The success of Canada's 2020 comes as a surprise to everyone, including its members. Not that they're stumbling into their first success. David Rood is one of Canada's rising stars, with a Top 8 at this year's Nationals and strong showings across the North American Grand Prix circuit. He's brought out the best in Steve Wolfman and Elijah Pollock, two on again, off again Pro Tour players.
They're sitting across from some of The Netherlands's finest. Jelger Wiegersma you might remember from his Top 4 at New Orleans last year. Victor van der Broek showed his mettle with a 6-0 Day 1 at Worlds, and recently finished third at Euros. As for Karsten, his teammates say without hyperbole that he is a talent powder keg just waiting to explode.
Pollock was quick off the blocks against Wiegersma's blue-white. Lava Dart took care of Millikin, and while Krosan Restorer didn't look particularly threatening, it was joined by Petravark, and enchanted with Seton's Desire. Wiegersma built his defenses with Shieldmage Advocate and Mirror Wall. Just as it looked like the tide would turn, Pollock cracked Acorn Harvest for four Squirrels, untapped, and Overran him.
Things were playing out similarly in van der Broek vs. Rood, but in the Dutch's favor. He had ample early beats while Rood searched for answers. He did manage a Lost in Thought on the Bomb Squad, keeping it from being a total slaughter, but Grizzly Fate gave van der Broek enough attackers to constrain Rood's resources. He managed to summon an army of 2/2's with Hypochondria backup. Dwarven Driller complicated matters, but it was far from over.
In the final chair, Frank Karsten's hand of Phantom Tiger, Leaf Dancer and black cards failed to find a swamp fast enough against Wolfman. It was lucky for Wolfman, too, since his three-color deck had served up the anemic beatdown of Fledgling Imp, Anurid Scavenger and Pardic Collaborator with just one swamp to fuel it. His hand was packed with uncastables and inappropriate mana. Soon the damage piled up, and Karsten's position moved from "losing" to "lost".
Again Pollock tried for the quick beats, serving up Nantuko Tracer and Arcane Teachings. Shieldmage Advocate showed up just in time to die to Lava Dart and the 4/3. Wormfang Crab was another matter, though. Pollock went for the Harvest plan. Wiegersma answered with Dreamwinder and Psionic Gift on the Crab. Fortunately, a deck with two Overruns can make the best of bad situations. Wiegersma was left with just Dreamwinder and two life to Pollock's three squirrels. Tireless Tribe enabled Battle Screech. Firebolt off the top looked like it would end it, but Wiegersma had Prismatic Strands. The reprieve it granted was revoked by his next error, when he attacked with Dreamwinder and all his fliers, leaving Border Patrol and Tireless Tribe back to block. Pollock Firebolted, forcing Wiegersma to tap one of the defenders, then swung for the match win.
2020 1 - www.star-maker.nl/lap 0
In the second game of Karsten vs. Wolfman, Wolfman's early Mesmeric Fiend stole Cabal Torturer, letting him summon two of his own. Karsten had some good pressure, but it was all but dismantled by the time he had Wolfman at fourteen. Giant Warthog was another matter entirely. Wolfman finally managed to get rid of it at two life, costing himself everything but one Cabal Torturer. At least he was at threshold. Karsten made now play and answered a Wolfman Werebear with Ghastly Demise. Who would draw out first?
Next door, Rood conceded the losing battle against van der Broek. The Driller keeping him light on lands and life, and van der Broek never stopped playing creatures. Hypochondria could only draw it out so long. Star-maker had their first game win.
While Karsten pulled more one-toughness guys, Wolfman turned over Treacherous Werewolf, starting to saw into Karsten's life total. Gravegouger upped the ante. Karsten held two Torturers, Crypt Creeper and an uncastable Psychatog. He cycled a Mossfire Egg, but turned up no help. He was at nine. Wolfman's attack brought him to three.
Van der Broek's second game didn't go quite according to plan. While Rood curved up to Mirror Wall, van der Broek stopped playing lands after three. Rood's draw let him minimize van der Broek's chances at number four. It was over in under four minutes.
Karsten had no option but to drop his hand, mediocre though it was: Two Torturers, Nantuko Tracer and Boneshard Slasher, tapping him out exactly. Wolfman dropped a Torturer at end of turn, untapped, and swung with just the Werewolf. The Tracer chumped. Wolfman permitted himself a small smile as he tapped six for Giant Warthog. Karsten's Torturer took out Wolfman's, and he killed the Slasher to stay alive. Karsten's Crypt Creeper and Anurid Swarmsnapper looked impressive, but since non-trample damage gets assigned before trample damage, Wolfman rode the pig to victory.
2020 2 - www.star-maker.nl/lap 0
The final game of Rood vs. van der Broek was all action. Barbarian Bully answered Angelic Wall, and Hallowed Healer fell to Crackling Club. Rood followed up with Unquestioned Authority, Mirror Wall and Hypochondria, eating some damage as van der Broek ramped through Rabid Elephant, Pardic Lancer and Fledgling Dragon. Nomad Mythmaker showed up, and together with Rood's Crackling Club and the one in van der Broek's yard it made things very difficult on the Dutchman. He scooped up his cards in disgust.
Final Result: 2020 defeat www.star-maker.nl/lap 3-0