|2011 World Championships|
|Date||17–20 November 2011|
|Location||San Francisco, California, United States|
Standard, Booster draft, and Modern (individual)|
Standard, Modern, and Legacy (teams)
Jun'ya Iyanaga (individual)|
The 2011 World Championships were the last World Championships of the structure that had been in place since 1996; future World Championships would instead be more exclusive events with 16 or 24 players. The Team World Championship was replaced by the World Magic Cup starting in 2012. The 2011 World Championships was thus the last World Championships event that was also considered a Pro Tour event. It took place in San Francisco, California, United States on 17–20 November 2011. 375 players competed, including 41 national teams. The individual competition was won by Japan's Jun'ya Iyanaga, who defeated Richard Bland of England in the final. Japan also won the team competition, with the Japanese team featuring Makihito Mihara defeating Norway in the final. Owen Turtenwald became the Player of the Year, and Matthias Hunt won the Rookie of the Year race.
The first day of the individual competition featured six rounds of Standard. The most recent significant innovation in the metagame was Mono-Blue Illusions featuring Lord of the Unreal and creatures such as Phantasmal Image and Phantasmal Bear. At 15.7% of the metagame, it was the second-most played deck after Green-White Tokens; with a share of 16.6%, it was a deck utilizing cards like Blade Splicer, Hero of Bladehold, and Gavony Township to create an overwhelming board position. The next three decks in terms of popularity were Mono-Red, Solar Flare, and Wolf Run. Team ChannelFireball showed up with an under-the-radar deck, Tempered Steel, with much success; several players from the team ascended to the top of the leaderboard by the end of day one. Six players ended the day with undefeated records: Andrew Cuneo (White-Blue Control), David Caplan (Mono-Red), Kyle Stoll (Wolf Run), Conley Woods (Tempered Steel), Jun'ya Iyanaga (Wolf Run), and Craig Wescoe (White Weenie).
The top eight players after day one:
|1||Andrew Cuneo||18||5||Jun'ya Iyanaga||18|
|2||David Caplan||18||6||Craig Wescoe||18|
|3||Kyle Stoll||18||7||Phillip Lorren||15|
|4||Conley Woods||18||8||Patrick Chapin||15|
Following the six rounds of individual Standard play, the 41 national teams remained to play two additional rounds of Team Trios Constructed featuring Standard, Modern, and Legacy. Points earned by members of national teams were added directly to that team's score, while each match win in the team portion counted as 9 points for that team. At the end of the day, the two teams leading the pack were Canada, at 52 points, and Japan, with 51.
Day two was Booster draft day, featuring Innistrad Booster draft. Innistrad had proved to be a very deep draft format; although the set had been available for close to two months at the time of the event, innovations were still taking place. Notably, Green-Blue self-mill decks centered around Spider Spawning were only in the process of being discovered, as explained by Gerry Thompson in a Draft Tech. Eight players posted perfect 6–0 performances in Booster draft: Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Andreas Nordahl, Robert van Medevoort, Conley Woods, Ian Wood, David Reitbauer, Mauro Peleira, and Tobias Gräfensteiner. Woods, having already achieved an undefeated record on day one, was comfortably in first place after the first two days.
The top eight players after day two:
|1||Conley Woods||36||5||Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa||30|
|2||Craig Wescoe||30||6||Matthias Hunt||30|
|3||David Caplan||30||7||Tobias Gräfensteiner||30|
|4||Luis Scott-Vargas||30||8||Ian Wood||28|
No rounds were played on day two, but the individual rounds had shaken things up considerably; joint leaders on 78 points going into the final day of Swiss were Denmark and Netherlands. Hong Kong followed on 77, then United States on 76.
The last day of Swiss play opened with two rounds of Team Trios Constructed. Japan posted two wins and found themselves at the top of the leaderboard with 90 points, ahead of Hong Kong, who on 89 had picked up a win and a draw in the team rounds. Close behind them were Norway and Hungary, both on 87.
Six rounds of individual Modern play then remained. The relatively new format had seen a number of bannings since its debut at Pro Tour Philadelphia: Blazing Shoal, Cloudpost, Green Sun's Zenith, Ponder, Preordain, and Rite of Flame were all banned, resulting in less of a combo-centric metagame than had been the case previously. Zoo decks were by far the most popular, at 28.3% of the metagame, followed by Splinter Twin decks, with 15.1%. Affinity was third at 8.9%, and the rest of the decks were all sub-5%. The first player to clinch a Sunday appearance was Conley Woods; his round 13 win over Matthias Hunt meant that all he needed in the final five rounds was a single draw. Teammates Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa and Luis Scott-Vargas were the next players to lock up a spot in the top eight when they wound their round 16 matches. Joining them was Richard Bland, who had managed to come back from a 1–3 start in the event. Having considered dropping in order to earn Planeswalker Points in side events, he had been convinced by Rich Hagon to keep playing. Josh Utter-Leyton became the fourth Team ChannelFireball to make the top eight when he won the last three rounds. Rounding out the top eight were Jun'ya Iyanaga, David Capland, and finally Craig Wescoe.
