Tiago Triumphant

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Behind a few beefy attackers in Winston Draft and the power of Hulk Flash in Vintage, Portugal's Tiago Chan defeated Canada's Rich Hoaen 2-1 to win the 2007 Magic Invitational at Spiel Essen in Germany.

Elected to attend as Europe's representative, Chan powered through 15 round-robin matches to make the finals, acing both the Auction of the People and Winston Draft formats. Hoaen, who got the North America slot when Mark Herberholz was unable to attend, matched Chan's record in the Auction and 3-0'd Choose Your Own Standard to make the finals.

Chan now gets to create his own Magic card, to be included in an upcoming set. Congratulations to Tiago Chan, the 2007 Magic Invitational champion!

EVENT COVERAGE INFORMATION
  • Podcast: A Full Finals Rundown
  • by Rich Hagon
  • Vintage Final: Done in a Flash
  • by Tim Willoughby
  • Choose Your Own Standard Final: Hoaen Enters Survival Mode
  • by Tim Willoughby
  • Winston Draft Final: Use the Force, Tiago
  • by Tim Willoughby
  • Winston Draft Coverage: Hoaen Hoping for Big Spells
  • by Tim Willoughby
  • Decklists: Winston Draft Finals
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Card List: Winston Draft, with Cube Draft Card Pool
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Ask the Pro: Invitational Update
  • by Raphael Levy

  • Saturday Blog Archive: How to Choose Your Standard, a View of Vintage, Rich Hagon's Greatest Day Ever, and much more!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Decklists: Vintage
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Decklists: Choose Your Own Standard
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Ask the Pro: Invitational Update
  • by Raphael Levy

  • Friday Blog Archive: Gather 'round the Winston Draft, Postcards from Essen, a Full Auction Recap, and much more!!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Feature: Invitationalist Card Submissions
  • by Event Coverage Staff

  • Thursday Blog Archive: Get into the Cube, Hoaen on Hoaen, Rosewater Speaks, and Much More!
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Decklists: Auction of the People
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Decklists: Cube Draft
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Card List: Cube Draft
  • by Event Coverage Staff
  • Feature: Do I Hear 5 Cards, 18 Life?
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Information: 2007 Magic Invitational Schedule
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Feature: Formats Announced
    by Brian David-Marshall
  • Information: Complete Voting Results
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Last Updated: Saturday, 6:59 p.m.

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  • Winston Draft Card List
    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Spectral Force Chain of Vapor Voltaic Key Swords to Plowshares Deranged Hermit River Boa
    Knight of Meadowgrain Desertion Ghitu Slinger Siege-Gang Commander Naturalize Calciderm
    Kris Mage Soltari Monk Forsaken Wastes Powder Keg Delay Spiketail Hatchling
    Whipcorder Sarcomancy Arcane Denial White Knight Goblin Piledriver Nezumi Graverobber
    Fire // Ice Persecute Spell Burst Spike Weaver Pristine Angel Smokestack
    Gaea's Cradle Sedge Troll Watchwolf Elves of Deep Shadow Vedalken Shackles Krosan Grip
    Stinkweed Imp Clickslither Fledgling Dragon Dauthi Horror Wax // Wane Tradewind Rider
    Awakening Palinchron Rakdos Augermage Momentary Blink Stromgald Crusader City of Brass
    Academy Rector Fyndhorn Elves Soltari Priest Misdirection Cataclysm Altar of Dementia
    Dark Ritual Phyrexian Negator Resurrection Goblin Trenches Time Spiral Blood Knight
    Anger Upheaval Vendetta Akroma, Angel of Fury Skeletal Scrying Triskelion
    Opposition Ravenous Baloth Call of the Herd Donate Gruul Turf Ghazban Ogre
    Ohran Viper Sulfuric Vortex White Shield Crusader Visara the Dreadful Rogue Elephant Metalworker
    Demonic Tutor Loxodon Warhammer Chandra Nalaar Volrath's Stronghold Condemn Kavu Titan
    Burrenton Forge-Tender Selesnya Sanctuary Gaddock Teeg Liliana Vess Sutured Ghoul Waterspout Djinn

     
  • Winston Draft Finals Decklists
    by Event Coverage Staff

  • Rich Hoaen
    2007 Magic Invitational. Winston Final Draft



     
  • Winston Draft Coverage: Hoaen Hoping for Big Spells
    by Tim Willoughby
  • The titans squared off to Winston Draft off the Cube.
    The first format of the Invitational finals is the Winston Draft. While in the round robin portion of the event this was done with Lorwyn, for the finals we have something a little special. The Cube has again been rolled out, but trimmed from its original 720-card goodness: 100 cards, split evenly by colour, were randomly chosen to be shuffled together for this final Winston Draft of the tournament. From those 100, 10 were removed, so that there were less guarantees about the number of cards of any one colour. Following that it was just up to each play to draft their best, as they looked to get ahead in Sunday's play.

