Sideboard Online Event Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

1998 World Championships
Quarterfinal Brackets


Alan Comer

The creator of such decks as Gozilla, Turbo Xerox, Goofy Gaeas, and the Type I Reanimator, Alan Comer is considered one of the more pleasant players on the Pro Tour today. Getting less practice for this Worlds than he had before previous Pro Tour Events, Alan Comer spent some time at his sponsor Game Empire getting an idea for what to expect at this year's competition. Surprised that he did so well with so little practice, Comer still had to rely on three friends playing their last rounds in order to beat opponents who could beat Alan on tie-breakers for the eighth spot. All three friends won their matches (Rubin, Levy, and Selden), giving Alan the last spot. Though he's the eighth seed, Comer feels confident in his ability to defeat Finkel.


Jon Finkel

College student from New Jersey, Jon Finkel took a year off school to play Magic. This move paid off for Finkel, who is going back to school this September, is about to receive a Pro Tour Player of the Year title this year. Finkel won Pro Tour: New York, placed in top 4 in several other events and won the Extended national championship.

The only member of the national team to make top 8 this year, Finkel is going strong as the first seed after three days of swiss play. Although odds are stacked against Finkel in the top 8, as there are 5 decks that are very good against Sligh and three Sligh decks total, he has pulled off wins in worst situations than this.


Raphael Levy

One of the most promising young players in Europe, french national Raphael Levy is the only non-american player in the top 8. Levy qualified for Worlds on Pro Tour points, having done exceptionally well in European Grand Prix this year. As a deckbuilder, Levy is best known for designing LLL - Legion Land Loss extended deck that had won multiple Pro Tour qualifiers in Europe and several in United States. Levy will be playing a Living Death/Recurring Nightmare/Survival of the Fittest deck in the top 8. Unlike many of the popular variants of this strategy, his deck only includes black and green cards. While sacrificing the ability to play some powerful off-color spells, Levys mana is more consistant so he is bound to lose less matches to not drawing the right lands.


Ben Rubin

Going into his second Top Eight of the current Pro Tour season, fifteen year old Ben Rubin didnt practice as much for Worlds as he had for the Los Angeles Pro Tour held this past March. Though he didnt have decks prepared for the constructed portions of the tourney, Ben had an idea after practicing at his sponsors shop, Ball Park Sportscards (who gives him $100 per tournament) of San Francisco. During a practice session up in Vancouver, Canada the week prior to Worlds, Ben practiced with several Pro Tour veterans John Yoo, Truc Bui, Chris Pikula, and others in an effort to get ready for the competition. Regarding his deck tech he had brought to test, he had this to say, "I had a Waterspout Djinn, Tradewind Rider, Ophidian, Curiousity, mono blue deck I was going to play, but it got beat like nine times in a row by Red. David Price showed me the way." This Deadguy Red tech gave Rubin a 6-1 record in Type II to go along with his first day 5-2 (draft), putting him four wins away for a Top Eight showing.

Playing a "Rude Awakening" deck for the Rath Cycle Constructed on Friday, Ben was able to go 4-2-1 on the day, breaking into the Top Eight of a Pro Tournament for the second time this year. Enjoying his second top eight, Ben felt that his first round pairing against Scott Johns was going to be close. "Hes got cards that can hurt me pretty fast and Ive got cards that can hurt him fast. All the Sligh decks have some pretty tough match-ups coming at them in the finals."


Scott Johns

California native Scott Johns has been on the professional player circuit from the very start, placing in three top 8s previously. Unfortunately for Johns, he was unable to win his quarter-final match at any of those events. Johns, who commented only several weeks earlier that he was going to quit playing competitevly unless he makes top 4 in this event, is very close to having to follow up on his word.

Johns is playing yet another Living Death deck designed by him and Alan Comer. This version includes some interesting alternations - such as using Shard Phoenix, Orcish Settlers and some other creatures not commonly included in this type of deck. Johns is hoping to break his "top 8 curse" and place higher in this tournament.


Chris Pikula

One of the founding members of Team Deadguy, Chris Pikula have not had a really high Pro Tour finish in a long time (since Dallas in 1996) - but he makes up for it in a variety of other ways. Very outspoken about the game, Pikula is a regular color commentator during the final matches of top events. Pikula has contributed to The Duelist and will gladly offer insights and opinion about any subject in the game to those who ask. Pikula is playing Deadguy Red - a deck he, Steven OMahoney Schwartz, Jon Finkel and several other top players feel is the best choice for this format after playtesting together at the Vancouver Open.


Brian Hacker

One of the premiere players on the Pro Tour, San Diego's Brian Hacker (one of three from San Diego) busted out some huge Brian Schneider Orim's Prayer/Humility tech to breeze into the top eight at this year's worlds. Known mainly for his blue hair and casual disposition, Hacker made his second Top Eight Pro Tour appearance (PT Dallas Top Four), finishing as one of five Califorians with a chance at the title.

Playing his White Weenie deck against Rafael Levy's Living Death deck, he feels that he has a good shot at continuing on and placing high.


Brian Selden

Playing in his first Pro Tour, seventeen year old Brian Selden drafted incredibly well on the first day of competition, going 6-1 on the day. He attributed this to long practice sessions at the San Diego game store Artifacts and tournaments against high leveled opponents at Costa Mesa's Women Center. On day two, he played Recurring Nightmare to go 5-1-1, attributing his success to the fact that the deck didn't get listed to the net by the local players he played against. On day three, playing the "Rude Awakening" (Tradewind Rider, Capsize, Awakening) deck shown to him by Sigurd Eskeland, he decided to play it. At the end of Friday, a Top Eight appearance was his reward in his first Pro Tour.

Going up against Deadguy Chris Pikula's Sligh in the quarterfinals, Brian feels that he'll win the match to advance onto the next round.

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