In the team competition, the Norwegian national team had bounced back from a bad start to the event, and thanks to a very strong Modern performance, using a Big Zoo deck designed to prey upon other Zoo decks, were the first team to lock up a slot in the team final. Japan could have been overtaken by Taiwan in the last round, but seven points in the last round were enough to see them advance to the final against Norway on the Sunday stage.
The final day of competition featured the individual top eight, the team final match between Norway and Japan, as well as the 2011 MOCS finals between Reid Duke and Florian Pils. Both the Player of the Year title and the Rookie of the Year title were on the line, as Luis Scott-Vargas would overtake Owen Turtenwald and become PotY with a quarterfinal win against Richard Bland, and Sveinung Bjørnerud would tie Matthias Hunt in the RotY race and force a playoff at the next Pro Tour with a team final win against Japan.
Fully half of the individual top eight consisted of Team ChannelFireball members, all running a mono-white Tempered Steel deck. Rounding out the top eight were Jun'ya Iyanaga, running Red-Green Wolf Run Ramp. Iyanaga had qualified via the Magic Online Championship Series, and had stated his goal for the weekend to be winning both Worlds and the MOCS.
|2||P.V. Damo da Rosa||1|
Conley Woods, who had been the tournament frontrunner the entire weekend, faced an overwhelming position in game 5 against Craig Wescoe's White-Blue Aggro deck. Woods was at 2 life and facing down Fiend Hunter, Geist of Saint Traft, and an Honor of the Pure, with only Etched Champion, Signal Pest, and an Inkmoth Nexus on his side of the board. Thanks to a Dispatch freeing his Hero of Bladehold from under the Fiend Hunter, and chumpblocking the Geist and Dispatching its token, Woods managed to force chumpblocks the other way around by attacking with all of his creatures, making Wescoe lose all of the tokens he newly acquired from Timely Reinforcements. When Woods followed up with Glint Hawk, which allowed him to re-play his tapped Etched Champion and have blockers for the lethal Geist attack.
In the other three matches, all of the ChannelFireball team members were eliminated, including Luis Scott-Vargas, who lost a tight 5-game match against Richard Bland. On the final turn of the final game, Scott-Vargas needed to draw either a mana source of a Memnite so that he could both play Tempered Steel and turn Glint Hawk Idol into a creature and attack for lethal damage. Instead, he drew Etched Champion, and Bland was able to attack for the win with a 4/5 Birds of Paradise that had been pumped repeatedly by Gavony Township. Thanks to this result, Owen Turtenwald became the Player of the Year.
The remaining three matches of the top eight were all one-sided affairs, with Bland defeating Canada's David Caplan 3–0 and Jun'ya Iyanaga taking down Conley Woods 3–0. The final match was therefore between Richard Bland and Jun'ya Iyanaga, but Iyanaga, with Wolf Run Ramp, had a considerable matchup advantage against Bland's Green-White Tokens. Iyanaga did indeed win 3–0, becoming the new World Champion.
In the team finals, in the match between Japan and Norway, Fujimoto Tomoya (Show and Tell) faced Andreas Nordahl (Maverick) in Legacy, Makihito Mihara (Twin) faced Sveinung Bjørnerud (Big Zoo) in Modern, and Ryuichiro Ishida (Green-White Ramp) faced Kristoffer Jonassen (Green-White Tokens) in Standard. With Japan having already won the Standard match, the third game of the Modern match ended up being a 40-minute game of Punishing Fire mirror. Although Norway looked to be ahead in much of the game, Japan and Mihara won the game in the end, claiming the trophy. This also meant that Matthias Hunt became the 2011 Rookie of the Year.
- Rashad Miller (2011-11-17). "Feature: Standard Metagame Breakdown". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-09-07.
- Brian David-Marshall (2011-11-18). "2011 Worlds Draft Tech: Mill Yourself with Gerry Thompson". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-09-07.
- Nate Price (2011-11-19). "FEATURE: NO ROUGH DRAFTS HERE!". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-09-07.
- Rashad Miller (2011-11-19). "Feature: Modern Metagame Breakdown". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2017-09-07.
- Richard Bland (2011-12-05). "GP San Diego and Worlds (Part 2)". BlackBorder. Retrieved on 2017-09-07.
- FEATURE: MAGIC ONLINE CHAMPIONSHIP PROFILES. Wizards of the Coast (2011-11-17). Retrieved on 2018-09-11.