1998 World Championships
Featured Match Reports, Saturday
Team USA vs. Team Germany
The first match of the day during the team competition is generally the most important for the front running teams, as a good finish can build a team with early confidence, while a loss can divide the team and put them into a position of playing catch-up all day long. In a battle of numbers one and two, a lopsided victory could put one team clearly ahead and the loser could drop one to two positions in the standings.
Matt Linde vs. Dirk Hein
Playing the game as though on a chess time clock, both players spent very little time thinking during their turns due to the general nature of their decks. Dirk Hein, playing mono-blue, won the first game after winning the damage race thanks to a well timed Ray of Command. In game two, Matt Linde's Crusade kept his weenie white creatures from dying to Hein's Rod of Ruin and the ensuing beating was too much for Dirk to handle. In game three, it was a race that was won by Linde through a well timed Armegeddon and land draw.
Linde 2 Hein 1
Mike Long vs. Janosch Kuhn
Mike Long, playing a black/blue deck, got off to a non-start in both games, failing to get past Janosch Kuhn's mono-black fat deck. The key to the match was that in both games, Kuhn brought out a Dwarven Catapult which Mike couldn't stop. Aiding the Catapult in game two was Janosch's Breeding Pit.
Kuhn 2 Long 0
Bryce Currence vs. Florian Dworak
In a game decided by who owned the bigger green fattie creatures, Bryce Currence swept the game as he was able to pull the necessary creatures at the proper time.
Currence 2 Dworak 0
Jon Finkel vs. Daniel Brickwell
Sligh is generally good in constructed, it's even better in limited. Jon Finkel, playing the Sligh deck, had an easy time of it against Daniel Brickwell, who was playing a red/white deck. Daniel's deck was just too slow to keep pace.
Finkel 2 Brickwell 0
Matches: USA 3 - Germany 1
Games: USA 6 - Germany 3
Team France vs Team Finland
Team Finland is third in the rankings going into day four, only three points behind Team USA who is in the lead. Team France is in fourth place trailing them by twelve points.
The French had a morale advantage from the start, spoting attractive team shirts and featuring a lucky stuffed hedgehog, on loan from Dojo reporter Cathy Nicoloff. Whether the hedgehog truly brought the team good luck or they simply played very well, the French team produced excellent results in this match.
Pierre Malherbad (Fra) playing a mono-red deck swept Mikko Ranakallio's mono-blue deck despite the pro-red Sea Sprite. Manuel Bevand (Fra) was able to defeat Mikko Snygg (Fin) 2-0 and Marc Hernandez (Fra) playing a mono-black deck beat Arto Hiltunen (Fin) in two games straight with an extra-large Nightmare.
The match between team captains was closer, Fabien Demazean (Fra) playing a green/white deck full of large creatures (such as two Craw Giants) faced Mikko Ranakallio (Fin) white-black deck. Mikko was able to stop the green fat onslaught with his Wall of Swords and The Wretched and win game one, but he was defeated in the second game. Third game lasted until virtually the end of the round, but Demazean was able to win the match with less than a minute left on the clock.
Matches: France 4 - Finland 0
Games: France 8 - Finland 1
Canada vs. Denmark
In a crucial match to see who could make up ground on the front-running Americans (171 points), Canada (147) and Denmark (146) fought it out, with Denmark coming out with a 2-1-1 victory. As with any race, this lack of either team dominating the match could come back to haunt them after the final Swiss points are tabulated.
Terry Tsang vs. Peter Laier
Both players, playing control style decks (green/white Terry Tsang, blue/green Peter Laier), fought to a 1-1 finish, as they ran out of time during the final game.
S. Ryan Kirk vs. Thomas Dall Jensen
With both players playing virtually mono black decks (Kirk had a splash of blue), it came down to Jensen's Pestilence controlling the board and Kirk's inability to deal with it.
Jensen 2 Kirk 0
Nick Chen vs. Tore Fiil
In a monored vs. monored battle that went all three games, Tore Fiil's abundance of creature removal spells was the deciding factor.
Fiil 2 Chen 1
Pete Radonjic vs. Timme Nyegaard
One of the slower, control oriented matches, Peter Radonjic was able to win the first game fight through the use of Flood and an unstoppable Wind Spirit. In game two, it was Radonjic's Flood and Circle of Protection White that gave him the advantage over Timme Nyegaard.
Radonjic 2 Nyegaard 0
Matches: Denmark 2, Canada 1, 1 draw
Games:Canada 5 Denmark 5
Team Norway vs Team Spain
Having maintained a high position in team rankings so far, team Norway has faced team Spain in several exciting match-ups.
