Round 2: Kai Budde vs. William Jensen|
Kai Budde has consistently been the best player in the world for the last three years. This time, the German Juggernaut is running a Tinker deck with sick beats like Clockwork Dragon and the ubiquitous Mindslaver.
Billy Jensen is considered by many to be the best American player around right now - though his play is usually strongest at Limited events.
"I just lost to some Spanish guy in his first Pro Tour," lamented Kai. "Did you test at all?" he asked Jensen.
"Of course not," Billy replied.
"We tested a bit, but I don't think we get this format. David Brucker played 1,015 games with me on Apprentice and simply decided not to come - so you can see how odd some Germans thought this format is."
Masticore entered the red zone for Kai, and he cast Tangle Wire, looking to slow Jensen down. During Billy's upkeep, he added eight mana to his pool, cast Mystic Tutor, and played stupid stack tricks with his Monolith to avoid any mana burn.
The Masticore continued his beats, dropping Jensen to eight life before Kai Tinkered it away for Clockwork Dragon. Jensen did some math and cast Tinker on his Voltaic Key for Mindslaver. He untapped all of Kai's lands and then flipped over Kai's Upheaval - as Kai observed, "That would work...."
Billy took his time figuring out sick scenarios that could screw Kai as badly as possible, but in the end simply cast Upheaval to reset the board, and then laid Ancient Tomb and cast Tangle Wire, dropping Kai to twelve with Billy at seven.
Grim Monolith was Force Spiked, as Kai tried to recover what was once a commanding board position, as both players laid lands and jockeyed for some advantage. Jensen cast Mana Severance, removing the rest of his lands, and passed the turn. Kai cast Thran Dynamo and Gilded Lotus, and again put both players under a Tangle Wire lock.
Billy simply picked up his next card and scooped, sending the match to Game 2.
Kai - 1 Jensen 0
"I guess you are playing?" asked Kai, to which Billy replied "Yeah," but then had to throw his hand back again for another six.
Jensen kicked things off with Ancient Tomb and Grim Monolith. Kai laid a Sitz der Synode and shrugged. Jensen then cast Talisman of Progress and Goblin Charbelcher, but Kai trumped him with a turn 2 Damping Matrix.
Both players went "Draw, Go" for a few turns as Jensen tried to figure out how he could get out from under the Matrix lock, while Kai waited to draw his kill conditions. Jensen cast Mana Severance with five lands and a Talisman already in play, removing the rest of his lands from his deck. At the end of Billy's turn, Kai cast Stroke of Genius for six, setting up a potential monster. Tinker traded Seat of the Synod for Mishra's Helix, and Kai had to discard two cards at the end of his turn.
During Jensen's upkeep, Kai tried to use the Helix - but Jensen pointed quietly at the Damping Matrix on the board. (To emulate the Kai experience, you can click the link and read the card in amazement yourself - The Ferrett) Kai exclaimed, "God! Seconds ago I had a really nice game plan." The German Juggernaut was clearly annoyed at his mistake, while the home audience was rejoicing to cheers of "Kai makes obvious mistakes, too!" Jensen saw Gilded Lotus run into an Annul, while Kai turned a second Seat of the Synod into a Clockwork Dragon this time.
Jensen could merely shrug as he cast another Talisman, and the Dragon beat Billy down on Kai's turn, dropping his life total to a mere six. Tinker from Jensen traded a tapped Grim Monolith for an untapped one, and a five-counter dragon attacked to drop Billy to one. Jensen then tried to Rushing River away Damping Matrix for the win, but Kai tapped two Islands and countered the River with Gainsay, sealing the match.
Kai 2 - Billy 0
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on Oct 31, 2003: