Round 4: Team Bjorksele vs. Magic Mushrooms

Posted in Event Coverage on September 27, 2002

By Toby Wachter

Team Bjorksele Magic Mushrooms
Mattias KettilFranck Canu
Anton JonssonRaphael Levy
Thomas RosholmChristophe Haim

This matchup features teams from two countries that had breakout seasons last year: Sweden and France. In fact, Jonsson is considered by many to be the breakout star of this past Pro Tour season. He might be able to continue his roll this weekend, but for him and his teammates to keep on track they have to get through an intimidating French team of Canu, Levy and Haim.

Kettil started off strong with a second turn Wild Mongrel, while Canu had Phantatog and Phantom Nomad. Arcane Teachings made the Mongrel an absolute beating, getting a sigh of disbelief and desperation out of Canu. The Mongrel got to work taking down the Nomad piece by piece, clearing the way for the 4/4 monster Hound to attack for damage. Phantatog blocked it, and became huge thanks to Gallantry. A bit of a discard/stack war followed, resulting in the Mongrel heading for the graveyard. Kettil rebuilt with Forcemage Advocate, Werebear and Nantuko Tracer, and Canu summoned Aven Cloudchaser. Floating Shield on Phantatog held back Kettil's attack while the Cloudchaser got through for damage. The Advocate killed the Floating Shield, giving Canu two Mystic Visionaries back. A second Mongrel was then summoned by Kettil, but Canu untapped and defiantly slammed down Angel of Retribution. Kettil simply attacked with his whole team, and took down the Angel with the help of Sylvan Might. Canu was obviously a bit irritated by the power level of Kettil's deck. Kettil untapped and laughed a bit as his draw.

Canu- "Shower of Coals?"
Kettil- "No, not that good."
Canu- "Oh! Not that good! Thank you!"

Lava Dart was flashed back to clear the way for the next attack, and Sylvan Might finished the job.

Haim used Arcane Teachings on Diligent Farmhand to destroy Rolsholm's board of Cephalid Looter and Cephalid Scout. Aven Smokeweaver made things a bit more comfortable thanks to Psionic Gift, but Haim kept the pressure on with Dreamwinder and Rabid Elephant. Thought Devourer simply blocked and traded with Dreamwinder, and the Elephant was enough to take care of the rest for Haim.

Levy's Braids set back Jonsson for a few turns, and the Frenchman's Chainflinger threatened to kill Halberdier. Jonsson had Patriarch's Desire to handle that threat, and the board was soon in his favor-Anarchist and a pair of Barbarian Lunatics stared down Levy's empty side. A few turns later, Jonsson was up a game.

Jonsson started Game 2 with Last Rites, stripping Organ Grinder and Stalking Bloodsucker from Levy's hand. The two black/red decks went back and forth exchanging creatures and removal; even Jonsson's Crypt Creeper was sacrificed right away to prevent Morbid Hunger from being flashed back. Most of the game involved only one creature in play at a time, as nothing with power and toughness was safe from either black/red deck that had the benefit of a large card pool and the massive removal that comes with it. In this situation, Levy's Gravestorm proved to be better than usual, since the game had become all about breaking parity. Jonsson was able to pull ahead, however, and won his match.

In Game 2, Rolsholm's Psionic Gifted Patrol Hound was staring down Rabid Elephant. The 3/4 monster became nullified thanks to Lost in Thought. Haim's Aven Windreader was kept in check by Phantom Flock, but Haim used Aether Burst to clear the way. Chlorophant improved his board, and Rolsholm summoned Cephalid Looter. Nantuko Disciple made Haim's side even more dominating, but Rolsholm's Thought Devourer was able to squeeze out the win and force the match to a third game.

Canu started the second game with Phantom Nomad and Patrol Hound, and expressed his relief that Kettil didn't have a turn two Mongrel. Nullmage Advocate held back the attack, and Canu made his side better with Blessed Orator. Springing Tiger added to the stalemate, but Canu went to the air with Aven Fisher. Kettil played Grizzly Fate to provide more of a presence on the ground, but he didn't have an answer to the Fisher dealing two points a turn. Kettil sensed the game slipping away and played Krosan Avenger, made it hit the ground running with Reckless Charge, and sent his team into the Red Zone to force through damage. This wasn't enough, and Canu's strong defense proved to be too hard to overcome.

After a few turns in Game 3 had elapsed, Haim's Windreader, Fisher and Disciple were up against Rolsholm's Aquamoeba, Teroh's Faithful and Windreader. Haim had sacrificed Timberland Ruins to get the blue he needed to summon the Windreader, so Rolsholm bounced it back with Aether Burst. Haim answered back with Nantuko Cultivator, discarding two lands to make him 4/4. The Windreader came back out soon after, and Haim's favorable position was made a little less comfortable when Rolsholm used Prismatic Strands to take down the Cultivator and leave his team without a scratch. Regardless, Nantuko Disciple allowed Haim to punch through Rolsholm's defense, and Beast Attack simply added insult to injury.

In Game 3, Kettil's Nantuko Tracer was held back by Phantom Nomad. Krosan Archer gave Kettil a great card to combat Canu's blue/white deck. Just when things seemed to be even and fair, Canu's Glory showed up and spoiled everything. Kettil had one out left- Flash of Defiance. He played it and attacked through Canu's defenses, allowing Canu to swing back. Kettil couldn't force through enough damage on the following turn, and Magic Mushrooms took a match that went down to the final game.

Final Result: Magic Mushrooms- 2 Team Bjorksele-1

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