1999 Magic: The Gathering World Championships
Semifinals Recap

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

In the first Semifinal Match of the 1999 Magic: The Gathering World Championships, Matt Linde faced Mark Le Pine.

There was a significant amount of table talk during the game, as Le Pine is known as one of the more voluble trash talkers on the tour, and Linde is no slouch himself. In the first game, both players started out fast with cheap creatures (Jackal Pups for Le Pine, and Pouncing Jaguars for Linde), and traded off, with Le Pine taking damage from his own Pups. Shortly, Linde moved up to an Albino Troll. Le Pine was forced to block with a Jackal Pup to slow down the onslaught, and even that plan stopped working when Linde got a Rancor onto theTroll. Le Pine died quickly.

Matt Linde 1 - Mark Le Pine 0

In game 2, both players kept one-land draws. Le Pine got his second Mountain on his draw, and had three Jackal Pups in play on turn 2. After setting up a strong creature base, he proceeded to destroy five of Linde's land cards on five consecutive turns. Linde conceded.

When this game had ended, Kai Budde's Covetous Dragon deck had taken the lead on Raffele Lo Moro's Stompy deck, 1-0

Matt Linde 1 - Mark Le Pine 1
Kai Budde 1 - Raffaele Lo Moro 0

In game 3 of the Linde-Le Pine match, both players drew plenty of land, although Linde suffered a bit when Le Pine destroyed two Treetop Villages with Wastelands. Le Pine expended a Shock and used a Fireslinger in an attempt to kill an Albino Troll while Linde couldn't afford to regenerate it, but Linde's Giant Growth kept it alive until he could put a Rancor on it. With an active Cursed Scroll, Linde was then able to clear the way for the powerful troll to finish Le Pine off.

Matt Linde 2 - Mark Le Pine 1

Game 4 began with a Mogg Fanatic - Llanowar Elves trade, after which Mark Le Pine's Jackal Pup, Ghitu Encampment, and multiple Avalanche Riders provided more than enough board control to defeat Matt Linde, who had drawn a surprisingly low number of creatures. During this game, the English-language commentators, Brian Weissman and Chris Pikula, occupied themselves by questioning both players' sideboarding decisions, since neither player had built their own deck. Brian Weissman commented on Linde, "Perhaps when he got his deck, they forgot to give him the sideboard."

As this game ended, Kai Budde notched his second victory against Raffaele Lo Moro.

Matt Linde - Mark Le Pine 2
Kai Budde 2 - Raffaele Lo Moro 0

In game 5, Matt Linde chose to mulligan a one-land hand, and drew a hand of six cards which again held only one land. Le Pine started fiercely with direct damage and land destruction, and by turn three, Linde had no land in play, thanks to Le Pine's Wasteland and Stone Rain. By turn five, Linde had drawn no more land, and Le Pine's Masticore was clearly going to beat him. Matt Linde conceded, sending Mark Le Pine to the finals.

Mark Le Pine 3 - Matt Linde 2

In the third game of Kai Budde vs. Raffaele Lo Moro, Lo Moro started quickly with a Wild Dogs and a River Boa, both of which got killed by Budde's Earthquake. Lo Moro had more creatures, though, and played an Albino Troll and a Llanowar Elves on the next two turns, while Budde played a Fire Diamond, a Cursed Scroll, and a Covetous Dragon.

Lo Moro had two Uktabi Orangutans in hand, so he had a chance at destroying both artifacts to take care of the Dragon. After the scroll was destroyed, though, Budde got out a Grim Monolith. Lo Moro played an Elves, only to see a Wildfire from Budde destroy all the creatures on the board except for the Troll and the Dragon. After Budde played a City of Traitors, he had six mana available, while Lo Moro had none. After trading damage for a couple of turns with the Troll and the Dragon, Budde drew another Covetous Dragon and cast it, and Lo Moro conceded, making Kai Budde the 1999 Player of the Year, and sending him to the Finals to face Mark Le Pine.

Kai Budde 3 - Raffaele Lo Moro 0

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