Nationals 1999 Reports
Finals Feature Match
Kyle Rose vs John Hunka
In 1998, Matt Linde faced Mike Long in a battle of the mono-white weenie
deck and a combo deck. Again, this year. No. Today history repeats itself
with Kyle Rose's white weenie deck facing John Hunka's Enchantress strategy
that has not been seen in type 2 since Earthcraft was added to the banned
Sadly, the match was less than exciting. There was little interaction
between the two decks, each pursuing its own strategy and mostly just
ignoring the opponent.
Rose was able to deal over ten points of damage with a horde of 1/1
creatures under Crusade. Unlike the Bargain decks though, Hunka's Enchantress
deck does not need to be at a very high life total in order to win.
Hunka's combo worked out perfectly, providing those watching the live
video coverage with an excellent example of how this deck is supposed
First Hunka played a pair of Enchantresses - Argothian and Verduran.
He went on to cast multiple enchantments that speed up mana development
- Wild Growth, Fertile Ground and Exploration. He was able to keep doing
so because playing each enchantment would let him draw two cards. Once
it seemed Hunka was about to run out of mana he would cast either a
Cloud of Faeries of Frantic Search - untapping his Forest enchanted
with a number of Wild Growths and his Serra's Sanctum. Eventually he
would go through his entire deck and cast Yawgmoth's Will, generating
more mana with the "free" spells out of the graveyard. In the end, there
would be sufficient mana to cast Stroke of Genius for the win. Even
if he couldn't pull off enough mana with Searches and Faeries, a single
Palinchron provides the ability to gain infinite mana when needed.
Second game was a lot more difficult for Hunka. Rose played a turn
four Humility, preventing Hunka from being able to draw cards via Enchantress.
Down to one life, Hunka was finally forced to try and go off a few turns
later. He managed to find a Disenhant, deal with Humility and get his
combo going in the nick of time.
It seemed like Hunka was about to sweep as he started off the combo
in game three. It was not to be as the combo stalled on him and he conceded
the game with 10 mana in his mana pool and no way to use it.
In the fourth game Rose's Humility strategy paid off. Hunka could not
find the Disenchant in time, was forced to block with his two Enchantresses
and eventually lose the game to 1/1 attacking creatures.
In the final game three 1/1 creatures were on the table by turn two,
joined by Glorious Anthem on the third turn. Rose managed to deal a
lot of early damage to Hunka, who had a mediocre draw. Eventually Hunka
did manage to start generating extra mana and try to go off but luck
was not with him today. Around 5:30pm EST Rose won the fifth game to
become the sixth U.S. National Champion.
Rose 3 - Hunka 2