Sideboard Online Event Coverage

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By Wizards of the Coast

Junior Super Series Championship

Finals Feature Match

Jeff Sluzinski vs Stephen McArthur

Two Necro decks meet in the finals, hardly a surprise to anyone following this tournament closely. The players were well aware of each other's decks. That is why McArthur chose to mulligan a very decent hand - he wanted to draw some of his more effective anti-Necro cards, Duress and Persecute.

Sluzinski played first, Duressing a Yawgmoth's Will out of McArthur's hand. McArthur went on to draw a Necropotence on his second turn and immediately Ritualed it out. The advantage was with McArthur for a while, but Sluzinski held his own. Eventually Sluzinski used a Disk to destroy all permanents, including his opponent's Necropotence. Usually removing your opponent's Necro once it entered play would be just doing him a favor. At that point in the game however, removing Necropotence seemed like the right decision.

The two finalists dueled a while longer. Eventually Sluzinski was down to three life. McArthur used a Duress removing his opponent's Drain Life and leaving him nothing but a Dark Ritual. He then used Necro to draw seven cards, going down to one life, hoping to win the game next turn. He wasn't that lucky.

Sluzinski drew a Yawgmoth's Will. Powered by Dark Ritual, he had more than enough mana to Drain McArthur for one point of damage.

Sluzinski got off to a perfect start in the next game. He cast a turn two Persecute, forcing McArthur to discard two Corrupts, a Yawgmoth's Will and two Persecutes. Sluzinski followed Persecute up with a Rain of Tears, leaving his opponent with only one Swamp.

McArthur could not possibly recover in time. A barrage of Corrupts and Drains followed and the game ended before McArthur really had a chance to do much.

Third game was all McArthur. He cast a turn three Rain of Tears. McArthur was holding a Dark Ritual and could have cast it the turn before but elected not to do that. Next turn he followed it up with another Rain of Tears and a Duress. Another turn later he re-cast the same two spells out of the graveyaerd via Yawgmoth's Will. Persecute: Black followed, removing Sluzinski's hand of four cards. Up to this point the Detroit player has not even cast a spell.

McArthur summoned a Skittering Skirge and won a few turns later following the Skirge up with a four point Drain Life and a seven point Corrupt.

Sluzinski took a mulligan in the next game, but his six card hand was just fine: four Swamps, a Dark Ritual and a Necropotence. Seeing the Necro cast, McArthur despaired, but only briefly. He drew a Necropotence of his own and cast it with Dark Ritual he was holding.

The following ten minutes were a true mirror matchup. The two players took turns destroying each other's land, removing spells from each other's hand and even trading Skittering Skirges.

In the end Sluzinski's draw proved superior - he was able to go through more cards but pay less life thanks to Yawgmoth's Wills and drawing all four of his Urza's Baubles.

Casting the final Will of the tournament, Sluzinski cast a Corrupt out of his graveyard, winning the game and becoming a 1999 JSS Champion.

Sluzinski 3 - McArthur 1

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