he could play with his friends at the last team Pro Tour and then won it anyway. At the most recent Team Masters, Kai's Phoenix Foundation was victorious yet again and he, Dirk Baberowski, and Marco Blume have already begun practicing for their next big team event: Pro Tour Boston. That means not only did Kai bring his immense talent to the German national team, but he also brought a lot of experience with Odyssey-Torment-Judgment Team Rochester draft.

Germany was in first place when they sat down with the Netherlands sitting in second and trailing by just 2 points. The Dutch had been the happy recipients of a free win when one member of the (then 4th place) Finnish national team failed to show up Saturday morning. Germany had a much rougher go of it, edging out Argentina with mere seconds left in an extremely close match.

Germany won the die roll and forced the Dutch to "kick off." Noah Boeken took Cephalid Looter. Kamiel Cornelissen got the second pick and selected Nantuko Disciple. Mark Ziegner – sitting in the obvious black seat for Germany – then took a Dirty Wererat and Kai was ready to counter-punch, drafting a Deamwinder to run against Boeken (and a second Dreamwinder from the next pack). The Germans were delighted to draft Whispering Shade into Mark Ziegner's deck out of the second pack since they knew the Dutch had to put black in their own A seat, or risk passing way too many good Torment cards.

Budde declined a Balshan Griffin in order to draft Bomb Squad in pack 3. He seems to love splashing red against blue-white, having done the same thing in the previous round for an Arcane Teachings. He then directed Felix Schneiders to draft a Chainflinger and that set up a tension that lasted throughout the draft. Basically, Germany refused to pass removal unless they absolutely had to and the Dutch wound up without a single red mage. The Germans, on the other hand, wound up with all three of them running at least a couple of red spells. They may sound bad for Germany, but they only did it because the packs they got to draft from were so deep in red cards. Germany could have gotten away with having just two red mages, but when the first Torment pack came to them with Fiery Temper, Violent Eruption, and Deep Analysis in it, Budde wanted t draft the Deep Analysis for his own deck since it would be so good against blue-white. Thus he cemented both Schneiders and Ziegner in red that pack.

When Kai took that first pack Dreamwinder, he gave Schneiders a Shelter. A couple of packs later he drafted a Rabid Elephant for himself while directing Schneiders to take Mystic Zealot. Thus, Germany wound up with green-blue (splashing red) in their middle seat and white-red on the left. It was hard to tell whether the packs or Kai's preferences put them into this unconventional set-up, but either way Kai seemed confident in all the picks he was calling.

Watching Kai direct Schneider's picks in Judgment was particularly interesting. he took one Phantom Nomad over both Spurnmage Advocate and Guided Strike. Then in the next pack they took another Phantom Nomad over Prismatic Strands and Valor. Schneiders seemed confused at first, but he followed instructions. The next pack had yet another Phantom Nomad, but Germany drafted Battle Screech instead. Next up came the first Arcane Teachings of the draft. Schneiders clearly wanted it, and it would obviously have been good on his phantoms, but there was no good green or blue cards for Budde so he took the Teachings for himself and Schneiders got a Phantom Flock instead. The second Teachings showed up in the final pack of Judgment and Tom van de Logt drafted it. Van de Logt had been exclusively green-black up to that point, but he wound up splashing for his team's only two red cards: that Teachings and a Lava Dart.

At the end of the draft both teams seemed to think it would be close. Budde wound up building a 4-color special to take into battle against Boeken, but he didn't think that would be a problem since Boeken's blue-white deck would give him plenty of time to draw whatever color of mana he needed. Boeken's blue-white looked good, but he decided not to splash for Sonic Seizure and Crackling Club and thus had no answer to Bomb Squad. Dreamwinders also looked like they would be good against him.

Ziegner wound up with nice black-red deck against van de Logt's black-green (splash red). Van de Lot has the only Butcher, but Ziegner has the only Whispering Shade and the only Morgue Theft. The Crippling Fatigue count wound up one apiece so that match looked fairly even.

Each team's worst deck (to my eye) wound up in the C-seat. Schneiders' red-white is quite top-heavy with six 4-drops and an additional five 5-drops. On the other side of the table, though, is a blue-green bad stuff deck that will require every ounce of Kamiel Cornelissen's talent if he is to win with it.

