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World Championship Decks

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World Championship Decks
Set Information
Set symbol This set has no own expansion symbol.
Release date 1997 - 2004
Set size 8 x 4 x 75 (deck + sideboard)

World Championship Decks were specially packaged versions of four of the top ranked decks used during the World Championships, released by Wizards of the Coast for the years 1997 through 2004.


Description[edit | edit source]

The cards produced were gold-bordered versions, and thus are not legal for use in DCI-sanctioned tournaments. The cards were also stamped with the player's autograph. Each competitor's release included their 60-card deck and 15-card sideboard, 12 blank proxy cards, and cards with a printed decklist, a biography of the player, and an overview of the four decks release for their respective year. Due to the larger than usual collection of 90 cards per product the deck boxes for World Championship Decks were slightly larger in size than typical Theme deck boxes of the era.

Decklists[edit | edit source]

1997 World Championship Decks, Seattle[edit | edit source]

The 1997 World Championship took place on August 13–17, 1997 in Seattle, Washington in the United States of America.

Jakub Slemr, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"Slemr's deck features a horde of fast, black creatures. Strengthening the speed kill are a variety of spells from all five colors."

Prismatic Black Agro

Janosch Kuhn, Finalist[edit | edit source]

"Kuhn's red, white, and blue deck maintains a sharp balance between speed and control".

Svend Geertsen, Semifinalist[edit | edit source]

"Geertsen's extremely fast monocolored deck is loaded with an army of green creatures. Giant Growth, Bounty of the Hunt, and Winter Orb provide the only noncreature power."

Green Stompy

Paul McCabe, Semifinalist[edit | edit source]

"McCabe's fast red-blue deck puts the opponent on the defensive. A large number of inexpensive, efficient creatures overwhelm the opposition."

Red-Blue Agro Control

1998 World Championship Decks, Seattle[edit | edit source]

The 1998 World Championship took place on August 12–16, 1998 in Seattle, Washington in the United States of America.

Brian Selden, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"World Champion Brian Selden's deck conquered the field by using Survival of the Fittest to put creatures into the graveyard and Recurring Nightmare to bring them back into play. The deck employs more than twenty creatures and dips into blue for Lobotomy."

Ben Rubin, Finalist[edit | edit source]

"Ben Rubin's archetypal red weenie deck took him all the way to the World Championship Finals. This aggressive Sligh deck consists of roughly equal parts direct damage, aggressive creatures, and land."


Brian Hacker, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Brian Hacker's white weenie deck rolled over competitors with more than twenty aggressive creatures. This horde relies on creatures with shadow and the en-Kor to overwhelm the unprepared, with the threat of Cataclysm looming large."

White Weenie

Randy Buehler, Twelfth Place[edit | edit source]

"Randy Buehler's Draw, Go deck is pure control, with over twenty counterspells and eight card-drawing engines to dig them out. The deck's offense is limited to Stalking Stones and a Rainbow Efreet, but the best offense is often a killer defense."

Draw, Go

Note: Randy's last name is misspelled on his deck box as Buelher, as is "twelveth" place.[1]

1999 World Championship Decks, Yokohama[edit | edit source]

The 1999 World Championship took place on August 4–8, 1999 in Yokohama, Japan.

Kai Budde, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"World Champion Kai Budde's red-artifact deck employed more than 30 artifacts to generate huge amounts of mana. Big creatures like Masticore or Covetous Dragon became a threat to any opponent, and a well-timed Wildfire added the finishing touch."

Red-Artifact Wildfire

Mark Le Pine, Finalist[edit | edit source]

"Mark Le Pine's aggressive 'Sped Red' deck applied the pressure early with 11 fast creatures before shifting into land-destruction mode. A late-game Cursed Scroll and Hammer of Bogardan would finish off his mana-crippled opponents."

Sped Red

Matt Linde, Semifinalist[edit | edit source]

"Matt Linde's speedy mono-green deck contained 26 low-cost creatures. Supplementing this nasty creature assault were four Rancors and four Giant Growths. If his opponent wasn't smothered by turn five, Linde's Cursed Scrolls would pick up the slack."

