Round 8: Dirk Baberowski vs. Tommi Hovi

Posted in Event Coverage on June 29, 2002

By Friedrich Rademachet

Tommi Hovi known to have been the first player ever to win two Pro Tours and sixth at 1999 European Championships was playing against a member of the Phoenix Foundation, who recently won a Pro Tour and is widely known as one of the top players in the world. This match would not lack skill or experience.

Game 1

The fist two turns where exactly the same on each side. Land, Land, Merfolk Looter to guarantee a filter for dead cards.

Merfolk Looter
During the German's third turn he tapped out to cast a Psychatog, which got countered. The counter was followed by a 6/6 putting the pressure on Baberowski.The German tapped out once again and cast Flametongue Kavu to shoot his opponent's Merfolk Looter out of the game. The Finn would summon another Merfolk Looter though. The German opponent tried once again to cast Psychatog and was successful in doing so after a little counter war.

Meanwhile Tommi has his opponent down to five life, who cast a Fact or Fiction to have enough cards to feed the tog. His attempt is successful and Hovi stopped attacking but went on strengthening his army.

After some thought Dirk was able to summon yet another Kavu trying to fish for Hovi's Circular Logic. Tommi didn't counter the Kavu but tried to put another Arrogant Wurm into play, unsuccessfully though. While Dirk was tapped out, the Finn had another Roar of the Wurm join his forces.

Some time went by with both players looking for solutions and card advantage. Dirk seemed to be more successful with his Deep Analysis and using Fire/Ice on his opponent's Looter. The German took a big advantage from a double black familiar.
When Tommi tapped out to cast and defend his Mystic Familiar, Dirk cast his upheaval and had enough mana to re-cast a familiar and a tog with multiple counters in his hand and a huge graveyard assuring the win.

Baberowski 1–0 Hovi

Game 2

Wild Mongrel
Tommi realized he had to stomp as soon and as hard as possible and so he did with Basking Rootwalla and Wild Mongrel during the first two turns. The German tried to sneak in a Psychatog but Gainsay beat him to the punch. He then managed to summon a Looter but went down to nine life. Baberowski was forced to chump-block with his merfolk and was unable to find any solution consequently being finished by a 7/7 mongrel with counter backup.

Baberowski 1–1 Hovi

Game 3

Chainer's Edict
In this game, Tommi didn't have a very aggressive hand and took a mulligan. To worsen his situation, he had to see his Mongrel being put on top of his library, enabling the German to cast his Psychatog and followed by a Chainer's Edict for the hound. Dirk was on the offensive now with his creature but remained untapped to control any possible threat.

The Finn tried to solve his problems with an Unnatural Selection, which he didn't get to use once.

Dirk tried to cast Upheaval, but it was countered.

The Finn realized how he had to get something out before falling victim to the Psychatog and cast an Arrogant Wurm teamed up with a Looter. Chainer's Edict took out the Rootwalla and Psychatog did the rest. With only one counter in his hand there was nothing Hovi could do to stop the German wave.

Final Result: Baberowski 2 – 1 Hovi

Tommi Hovi, Finland

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Dirk Baberowski, Germany

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