All in all I find it hard to doubt Kai's seemingly eccentric drafting, so I'm predicting a 2-1 victory for Germany.

2002 Worlds Team Rochester: Red/Black
Mark Ziegner, Germany "A" Seat
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

40 cards

Mountain
Swamp

17 lands


Barbarian Bully
Boneshard Slasher
Dirty Wererat
Ember Beast
Gloomdrifter
Mad Dog
Mesmeric Fiend
Pardic Firecat
Pardic Lancer
Soul Scourge
Whispering Shade

14 creatures
Browbeat
Crippling Fatigue
Last Rites
Lava Dart
Morbid Hunger
Morgue Theft
Pyromania
Toxic Stench
Violent Eruption

9 other spells
2002 Worlds Team Rochester: Green/Blue/Red/Black
Kai Budde, Germany "B" Seat
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

40 cards

Forest
Island
Mossfire Valley
Mountain
Seafloor Debris
Swamp

17 lands


Anurid Barkripper
Aquamoeba
Aven Fogbringer
Bomb Squad
Dreamwinder
Gloomdrifter
Harvester Druid
Krosan Restorer
Nullmage Advocate
Rabid Elephant
Skywing Aven
Wormfang Turtle

13 creatures
Arcane Teachings
Breakthrough
Deep Analysis
Ghostly Wings
Liquify
Rites of Refusal
Rites of Spring
Standstill
Thermal Blast
Toxic Stench

10 other spells
2002 Worlds Team Rochester: Blue/Red/White
Felix Schneiders, Germany "C" Seat
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

40 cards

Island
Mountain
Plains

18 lands


Angelic Wall
Aven Flock
Cephalid Looter
Chainflinger
Militant Monk
Mystic Zealot
Pardic Lancer
Petravark
Phantom Flock
Phantom Nomad
Scrivener
Suntail Hawk
Valor
Wonder

16 creatures
Battle Screech
Fiery Temper
Shelter
Sonic Seizure
Strength of Isolation

6 other spells
2002 Worlds Team Rochester: Green/Red/Black
Tom Van de Logt, Netherlands "A" Seat
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

40 cards

Forest
Mountain
Swamp
Tainted Peak
Tainted Wood
Timberland Ruins

18 lands


Basking Rootwalla
Centaur Veteran
Cursed Monstrosity
Dusk Imp
Faceless Butcher
Gravedigger
Gravegouger
Krosan Archer
Nantuko Calmer
Organ Grinder
Stone-Tongue Basilisk
Treacherous Werewolf
Twigwalker
Werebear

16 creatures
Arcane Teachings
Crippling Fatigue
Elephant Guide
Thermal Blast
Vivify
Waste Away

6 other spells
2002 Worlds Team Rochester: Blue/Red/White
Noah Boeken, Netherlands "B" Seat
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

40 cards

Island
Mountain
Plains

17 lands


Aquamoeba
Aven Windreader
Balshan Griffin
Cephalid Looter
Mirror Wall
Mystic Familiar
Phantom Nomad
Resilient Wanderer
Skywing Aven
Valor
Vigilant Sentry

12 creatures
Churning Eddy
Compulsion
Crackling Club
Guided Strike
Kirtar's Desire
Lost in Thought
Peek
Prismatic Strands
Sonic Seizure
Spelljack

11 other spells
2002 Worlds Team Rochester: Green/Blue/White
Kamiel Cornelissen, Netherlands "C" Seat
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

40 cards

Forest
Island
Plains

17 lands


Anurid Barkripper
Anurid Scavenger
Basking Rootwalla
Battlefield Scrounger
Cephalid Aristocrat
Cephalid Sage
Dreamwinder
Krosan Avenger
Nantuko Disciple
Nantuko Tracer
Scalpelexis

11 creatures
Aether Burst
Chatter of the Squirrel
Deep Analysis
Far Wanderings
Floating Shield
Ghostly Wings
Keep Watch
Mental Note
Moment's Peace
Psionic Gift
Seton's Desire
Words of Wisdom

12 other spells


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