Team Sealed Deck: Scotland and England First Deckbuild

Posted in Feature

By Craig Jones

Worlds 2000 marked a huge change for a little rock stuck out on the side of Europe. For the first time the United Kingdom would not be united at Magic (although some would say it never was). There would be no United Kingdom team at worlds. Instead England, Scotland and Wales would each be sending their own separate teams. The long held view was that the English and UK teams were in fact one and the same (with the exception of the odd Welsh player) and most English players still called this years nationals the UK nationals (much to the disgust of the Scots). Maybe it's arrogance or maybe those crazy guys north of the border are too easy to wind up, but the general feeling was that both the Scots and Welsh teams would struggle at Worlds. Yet after 3 days of individual competition the Scots lead the English by 7 points and are 11th and 18th respectively. Could the Scots pull off a coup and finish higher than the auld enemy?

The team tournament has each team open up 2 starters of Mercadian Masques, 3 boosters of Nemesis and 3 boosters of Prophecy. With these cards they have to build 4 decks. Each player's match counts for double points so standings can change rapidly over the day.

Preparations varied. Barry Brown, one of the Scots team spent the night on the town and didn't get back until half five in the morning somewhat worse for wear. English team member Terry Matthews thought he "needed the rest more than anything" and just chilled for the evening.

Now onto the cards.

The English ended up with an unfortunate set of cards with which to build decks. As a color blue was virtually non-existent apart from a dominate and a couple of the lesser fliers. Black had a few removal spells (Seal of Doom, Vicious Hunger, Sever Soul), some fatties (Bog Elemental, Volrath) and a nice combo with Undertaker/Spiteful Bully/Highway Robbers. Green had some fatties with double Vintara Elephant and Blastoderm and creature pumpers with Invigorate, Wild Might and the awesome Vitalizing Wind. Red had 2 crushers, Gargadon and a Lithophage on the beefy side and a Rupture to clear the board. White had a small rebel engine, and some enchantment removal to spread with decks that needed it. Also available was Cho Manno/Entangler to really lock down the ground assault. The colors might not have been too impressive but they did have Predator.

Scott Wills took the black cards and added white for disenchant. He felt the deck was possibly the strongest. Ben Ronaldson took the white and added Predator and green for the elephants and Vitalizing wind, hoping to recruit a big army and come over for enough to kill. Terry Matthews took the rest of the green and added red for straight thuggery. The deck was only average but wild might/rupture could provide a finishing touch. Anthony Goh was left with the blue, some random red cards and a Copperleaf Angel. "They could get screwed," was the hopeful title he gave to his deck.

The Scots fared a little better. Barry Brown was able to build a blue/white deck with 5 reasonable fliers, 3 counters, Double Bouncer, Barrier and some good white cards like Mine Bearer and Defender en-Vec. Ensnare, Rath's Edge and possibly Bribery would provide the game breakers. Rob Brooks had a red/green deck with plenty of fatties. 2 Bracers would give the deck some evasion while lure could finish an opponent off. Against fliers he had 2 Spidersilk Armor but the deck was light on removal. The rest of the red and most of the Black went to Ed Ross. Ben Sanders took the white with a lot of rebels and 2 Diving Griffins for a weenie assault. Black and Crooked scales would provide some removal.

So the stage is set. The English might openly claim that it doesn't matter but many will privately be hoping the Scots don't finish higher, because they'll never let us forget it.

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