Round 13: Jeroen Remie vs. Tuomo Nieminen

Posted in Event Coverage on August 8, 2003

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

Jeroen and Tuomo had the best records coming into the first round of Day Three. They were the only players with a single loss at World's. There were only three players with two losses, including Kai Budde and Gabriel Nassif sitting diagonally across the feature match area with a throng of spectators gathering for the hometown hero.

Everyone knew what Jeroen was playing. He needed only a 2-4 record to make Top 8 and he decided to run his old stand-by—The Rock. He turned to Mark Rosewater, "If I go 1-5 playing against Mind's Desire I am going to hunt you down." Mark put up his hands and took no blame for the card's design.

The Dutch player was unsure as to the contents of his foe's deck and he tried to extract any information but none was forthcoming. Tuomo was free with his skepticism of Jeroen's deck choice though.

Jeroen defended his deck, "That's the thing about Rock...everyone says it is bad but they don't know what's in it. There are 300 cards you could be playing." He continued shuffling and took a deep breath and tried to relax. "I am pretty nervous." His opponent nodded agreement and Jeroen continued, "You too? I couldn't get much sleep last night."

The discussion was interrupted by Kai who gestured to the spectators pressed into the rail for the German's match and asked Jeroen why no one was following the match being covered by the Sideboard. Jeroen could have commented that this was the showdown between the tournaments best to records but all he offered was, "Thanks Kai, you're the best."

Game 1

Both players kept and Jeroen was playing first—always important in Extended but never more so than in this current environment. He led with Duress and saw a hand with one Mountain, two Seal of Fire, Siege-Gang Commander, Goblin Lackey, Jackal Pup and a Flunky. He shook his head sadly, "Goblins..." He took the Seal and passed back the turn.

When Tuomo took too long debating his first turn, Jeroen smelled a top decked Wasteland. Tuomo shrugged and the Dutch player knew he was correct, "Yeah, he drew a Wasteland." He was correct and Tuomo smoked the Llanowar Wastes. He played a Forest and a Llanowar Elf. Tuomo smoked the Elf with his remaining Seal and passed the turn over playing a Lackey.

Jeroen played a Treetop Village and sent it back. It was time for Lackey to make its debut and it came down with a Jackal Pup flanking it. A Forest from Jeroen meant he could stay back on his Village. Tuomo wasn't ready to lose his precious Lackey and added a Mogg Flunkies to his board.

The staring contest continued as Jeroen continued to play lands while his opponent was stuck on two. He played a Fanatic and said go. Jeroen drew a black source and was able to play the Deed he had been holding since the draw. When Tuomo attacked with everyone he shrugged and Deeded for two. Jeroen took one from the Fanatic and a Seal of Fire was played.

Jeroen followed up his sweep of the board with the deck's trademarked Spiritmonger. On the next turn he cast Cabal Therapy naming Siege-Gang Commander and took three copies of the card from his mana-screwed opponent's hand. He promptly scooped.

Jeroen – 1 Tuomo – 0

Game 2

Jeroen was happy with his deck's performance and when Tuomo asked for the Dutch player's assessment of the match-up he offered it gladly. "The match-up is not as good as it used to be but it is still very good."

Tuomo was not so sure, "If I had gone first... Or if I had not Wastelanded your land." Jeroen had the Cabal Therapy among his openers and he would have led with that naming Siege-Gang had Tuomo opened with a Lackey. He was pretty confident in his deck's ability to deal with Sligh. He sided in four Festering Goblins, two Smother and a pair of Edicts. He took out most of his discard and some of his tutors to make room. Tuomo brought in two Fledgling Dragons and a pair of Rishadan Ports.

As they readied for the game, Jeroen urged the Kai crowd to come watch his match. "This is an exciting game here—we are actually playing creatures! That has to be better than Enchantress or Reanimator." When someone suggested that those two decks both revolved around creatures he waved it off, "Sort of."

Jeroen had a good opening hand for Rock but not against Goblins playing first. He sent back two Baloths and Edict and an Elder in hoped of something better. The next six had Elf and Bird and he kept it. Tuomo led with the Lackey and when Jeroen played a Festering Goblin he gasped jokingly, "He has tech!" It was old hat to Jeroen because he had actually boarded them at the last Masters Series.

