by Gary Wise
In a match pitting what were easily the two most dominant decks in the environment, the Mogg Squad's Sigurd Eskeland defeated the European Alliance's Warren Marsh to win Pro Tour New York 5, three games to one. Playing his team's Rising Waters deck, Eskeland, known as the Big Viking to his fellow Pro Tour players, finally got his payday in what has been a long career of near misses.
Game one was all Eskeland. After Marsh played a first turn Ramosian Sergeant, Sigurd replied with a second turn Waterfront Bouncer. After playing a third turn Eye of Ramos, Sigurd played a Rising Waters on turn four, and when he Thwarted Marsh's attempt at casting a Seal of Cleansing, the game was all but over, with Sigurd eventually doing twenty points of Stinging Barrier and Drake Hatchling damage.
Game two was much of the same. While Warren sat at two lands for a number of turns, Sigurd was experiencing the god draw, playing a Waterfront Bouncer, followed by an Eye of Ramos, a Stinging Barrier and a Rising Waters. By the time Warren had drawn his third and fourth lands, Sigurd had played a Rishadan Port, which he used to lock down Warren's mana, crippling his ability to cast spells, and eventually leading to Warren's concession.
Game three showed the possible beginnings of Warren's resurgence. After playing a first turn Ramosian Sergeant, Warren played a second turn Steadfast guard and was able to slow Sigurd's development with his own port. When Sigurd was finally set to cast a Waters, he was forced to use his one Thwart on a Parallax Wave, leaving him far behind in terms of mana development. When Sigurd got back to four mana two turns later, Warren had the Disenchant waiting for his Waters, and the rest was elementary.
The fourth and final game of the match was by far the closest. The game started with Sigurd's second turn Bouncer while Warren had mana problems. It wasn't long until Sigurd got down a Rising Waters, but Warren was ready. One by one, Sigurd fought off Warren's attempts at getting rid of the enchantment, drawing timely counters for each of Warren's first four Disenchants/Seal of Cleansings. Finally, after Sigurd had discarded his second Waters to a Waterfront Bouncer, Warren drew yet another seal, his fifth of seven, and finally was allowed to untap. Ultimately, he dealt with the threat too late. Warren, needing to draw a Parallax Wave or a Reverent mantra to outrace Sigurd's four Barriers, desperately tried to thin his deck with his rebel searchers, but to no avail. Failing to top deck, Warren had to watch as Sigurd did two points of damage at the end of Marsh's turn, then three more on his own, winning the match, the tournament and $25000. Eskeland's next stop will be 2000 World Championships in Belgium.
Eskeland defeats Marsh, 3-1