Finals: Michael Groves vs Artturi Bjork

Posted in Event Coverage on May 1, 2003

By Mark Wraith

This is the same matchup for Artturi as his last games against Will Turner, since Michael is also running a green-blue Madness deck. Neither of these players were particularly fancied before the tournament began, but have certainly proved their worth over the last 14 rounds.

Game One

Michael got a good draw with a first turn Rootwalla, second turn Wild Mongrel discarding another Basking Rootwalla. He pitched Deep Analysis on his third turn to bring Artturi to 14. Bjork didn’t have a second white mana source for his Wrath of God, so he just cycled Renewed Faith and played Compulsion.

The Wild Mongrel and Rootwallas attacked again, Mongrel being pumped by Arrogant Wurm, but Bjork had a Moment’s Peace. He attempted to Wrath of God backed up by Memory Lapse. Michael had two Circular Logics though, so the creatures stayed in play. On his next turn the attack brought Bjork to 9.

Artturi bought himself another turn by flashing back the Peace, and Compulsed into a second. Michael was very good at countering Wrath of Gods; stopping his creatures dying with a third Circular Logic. He couldn’t stop the third Wrath though. Michael flashed two Roar of the Wurms which were again Wrathed, then played an Aquamoeba and a Roar of the Wurm.

Artturi was now forced to find a Moment’s Peace every turn or die, but he only had a Compulsion in play at this point, with no Wake. Bjork played a Mirari and then drew into the Wake with his Compulsion. Upon showing a hand of two Mirari’s Wakes, and a Cunning Wish, Michael conceded to save a little time.

Michael Groves 0 – Artturi Bjork 1

Game Two

Once again Artturi followed the same sideboarding strategy by taking out his Mirari’s Wakes, Miraris, and Cunning Wishes. Micahel Groves had a very odd choice of cards to take out, including his best card in the matchup, Circular Logic. He only took one of these out, to go with one Wonder, and a Roar of the Wurm. He brought in all of his Caller of the Claws, to help out against Wrath of God.

In any case he started off quickly with a first turn Careful Study for Basking Rootwalla, followed by a second turn Wild Mongrel, then a third turn Aquamoeba Bjork morphed an Angel and used it to kill an Aquamoeba in combat. Even so the game looked reasonably close with Michael having two Mongrels in play and a Basking Rootwalla to Artturi’s Angel. Artturi was only on ten life, though, and with three cards in his opponent’s hand, decided to attack rather than hold the angel back as a blocker.

Groves cast Quiet Speculation to fetch Deep Analysis, Roar of the Wurm, and Ray of Revelation. The Deep Analysis wasn’t enough to make his Wild Mongrel lethal and yet again Exalted Angel won the game in the air as Michael didn’t have Wonder.

Michael Groves 0 – Artturi Bjork 2

Game Three

This time Michael’s start was very good. First turn Careful Study a Basking Rootwalla and a Deep Analysis, second turn Aquamoeba. On his third turn he discarded Ray of Revelation to his Aquamoeba and used it on Artturi’s Compulsion, before making a second Aquamoeba. On turn 5, Bjork played a Morph with enough mana left over to cast Moment’s Peace. The Morph was countered by a Logic, but Michael’s attack wasn’t lethal so Bjork didn’t fog.

Groves had to use another Logic on Wrath of God and this time Artturi did have to play his Moment’s Peace. That left Groves out of counters, so when Bjork topdecked another Exalted Angel and played Moment’s peace number two from his hand, Michael needed to find a Wonder within three turns. He had sided one of them out, and that came back to haunt him as he didn’t find it in time.

Michael Groves 0 – Artturi Bjork 3

Artturi Bjork is the new English National Champion, and takes home $4000. Michael Groves will have to be content with $2000; not a bad return for his weekend’s work. Those two, along with Chris Clapton, make up the English National Team for the World Championships in Berlin.

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