After over six years of traveling around the world, playing the game wherever he can, winning seven Darkmoon Faire titles and a National Championship title in 2007, it finally happened. It took six years, but it finally happened. Brad Watson is the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game 2012 World Champion.
After 15 rounds of Contemporary, Core, and War of the Ancients Booster Draft, it came down to four more single-elimination matches before Watson was able to secure himself one of the few titles that he has not already won.
His weapon of choice for these Contemporary Constructed rounds was a Shaman deck based around, commonly nicknamed HordeStone, and it served him well all day. Accelerating into massive allies such as , , and helped guide him through some turbulent matches. After battling through two very different takes on piloted by Sylvester D'Agostino and 2011 North American Continental Champion Tim Batow, he came into an epic three game match against 2008 World Champion Jim Fleckenstein, where Watson denied his opponent a chance at a second World Championship title.
And then it all came down to a nail-biter five games against Raphael Ait Slimane, the last remainingHunter player. Watson powered out massive ally one after another, and managed to take out Ait Slimane the turn before he could draw a that would have ended the game.
It's been a wild ride this weekend, with a flurry of fast and furious plays spread across the three formats. But eventually, the ride comes to an end. Congratulations once again to Brad Watson, winner of the 2012 World Championship!
And congratulations to Basem Alsalah, winner of Darkmoon Faire Atlanta!
It's been a fun year for the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, and 2013 is looking to be even better. The next Darkmoon Faire takes place in Jacksonville in January. We hope to see you there!
World Championship Top 16 Bracket
Raphael Ait Slimane
Raphael Ait Slimane
Raphael Ait Slimane
Raphael Ait Slimane
Round 1: Pairings, Standings; Round 2: Pairings, Standings; Round 3: Pairings, Standings; Round 4: Pairings, Standings; Round 5: Pairings, Standings; Round 6: Pairings, Standings; Round 7: Pairings, Standings; Round 8: Pairings, Standings; Round 9: Pairings, Standings; Round 10: Pairings, Standings; Round 11: Pairings, Standings; Round 12: Pairings, Standings; Round 13: Pairings, Standings; Round 14: Pairings, Standings; Round 15: Pairings, Standings
Darkmoon Faire Atlanta
Round 1: Pairings, Standings; Round 2: Pairings, Standings; Round 3: Pairings, Standings; Round 4: Pairings, Standings; Round 5: Pairings, Standings; Round 6: Pairings, Standings; Round 7: Pairings, Standings; Round 8: Pairings, Standings
Basem Alsalah vs. Eric Ryding - Alsalah wins 2-0
Stephen Chang vs. Anssi Alkio - Alkio wins 2-1
David Bodimer vs. Joe Demestrio - Bodimer wins 2-1
Pete Ward vs. Basem Alsalah
Anssi Alkio vs. David Bodimer
Nine rounds of Core and Contemporary Constructed, six rounds of War of the Ancients Booster Draft, and three Top 16 matches are now history for Raphael Ait-Slimane and Brad Watson. Both players are to be congratulated for making it this far, but massive as the achievement is, a greater one awaits for one of these players - the title of "World Champion"!
And then there were two. Basem Alsalah and and Anssi Alkio have made it through the Swiss, and made it out of their respective War of the Ancients Draft pods in the Top 16. Basem is playing Sylvanas Windrunner with a few good rares, while Anssi is playing an aggressive Hamuul Runetotem deck. Well, we have two players left, and only one trophy, so that means it's game time!
The former World Champion and the seven time Darkmoon Faire winner go head-to-head in the Semi Finals!
The end of the World Championship is in sight now, and James Kandziolka and Raphael Ait-Slimane can almost reach out and touch the trophy. Can James take down another Hunter with his Kalia of Silvermoon City deck, or will Raphael Ait-Slimane triumph with Jaral of Gilneas?
Brad Watson and Sal D'Agostino have survived their first elimination rounds, and now they're looking to take another step towards the big trophy. It's an all-Horde affair in this match, with Sal playing Grand Crusader with Rohashu, Zealot of the Sun, while Brad is running Samaku, Hand of the Tempest with Devout Aurastone Hammer.