    Prior to the match, Rich Hoaen suggested in an open interview with himself and Tiago that Cube Draft is all about big spells, while creatures were very much second-class citizens. Of course in Winston it is important to take whatever chances you can get, so upon sitting down he had to remain open to the possibility of having a creature deck.

    The very first option for Rich in the draft, going second, was Chandra Nalaar and Gaddock Teeg. Two of the most powerful Lorwyn cards were not good enough to make Rich's pile; a testament to the overall power level of the Cube. Hoaens first picks were in pile B—Swords to Plowshares and White Shield Crusader.

    He got a second option on the Lorwyn legends, and took them along with Powder Keg and Spike Weaver. It seemed that Hoaen still really wanted big spells, as he ignored White Knight, Elves of Deep Shadow and Knight of Meadowgrain, instead going through all three piles before getting an unexciting Awakening off the top. When Tiago took pile A, Rich got a second look at these weenies, and when Gaea's Cradle had joined them, he was lured in.

    Tiago contemplates a one-card stack.
    Academy Rector and Opposition were a tempting proposition that Hoaen gladly took, and after letting a pile get juiced up for a while, Hoaen also got a fair pick in Kris Mage, Stinkweed Imp, Dauthi Horror and Demonic Tutor. The final spell there was likely what drew him in—it can never hurt to have two copies of the best card in your deck.

    Loxodon Warhammer came with Palinchron, Persecute and Soltari Monk next, and was soon joined by Vendetta off the top of the pile, a nice rip. Against his preferences, Hoaen's deck was turning into a beatdown deck, as Watchwolf, Soltari Priest, Goblin Trenches and Arcane Denial got added to the pile. Deranged Hermit and Visara the Dreadful soon followed.

    When Cataclysm showed up along with Rogue Elephant and Vedalken Shackles, Hoaen was quick to snap it up. It seemed that he wasn't getting a great many of the "big spells," so having a board sweeper looked pretty important for him. Condemn and Smokestack got the nod from Richie, who finished things off with Kavu Titan.

    Hoaen's draft had given him a reasonable enough beatdown deck, but the Canadian player known for his mastery of Limited formats was pretty down on his deck, which was heavy on two-power beaters, but low on power in general.


     
  • Winston Draft Finals: Use the Force, Tiago
    by Tim Willoughby
  • "How's your deck?"

    "Terrible."

    I could pretty much assign those quotes either way around in this Winston Draft portion of the Invitational, as neither player was overly happy with their deck. Tiago felt that he was at a disadvantage given less experience with playing Cube than Rich, but Hoaen was fairly down on his deck, which didn't have the caliber of spells that he wanted.

    Having watched Hoaen's side of the draft, his deck looked pretty good—but it was a beatdown deck, which according to Hoaen is not exactly the ideal plan for Cube.

    Hoaen's Warhammer wasn't enough to stop Tiago's invading army.

    Game 1

    On the play Rich kept a hand with White Shield Crusader, Gaddock Teeg, Demonic Tutor, Loxodon Warhammer, Deranged Hermit and land. He played out the Crusader first, while Tiago had a Spiketail Hatchling to hold back Hoaen on some spells.

    Tiago hit three land types early while Rich was stuck with just two Plains and a Forest. He did play Gaddock Teeg though, locking Tiago out from playing any "big" spells. Chan had a morph, which looked likely to be Akroma, Angel of Fury based on what Rich had seen in the draft, but was well away from flipping it.

    Chan played Anger and bashed with his team. Hoaen blocked the morph, and saw that in face it was Whipcorder. He was ahead in the race though, and had a great racing card in the form of Loxodon Warhammer, which if equipped to Soltari Monk would be really tough to fight.

    "So was that an off-colour morph?" asked an incredulous Hoaen looking at the Whipcorder in Tiago's graveyard.

    Chan just gave a bashful smile... "Maybe he's not off-colour..."

    Chan played Spectral Force, and blocked White Shield Crusader, though he had to take 5 from the shadow priest with a hammer. Spectral Force from Tiago didn't look so hot in the face of this clock. What did was Triskelion, who came next. Hoaen played a kickered Kavu Titan and passed the turn.

    All Tiago had for his turn was a Fyndhorn Elves, which left Rich to equip the hammer and swing. Anger and Triskelion blocked. They both fell, and Chan took 3 trample damage, but Chan minimized the amount of life that Hoaen could gain by using his Triskelion to kill itself, and deal one damage to Richard himself. Following attacks, Chan was at 4, while Rich was on 13. Chan did have a Spectral Force and a Fyndhorn Elves though, to Hoaen's lone piece of equipment and no monsters. Chan played a Ghazban Ogre, who got to swing in thanks to a dead Anger, taking Hoaen to 2. Hoaen untapped, drew and played Rogue Elephant and Deranged Hermit, to give him plenty of blockers.

