Semifinals: Kai Budde vs. Jelger Wiegersma

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So here we are: the best player in Holland versus the best player in the world. There are actually many similarities between the two. Lots of Grand Prix top 8s, some nice Pro Tour finishes and abysmal Masters performances. I guess even the best can’t win ‘em all.

The match-up at hand is Jelger’s W/G equipment deck versus Kai’s B/R Golem deck. Kai’s deck seems a little slower but has some more removal.

Kai plays first but Jelger starts the action with a Den-Guard and Auriok Transfixer. Yotian Soldier comes down for Kai and gets equipped with a Banshee’s Blade. Jelger then misses land drops for a while but manages an Arrest for the Yotian. While Kai is developing his board with Ogre Leadfoot, Goblin Replica and Icy Manipulator his Dutch opponent is still struggling with his few Plains to stay in the game. Slagwurm Armor on the Den-Guard helps to stop the bleeding, as does Auriok Transfixer. Skyhunter Patrol even provides a little offense.

It doesn’t stop Kai’s attacks with the Ogre which has gotten pretty scary because of the Blade on it, gradually going up to five counters. Kai’s Hematite Golem is being held off by the Transfixer and the race is definitely on. It all seems to favor Kai though since Jelger’s life total has rapidly gone down to two. Cathodion and Nim Replica get deployed on the German side, setting up a fatal alpha strike, but Jelger finds an out on his turn in a basic Forest, enabling Viridian Shaman to take out the Cathodion and have Kai burn down to three. Kai can’t get through next turn because of this and has to pass the turn back to Jelger who comes in for the kill. While Kai is able to delay this for a turn with Irradiate he concedes after his draw and some thinking.

A little bit of shuffling later Kai starts again but doesn’t have a play until turn four when a Hematite Golem enters play. Pewter Golem, Icy Manipulator and Ogre Leadfoot but Jelger’s draw is just as good with Den-Guard, Skyhunter Cub and an Icy of his own.

“Back in the old days again, tap your Icy…” – Kai

Jelger gets the equipment he needs so much through a Taj-Nar Swordsmith fetching Mask of Memory, but has to take a lot of damage by foregoing Icy action now to get through next turn. And because Jelger doesn’t Icy one of Kai’s creatures and Kai therefore knows that he will Icy his Icy at end of turn he just Icy’s one of Jelger’s blockers to get more damage through. Magic is indeed a complicated game. The Swordsmith volunteers for some chump-blocking but the Mask of Memory action the next turn doesn’t give him any more spells and he has to pass again. Kai however does drop two more creatures, whines a little about Jelger drawing an Arrest and proceeds to kill him two turns later.

Jelger is on the play in the decider but the first play is Kai’s: a sad looking Myr Retriever. Fortunately for him he also has a Goblin Replica. Jelger lays a Cub and Arrests the Artifact Goblin. Fangren Hunter also wants to play and there it stopped being interesting since Kai was stuck at three lands and didn’t draw any more for the remainder of the game. It was all over before I could type any of this.

Final Result: Jelger beats Kai 2-1.

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