The two Goblins traded but Tuomo had another and a Wasteland for the Llanowar Wastes. Jeroen's next land was a Treetop Village and he braced for the Lackey. It powered out a Warchief on the next turn and was augmented with a hardcast Flunkies. Another Wasteland took out the Village and Jeroen played a Swamp.

Siege-Gang and Seal of Fire sealed the deal on the next turn. If you blinked you would have missed it. It was that fast.

Jeroen tugged nervously at his collar and shooed away the crowd that was starting to drift over, "Okay, you can all go watch that other match now. Go along."

Tuomo played Wake on Day One and he was loving the goblins, "This is much better than Wake. I might actually have some time between rounds!"

Jeroen – 1 Tuomo – 1

Game 3

Tuomo was hoping for another nuts draw but he felt guilty. "Siege-Gang Commander is kind of overpowered..."

"On turn two it is definitely overpowered," agreed Jeroen.

Both players kept and they were off. Jeroen led with a Treetop and his opponent played one of the two Lackeys he was holding. Wall of Blossoms said it wasn't going anywhere though. The second Lackey hit the table but Jeroen felt safe when he played an Elf and Bird on the next turn.

Tuomo killed the Elf with a Fanatic and sent the Lackeys in. Jeroen was forced to chump with his Bird but he had the Deed on the next turn and took out half the Lackeys in his foe's deck. Tuomo only had two lands and he frowned and played a Seal of Fire.

Now that Jeroen had a little room to maneuver he seemed to relax and he played a Yavimaya Elder. The Finn had nothing on the next turn and sent it back glumly. Jeroen had another Wall of Blossoms and sent in his Treetop and the Elder. He killed the Elder and Jeroen got his two lands. Tuomo played a Piledriver and sent it back to take another three.

He had a Flunky on the next turn and Jeroen cast a Deed and used it for two. He seemed startled when his Walls died as well and seemed to have second thoughts about the play but he got in for another three points. Another Piledriver seemed unimpressive with no wingmen but that was all he had. On the plus side a Rishadan Port would allow him to negate the Village.

Not yet though and Tuomo fell to eight on the next turn. A Ravenous Baloth was looking like game for the Dutchman but after Tuomo played a Mogg Flunkies he made a grave mistake. He cast Cabal Therapy on the next turn naming Siege Gang and hit one but he saw two Fledgling Dragons lying in wait along with a Gempalm Incinerator.

Jeroen cast Deed and activated it for two. Tuomo responded by Porting the Treetop Village. Jeroen responded by activating the Village and not merely floating the mana. He wanted to sacrifice the Village to flash back Cabal Therapy and had a brain fart. He shook his head sadly and chided Tuomo, "You tricked me there..." But he knew he had made a huge mistake. He attacked for four with the Baloth and then used it to flash back Therapy to get the Dragons.

Tuomo was happy to have a window to climb through and played the Gempalm and a Seal of Fire. Jeroen was reeling at the possibility that he could lose this match. He emptied his hand to play another Treetop and an Elder. Tuomo sealed the Elder and got in for two—Jeroen drew a bunch of cards. Wasteland was played.

Jeroen drew and sighed, "I am lucky. My deck is saving me." He played a Baloth after a Port shut down his Treetop. Jeroen was holding another Treetop but he played a Forest instead. Tuomo urged his deck on and was 'rewarded' with another Gempalm, which he played.

Jeroen played ANOTHER Forest and sent his Baloth into the two goblins and went two for one and gained some life. He also noticed the Village in his hand and smacked himself in the forehead with a resounding thump. "Good God!"

Tuomo pulled a Warchief and got in for two. The Village finally saw play and the Warchief was Smothered. It was time to smoke a Treetop and Tuomo did so and played another Wasteland. He continued to merely tap the Village though because he was still tight on land—only five in play. That was enough to cast a Siege-Gang on the next turn, which prompted Jeroen to Vampiric for his last Deed. He had enough mana to cast it and break it for five on the next turn AND activate a Village while his opponent was tapped out. Tuomo fell to one.

He said go next turn, sitting on Wasteland and Port in the hopes that Jeroen would not draw an actual creature. The Dutchman windmill slammed a Llanowar Wastes onto the table and passed the turn. Tuomo drew a Lackey off the top and played it, "This combat is grizzly."

Jeroen gasped audibly when he drew his next card—a Smother. "I'm sorry for playing so badly this was disgusting."

Final Result" Jeroen – 2 Tuomo – 1

Jeroen Remie

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Tuomo Nieminen

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