Mono-Green Stompy

Jakub Šlemr, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Jakub Šlemr's mono-black deck controlled the board with Cursed Scrolls, Powder Kegs, and Phrexian Plaguelords. His 'Black Control' creation also pounded his opponents early with discard effects found in Ravenous Rats, Duress, and Stupor."

2000 World Championship Decks, Brussels[edit | edit source]

The 2000 World Championship took place on August 2–6, 2000 in Brussels, Belgium.

Jon Finkel, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"Jon Finkel's explosive, mono-blue deck used artifacts such as Grim Monolith, Metalworker, and Voltaic Key to generate huge amounts of mana. The mana, in turn, put large creatures into play to finish off stunned opponents."

Mono-Blue Tinker

Janosch Kühn, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Janosch Kühn's red-green deck used Birds of Paradise and Llanowar Elves to build up mana early in the game. Kuhn then delivered the finishing punch with mana-denial cards, such as Stone Rain and Plow Under."

Angry Non-Hermit

Tom van de Logt, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Tom van de Logt's Replenish deck uses cards like Attunement and Frantic Search to put powerful enchantments into the graveyard. Then he used Replenish to put all of the enchantments back into play at once and pound his opponents."


Nicolas Labarre, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Nicolas Labarre's combo deck, called Chimera, used searching cards to fetch Fecundity, Saproling Cluster, and Ashnod's Alter so he could generate unlimited mana. With this mana Labarre used Blaze or Whetstone to plow right over his opponents."

2001 World Championship Decks, Toronto[edit | edit source]

The 2001 World Championship took place on August 8–12, 2001 in Toronto, Canada.

Tom van de Logt, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"Tom van de Logt's aggressive, black-red 'Machine Head' deck used the good ol' 'blow stuff up' method. While creatures like Plague Spitter wiped out his opponents' smaller creatures, more ferocious beasts like Flametongue Kavu aggressively cleared the board of larger threats."

Machine Head

Alex Borteh, Finalist[edit | edit source]

"Alex Borteh's monoblue combo deck contained twelve 1-toughness creatures. These helped hold the board until his Static Orb-Opposition combo could lock down his opponents' permanents--clearing the way for a horde of Merfolk to pour through for the victory."

Merfolk Opposition

Antoine Ruel, Semifinalist[edit | edit source]

"Antoine Ruel's blue-black-red control deck survived the pressure in the early game with its almost overwhelming card-drawing capability. And in the end, Nether Spirit kept rising from his graveyard to take down his opponents."

Blue-Black-Red Nether-Go

Jan Tomcani, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Jan Tomcani's green-red-black 'Fires"' deck used early mana-producing creatures to play a quick Fires of Yavimaya. Shortly thereafter, Tomcani's hasted big creatures pounded opponents' life totals to dust."

2002 World Championship Decks, Sydney[edit | edit source]

The 2002 World Championship took place on August 14–18, 2002 in Sydney, Australia.[2]

Carlos Romao, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"Romão's blue-black 'Psychatog' deck was the defining deck of the tournament. A control deck at heart, with lots of card drawing and countermagic, it wants to stall an opponent until it can play a devastating Upheaval and Psychatog on the same turn. While many people at this year's World Championship played this style of deck, Carlos simply played his version better than everyone else played theirs."

Sim Han How, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Han How's blue-green-red 'Squirrel Opposition' deck can be aggressive with cards like Wild Mongrel and Flametongue Kavu, or it can play the stalling game with a Squirrel Nest - Opposition combo. Beware the Roar of the Wurm in the sideboard!"

Squirrel Opposition

Brian Kibler, 11th Place[edit | edit source]

"Kibler's green-white-red 'Red Zone 2K2' deck loves to put creatures into the 'Red Zone'; that is, attack with them! This aggressive deck can put over thirty creatures on the board. And with Glory in the graveyard, few defenses can prevail against their onslaught."

Raphael Levy, 16th Place[edit | edit source]

"Levy's blue-green 'Le Wonder Goose' deck features a ton of small green creatures like Nimble Mongoose and Werebear. With Careful Study and Mental Note to get to threshold, however, those small creatures quickly turn into real monsters!"

