1994 World Championships
The first World Championships were held at GenCon 1994 at the MECCA Convention Center in Milwaukee, WI. Over the course of three days, 512 competitors played single elimination games with winners then split into qualifying heats of 64 players. Finals started on Sunday at 8:00 am.
Magic was still in its infancy and all the powerful cards were widely available to use. Decks were constructed using cards from the Alpha, Beta, Unlimited, Arabian Nights, Antiquities and Legends. Certain powerful cards like Black Lotus were restricted to one copy in each deck.
Finishing order[edit | edit source]
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Jet
1 Sol Ring
Finals[edit | edit source]
By the finals, Dolan was the only American remaining in a field of European players. He defeated Dominic Symens of Belgium before being paired with the French national champion Bertrand Lestree. Lestree was the man to beat and Dolan later admitted to being nervous about facing him.
Dolan's deck was heavily reliant on blue and ran all five of the Moxes. Unlike most of his opponents Dolan decided to only run a single copy of many cards. His deck was designed to slowly gain control of the match before killing an opponent through damage or his opponent conceeding. Lestree filled his deck with a large number of green cards and featured the infamous "Channel-ball" combo along with other controversial cards such as "Chaos Orb". Lestree's deck planned to win before his opponent could react, through fast damage.
Lestree won the first duel through attacking with a "Whirling Dervish", burn spells, and then finally a "Channel-ball" for ten damage. Zak changed many of his cards in the sideboard while Lestree made no changes. Final life scores - Zak: 0, Bertrand: 13.
The second duel was a long one lasting over 20 turns. Zak finally managed to do 20 damage in only two turns via "Serra Angel", "Recall", and "Vesuvan Doppelganger". Final life scores - Zak: 12, Bertrand: 0
For the final duel, Dolan drew a great hand with both "Powersink" and "Mana Drain", two cards that had helped beat Bertrand the previous game. Lestree was furious and called over the judges to confirm that Zak's deck was fully legal. Zak constantly gained gained life each turn from his "Ivory Tower" while Lestree was slowly dying from Zak's "Karma". To Bertrand's amusement Dolan countered his "Argothian Pixies" with "Mana Drain" and accidently took 2 points of damage from mana burn. However, Zak had 37 life by this stage and it hardly mattered. Dolan then played "Stasis" at which point Bertrand realised "Karma" would soon kill him and conceeded the game. Final life scores - Zak: 35, Bertrand: 10.
Zak won a trophy, a poker deck with backs like Magic cards, and booster packs from out-of-print expansions. He has now retired from playing Magic professionally. There was also a video shot of the finals but the tape was lost. A card-by-card recap was transcribed and fortunately still exists.
References[edit | edit source]
- Magic’s First World Championships, a MagicTheGathering.com feature