2004 World Championships Feature

Posted in Event Coverage on September 1, 2004

By Mike Turian

Before joining Magic Online as its digital product manager, Mike worked as a producer for Wizards's technology department, a product manager for organized play, and as an R&D lead developer. He has played Magic Online since it came out in 2002 and Magic since The Dark.

As the Standard portion of Worlds comes to an end, a walk around the top tables tells one story: diversity. Of the 10 players who were 5-0, eight were playing unique decks. The only repeats were monored control and affinity. The other six decks were completely unique.

Mountains are the story of the day, while Swamps were nowhere to be found at the top tables. Antoine Ruel beat Japanese National champion Tsuyoshi Fujita to finish the day 6-0. Ruel played Big Red while Fujita's red deck focused on land destruction. Both were playing monored control decks. Marco Blume took blue-red control to a 5-1 record. He played Andrei Hayrynen of the Finnish National Team. Hayrynen was one of the two affinity players at the top tables and the only affinity player to finish undefeated.

Krark-Clan Ironworks

Brock Parker took Goblins to a 5-1 record, losing in the last round to old-school player Manuel Bevand, who played a Krark-Clan Ironworks deck to 6-0. Sasha Zorc, who finished 12th at the Berlin World Championships, played Katsuhiro Mori to see who would end Day 1 at 6-0. Zorc used Tooth and Nail to beat Mori playing blue-white control.

Aeo Paquette lost to the undefeated Bruno Carvalho. Paquette had made Top 8 in Pro Tour Amsterdam but couldn't get his Affinity deck to beat Carvalho's white-green Slide deck. Carvalho's 6-0 performance has boosted Switzerland into 18th place in the team competition.

From a country standpoint, France has been doing remarkably well. They are 13-5, putting them at the top of the standings. Gabriel Nassif finished up the day at 5-1 playing white-blue control, leading the French National team. The above-mentioned Antoine Ruel may be 6-0, but his brother Olivier has also added 15 points towards the French National total. Hayryen's undefeated record has put Finland close to the top of the team standings as well.

Sasha Zorc won the Standard portion of Worlds.

Sasha Zorc

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Antoine Ruel took his monored control deck into to an undefeated 4th-place finish.

Antoine Ruel

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The Americans have been struggling. They have only been on the giant leaderboard at one point in the first six rounds of the tournament. After round 3 they had 16 point, putting them toward the bottom of the 20-team leaderboard though they haven't been seen since. Bill Stead pulled a Trevor Blackwell, finishing 0-4-2 on the day. Instead of the USA, South Korea, Finland, Czech Republic and France are where the United States is accustomed to -- tied for first with 39 points.

Here is a breakdown of the decks with a 5-1 record or better:

Affinity 7
Blue Red March 4
Goblins 3
White Green Slide 3
Tooth and Nail 3
White Blue Control 3
Mono Red Land Destruction 2
Big Red 1
Krark-Clan Ironworks 1
Rift Slide 1
Black Blue Death Cloud 1
White Blue March 1

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