Live Coverage of 2004 Pro Tour Seattle

Posted in Event Coverage on July 9, 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.

Both round-six feature matches focused on teams on the brink of elimination. Both the Brockafellers (Matt Linde, William Jensen and Brock Parker) and Ready Go!! (Takuya Osawa, Katsuhiro Mori, and Masashi Oiso) had 3-2 records going into round six. Last Team PT The Brockafellers won on the back of their captain Jensen but in Seattle Jensen brought a 1-4 record into the round. Luckily for their team both Linde and Parker had been doing lots of winning. Ready Go! featured both last year's Rookie of the Year Oiso and Rookie of the Year from the 2000-2001 Mori. This year their final player (Osawa) has a shot of becoming the third Japanese Rookie of the Year.

Game 1

Magma Giant

Oiso's affinity deck started out strong with an Atog and a Suntouched Myr. Parker had a Goblin Replica with Leonin Scimitar with which to race. Oiso brought down a Trinket Mage to fetch out a Pyrite Spellbomb. Parker tried to keep up the pressure with a Vulshok Berserker but Oiso countered with a 4/4 Skyreach Manta. With an all-out attack Parker had to figure out if the Atog would be lethal when unblocked. Eventually, Parker decided not to block Atog but Oiso had a surprise in store. A fully charged Baton of Courage allowed the Atog to deal an extra five damage during the attack and Ready Go! was off to a strong start.

Linde's match versus Osawa should be a lesson to all Magic players. Flying is a very good ability in Limited. Even though Linde was protected by a Sun Droplet, the life gain wasn't enough. Osawa brought out five flyers over the course of the game and Linde had no answer. Skyhunter Patrol, Hoverguard Observer, Lumengrid Sentinel, Neurok Prodigy, and a Cobalt Golem all emerged to fight for Osawa. By the time Linde managed to find a Cobalt Golem of his own he was on five life. The match up of five lives versus five flyers wasn't close and Osawa took Game 1.

While Osawa's game was all about flyers, Mori's was all about mana acceleration. Mori played down an early Nim Replica and Cathodian. Jensen took some early damage but a Dawn's Reflection allowed him to play out a turn-five Trolls of Tel-Jilad. The following turn Jensen wiped out Mori's team with a Magma Giant. These two giant monsters left Mori pounding his deck as he hoped for a better result in Game 2.

Oiso Masashi 1 - Brock Parker 0
Katsuhiro Mori 0 - William Jensen 1
Takuya Osawa 1 - Matt Linde 0

Game 2

Mori started out strong in the second game. He led with a Arcbound Slith and followed the Slith with a Molten Rain. The Molten Rain kept Jensen from playing any answers to the Slith so he just watched it grow and grow. When Jensen began casting spells, however, Mori looked to be in trouble. A Tel-Jilad Archer was brought down to stop the now 5/5 Arcbound Slith and it also shut down Mori's only other creature, Nim Replica. Jensen then played a One Dozen Eyes to make five 1/1 Insects. Mori could only answer with a Chittering Rat. Jensen not only stabilized but then took the offense with a 5/5 Skyreach Manta. The Manta killed Mori in just two turns because Jensen used Grab the Reins to make the Manta a 10/10 with Modular counters while dealing the five damage to Mori.

Linde started off his comeback story in Game 2 with a mulligan. Things didn't improve for him with his second hand but he decided to keep it. Even though Linde only had out two mana he managed to make a Conjurer's Bauble, Spawning Pit and Lightning Greaves. Osawa's draw was not in the mode to forgive a mana-screwed opponent. Osawa started to swing the life totals with a Emissary of Hope equipped with Vulshok Morningstar. Linde's Condescended a Skyhunter Prowler but Osawa then countered Linde's Myr Enforcer with Annul to get revenge. Osawa brought an Icy Manipulator for insurance but Linde once again succumbed to the power of flying creatures.

Over in game 2 for Parker and Oiso, both players realized the fate of their respective teams rested with them. Parker brought out Viridian Longbow and Leonin Squire. Oiso got down a turn-two Frogmite with the help of his artifact lands. Parker got the Squire equipped with the Longbow and cast a Soldier Replica. Oiso cast a Krark-Clan Grunt which he then saved in an attack with Scale of Chiss-Goria. Oiso kept up the pressure with a 3/3 Suntouched Myr but Parker used Blinding Beam, Vulshok Moringstar, Viridian Longbow and Barbed Lightning to steal the game away from Oiso.

Oiso Masashi 1 - Brock Parker 1
Katsuhiro Mori 0 - William Jensen 2
Takuya Osawa 2 - Matt Linde 0

Game 3

Pteron Ghost

Oiso was playing first in the critical Game 3 but he couldn't afford to keep his opening hand. After the shuffling process had finished play got underway. Oiso had acquired a large rooting section of Japanese players in the stands behind the feature match area, while Parker had only Jensen pacing and cheering.

Oiso led with a Pyrite Spellbomb, which he sacrificed on the second turn to dig deeper into his library. Parker had a Pteron Ghost as his only creature. The Ghost earned his nickname "The Ghostest with the mostest" as he soon filled up with equipment. As Oiso played a Darksteel Pendant searching for a third land, Parker placed Healer's Headdress, Vulshok Moringstar and Viridian Longbow onto the Ghost. The Pendant helped Oiso find lands number three and four. Parker kept up the pressure with a Leonin Elder. Even though Oiso was able to bring down two 3/3 Suntouched Myrs Parker once again had Blinding Beam and Barbed Lightning to push The Brockafellers into Day 2.

The Brockafellers 2 - Ready Go! 1

Oiso Masashi 1 - Brock Parker 2
Katsuhiro Mori 0 - William Jensen 2
Takuya Osawa 2 - Matt Linde 0

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