Pro Tour-Chicago 1999
Round 11 Feature Match

Posted in Feature

By Wizards of the Coast

Jon Finkel vs. Worth Wollpert

A pair of teammates who last played each other in the semi-finals of last spring's Pro Tour Los Angeles sat down for round 11 knowing that the loser was eliminated from top 8 contention and the winner would need to go 3-0 (or maybe 2-0-1). Worth Wollpert was running Suicide Black - not a good matchup for Jon Finkel and his Forbidian deck, but the matchup is much closer now than it was before Powder Keg was printed.

Jon won the die roll and elected to keep a draw with 3 Powder Kegs, but only one land. Worth played a first turn Phyrexian Negator. Jon drew "not-land", took five, drew "not land", took 5, drew "not land", and scooped up his card. Total game length: 90 seconds.

In game 2 it was Worth's turn to keep a questionable draw. He knew he was drawing, mulliganned down to 6 cards, and then kept a hand with 6 good cheap spells in it. He had to discard twice before he played his first land on turn 4. The game lasted a while after that, but Finkel held off Worth's creatures with Powder Kegs and a Disk. When Finkel dropped a Masticore with 4 mana left untapped, Worth had seen enough.

The one real game - game 3 - was quite interesting. Finkel's opening hand was a solid mix of land and Impulses along with one Force of Will. Worth had 2 Demonic Consultations, a Negator, a Duress, and a Dark Ritual in addition to his land. What would you have done if that was your hand? First trun Negator is pretty good, right? It's so good that Worth wanted to make sure it didn't get Force of Willed. He cast Dark Ritual and then Duress. After removing Force of Will from Jon's hand Worth Consulted for another Dark Ritual. He lost half his deck in the process, but Suicide Black doesn't exactly take long to win. After casting the Ritual he got from the Consult with his one remaining black mana, Worth dropped the big boy and put Finkel on an extremely fast clock.

Finkel did play a turn 2 Powder Keg, but he had to survive 4 attacks before the Keg could build up to 3 counters. Worth then played a Carnophage. Jon used Quicksand to kill the Carnophage, but the Negator remained a problem. Jon Impulsed and wisely chose an Ophidian. By chump block with Ophidian for one turn, Jon managed to preserve 3 points of life and finally Keg away the Negator.

Worth made a mistake on the turn Jon chumped with Ophidian. He had three land in play and one land in his hand, along with Cursed Scroll and Demonic Consultation. What Worth should have done was tap a land to pay for the Cursed Scroll before attacking. Because the 'Phid did one damage to the Negator, Worth had to sacrifice a permanent. If it's a tapped land then it's no big deal, but he attacked first and had to sac. an untapped land, and only had 2 mana left over when he played his Scroll. That cost him a sure two damage and Worth saw it right after he declared his attack. Once he actually did play his Scroll, Finkel was able to Impulse for a Powder Keg and blow it up after taking one hit from it. Jon looked like he might stabilize at 1 life thanks to Worth's mistake, but Worth drew Phyrexian Negator off the top. Jon failed to top-deck a Treachery and Worth won the match. "Negator or no?" Worth said to the crowd while smiling and pointing his finger to the sky.

Worth Wollpert - 2
Jon Finkel - 1

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