A familiar sight at World of Warcraft TCG events the world over, Damien Dufresne is the man behind The MetaMart. Recently, however, he's turned his hand to more than just selling cards, and has started organising some very popular tournament series'. This has culminated here in Atlanta with The Metamart Invitational, with over 100 qualified players getting together for some Contemporary Highlander fun with some great prizes up for grabs!
Lin Xiao from Beijing is intent on bringing the World Championship trophy home with him, in the first World Championship in which the Chinese community has competed in force. His opponent, however, is as far from a slouch as you can get. Jim Fleckenstein has seen a whopping three World Championship Quarter Final matches in his lifetime. And two Finals. Oh, and lifted one trophy. This will be quite the match!
We're into the Top 8, and James Kandziolka and Jeffrey Verwoerd have emerged unscathed from their first elimination matches. James is playing a controlling Kalia of Silvermoon City deck, while Jeffrey will be hoping to rush through his defenses with Jaral of Gilneas.
The Top 16 competitors from Day 1 of the Darkmoon Faire are drafting for glory today. The winner of each pod will meet in the Final, where we'll be crowning a Champion! So without further ado, it's time to introduce your Top 16!
Lin Xiao is the last Chinese hope in the World Championship here in Atlanta, after he watched his fellow countrymen slip out of contention yesterday. Phillippe Gareau of Canada locked up his Top 16 place by eliminating one of those Chinese players, Di Zhu, in the last round of draft, and is the last Canadian player in the tournament. One country's hopes will be dashed this round. Will it be Lin Xiao with Jaral of Gilneas or Phillippe Gareau with Joleera that advances?
While the Top 16 itself may be playing out on the battlefield of Contemporary Constructed, our Sunday competitors brought two Constructed decks out to play this weekend. So which Core decks did they use on Day 1?
You've checked out the Top 16 decklists, now it's time to meet the players. Where are they from, what did they play... And just what is it about Orcs?
The World Championship Top 16 has been decided! The players have retired for the night, and they'll be joining us tomorrow for what's sure to be an action-packed final day of competition. The format will be Contemporary Constructed, and let's take a look at the decks!
It's crunch time! Round 15 is about to begin, and everything is still to play for. Andrew Farrell, with Alundra, Sin'dorei Timewalker, and William Ljungberg, with Anduin Lothar, have ten wins apiece, with eleven likely to be the cutoff for the Top 16. Whoever wins will have a nervous wait to see if their tiebreakers hold up, but they have to try!
With a single win from two rounds needed to get through to the Top 16, Phillippe Gareau of Canada has been up with the pack here at the World Championship. So how did he prepare for the tournament, and which decks did he choose?
This round we have Nick Toth against reigning European Continental Champion Pierre Malherbaud. Each player has 10 wins and 3 losses, and each needs at least one more win to lock up a Top 16 spot. Pierre is playing Archimonde the Defiler, while Nick is playing the Alliance Warrior Anduin Lothar.
That's 'Welcome to Sunday!' to most of us - Raphael Ait-Slimane of France has just locked up his place in the Top 16, on the back of a 7-2 Day 1 performance and a 4-0 start in today's Draft rounds. So which Core and Contemporary decks did he play, and how has he approached the tournament?
Zhengyang Fang is in good shape coming into the second draft on Day 2 of the World of Warcraft TCG World Championship. He has nine wins under his belt already, and will need at least two more to have a shot at making the Top 16. Let's see if he can keep on track!
After salvaging a 2-1 record from a weak draft in the first half of the day, reigning North American Continental Champion Matthew Spreadbury is looking to get back on his game. One more War of the Ancients Draft. Three more rounds. Can he follow up his NACC title with a Top 16 here in Atlanta?
2012 North American Continental Champion Matthew Spreadbury is still in the hunt here in Atlanta, but he faces a tough opponent in Round 13. Yi-Nan Liao is a newly minted Darkmoon Faire Champion, having taken down the event in Shanghai just two weeks ago. They're playing with fresh Draft decks, so it's time to find out who has what it takes to keep winning!
Peter Beckfield and James Kandziolka have not had the starts they would like on Day 2, with each taking one loss from the first two rounds. Will Peter's Broxigar the Red deck get him back on track, or will Arthas Menethil lead James to victory?
