Team Round 1: USA vs. the Netherlands

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With a lead of 14 match points, the American team had to feel pretty confident going into the team day about their chances of advancing to the finals. With the world's best player Jon Finkel leading the way, with a second place finish in the Swiss, the American had been leading through most of the tournament.

Today however is a new day, the most important as far as the teams competition is concerned. While during the Swiss an individual win was worth three points, today each individual match is worth six, making the Americans catchable. The team who started day four with the closest reach was the Netherlands, whose team included top 8 finisher Tom van de Logt.

In the National Champions match, it was Finkel facing Dutch champion Roel Dols, who finished 8-10 during the Swiss rounds, by far the worst record on the Dutch team. Game 1 featured Finkel's aggressive RB deck coming out quickly, with a first turn Kris Mage being followed by a second turn Spineless Thug. Roel's mono black deck, which matched up well with Finkel's started by killing the Mage with a Steal Strength before playing not one, but two Bog Smugglers.

Unfortunately for Roel though, The Smugglers were forced on defense after one attack due to an overwhelming barrage of Finkel attackers, thanks to an active Cateran Brute who was searching for a Mercenary every turn. Dols was able to stem the tide a little with a Highway Robber, but after Jon did a massive attack trading most of his creatures for all of Roel's, he played a War Monger. This forced Roel's Sever Soul from his hand before Jon did the final damage of the game with a Misshapen Fiend and a Kyren Sniper.

Finkel 1, Dols 0

Game two wasn't quite as competitive. Roel started with a first turn Rampart Crawler and second turn Cateran persuader, to which Jon replied with a 2nd turn Kris Mage. Unfortunately, as Dols played creature after creature, Finkel could only watch as he sat stranded at two mana, both Mountains. Soon, Dols was able to finish Jon off with a large force of Mercenaries, including a Pit Raptor.

Finkel 1, Dols 1

In game three, it was Finkel who came out fast, with a 2nd turn Spineless thug to Dols' 1st turn Rampart Crawler, with which he didn't attack, forgetting the Thug's inability for defense. After Jon played a third turn Spur Grappler, Roel played a Deepwood Ghoul, putting an effective end to Jon's offense. Both players started drawing a number of lands as Jon's 4th turn Rathi Intimidator searched for creature after creature. After Jon had taken Dols to 1 life with an Agent of Shauku, Roel cleared the table with a Massacre while holding a swamp and Maggot Therapy to Jon's cardless hand.

Both players began drawing cards with Dols at 1 life to Jon's 10, but Jon knew he was in trouble with Roel's Belbe's Percher hitting the table first. While Jon was able to finally muster a Keldon Berserker at 4 life, it was too late, at Dols finished him off with Dark Triumph.

Meanwhile, Chris Benafel, despite losing game two to a 3rd turn Fault Rider, 4th turn Blastoderm, 5th turn Saproling Burst, was able to defeat Jeroen Remie 2-1, Tom van de Logt was able to overcome a bad mistake to beat Frank Hernandez and Aaron Forsythe defeated Frank Karsten, giving the USA 12 points and the Netherlands 12.

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