Round 9: Mike Pustilnik vs. Kai Budde

Posted in Event Coverage on March 15, 2002

By Randy Buehler

No one has ever had the perfect weekend. No one has ever won both a Pro Tour and a Masters on the same day. Jon Finkel pulled of a similarly impressive performance at Worlds 2000, leading Team USA to the team title and winning the individual crown for himself. That $45,000 is the richest payday to date, but if anyone can top it, it's Kai Budde. The German Juggernaut has already secured a spot for his team (Phoenix Foundation) in the Masters finals against Panzer Hunters, but he needs to win his next five consecutive matches if he wants a spot in the Pro Tour Top 8 as well.

Budde took on Mike Pustilnik in a round nine feature match that saw yet another clash between blue-green and mono-black. Budde had to mulligan before game 1 and he had to study carefully twice in order to find four lands, but the second Study put both Basking Rootwalla and Arrogant Wurm into play. Pustilnik Edicted away the Rootwalla and then traded his Shade for the Wurm. Pustilnik's second Nantuko Shade then came down and dominated the board. Budde had no answer to the Shade nor did he have enough creatures to race it. Game 1 went to "Doctor P."

Budde took out his Aether Bursts and a couple Careful Studies before game 2, replacing them with Bearscape, another Upheaval, and two copies of Stupefying Touch. All the sideboards plans in the world can't help when you don't draw land, though. Budde took three "trips to Paris" during which he lamented "I'm main decking three Compulsions and two Upheavals – I thought my deck was really good against black." Pustilnik hadn't realized Budde had Upheavals main. Of course, there was no way for him to play around it anyway. He didn't need to play around much of anything in game 2. Budde settled on a four card hand with Basking Rootwalla, Compulsion, and Careful Study, but zero lands. He drew his first land of the game on turn six.

Budde immediately asked Pustilnik if he wanted to play some fun games. Two more mulligans by Budde later, I walked away. Today just wasn't Kai's day.

Pro Tour Osaka marks the first time in over a year that there have been back-to-back Pro Tours where Kai Budde didn't win one of them.

Final Result: Budde 0 - Pustilnik 2

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