Le Wonder Goose

2003 World Championship Decks, Berlin[edit | edit source]

The 2003 World Championship took place on August 6–10, 2003 in Berlin, Germany.

Note: All cards in these decks were printed using the modern card frame, despite many cards included in these decks never having been printed using the modern frame before.

Daniel Zink, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"Daniel Zink's white-blue-green 'Wake' deck is a control deck at heart. Once the powerful enchantment Mirari's Wake is in play, the deck produces more mana, draws more cards, counters more spells, and makes more Soldiers than opponents can possibly handle."

Dave Humpherys, Semifinalist[edit | edit source]

"Dave 'The Hump' Humpherys' blue-green deck combines the many madness cards from the Torment set, including Basking Rootwalla, Arrogant Wurm, and Circular Logic, with discard-enablers like Aquamoeba and Wild Mongrel for tremendous effect."

Wolfgang Eder, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Wolfgang Eder introduced the black-red 'Goblin Bidding' deck to the world at the European Championships. The typical Goblin hoard deck gets an incredible midgame play in Patriarch's Bidding, which brings every Goblin in the graveyard back in to play."

Peer Kröger, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Hometown hero Peer Kröger's 'Reanimator' deck was a nightmare for his opponents! This black-red deck excels at putting scary monsters into the graveyard and then bringing them into play."

2004 World Championship Deck, San Francisco[edit | edit source]

The 2004 World Championship took place on September 1–5, 2004 in San Francisco, California in the United States of America.

Note: All cards in these decks were printed using the modern card frame, despite many cards included in these decks never having been printed using the modern frame before.

Julien Nuijten, World Champion[edit | edit source]

"The youngest ever Magic World Champion, Dutch wunderkind Julien Nujiten came out of nowhere to stun the field. Just fifteen years old, Nujiten proved that he can play with the best. Playing a green-white Astral Slide deck designed to destroy 'Affinity', he posted a respectable 4-2 record on the Standard day at Worlds and then calmly swept the field on the final day. He says the inspiration for his deck came from an Internet article by Pro Tour veteran Brian Kibler."

Green-White Astral Slide

Aeo Paquette, Finalist[edit | edit source]

"Professional Magic player Aeo Paquette played the deck that defined the metagame at the 2004 World Championships: 'Affinity.' Against a field full of decks designed to beat Affinity, this nineteen-year-old Canadian piloted his deck to a 5-1 record during the Standard portion of the tournament. Paquette credits his friend Jeff Cunningham for helping him design an Affinity deck that could compete so well against the field."


Manuel Bevand, Semifinalist[edit | edit source]

"Pro Tour veteran Manuel Bevand played an artifact-based combo deck to a perfect 6-0 record on the Standard day at Worlds. His deck uses Krark-Clan Ironworks to quickly get a Myr Incubator into play, which then creates thirty or more 1/1 creatures -- sometimes as early as the third turn! A twenty-seven-year-old freelance game designer from Paris, France, Bevand has been a Magic regular since 1994, playing in over a dozen Pro Tour events. He credits Magic Online for getting him back into championship form."

Gabriel Nassif, Quarterfinalist[edit | edit source]

"Twenty-year-old Gabriel Nassif is considered to be the best player never to have won a Pro Tour event. Designed to beat the ubiquitous 'Affinity' decks, his blue-white control deck also plays well against anti-Affinity decks. Worlds marked the third time in the season that the Parisian had made it to the final day of a Pro Tour event, and his performance earned Nassif the coveted 2004 Player of the Year award -- a title he will defend vigorously next year."

Blue-White Anti-Affinity Control

Product discontinuation[edit | edit source]

2004 was the last year for which Wizards of the Coast released a series of World Championship Decks. When asked about 2005 World Championship Decks via an "Ask Wizards", Jake Theis, Assistant Brand Manager for Magic: The Gathering, stated, "We currently have no plans to release the 2005 World Championship decks. We try to have a full product offering for our fans, and the increased popularity of the Fat Pack seems to have gobbled up the demand for a fourth Magic product (after Boosters, Tournament Packs, and Theme Decks)."[3] Simply put: not enough people bought them.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]