Sideboard Online Event Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

1998 World Championships
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Q: Are you going to post deck lists?

Yes. We're hoping to post the top 8 for both the Standard and Rath Cycle constructed. Some people have asked for deck lists from the team competition, too. Saturday's play was in a limited environment, so deck lists aren't that useful. For the playoffs, the decks used will probably be highlighted in the top 8 lists mentioned above since the same decks were used by the players Thursday and Friday.

Q: [OK, this isn't a question. We did get some good information on Randy Buehler's Rath Cycle deck from someone who should be in the know:]

From: Randy Buehler

**This is Randy Buehler's wife using his account.**

The commentary for Randy's feature match against Chris Pikula in round 19 says that Randy lost because "Buehler failed to draw beef or a Living Death." It would have been much more surprising if he had! Randy's playing the "very confusing green-black deck designed by CMU" which Gary Wise and Mike Turian also played. It's not a Living Death deck at all (and plays no copies of that card). It's a combo deck!

The heart of the combo is Earthcraft. Survival of the Fittest/Scroll Rack and Recurring Nightmare/Wall of Blossoms are the card-drawing engines. The creatures are chosen for their interesting abilities within the context of the deck (and with Survial, you just go get the one you need), and included Spike Breeder, Spike Weaver, Mindless Automaton, Workhorse, Wall of Blossoms, Stronghold Assasin, a Spike Feeder, and a Mogg Fanatic (and I think the Cloudchaser Eagel sneaked in at the last minute).

The most straight-forward route to victory is to use Earthcraft, a double-Overgrowthed swamp, and Corpse Dance to launch a Mogg Fanatic at the opponent infinite times. This method has the advantage that it can be played as an instant. But the deck can also generate infinite mana using Workhorses and Spike Breeder (and an Overgrowthed land and Earthcraft), generate infinite spike counters, infinite 1/1 creatures, gain infinite life (using the one Spike Feeder), and draw every card in the deck. There are so many infinte combos that one can chose which to show the opponent in game 1. The deck is also more consistent because of the alternate routes to victory. (Play-test games usually ended: "Tap my Wall to untap an Overgrowthed swamp, use that mana to recur another wall, etc. Draw my entire deck. I win.") Spike Weavers and Walls of Blossoms hold off the opponents's initial assault, and sometimes the deck just goes beat-down against control decks.

Randy had too much fun playing that deck for it to be tossed off as just one more Living Death deck.

Thanks for the commentary, Mrs. Buehler. Jack Stanton wrote the match up without access to the decklist, so he based his information based on what he saw.

Q: I noticed no representatives from Malaysia are present, although several Malaysians appear on the invitation list. Can you give us some details?

The Malaysian team did not show up for Worlds. Their reasons are their own, and the Sideboard staff doesn't wish to speculate.

Q: What the heck? Where did Tommi Hovi go?

He dropped after round 15.

Q: How about a fourth page for each round or an updated pairings page with the results of each match? Just the results of the featured matches are not enough to follow the results of one particular team/player/national team.

Right now, we just post reports that the TO's computer can give us. We may be able to set something up in the future to facilitate this sort of reporting, but it's going to be impossible (or prohibitively troublesom, anyway :) for this Worlds. If anyone else has an idea for how we might be able to present our information better in the future, they should feel free to make their recommendations.

Q: How long are the Standard and Rath Cycle rounds at this years Worlds? Most local tournaments are 60mins, but I remember one Pro Tour event having 90minutes per round. How long are they at Worlds?

The World Championships follow the DCI-recommended length for constructed events, which is 70 minutes.

Q: What do all those tiebreakers mean?

"Op-Match Win%" is the the percentage of match wins your opponents - all of them so far - have achieved. This number is higher if the people you play against are winning more of their matches.
"PL-Duel Win%" is the percentage of wins that the player has had in all of their matches during the day. A player who defeats all of his opponents in two games has a higher score than someone who keeps scraping out 2-1 match wins.
"Op-Duel Win%" is the same as PL-Duel Win%, but is scored as a composite of all a player's opponents.
"Matched P/W/D" means Played, Won, and Drawn.
It's extremely rare than you need more than one tiebreaker in a given tournament, but they're all here just in case.

Q: Why are there more than 1 bye in the first round ? I mean they could play each other instead of getting a bye.... Please lemme know the reason behind that...

Players play others in their pod, so if the total number of people is, say, three under a multiple of eight, there'll be three seven-person pods, and therefore three byes per round. Pods of six aren't an option, either, because results would be even more skewed than by having so many byes.

Q: Which players do you think have the best chance of winning Worlds?

In the interest of world peace, I don't think I should answer that.

Our staff hasn't done much speculation in the past, and I don't think we will in the future. As the people who run the event, it's probably not appropriate for us to do so. I hope you understand.

Q: Are you going to have a live simulcast of the finals?

Sorry, but it's not possible this year. We took the encoding laptop with us to Gen Con '98 in hopes of recording audio there, but we had a major failure in the equipment. We also have problems with the facilities on-site and the computer that serves the audio we record. All things considered, I'd say that fate was against audio for this World Championship. If you really want to have audio at these events, please feel free to write a (calm, considered) email message to the feedback address, and it'll be passed on to the Worlds planning staff.

Q: Go team Luxembourg !!! It's great to see our players evolve in their first world championship. But why is our teams picture so dark, we're no vampires you know ! Anyway, great job. Hope to see pictures from the competition soon?

The pictures were being taken outdoors, and the sun set. While the professional photographer was there taking pictures on film, we had someone else working with a digital camera for the web. Even under the lights, the night pictures didn't turn out well. Our art staff tried to make the best of the images, and that's what you're seeting.

Q: It would be great if you let us know approximate update times for the results. GMT also helpful!

All told, rounds will probably take about an hour. If we were to make an estimate, it'd be +/- 20 minutes, so you're probably better off just checking in about once an hour.

While it'd be nice if all of this was updated automatically, it's not. There's one guy coordinating coverage on the floor, taking floppy disks from the reporting station when a round is complete and running them to a computer with a modem. They're sent to us and we post the information. He's also writing (or editing) all the text you see. With all that action going on, a good estimate on the time of the next update is rather difficult.

As for GMT, I believe Pacific is -800, so subtract eight hours from the posted time and you'll have the GMT equivalent. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm getting this from an email header!)

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