We've covered players from a number of nations already here at the World Championship, but one of the bigger names in the room is the sole representative of his nation. Marcin Filipowicz of Polish team "Problem?" is a frequent sight in Sunday coverage, and he's driven through the early rounds of Darkmoon Faire Atlanta like a steamroller. So how is he finding the weekend, and War of the Ancients Limited?
In round 11 we have two great players clashing in the hunt for a Top 16 spot. Jeffrey Verwoerd from the Netherlands is squaring off against Las Vegas resident Niles Rowland. This clash sees Gul'dan up against Malfurion Stormrage, and we can expect plenty of action from both sides!
The World Championship may be the main event this weekend, but many players either didn't place high enough at other OP events to merit a tournament invite or were knocked out of the running on the first day. For those players, we offer plenty of side events during the course of the weekend, but there are those still hungry for more high-level competition. For these more competitive players, there's an extra life in the form of the Darkmoon Faire Tournament, a War of the Ancients Sealed event with some pretty awesome prizes of its own.
James Kandziolka's unique constructed decks earned him plenty of attention, and victories, on Day 1. Now he's sitting in the second draft pod, 12th place overall, looking to stay the course and navigate his way through to the Top 16. We'll have to see if he can apply the same ingenuity to War of the Ancients draft!
Di Zhu cruised through the first day of competition with only a single loss here at the World Championship, but with Core and Contemporary out of the way for now, how will he adjust to the very different challenges of War of the Ancients Draft? Time to find out!
Nick Zimmerman has been a familiar face at World of Warcraft TCG events for a while now, but this year he's attending in a different capacity. Normally Nick is one of the judges, selflessly spending his weekend ensuring the rest of the community has a great time. This year, however, he's decided to switch things up a bit - he's playing, not judging, and he's made it through to the second day of the World Championship!
After making it through the Core and Contemporary rounds with only a single loss apiece, Di Zhu and Guy Jones have completed their first War of the Ancients draft of the day. With the Top 16 in their sights, who will start the day off with a win?
While many World of Warcraft TCG players have been with the game ever since Heroes of Azeroth, the game is brand new in Japan, with Twilight of the Dragons the first set to be released in Japanese. But did Yusuke Endo and Tomoya Nakagawa let that stop them from making the trip out to Atlanta for the World Championship? Of course not!
The Bounty Tournament is always one of the highlights of larger events, and the World Championship is no exception. So what surprises were waiting in the Halloween-themed tournament for our hapless staff and volunteers?
And of course, with five rounds of Core Constructed, we have even more undefeated lists for you!
Day one of the World of Warcraft TCG World Championship is complete, and we have a whole bunch of decklists for you from our top finishers. First up, the decks that went undefeated in the morning's Contemporary Constructed rounds!
We're closing in on the end of the first day's play here at the World Championship, with only a single round left to grab a vital win. Calvin Keeney is all aggro, with Grglmrgl at the head of a ferocious Monster horde. James Kandziolka has a different kind of gameplan, and although his Arisella, Daughter of Cenarius deck doesn't come out swinging early, it can produce some breathtaking turns later in the game that will dismantle almost any opposition. Time to find out who picks up that win!
It's a European affair here in Round 8, as we have reigning World Champion Hans Höh, from Germany, and Mikko Pena from the Philippines. Will Hans's Murloc-led rush deck prevail, or can Mikko take High Guardian Malosun to victory?
The Contemporary rounds of Day 1 are over, and it's time for Core Constructed. But which factions and classes have proved the most popular, coming off the Murloc dominance of Darkmoon Faire Shanghai?
Both French veteran Raphael Ait Slimane and California regular Silas Reinagel are playing for the green team in today's Core Constructed rounds. While Ait Slimane is playing Jasani, Shrine Keeper, Reinagel has chosen Lady Sira'kess. Who will win in this Monster showdown?
Round 6 sees our players doing the Monster Mash, as Sal D'Agostino's Grglmrgl rush deck butts heads with Matt Walsh's Augh concoction. One of them is about to find it pretty hard being green, so let's see who can come out on top!