Nicolai Herzog's (Nor) mono-black deck quickly defeated Carlos Lopez' blue-green deck. David Brillas (Esp) swept his match against Kim Eikefet. Eikefet, playing red-white was manahosed in game one and Brillas, playing a green-red deck used two Stone Rains to slow down Eikefet's deck and quickly win the match. Paco Martinez (Esp), playing a mono-white deck used his two Wrath of God cards to demolish Snorre Helvik's red-green deck. The match between Gisle Salem (Nor) and Roc Herms ran out of time while both players had one win each. Salem's Wall of Air, two Walls of Swords and a Wall of Spears ensured than neither player could get through.
Matches: Spain 2 - Norway 1
Games: Spain 5 - Norway 3
England vs. Norway
Hoping to sweep to have a better chance at the top four, Norway had to regroup after a 3-4-1 start, while the United Kingdom was hoping to add to their 7-1 beginning.
Chris Manners (UK) vs. Snorre Helvik (NOR)
Manners, one of the top Type II players in the world, ran into difficulties in games one and three, as his mono black deck couldn't handle Snorre's Whirling Dervish.
Nicolas Moss-Allison (UK) vs. Nicolai Herzog (NOR)
Herzog, playing a suicide black deck complete with Badmoon, Erg Raiders, and Necropotence (sideboard), absolutely manhandled Moss-Allison, sweeping the match two-nil. Bad Moon and Pestilence, according to Nicolas, are a "Great combo".
Robin McCandless (UK) vs. Kim Eikefet (NOR)
Playing a mono-green deck, McCandless surprised Eikefet with a first turn Llanowar Elf, second turn Fyndhorn Elder, third turn Johtull Wurm, fourth turn Craw Wurm, and fifth turn Ironroot Treefolk. Kim lost. In the second, Kim was off to a great start, but lost to a very large Killer Bee.
Scott Wills (UK) vs. Gisle Salem (NOR)
"When white/blue control decks meet" could be a an appropriate title for this match-up. In the first, Gisle Salem was able to deal 15 points of damage with his Prodigal Sorceror (Scott had no way to deal with it) and the remaining points of damage with an Island walker. In game two, Wills put down a second turn Millstone that went all the way. Not only did the Millstone manage to take out Gisle's two Divine Offerings, it took out the Feldon's Cane as well. In game three, Gisle's Prodigal Sorceror, Seasinger, and blue fat were just too much as Wills lost the match 2-1
Matches: Norway 3 United Kingdom 1
Games: Norway 6 United Kingdom 4
Team Sweden vs Team Australia
The Swedish national team complete with Pro Tour powerhouse Olle Rade are facing the team from down under. Both teams are still in contention for the top four and so the matches are expected to be intense. Australian national champion Rod Ho took down his Swedish counterpart Matti Leivo 2-0. The black-blue deck with solid creatures and removal was too much for Leivo's mono-green deck. Ho's teammate Yaro Starak did better with mono-green, defeating Mattias Jorstedt 2-1. The swedes were not without a win either. Leif Stockdale's red/green deck took out Dane Coltman's blue/white deck 2-0. Finally, the Rade - Dickinson match ended up in a draw as the time was called.
Matches: Sweden 1 - Australia 2
Games: Sweden 4 - Australia 5
United States vs. Spain
Spain, attempting to make up ground on the leaders and gain some respect from the strong American team, was in battle mode and put on a respectable show.
Jon Finkel (US) vs. Roc Herms (ESP)
With a fast start in game one, Roc Herms took away all of Finkel's life before Jon could establish a defense. In game two, Jon held back on laying creatures, allowing his Circle of Protection: Red and Circle of Protection: Black do all the work until Roc had committed too many creatures for Finkel's ground clearing Inferno. With a hand full of creatures and a Jalum Tome to search for more, Finkel broke open the game and cruised to victory. In game three, Herms laid out only three permanents and Finkel was able to run him over.
Bryce Currence (US) vs. David Vall Brillas (ESP)
In the first game, Bryce was able to Jokulhaups away a large number of threats and summon a Lhurgoyf before David was able to regroup. In game two, it was all about Currence's green swarm. Brillas was always behind and could never defend himself.
Mike Long (US) vs. Carlos Barrado Lopez (ESP)
After splitting the first two games, Lopez was able to put the hurt on Long via two Prodigal Sorcerers and a Segovian Leviathan (Long was playing blue) in game three, winning in convincing fashion.
Matt Linde (US) vs. Paco Llopis Martinez (ESP)
Linde came out on top of this long, drawn-out affair after Martinez overcommitted all his lands. A well placed Armegeddon kept Paco out of mana sources, allowing Linde the chance to Skull Catapult all of Martinez' defenses away and attack for the victory. The final two games were decided by Paco's TWO Wrath of Gods. It was simply too much for Linde after he had committed several creatures after the first Wrath.
