Round 13: Gary Wise vs. Florent Lefranc

Posted in Event Coverage on March 16, 2002

By Josh Bennett

Loveable loudmouth Gary Wise continues to force-feed his detractors their words. He dispelled any illusions about his falling off the train with a strong performance at San Diego, and now at Osaka he has an outside chance at a Top 8. Standing proud against him is one of the many French players who have shown their skills this weekend: Florent Lefranc. His many supporters crowded the gallery behind him.

Wise's draw was ridiculous in the first game. He had an Edict for Lefranc's Nantuko Shade, then while Lefranc made no threatening moves, he was free to Tutor up a Mind Sludge in preparation for savagery. He even had Rancid Earth to slow Lefranc down enough that he'd be able to Sludge away his whole hand.

And then he did just that. Another Rancid Earth kept Lefranc off his Coffers while Wise ripped one of his own, powering up a monster Skeletal Scrying. A Shade soon followed, and brought Lefranc to four. Lefranc did his best to turn the tide, topdecking Morbid Hunger to off the Shade, but Wise simply peeled Haunting Echoes to strip Lefranc's deck. A second Shade would be his win condition. Lefranc refused to concede, but was soon at zero life and without the option of continuing.

Wise 1 - Lefranc 0

After it was pointed out by Wise that Lefranc's sleeves were in a state of disrepair, Olivier Ruel appeared like an angel in the gallery above and offered his countryman the use of his own deck. Since they were card-for-card identical, Lefranc accepted. Gary Wise watched the events with a wary eye.

It seemed his skepticism was for naught, however, when Lefranc was forced to mulligan, then mulligan again. "You know, I've lost to double-mulligan already this tournament", said Wise. Proving that you should always watch what you say, Lefranc pulled up a monster five-carder. First Rancid Earth, then Braids.

Wise was dumbfounded as he watched his opponent get the nuts draw. What made it sting all the more was that he had the same action in his hand, but going second meant he wouldn't get into the game. Both had lots of swamps at their disposal. Wise tried to escape with Nantuko Shade, but Lefranc had Edict.

At this point Wise made an error, forgetting to play Cabal Coffers as a sacrifice to Braids, instead losing a swamp. It meant that the Tainted Pact he drew would have to wait a turn, costing him an additional swamp. Visibly distressed, he still managed to dig up Innocent Blood to oust Braids.

That victory was short-lived, when Lefranc Sludged away his hand. Wise hung on by a thread, drawing Edict for Laquatus's Champion, then another for Braids, but Braids made sure he wouldn't have the mana to flash them back. Nantuko Shade showed up, and escorted Wise to Game 3.

Wise 1 - Lefranc 1

Now it was Wise's turn to enjoy a ridiculous draw. He played Braids on his fourth turn, then Tutored up Rancid Earth after Lefranc failed to find an Edict. When he finally did, Wise had drawn into Mind Sludge, and left Lefranc without cards.

Then Wise played his second Braids. Lefranc tried a Shade, but had to tap out to do so. Naturally, Wise had Rancid Earth and seven cards in his graveyard. Soon, Lefranc was without permanents. He wasted no time extending the hand.

Final Result: Gary Wise defeats Florent Lefranc 2-1

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