by Randy Buehler
Going into the last round, Christer Ljones of Norway and Kurt Burgner of California were two of the remaining 3 undefeated and untied players. Norway is having an amazing Pro Tour so far. Going into round 7 five of the 8 Norwegian player sin the field had already clinched day 2 and a 6th was playing for it in the last round. Norway has been a power at the European Championships for a while (winning in each of the last two years) and Nicolai Herzog made top 8 at Worlds. Perhaps this is the tour where they extend that success at the highest level of play.
Game 1 was mostly about Hunted Wumpus. The players traded creatures and removal spells for a few turns and then Kurt's 6/6 monster hit the table. Christer took a few hits and then found himself at 4. Christer played a Stinging barrier and a free Deepwood Legate and sort of had the board stabilized because he could finally trade two creatures for the Wumpus. However, Burgner promptly drew and cast Crooked Scales. Crooked Scales/Horned Troll is a pretty good combo and Christer's creatures didn't last much longer.
Ljones sided in white for game 2, but his opening draw was 6 blue cards and 1 land. Through some mysterious power, his 6 card hand was also a one-land hand, but he elected to keep it rather than mulligan down to 5. He drew land 2 on turn 3, but that's all he had for a while. Burgner Muzzle a Deepwood Legate and played out a number of cheap creatures. Burgner only had 3 land as of turn 7, but his deck is full of cheap creatures and operated just find under those constraints. Rushwood Dryad followed Deepwood Drummer. If Ljones could just draw 2 land, he'd be able to drop his two Stinging barriers and stabilize the board, but he didn't draw land 4 until the turn right before he died.
It wasn't the most exciting of matches, but both players are delighted to be in great shape for tomorrow.
Burgner - 2
Ljones - 0