by Mason Peatross
Coming into Day Two, the Danish players and Texan players had quite a rivalry. Svend and Adrian were both undefeated, while their various countrymen also had remarkable records, including a 6-1 and three 5-2 players for the Danes, and similar records for the Texans. Adrian and Svend have a little bit of a history here on the Boat, having played at Los Angeles '99 when they played in the second to last round of the Swiss, when Svend knocked Adrian out of contention for the Top 8. Svend enjoys the boat, as he has made top 8 here twice, once in 1999, and once in 1998, both times knocked out by members of Team Deadguy. There aren't any Deadguys around to stop him now, though. Adrian was, according to Randy Buehler, a coin flip away from winning a Pro Tour. Adrian and Randy played in Chicago '97, and when Adrian lost the coin toss for play or draw, it may have lost him the match. Both Adrian and Randy feel that the winner of their match was fairly destined to win Chicago.
Adrian lost this coin flip too.
Svend opened with a pair of Thornscape Apprentices, followed with a Llanowar Knight and a Benalish Heralds. To staunch the bleeding, Adrian played an Urborg Emissary without kicker. This didn't really slow the Dane down, though, and he just tapped the Emissary and served again. Adrian laid a Tsabo's Assassin, and used it to assassinate the Benalish Heralds. The Llanowar Knight wasn't afraid of the Assassin though, especially since it has Protection from Black. So Svend put a Strength of Unity on the Knight and brought all of his creatures into the red zone. Adrian tried to Soul Burn a Thornscape Apprentice to buy some time, but Svend was ready with an Orim's Cure.
Game 1 to Geertsen.
Game Two started out much the same way as the first, with Svend leading with a twin pair of Thornscape Apprentices, and a Sunscape Apprentice. Adrian had to Exclude a Verduran Emissary just to avoid getting run over by the quick weenies being thrown out by Svend. Adrian played a Duskwalker with kicker, and Svend tapped it and came in again. Svend was light on land, but was still playing out creatures, including the powerhouse in this match up, Obsidian Acolyte. That was followed by a third tapper, a Benalish Trapper! Svend looked like he was taking over the game, but Adrian wasn't ready to be counted out yet.
A kicked Vodalian Serpent joined Adrian's side, as well as a Tsabo's Assassin. Adrian Excluded a Rampant Elephant, but had to let a Serpentine Kavu resolve. The Kavu was matched, in a way, by a Stormscape Master and a Vodalian Serpent. Adrian Soul Burned a Thornscape Apprentice, and kept coming in with the Duskwalker. He drained Svend twice with the Master, and finished him with a final alpha strike.
Game 2 to Sayers.
The Dane and Texan entered game 3 with only about fifteen minutes to spare. If Svend's deck performed in the same way that it had in the first two games, he could certainly win in that time frame. Adrian's deck was slower, and the chances that he would win outright in that time frame were potentially slim. It was like a completely different deck showed up for Svend this game, though. He didn't play a creature until turn 3, the amazing Noble Panther. Adrian played an Urborg Phantom which traded with Geertsen's freshly cast Verduran Emissary. Adrian dropped a fourth turn Stormscape Master, and then continued up his curve with a fifth turn kicked Duskwalker and a sixth turn kicked Vodalian Serpent. Svend hadn't been idle, though. He had played a Benalish Heralds and a Kavu Climber. The Climber allowed him to draw into an Armadillo Cloak which he played on his Noble Panther. He served with the Panther and the Climber, and used an Orim's Cure to save the Climber. Adrian couldn't do anything but play a second Duskwalker. On his next turn, Svend enchanted the Panther with a Strength of Unity, and served again. Adrian thought about his block for at least half a second, before blocking with his entire team. Svend could only kill the Stormscape Master and one of the Duskwalkers, and pretty much lost all of his offense. Adrian Excluded a Thornscape Apprentice, which allowed Svend to get out an Obsidian Acolyte. It didn't matter though. Time had already run out in the round, and neither player could have punched through enough damage for the win. It seems the final battle for Texas-Denmark dominance would have to wait until Day 3.
Game 3 and the match were drawn.