Semifinals Draft: Phoenix Foundation vs. The Brockafellars

Posted in Event Coverage on September 14, 2003

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.

Not only had Phoenix Foundation only lost one match—ever—in Team Rochester coming into today's action but they had never lost an actual played match of the format at the Pro Tour. Their only loss came in the Venice Masters. You may be wondering about the losses that they posted yesterday but both of those were straight up concessions to Zabutan Nemonaut and The Brockerfellars. Both teams were playing in the Top 4 thanks to those wins.

The Brockerfellers are no slouches at this format either. The team has gone through a number of name changes from the eponymous Huey Brock and Linde, to the clever Brock Bottom at the most recent GP Pittsburgh to today's even funnier name. The B-seat third of the team won the previous Grand Prix Pittsburgh with Casey McCarrell and Ben Rubin while Brock took GP Turin with PTR and Dan Clegg. That's nothing compared to what they pulled off today. Their first ever Onslaught Block Rochester draft came in round seven. Years of experience and a boatload of talent seem to have paid off.

Kai Budde and William Jensen were facing off in the B seat and you couldn't ask for a more spectacular pairing. William Jensen is considered by many to be one of the top players in the world and bears the mixed blessing of being known as the best player to have never won a Pro Tour. Kai was going into this season hoping to take his fourth consecutive Player of the Year title.

Kai won the flip and chose to kick off, a decision that pleased The Brockafellars. They'd been choosing to receive all weekend.

Onslaught Pack One

Kai Budde Goblin Sharpshooter Misery Charm Timberwatch Elf
Dirk Baberowski Shock Sandskin Ixidor’s Will
Brock Parker Leery Fogbeast Charging Slateback Elvish Pioneer
William Jensen Crown of Suspicion Fallen Cleric
Matt Linde Mage’s Guile Discombobulate
Marco Blume Snapping Thragg Imagecrafter

Onslaught Pack Two

Dirk Baberowski Cruel Revival Biorhythm Crown of Vigor
Brock Parker Spitting Gourna Naturalize Skirk Prospector
William Jensen Dirge of Dread Unified Strike Accursed Centaur
Matt Linde Battering Craghorn Aphetto Dredging
Marco Blume Complicate Serpentine Basilisk
Kai Budde Mistform Wall Daru Cavalier

Onslaught Pack Three

Brock Parker Wellwisher Symbiotic Elf Syphon Soul
William Jensen Sparksmith Doubtless One Sea’s Claim
Matt Linde Arcanis the Omnipotent Disruptive Pitmage Airborne Aid
Marco Blume Wirewood Elf Primal Boost
Kai Budde Daru Healer Boneknitter
Dirk Baberowski Pinpoint Avalanche Festering Goblin

Onslaught Pack Four

William Jensen Infest Lay Waste Crown of Ascension
Matt Linde Glory Seeker Backslide Disruptive Pitmage
Marco Blume Wirewood Elf Everglove Courier Elvish Guidance
Kai Budde Anurid Murkdiver Bloodline Shaman
Dirk Baberowski Gangrenous Goliath Wretched Anurid
Brock Parker Tranquil Thicket Crown of Suspicion

Onslaught Pack Five

Matt Linde Pacifism Patriarch’s Bidding Fade from Memory
Marco Blume Dirge of Dread Lonely Sandbar Crown of Vigor
Kai Budde Threaten Daru Cavalier Gustcloak Runner
Dirk Baberowski Solar Blast Misery Charm
Brock Parker Sunfire Balm Mistform Wall
William Jensen Battering Craghorn Crown of Fury

Onslaught Pack Six

Marco Blume Snarling Undurak Elvish Guidance Crown of Ascension
Kai Budde Battlefield Medic Headhunter Brightstone Ritual
Dirk Baberowski Words of War Airborne Aid Lay Waste
Brock Parker Elvish Warrior Towering Baloth
William Jensen Goblin Sledder Festering Goblin
Matt Linde Lonely Sandbar Daru Encampment