Joe Demestrio may be suited up in unusual style for this event, but when it comes to the game, he isn't clowning around. He'll be hoping that his High Magus Olvek deck can stand up to the onslaught from Darkmoon Faire Shanghai Top 16 finisher Luo Yiyang, packing a similar Grglmrgl deck to the one he played at that event.
The World of Warcraft TCG World Championship is a truly international affair, with the best of the best from 17 nations coming together in Atlanta for three days of fierce competition. So which nations are represented?
Yesterday we talked about the great lengths our Chinese players went to in order to make it to Worlds in Atlanta – 18 hours in flight! – but it seems that we found another group of players who might have them beat. The dedicated players of the Zangarmarsh battlegroup, based in the Philippines, endured some serious travel headaches to fly to Atlanta and compete in the World Championships. But they're here, and ready to battle!
Guillaume Wafo-Tapa always does things his own way, and the World Championship is no exception. He's packing Deathbringer Kor'ush for the Contemporary rounds here in Atlanta, and in Round 4 he's up against Brian Feliciano of Mexico, who will be hoping Jaral of Gilneas can stand up to the Ogre Death Knight.
The Contemporary Constructed format has plenty to offer every class, and James Kandziolka has taken full advantage with this Warlock brew. Kalia of Silvermoon City leads a motley mix of powerful allies, devastating abilities and crushing control elements. After a great start to the tournament, he's in the perfect position to make a run for Day 2!
A full 308 players have joined us for the World Championship main event here in Atlanta, and each one of them is packing two finely tuned decks, ready for three days of intense competition. The first format is Contemporary Constructed, so let's find out which factions and classes are making a big splash at the start of the event!
The third round sees Zhengyang Fang of Tianjin, China facing off against 11-year-old Alex Krekler from Saint Louis, MO. Alex is off to a hot start at 2-0 with his Devout Aurastone Hammer ramp deck fronted by High Priestess Neeri, while Zhengyang is 1-1 with the ever popular Jaral of Gilneas.
Round 2, and Glenn Jones and China's Huan Zhang are ready for battle. Huan is playing a Harmonize Druid deck capable of some staggering late-game plays, while Glenn will be trying to take him down with Jaral of Gilneas.
The World Championship is underway! Our round one feature match pits Tim Batow, one of the game's most innovative deckbuilders, who is piloting the new Anaka the Light's Bulwark brew that he worked on with the Las Vegas and RIW crews, against Mark van Lommel wielding the ubiquitous Jaral of Gilneas.
The Darkmoon Faire is making a ton of stops in 2013. Check out the 2013 Organized Play schedule to see where we'll be throughout the year!
The Core Constructed Qualifier has been completed, and three more competitors will be joining us tomorrow morning for the World Championship main event! Hearty congratulations to Ramon Carlisle, Joe Vrinich and Louis Sommers! Let's take a look at the decks that earned them their places...
The World of Warcraft TCG World Championship is playing host to players from many nations this weekend. With names like Marcin Filipowicz from Poland, Mikko Pena from the Philippines, Stuart Wright from England and Hans Höh from Germany ready to go, we've also been joined by a couple of dozen players who've made a slightly longer trip, all the way from China!
The first of our World Championship Qualifiers is in the books, and Melissa Maassel and Greg Lapa have emerged from the Contemporary Qualifier with their places booked for the weekend's main event! Let's take a look at the lists that carried them to victory.
Vanessa VanCleef has been the scourge of the World of Warcraft tournament scene for a year now, as Cryptozoic Brand Ambassador Christina Sims has taken on all challengers. Many have fallen, but some have lived, and earned the title of VanCleef Vindicator. The 2012 World Championship, however, sees the last appearance of the Defias leader. Next year will see the debut of a new foe for our bravest players, but until then, let's see who can brave Vanessa's poisons one last time!
The vendors for big tournaments have typically been a great source of information for what you can expect to see over the weekend. What's been flying off the shelves? What's been collecting dust? Time to find out!
One of the World of Warcraft TCG's most popular side events is already up and rolling here at the World Championship - so come on by and get stuck into some matches with the CZE League! With a host of cool cards waiting in prize sleeves for winners and losers, along with a brand new deckbox just for signing up, who could say no?