Pro Tour Berlin 2008, day one — Hijinks ensued

Day one of PT Berlin 2008 is done, and I suppose if I’d been paying attention to preparations for the event, I’d have been less surprised at the day one deck archetype breakdown.
The big story is not that over a quarter of the field turned up with some variant of Zoo, capitalizing on Wild Nacatl and the general value of aggression in a recently compressed card pool (which, even while compressed, still comes in at thousands and thousands of cards). The big story is, instead, the “worst kept secret” deck, Elf Ball. Perhaps most exciting to my sense of quirk, however, is the Tezzeret and Trinket Mage deck that Kenny Oberg piloted to an undefeated day one finish (the other undefeated day one player is PT veteran Gadiel Szleifer, who’s running Faeries with Dark Confidant and Jitte).
My two favorite parts of the day’s coverage are “not knowing how to play your combo” and “All-in Red.”
The first shows up here in the Day One blog, and concerns what happens when you accidentally kill yourself because you’ve forgotten a critical aspect of your combo deck. To wit, Zac Hill “going off” with his Elf Ball deck:
When Zac began going through the motions, Pascal simply nodded, having designed the combo himself and providing the Belgians with it. Seemingly resigned to his fate, Vieren shrugged and asked, “So, how many times?” When Hill responded with a ridiculously large number, Pascal scooped up his cards, adding, “Okay, you’re dead.”
Come again?
It turns out Hill had forgotten he had resolved a Glimpse of Nature in order to get to the point in the game in which he had amassed enough creatures to combo his opponent. Awkward. Zac and Pascal left the round with a crazy story, but things were about to get crazier. Enter Grgur Petric, a respected up-and-coming pro from Croatia. He had gotten his copy of the Elves! deck from Zac, and found himself squaring off against Pascal in Round 5, just a match removed from Zac’s ignominious fate. So how did the match turn out?
Would you believe Grgur also forgot about his Glimpse? Unbelievably, Pascal was the lucky recipient of back-to-back game wins as a result of his opponents’ rare but careless play. When asked about the situation Pascal replied, “I knew about the play. In testing, Marijn [Lybaert] would always say ‘Go infinite,’ and I always said, ‘Don’t or you’ll deck yourself!'”

Notably, Pascal designed the specific Elf Ball build both his opponents accidentally suicided with.
The second is in this round seven coverage of a match between Owen Turtenwald and PT scorekeeper Rashad Miller. Rashad brought “All-in Red” to the tournament, a deck that tries to do, well, this:
Rashad was on the play, and led with Simian Spirit Guide, Rite of Flame, Seething Song, Deus of Calamity.
“That’s… er… fine…”
Turtenwald played a Polluted Delta and passed.
Rashad had a second Rite of Flame and Magus of the Moon.
“We can move on to Game 2 if you like?”

Here’s the Day One archetype breakdown
Here are the round eight standings
Here’s the PT coverage
…and, to end it all, here’s the day one wrap:

1 thought on “Pro Tour Berlin 2008, day one — Hijinks ensued

  1. Good recap.
    Yeah, those two things were definitely great highlights so far in the Pro Tour.
    All-in Red really looks fun to play.
    I also like the Standard deck tech. You can find it on Wizards’ YouTube channel. Two really good rogue decks.

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