Legions Pack One

Marco Blume Timberwatch Elf Covert Operative Voidmage Apprentice
Matt Linde Willbender Master of the Veil Dripping Dead
William Jensen Goblin Dynamo Macetail Hystrodon Hunter Sliver
Brock Parker Echo Tracer Needleshot Gourna
Dirk Baberowski Daru Sanctifier Sunstrike Legionnaire
Kai Budde Whipgrass Entangler Starlight Invoker

Legions Pack Two

Matt Linde Akroma, Angel of Wrath Merchant of Secrets Aven Envoy
William Jensen Skirk Marauder Blade Sliver Blood Celebrant
Brock Parker Skinthinner Berserk Murlodant Hundroog
Dirk Baberowski Crested Craghorn Daru Stinger
Kai Budde Aven Warhawk Daru Sanctifier
Marco Blume Stonewood Invoker Mistform Wakecaster

Legions Pack Three

William Jensen Embalmed Brawler Bloodstoke Howler Defiant Elf
Brock Parker Canopy Crawler Covert Operative Hundroog
Dirk Baberowski Daru Stinger Goblin Grappler Mistform Sliver
Kai Budde Wingbeat Warrior Patron of the Wild
Marco Blume Keeneye Aven Wirewood Channeler
Matt Linde Seedborn Muse Primoc Escapee

Legions Pack Four

Brock Parker Krosan Vorine Berserk Murlodant Glowering Rogon
Dirk Baberowski Skinthinner Totem Speaker Quick Sliver
Kai Budde Aphetto Exterminator Starlight Invoker Daru Sanctifier
Marco Blume Covert Operative Stonewood Invoker
Matt Linde Caller of the Claw Goblin Dynamo
William Jensen Goblin Turncoat Crested Craghorn

Legions Pack Five

Dirk Baberowski Kilnmouth Dragon Goblin Lookout Cephalid Pathmage
Kai Budde Vile Deacon Wall of Hope Mistform Sliver
Marco Blume Canopy Crawler Root Sliver
Matt Linde Stoic Champion Deftblade Elite
William Jensen Flamewave Invoker Crypt Sliver
Brock Parker Needleshot Gourna Lowland Tracker

Legions Pack Six

Kai Budde Skinthinner Goblin Turncoat Warbreak Trumpeter
Marco Blume Corpse Harvester Glintwing Invoker Dermoplasm
Matt Linde Deftblade Elite Whipgrass Entangler Quick Sliver
William Jensen Skirk Marauder Embalmed Brawler
Brock Parker Stonewood Invoker Nantuko Vigilante
Dirk Baberowski Goblin Clearcutter Crested Craghorn

Scourge Pack One

Kai Budde Zombie Cutthroat Recuperate Long-Term Plans
Dirk Baberowski Rush of Knowledge Mercurial Kite Decree of Silence
Brock Parker Accelerated Mutation Krosan Drover Skulltap
William Jensen Goblin Brigand Bonethorn Valesk
Matt Linde Wing Shards Scornful Egotist
Marco Blume Noble Templar Kurgadon

Scourge Pack Two

Dirk Baberowski Dragon Shadow Guilty Conscience Bonethorn Valesk
Brock Parker Ambush Commander Krosan Drover Long-Term Plans
William Jensen Vengeful Dead Unburden Goblin Psychopath
Matt Linde Karona’s Zealot Astral Steel
Marco Blume Wirewood Guardian Frozen Solid
Kai Budde Raven Guild Initiate Chartooth Cougar

Scourge Pack Three

Brock Parker Zombie Cutthroat Break Asunder Sprouting Vines
William Jensen Twisted Abomination Enrage Unburden
Matt Linde Pemmin’s Aura Xantid Swarm Goblin War Strike
Marco Blume Coast Watcher Raven Guild Initiate
Kai Budde Daru Spiritualist Dragon Shadow
Dirk Baberowski Torrent of Fire Skirk Volcanist

