Round 2 Feature Match: Sigurd Eskeland vs. Satoshi Nakamura

Posted in Event Coverage

By Randy Buehler

Last year Sigurd Eskeland won Pro Tour New York after skipping PT LA because of school conflicts. This year he was forced to skip PT Tokyo and so he figured he was on schedule to win this Pro Tour too. His schedule was thrown off when he lost round 1 and he wasn't all that happy to sit down across from Satoshi Nakamura for a round 2 Feature Match. The Japanese star also lost his first round. These two met in Barcelona once before - at the 1999 Magic Invitational where they played a match with Urza's Legacy Prerelease draft decks and Eskeland won.

Eskeland drafted a very aggressive green-white deck that burst out of the gates in game one with Sunscape Apprentice, Nomadic Elf, and Noble Panther. Nakamura had a slower black-blue-red deck with lots of card advantage possibilities making this a classic battle of beatdown versus control. Nakamura didn't do anything until his turn four Volcano Imp, but his turn 5 Hunting Drake (returning Noble Panther to the top of Eskeland's deck) really set the Big Viking back. Suddenly Sigurd was forced to recast the same creatures and Nakamura had a sizable air force attacking him back. Nakamura played Mire Kavu and traded it for Nomadic Elf. Wash Out "green" slowed Eskeland down even more. Eskeland replayed his army as quickly as possible, but he realized his fate before it actually happened, nodding and saying "Soul Burn" a turn before Nakamura won the race with one.

Eskeland was hurt in game 1 by the fact that he only drew three lands in the early game and only one more in the midgame. That prevented him from getting his creatures out of his hand and onto the table fast enough. His mana problems continued in game 2 as he was forced to take a mulligan and then kept a 6-card hand without any forests in it. When he failed to draw a third land of any kind by turn 3 he dropped his hand to the table in disgust. On turn 4 he drew an Island and announced "my deck taunts me!" Eskeland felt he lost game 1 because he never drew the Island he needed to play the Questing Phelddagrif that was in his hand. He was only able to play a lone Sunscape Apprentice before Nakamura put him out of his misery in game 2.

Eskeland showed me his deck after the match explaining that he thought he had drafted a 4-0 deck. With Questing Phelddagrif, two Armadillo Cloaks, and a solid mana curve it was hard to argue with him, but it's hard to win when you don't draw the right lands.

Final Result: Eskeland 0 - Nakamura 2

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