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Pro Tour-Los Angeles 1999
Semifinal Matches

Jon Finkel vs. Worth Wollpert

Game One

In the battle of Deadguy teammates, Jon Finkel pitted his defensive Blue/White deck against Worth Wollpert's Red/Green creation. Taking a mulligan to begin the game, Worth had to watch as Finkel gained a slight advantage with second turn Opal Gargoyle and third turn Cathodian. Seeing that he faced severe pain, Wollpert was forced into activating the Gargoyle though his summoning of a Viashino Runner. In the ensuing battle, the Cathodian and Runner killed each other, but the Gargoyle kept the attack alive.

Fighting for creature advantage, Finkel watched as two of his creatures (Pendrell Drake, Wizard's Mentor) were killed (Heat Ray, Steam Blast). Still, he Pendrell Fluxed a Winding Wurm to keep from losing the ground war. Several turns went by before Jon broke the game wide open by playing a Somnophore that Worth couldn't deal with.

Jon Finkel 1 Worth Wollpert 0

Game Two

A Wild Dogs provided some early beatings for Worth while Finkel tried to find some extra mana. Exchanging a Disciple of Grace for the dogs, Jon also fought off two other Wollpert monsters (Blanchwood Treefolk, Argothian Swine) with a Pacifism and Pendrell Flux.

The Treefolk commenced the beatings once an Elvish Lyrist was found to un-pacify him. In an effort to stop the rampaging tree, Finkel gangblocked, using a Pendrell Drake and Wizard Mentor (looking to pump one of the blockers up with an Angelic Page). Worth Heat Rayed the Wizard Mentor in response, gaining a two to one card advantage on the exchange. This proves too much for Finkel to take and he succumbs to the onslaught shortly thereafter.

Jon Finkel 1 Worth Wollpert 1

Game Three

Jon's second turn Opal Gargoyle is activated when Worth plays a turn two Priest of Titania. On turn four, Wollpert went with a gamble, playing a Winding Wurm (using the Priest for the fifth mana). In a brilliant move, Finkel cast a Pendrell Flux on the Priest. During his upkeep, Worth couldn't pay the echo for his Wurm. On top of that, he chose not to pay for the Pendrell Fluxed Priest of Titania. During the rest of the turn, Wollpert cast a Shiv's Embrace on his Dromosaur in an effort to get some defense going. Jon, being a mean-spirited guy, cast a Monk Realist to destroy the Embrace.

Things went from bad to worse when the Monk Realist started to serve on Worth, as his Dromosaur and Elvish Lyrist refused to make the ultimate sacrifice and take it for the team. Finkel brought out a Wizard Mentor, which Worth failed to Heat Ray (Power Sink). The next turn, this proved huge. Finkel cast an Elite Archers, and with the Wizard Mentor active, Worth couldn't make it go away and conceded the game shortly after.

Jon Finkel 2 Worth Wollpert 1

Game Four

Missing 4th and 5th turn land drops, it looked as though Finkel would get run over early on by Worth's beasts. It wasn't until turn sixth turn that Finkel found another land, though he did manage to tie up Worth's mana by Pendrell Fluxing an Argothian Swine. Finally, Jon got a minor defense going in the form of an Angelic Page and Cathodian. With mana coming to him, Finkel was able to put out nearly as mana creatures as Worth, creating a creature stall. The breakout occurred when Finkel tapped four of his six mana to cast Somnophore (which rumor has it translates into "Game over for Worth if he doesn't do something about it quick"). On his turn, Wollpert attacked with a Viashino Runner, which was blocked by Finkel's Monk Realist and Cathodian. Doing 1 point to the Realist (to kill it) and two to the Cathodian, Worth went back into his main phase and cast a Steam Blast, hoping to clear the board of creatures. During damage prevention, Jon cast a Redeem on both the Cathodian and Somnophore, keeping them alive. On the following turn, Worth's only play was to summon a Blanchwood Treefolk, which Finkel Pacified. Locked down by the Somnophore, Worth reached his hand over to Finkel and conceded the game (and match).

Jon Finkel wins 3-1 over Worth Wollpert



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