    All this was ultimately for nought though. With Anger in the graveyard and a mountain in play, Tiago was able to cast and immediately attack with Akroma, Angel of Fury. Without flyers, Hoaen had no choice but to shuffle up for Game 2.

    Tiago Chan 1 – 0 Richard Hoaen

    Game 2

    Hoaen's opening hand for Game 2 held River Boa, Kavu Titan, Cataclysm and land. Tiago, meanwhile, had a very solid start in Fyndhorn Elves and Ohran Viper. The Viper was quickly hit by Swords to Plowshares, allowing River Boa to be on the attack. It was joined by White Shield Crusader.

    Tiago's response was Spectral Force—a colossal threat whose trample rendered River Boa's regeneration little more than a speed bump. Hoaen smashed in with his team to take Chan to 12. He really needed to draw a second Forest, to allow him to cast Spike Weaver, his best answer to such beats.

    Triskelion came out, killing White Shield Crusader, but leaving River Boa alone. Hoaen was in rough shape, but held back on Cataclysm, perhaps in the hope of getting extra value with it the following turn.

    When he didn't draw the second forest for his Spike Weaver though, that was it, Tiago had beaten down successfully.

    Tiago Chan 2 – 0 Richard Hoaen

    Tiago Chan takes a one-match lead in this best-of-three formats competition. Because he lost the first match, Hoaen had the honor of picking the next format and he selected Choose Your Own Standard.


     
  • Choose Your Own Standard Finals: Hoaen Enteres Survival Mode
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Having lost in the Winston Draft, Rich Hoaen of Canada chose to play Choose Your Own Standard next, the format in which his Constructed deck went undefeated. The night before, at dinner, Kenji Tsumura had declared Hoaen a Constructed Master. He would have to hope that this was the case, as he had to win both Constructed formats to emerge from these Invitational finals as the victor.

    A fine opening for Tiago.
    The matchup was Recurring Nightmare / Survival of the Fittest against Clusterbomb. Each deck could be a combo deck of sorts, with a turn-four win, but Rich's deck could also easily be described as a toolbox aggro-control deck. Tiago, looking to get out Fecundity, Saproling Cluster and Ashnod's Altar was all about the combo. In theory it could go for a turn-three win, but more realistically it would be a turn or two later that it got to fire off a colossal Blaze at the opponent.

    Game 1

    Hoaen lost the first format, and was thankful he hadn't chosen to play Vintage when given the choice. In that format, getting the right side of the die roll would be critical for him. For this match, he initially just wanted land and spells, something that he did not find in his opening hand of seven. Without the appropriate mana to cast his three mana creatures, he shuffled back for six.

    Tiago had a potentially scary start, with Birds of Paradise and mana creatures aplenty, while all Hoaen had was a Wall of Blossoms to begin. Academy Rector soon came for Chan, and then a second. Should he draw an Ashnod's Altar, he would be able to sacrifice each for the rest of his combo. A Yavimaya Elder got Rich some lands, but really these weren't the main part of his problem. It was the spells he was lacking. He cast Survival of the Fittest, then used Duress to get rid of Fecundity in Chan's hand. The Survival let him ditch Birds of Paradise for Squee, Goblin Nabob (now convienently in Tenth Edition), who in turn was thrown away for Wall of Blossoms, which drew Hoaen a card.

    Tiago hadn't drawn his Ashnod's Altar, or an Enlightened Tutor to fetch it, so he went on to the attacking plan. Richie was going for his little combo, and used Survival to find Thrull Surgeon. Along with Oath of Ghouls, this would let Rich moderate the silliness that Tiago could achieve, though realistically as soon as Chan drew a combo piece he would likely play it.

    The second turn of using Thrull Surgeon found the one combo piece that Chan couldn't just run out there—his Blaze. With Blaze gone, Tiago was on the beatdown plan... which seemed somewhat hampered by all of Hoaen's blockers.

    He used Survival of the Fittest to put Palinchron in the graveyard, and when he finally got to Recurring Nightmare, after thinning his deck considerably with Yavimaya Elder, it was enough to force the concession from Chan, who did not need to see the combo of Recurring Nightmare plus Palinchron for infinite mana, with Wall of Blossoms to draw cards, before scooping.

    Tiago Chan 0 – 1 Richard Hoaen

    Survival of the Fittest in play meant good things for Rich.

