Day 1 of the 2004 Magic World Championships is behind us after six rounds of play and so is the Standard format -- until the Top 8 on Sunday, that is. There were five players with pristine records; each of them wielding distinctly different decks. Leading the pack was Sasha Zorc of the Croatian team. Sasha finished in 12th place in last year's World Championships and is in good position to improve on that performance this year. He was playing a deck that many pros pronounced dead coming into the tournament, but Tooth and Nail has proved to be very much alive.
Largely on the strength of his performance, the Croatian team found themselves in fifth place after Day 1. The leader of that competition was the French National Team, led by Oliver Ruel (although it was brother Antoine who was 6-0 despite not being on the team). Many people picked the French team to wrest the title away from the U.S. but no one was expecting the Czech Republic, South Korea, and Finland to be in a dead heat with the French after six rounds.
Thursday will be an opportunity for the leaders to create some space as they go into the middle day of competition. The format for Day 2 is Mirrodin Block Booster Draft; many of the players who struggled Wednesday are looking forward to showing off their Limited skills.
Tune in Thursday for all the action. Wednesday we followed Gabriel Nassif in his best format. On Thursday, we will follow another Player-of-the-Year contender as Nicolai Herzog drafts his way through the block that has seen him win two limited Pro Tours.