Scourge Pack Four

William Jensen Putrid Raptor Treetop Scout Unburden
Matt Linde Zombie Cutthroat Wipe Clean Break Asunder
Marco Blume Wirewood Symbiote Daru Spiritualist
Kai Budde Ancient Ooze Zombie Inquisitor
Dirk Baberowski Torrent of Fire Spark Spray
Brock Parker Aphetto Runecaster Frozen Solid

Scourge Pack Five

Matt Linde Aven Farseer Metamorphose Temporal Fissure
Marco Blume Wirewood Symbiote Titanic Bulvox Claws of Wirewood
Kai Budde Lingering Death Daru Spiritualist Break Asunder
Dirk Baberowski Dragon Mage Dispersal Shield
Brock Parker Fierce Empath Dragon Wings
William Jensen Spark Spray Scattershot

Scourge Pack Six

Marco Blume Pemmin’s Aura Dragon Fangs Uncontrolled Infestation
Kai Budde Lingering Death Wipe Clean Reward the Faithful
Dirk Baberowski Torrent of Fire Sliver Overlord Dragon Breath
Brock Parker Hunting Pack Wirewood Guardian
William Jensen Death-Head’s Buzzard Woodcloaker
Matt Linde Aven Liberator Dispersal Shield

Kai was pretty relieved after picking up a pair each of Lingering Deaths and Daru Spiritualists in the Scourge packs. Going into the final lap he had only an Aphetto Exterminator and a Skinthiner to cope with Jensen's Sparksmith. His deck was largely clerics with a smattering of soldiers. Unfortunately, among that smatter was an Aven Warhawk. "This is really annoying. I wanted some of the 3/6 soldier clerics but there weren't any and I only have three ways to amplify him." Two of those three ways were a pair of Daru Cavaliers.

Dirk was not keen on the idea of facing Akroma with his black-red deck. "If he doesn't have access to Akroma I probably win. That card is just a little bit unfortunate for me. My deck is a little bit slow. For example, my third Torrent of Fire is in my sideboard since my deck was quite expensive already.

Everyone seemed to agree that Marco was facing the best match-up of the three. In addition to a full suite of elf tricks he had a pair of Covert Operatives and an infinite mana engine with Wirewood Channeler and Pemmin's Aura. "My deck is insanely fast while his deck seems slow. He does have anElvish Warrior. The highest casting cost in my deck is five. I have Wirewood Elf and Wirewood Channeler—"

Dirk interrupted to point out, "That was their big mistake. Channeler is pretty much a bomb in this format and we were able to take it on the second wheel."

Phoenix Foundation found green blue to be a desireable strategy because of the Operative and the Coast Watcher which fills the two slot for the deck in the third pack. Marco's plan was to lock up the ground with Wirewood Symbiote and win with his Covert Operatives. "I think they undervalue that guy. He is not going to deal me any damage on the ground and I am going to kill him with the Operative...

"Unless he draws Krosan Vorine"

Huey did not have much to say about his deck or his match-up. He thought he had an edge in the match-up but he would not elaborate. He did mention that, "The gassiest part of the whole draft was Marco talking about doughnuts for twenty straight minutes."

Linde liked his chances against Dirk's deck despite the pair of dragons. "He has burn but for the most part his creatures aren't good." Linde had four different forms of counter magic to stall the game to a point where Akroma could make an appearance. He liked Brock's match-up as well until Marco found a pair of Symbiotes for his deck. "I think Huey's match-up is real close. He might be a little bit the underdog but he can still win."

Brock shared Linde's consternation about the Symbiotes. "I liked the match-up before he got the two Symbiotes. Before that he had only Timberwatch Elf. They passed me Ambush Commander and I'm nearly mono-green and I have Wellwisher."

Marco Blume, Phoenix Foundation A Seat

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Kai Budde, Phoenix Foundation B Seat

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Dirk Baberowski, Phoenix Foundation C Seat

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Brock Parker, The Brockafellars A Seat

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William Jensen, The Brockafellars, B Seat

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Matt Linde, The Brockafellars C Seat

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