    Game 2

    Hoaen kept a monster hand for Game 2. It included both Survival of the Fittest and Recurring Nightmare. If Chan had disruption, it would have to come fast. On the play, Tiago had to mulligan, and led with Saproling Cluster on turn two. Hoaen had an enchantment for the same cost that he hoped would get him there faster. When Chan played a Thran Quarry, Hoaen was just hoping for no Duress or Planar Void. He saw neither, just a Saproling Cluster activation. For his turn, he simply played Llanowar Elves and passed, with mana up for Naturalize in his hand. Hoaen's only big worries at this point were that Duress, and a lack of black mana which didn't hurt him. He found it with Survival of the Fittest, getting Priest of Gix with the Survival.

    He briefly went through his loop to show he could produce infinite mana, with Priest of Gix paying for Recurring Nightmare whenever he came into play, and Palinchron untapping Rich's lands whenever he came in. Between the two and Recurring Nightmare, it was a combo formidable enough for Chan to concede.

    Tiago Chan 0 – 2 Richard Hoaen

    The Invitational was suddenly all tied up. Vintage would decide our champion


     
  • Vintage Finals: Done in a Flash
    by Tim Willoughby
  • And so it all comes down to this. Vintage will decide the finals of the 2007 Invitational here at Spiel Essen in Germany. Tiago Chan dominated the Winston Draft, while Hoaen took the Choose Your Own Standard match 2-0. Each player had gone 3-0 in the respective formats in the round robin, but equally each player had gone 2-1 in Vintage.

    Game 1

    The die roll would be critical. Each player rolled six dice, and Tiago got to play first. This was very bad new for Richard Hoaen. His Stax deck has plenty of disruption for the Flash-Hulk combo deck, but there is literally nothing he can do against the turn-one play of Chan.

    Welcome to the turn-one kill.
    Hoaen had lost the early game. In Vintage, the mid-game is the mulligan decision.

    Tiago won the mid-game too, with no mulligans. As it turns out, it didn't really matter what Hoaen did. His hand of Sphere of Resistance, Mox Jet, Wasteland, Barbarian Ring, Chalice of the Void, Ancestral Recall, Sundering Titan would have been an utter beating on the play, with turn-one Sphere and Chalice for zero. On the draw, though, it was way too slow.

    Tiago dumped his hand on the table. Mox, Mox, Summoner's Pact and Flash were enough for the turn-one win. Rich didn't worry about getting Tiago to go through the motions of fetching Protean Hulk, putting it into play, letting it die, fetching four copies of Virulent Sliver and a lone Heart Sliver, to attack for easily enough poison to win the game. He didn't even have any cards to scoop up. Who keeps no-land hands?

    Tiago Chan 1 – 0 Richard Hoaen

    Game 2

    On the play, Hoaen's hand was a hot one. He kicked things off with Leyline of the Void, then played Thorn of Amethyst off Mox Ruby and Mox Emerald. City of Brass allowed for Goblin Welder, and Rich passed, still with a Sphere of Resistance in hand. The decision between Sphere and Thorn was quite an interesting one for turn one, as if Chan simply cast a Virulent Sliver or two, it had the potential to cause a few problems. The Thorn was probably the safer choice in the face of potential Force of Will from Chan, but it was quite close.

    If Hulk can't Flash, Hulk Smash!
    Tiago had a turn-one Tropical Island plus Mox Jet, which he tapped for a Black Lotus. Rich fired back with the Sphere and attacked for 1 with his Goblin Welder. With the game locked down on mana, all Tiago did for a while was Brainstorm, and then try a Duress, which saw Sundering Titan. Hoaen continued to make life awkward with another Sphere, and attacked with his Goblin again. The life totals were 15 to 17 in Hoaen's favour. He had taken more City of Brass damage than was ideal, but had something vaguely resembling a clock, while Tiago had a lot of disruption to get through before he could work his Flash combo—not least the Leyline of the Void which would stop Protean Hulk from doing his thing.

    Chan just kept laying lands, and ultimately got enough mana to cast Protean Hulk the old-fashioned way. Suddenly Goblin Welder was not such a clock. A Chalice of the Void for 0 came down, and on attacks Rich dropped to 5 life.

    He drew a second Goblin Welder to sit on blocks, and continued to run in, taking Tiago to 12. On consecutive turns, Goblin Welders jumped in the way of the Hulk, but Hoaen only had two relevant topdecks: Balance and Tolarian Academy to let him play Sundering Titan. When neither of these came, Hoaen extended his hand.

    Tiago Chan 2 - 0 Richard Hoaen

    Congratulations to Tiago Chan, the 2007 Invitational winner!

     
  • Podcast: A Full Finals Rundown
    by Rich Hagon
  • It's all down to this: Tiago Chan vs. Rich Hoaen, with Magic immortality on the line. The show opens with a head-to-head interview with the two finalists, and then goes into analysis of the matchups with Tim Willoughby. Audio feature match coverage of Winston and Vintage follows, culminating with an interview with the new champion.

  • Right-click here to download the podcast to your computer, or just click on the link to open it directly in your browser.
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