Round Five Feature Match:

Posted in Event Coverage on February 7, 2004

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.
Phil Freneau is one of what seems like an ever-increasing number of semi-retired Pros making a push to get back in the game. It may not be fair to call him semi-retired since he played in Amsterdam. He had such a good time that it reinvigorated and played in the PTQ there on Sunday. He went 7-0-2 over fifteen hours and proceeded to lose in the Top 4 of a two-slot qualifier.

He also traveled to Alaska to attempt to qualify for Kobe in the waning days of the Extended PTQ season. He lost in the Top 8 of that event. It is clear that the Oregonian is trying to get back on the top of his game.

Jordan Berkowitz is not in the position to have to worry about such things right now and laughed as his friend recounted the ups and downs of getting back on the tour. Jordan was not happy with his deck and did not feel he would offer much resistance to Phil's attempt to qualify this weekend. "My deck is good but I have no bombs-do you have bombs?"

Phil tried not to laugh, "I might have a bomb or two."

"That is not what I wanted to hear."

Game 1

Jordan opened with Leonin Scimitar and Phil came back with Tel-Jilad Chosen. Jordan had a Talisman on his second turn. When Phil attacked and curved into a Cathodion Jordan proclaimed, "That is a good draw." Phil wasn't buying it though, "You have something."

Jordan played a third turn Juggernaut but Phil was unfazed as he revealed his bomb-Glissa Sunseeker.

Jordan attacked and the Tel-Jilad Chosen kept the Juggernaut at bay. Goblin War Wagon came down for Jordan and he was prompted say, "My deck is pretty good against a Glissa, huh?"

Phil smoked the War Wagon and played a Drill Skimmer. Jordan rooted for no sixth land on Phil's turn s he untapped and played a Goblin Dirigible. Phil played his land and killed the flier. He used the mana to play a Hematite Golem and pump it. Jordan took five on the attack.

Jordan banged his Juggernaut into the Chosen and passed the turn. Phil attacked with everyone but Jordan was sandbagging. He killed Glissa with Betrayal of the Flesh and returned the Dirigible into play to eat a Cathodion. Jordan fell to five and Phil took three points of mana burn. Phil played a Tel-Jilad Exile after combat.

Jordan was contractually obligated to send the Juggernaut to bounce off the Exile and declared, "This Juggernaut is s**t!"

Phil played a Vulshok Morningstar and put it on his Golem and sent everyone into the Dirigible. Jordan could not find a block that let him live another turn and announced, "You got it."

Phil smiled, "You should board in some anti-Glissa."

Berkowitz - 0 Freneau - 1

Game 2

Auriok Siege-Sled

Jordan agonized over his one land hand even going so far as to compare himself to last game's Juggernaut. He decided to keep and was rewarded with land and Iron Myr on the second turn. He did not have land three but mustered a Krark-Clan Grunt. Phil had nothing in play and Jordan missed another drop and played a Yotian Soldier and sent his Grunt in for two.

Phil Detonated the Iron Myr and Jordan took two--he forgot to sacrifice it to the Grunt. When Phil starting tapping land on the next turn Jordan asked, "Glissa?"


Phil tried to kill the Yotian with his Glissa but had too much mana in his pool. There was some debate over whether or not it should be tapped and Phil proclaimed, "I don't care if it is tapped." Jordan promptly reached over and tapped it.

"I still can't win."

Phil played a Hematite Golem and passed the turn. Phil killed the Yotian with his Glissa next turn and played an Auriok Siege-Sled. Jordan played a Dross Golem but Phil played and put Whispersilk Cloak on the Glissa and used the mana to kill the Golem.

Jordan Detonated the Cloak and Phil fell to seven. Phil played an Oxidda Golem and attacked with everyone. Jordan traded his Grunt for the Golem and knocked on his deck for an answer-he was holding Arrest and Betrayal. He had only four mana in play and none of it was white. Phil added a Drill Skimmer to his team.

Jordan played a War Wagon and scowled at his deck. "Do you know how many ways I have to deal with Glissa in my deck? Actually only three or four but still…"

Berkowitz - 0 Freneau - 2

Jordan Berkowitz

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Phil Freneau

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