Junior Super Series
Finals Feature Match
Jeff Sluzinski vs Stephen McArthur
Two Necro decks meet in the finals,
hardly a surprise to anyone following this tournament closely. The players
were well aware of each other's decks. That is why McArthur chose to
mulligan a very decent hand - he wanted to draw some of his more effective
anti-Necro cards, Duress and Persecute.
Sluzinski played first, Duressing
a Yawgmoth's Will out of McArthur's hand. McArthur went on to draw a
Necropotence on his second turn and immediately Ritualed it out. The
advantage was with McArthur for a while, but Sluzinski held his own.
Eventually Sluzinski used a Disk to destroy all permanents, including
his opponent's Necropotence. Usually removing your opponent's Necro
once it entered play would be just doing him a favor. At that point
in the game however, removing Necropotence seemed like the right decision.
The two finalists dueled a while
longer. Eventually Sluzinski was down to three life. McArthur used a
Duress removing his opponent's Drain Life and leaving him nothing but
a Dark Ritual. He then used Necro to draw seven cards, going down to
one life, hoping to win the game next turn. He wasn't that lucky.
Sluzinski drew a Yawgmoth's Will.
Powered by Dark Ritual, he had more than enough mana to Drain McArthur
for one point of damage.
Sluzinski got off to a perfect start
in the next game. He cast a turn two Persecute, forcing McArthur to
discard two Corrupts, a Yawgmoth's Will and two Persecutes. Sluzinski
followed Persecute up with a Rain of Tears, leaving his opponent with
only one Swamp.
McArthur could not possibly recover
in time. A barrage of Corrupts and Drains followed and the game ended
before McArthur really had a chance to do much.
Third game was all McArthur. He
cast a turn three Rain of Tears. McArthur was holding a Dark Ritual
and could have cast it the turn before but elected not to do that. Next
turn he followed it up with another Rain of Tears and a Duress. Another
turn later he re-cast the same two spells out of the graveyaerd via
Yawgmoth's Will. Persecute: Black followed, removing Sluzinski's hand
of four cards. Up to this point the Detroit player has not even cast
McArthur summoned a Skittering Skirge
and won a few turns later following the Skirge up with a four point
Drain Life and a seven point Corrupt.
Sluzinski took a mulligan in the
next game, but his six card hand was just fine: four Swamps, a Dark
Ritual and a Necropotence. Seeing the Necro cast, McArthur despaired,
but only briefly. He drew a Necropotence of his own and cast it with
Dark Ritual he was holding.
The following ten minutes were a
true mirror matchup. The two players took turns destroying each other's
land, removing spells from each other's hand and even trading Skittering
In the end Sluzinski's draw proved
superior - he was able to go through more cards but pay less life thanks
to Yawgmoth's Wills and drawing all four of his Urza's Baubles.
Casting the final Will of the tournament,
Sluzinski cast a Corrupt out of his graveyard, winning the game and
becoming a 1999 JSS Champion.
Sluzinski 3 - McArthur 1