World of Fun

Posted in The Week That Was on December 9, 2005

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

At one point during Sunday's marathon webcast of the 2005 World Championships, someone in the forums pointed out that I suddenly sounded tired only after realizing how long Randy and I had been in the booth. It's true. It was like the classic comedy bit where someone is walking across a high-wire or construction beam and someone else shouts, “You're doing great. Just don't look down.”


Did you miss out on Worlds? Or do you want to experience it again as it unfolds, from the Hall of Fame ceremony on Day One to the nerve-wracking final? Download the Magic Pro Tour podcasts and listen to them in order. You don't need an iPod to listen – just download the mp3s and listen on your computer. You can also let iTunes manage your files for you by following the directions here. That's more than 6 1/2 hours of audio content, so you'd better get started! And when you're done with that, check out the complete video archives of the Sunday Webcast.

Despite my sudden weariness, I couldn't have been more thrilled to be on hand for this past historic weekend to witness Japan pulling off the trifecta of World Champion, Team Champions, and Player of the Year. Congratulations go out to everyone who was racing to cross those three finish lines.

Frank Karsten and Katsuhiro Mori took part in a thrilling final match that will not soon be forgotten. The match was not without controversy, although after the match Karsten admitted he still would have been hard pressed to win Game 2 even if anyone had caught the interaction – or lack thereof – between Yosei and Seedborn Muse in time.

The American team of Jon Sonne, Neil Reeves, and Antonino De Rosa seemed destined for an elimination round with the Japanese team of Ichirou Shimura, Masashi Oiso, and Takuma Morofuji right from the outset of the team competition – and they did not disappoint.

The Player of the Year race went right down to the wire and was not determined until the Swiss rounds concluded on Friday. Olivier Ruel, Masashi Oiso, and winner Kenji Tsumura ended up separated by only three points. It was one of the best Player of the Year races anyone can remember. The players only get a couple of weeks to recuperate before the starting gun for the 2006 season is sounded just blocks from Olivier's house in Lille, France.

Those stories were all well-documented though via the webcast, podcast, and feature match coverage all week long. There were many other events taking place over the course of the tournament that slipped through the coverage cracks. While I am waiting for the interviews with the new World Champion and Player of the Year to arrive via the magic of translation and time travel, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to pay those other evetns some much-needed attention.

Each night as the players, staff, reporters, and just about everyone not wearing a striped shirt were making plans for dinner, reviewing karaoke song choices, or choosing up teams for drafts, the judges were still scurrying around posting pairings and announcing feature matches.

The Top 8 from the judges-only Legacy tournament.

It turns out that the judge program came up with an innovative way to make the judge staff more intimately familiar with the cards, rulings, and interactions of the Legacy format. They put up one judge sponsorship to Hawaii for the first event of 2006 as the prize in a judges-only Legacy tournament.

The judges played out the tournament a couple of rounds at a time each night and the Top 8 finally came to a conclusion on Saturday night. Thirty-one judges took part in the tournament, with nearly as many archetypes represented.

Since multiple judges in the tournament were already getting sponsorship to Hawaii, it was agreed that the sponsorship would pass down to the first judge not already getting a trip. In the end John Shannon took the title but the prize went to his finals opponent Phillip “Pip” Hunn. Pip has gone to great lengths to make sure his local players were able to get to Hawaii and now he will be able to be there himself to watch over them.

With Grand Prix-Lille looming on the horizon, here is an archetype breakdown from the tournament as well as the winning decklists.

Legacy Judge Tournament Metagame Breakdown

Archetype Number Played In Top 8
Fish 2 1
Landstill 1 1
Flamevault 1 1
Deadguy Ale 3 1
Zoo 2 1
Threshold 4 1
Goblins 3 2
RB Beatdown 1 0
High Tide 2 0
Aluren 1 0
RDW 2 0
Reanimator 1 0
Stompy 1 0
Sneak Attack 1 0
RW Rift 1 0
Pirates 1 0
Zombies 1 0
MBC 1 0
Boros Deck Wins 1 0
Trade Awake 1 0

John Shannon – Winner, Judge Legacy Tournament

Download Arena Decklist

Pip Hunn – Finalist and Prize Winner, Judge Legacy Tournament

Download Arena Decklist

Sung-Dae Eum – Semifinalist, Judge Legacy Tournament

Download Arena Decklist

Riccardo Tessitori – Semifinalist, Judge Legacy Tournament

Download Arena Decklist
Instant (4)
4 Dark Ritual
Artifact (5)
3 The Rack 2 Cursed Scroll
Enchantment (3)
3 Engineered Plague
60 Cards

Turn Back the Clock

Alas, no Power was opened during the draft.

During the webcast, Randy and I were barraged with requests for updates on the Beta draft tournament. There was an eight-person draft utilizing one Beta pack, one Legends pack, one Antiquities, and one Arabian Nights pack. Seven players could qualify for the event by winning one of seven throwback Sealed deck tournaments. One of those was won by Gabriel Nassif, who qualified via an Urza's Saga Sealed Tournament. To even get into that tournament, you needed to win a raffle since there was only product for 32 players (well over 128 players signed up).

The eighth invite into the draft was via a raffle from one of the retail booths. Players could get a raffle ticket by making a retail purchase. While his One Spin teammates Kenji Tsumura and Tomohiro Kaji were busy winning Player of the Year and making the Top 8 of Worlds, Tomoharu Saitou set out to get into the Vintage Draft via the retail raffle. He discovered that there was no wording that set a minimum purchase amount in order to get a raffle ticket. He also discovered that the smallest purchase possible was a 10 yen hard sleeve – basically one thin dime. He would by a sleeve, wander away, and come back for another sleeve all day on Saturday. He not only was selected to play, but he ended up winning the event.

Paul Sottosanti watched Nassif's draft picks along with a crowd of Pros hoping to get in on dinner if Nassif opened a Black Lotus. He chronicled the 2004 Player of the Year's picks and I pass them along to you.

Buried in that mass of humanity is Gabriel Nassif.

Earthquake (over Fireball)
Mana Vault
Timber Wolves
Hill Giant
Benalish Hero
Wall of Wood
Green Ward

Arabian Nights
Drop of Honey
Drop of Honey
War Elephant
Repentant Blacksmith
Desert Nomads
City of Brass
Stone-Throwing Devils

Drop of Honey

Clockwork Avian
Clay Statue
Strip Mine
Urza's Mine
Urza's Tower
Urza's Mine
Urza's Tower
Drafna's Restoration
Urza's Mine

Beasts of Bogardan
Fire Sprites
Barktooth Warbeard
D'Avenant Archer
D'Avenant Archer
Jerrard of the Closed Fist
Glyph of Reincarnation
Anti-Magic Aura

Firestarter: Build this deck!

How would you build Gabriel Nassif's draft deck? You get whatever basic lands you need to get this to 40 cards.

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