Match Results: United States 2 Spain 2
Game Results: United States 5 Spain 5
South Africa vs. New Zealand
Ruaan Marais (RSA) vs. Mark Simpson (NZ)
In game one, both players drew only one land for several turns, but Simpson came out on top after drawing a Llanowar Elf and second Forest before Ruaan could draw a second land. In game two, Marais' two Pestilence didn't show up on his draws until it was much too late to help him. Simpson 2-0
Kelvin Bosch (RSA) vs. Christopher Wilson (NZ)
After a 1-1 start, Kelvin's third turn Time Elemental kept Christopher's blockers from stopping his (Kelvin) Phantom Monster. Eventually, Christopher was able to get several creatures out, including a very mean Orgg. Kelvin put flying creatures back into Christopher's hand and borrowed (Ray of Command) the Orgg to finish the match. Bosch 2-1
John Bromberger (RSA) vs. David Bocock (NZ)
David's attacking with all his creatures and forgetting about John's Firebreathing creature cost him game two and eventually the match. John Bromberger 2-1
Michael Nurse (RSA) vs. Jonathan Aumonier-Ward (NZ)
Michael's red/green Winter Orb weenie deck ran over Jonathan before he could cast any creatures in response. Nurse 2-0
Belgium vs. Czech Republic
Dominic Coene (BEL) vs. Martin Laznovsky (CZE)
Dominic's quick black deck was able to remove Martin's creatures in game one. In game two, a Fallen Angel applied more damage then Martin had life. Coene 2-0
Jean-Louis D'Hondt (BEL) vs. Petr Blatny (CZE)
Jean-Louis' red/green horde was too much for Petr's meager defenses to handle. D'Hondt 2-0
Peter Gysemans (BEL) vs. Ivan Stanoev (CZE)
After a beating in game one, Ivan thought his Deathgrip would be enough to stop Peter's Green horde, but it wasn't enough as a Killer Bee and green fat took him down 2-0.
Kurt Foket (BEL) vs. Rudolf Kucera (CZE)
Dropping the first, Kurt failed to draw a plain (to six islands) in order to play his Circle of Protection Green (against Rudolf's mono green deck). Rudolf 2-0
Canada vs. United States
Terry Tsang (CAN) vs. Jon Finkel (USA)
In the first, Finkel's big red critter attack took Terry down to far to live after an Inferno. In the second, a Durkwood Boar went all the way for Tsang with a little help from Finkel, who tried to Inferno away the Boar (Sacred Boon). In game three, it was all Tsang as his two sideboard cards (Abbey Gargoyle and Justice) prevented Finkel from ever having a chance.
S. Ryan Kirk (CAN) vs. Bryce Currence (USA)
Ryan's mono black deck had problems in the first game after Bryce's Whirling Dervish made an appearance, but he was able to come back strong in game two (at one life), using a Lord of the Pit to administor a beating. In the third, Currence got a poor draw and Kirk dealt a beating.
Nick Chen (CAN) vs. Mike Long (USA)
Early creature damage allowed Chen to kill Long with Brothers of Fire damage in a long drawn out creature standoff. In the second, another standoff occured, but Long was able to break through with a Phantasmal Forces Chen couldn't block. With no time left, the third game ended in a draw.
Peter Radonjic (CAN) vs. Matt Linde (USA)
With Linde mana short early, Randonjic was able to put out an early Wind Spirit and steal away (Binding Grasp) a Linde Armor of Faith Mesa Pegasus to apply a beating. In game two, it was all about a white weenie swarm killing Radonjic before he could muster a defense. In the deciding game, Pete topdecked a Circle of Protection White AND enough creatures to outrun Matt's Skull Catapult. The key play came when Radonjic countered a creaature (Matt had none in play) while at one life. The next turn, Linde failed to draw a creature to cast and kill Peter. Pete's creatures then marched on to victory.
Match Results: Canada 3 United States 0 Draw 1
Games: Canada 7 United States 4 Draw 1
Team Germany vs Team Spain
Both teams are in a very tight spot. In order to even have a chance of making top 2, not only does one of these two teams have to sweep their opponents, Team Canada must sweep team USA in this round.
Dirk Hein played Paco Martinez in a spectacular mono-blue on mono-white matchup. Even though Martinez had two Wrath of God in his deck, Hein managed to squeeze out a win going 2/1.
Janusch Kuhn (Ger) swept Carlos Lopez with his aggressive mono-black deck complete with Pestilence and several Drain Life. David Vall's (Esp) mono-green deck defeated Florian Dworak's red-green one in two straight games. Finally, Daniel Brickwell's red-white deck defeated Roc Herms 2-1.
Matches: Germany 3 - Spain 1
Games: Germany 6 - Spain 4
Pictures of Other Matches:
Teams Finland and Canada
Teams France and Norway
Teams Denmark and Germany
Teams Netherlands and Australia
Teams Switzerland and Japan