“Hey cool!” noted Las Vegas resident Christian Keeth. “Three people I beat in the swiss are in the top 8!” One of those players Barry Huang from Irvine is sitting across from him. While Barry is rocking the traditional Caw-Blade deck Christian is representing Valakut with extra Primeval Titan redundancy thanks to his Green Sun's Zeniths. Not that this was his perfectly tested list with all the proper numbers mind you. He hasn't tested much at all for the event. “I just got the deck off of MTGO” he said.
Hey. At least he's honest.
Barry won the die roll and kept his opener while Christian immediately threw his hand back before Barry even noticed. “Did you mull?” asked Barry. “No. I just wanted to shuffle for a little bit longer.” The six card hand that Christian found was more than acceptable.
While Barry led with Celestial Colonade Christian led off with the trademark Valakut. One of Barry's key cards Stoneforge Mystic hit play on turn 2 tutoring up the infamous Sword of Feast and Famine. Christian played his first acceleration piece on turn 2 with Overgrown Battlement which would not be serving much as a blocker given the Sword of Feast and Famine's pro green ability that it gives to its holders.
The turn 3 double Khalni Heart Expeditions were going to be threatening from Christian but Barry didn't flinch putting his sword into play via Stoneforge Mystic's ability. He equipped up on turn four played another Stoneforge Mystic and then swung for first blood untapping Barry's lands while Christian discarded a copy of Valakut. The untapped mana was used to play a Tumble Magnet during Barry's post combat main phase. He used the artifact to lock down Overgrown Battlement on Christian's upkeep.
Christian tutored up some cards of his own with Cultivate putting a Forest into play tapped and a Mountain into his hand. A second Valakut came down for Christian putting one of the Khalni Heart Expeditions to 3 counters. He was reaching critical mass with his lands but Barry was already far ahead thanks to his equipment and his Stoneforge Mystics.
A Mortarpod was added to the team before his mystics smacked Christian around forcing the Las Vegas player to discard one of his two remaining cards: a Green Sun's Zenith. That meant he kept the Mountain from his Cultivate in hand. Interesting...Gideon Jura joined Barry's growing board taunting Christian's wall. “Hmm well...if you were going to play that then I probably shouldn't have pitched what I did. Guess I'm just tired and hungry. I'm not even thinking.” Mind games. Christian liked to play them. The mountain was needed to put Barry out of the game should he draw a Primeval Titan or Green Sun's Zenith.
Instead Christian top-decked a Khalni Heart Expedition and immediately revealed it to Barry who rolled his eyes. That enchantment would be immediately triggered that turn once Christian “went off” with his in-hand mountain and in play Khalni Heart. The two Khalni Heart triggers were worth 12 damage each burning Barry out with his double Valakuts.
“That was definitely not masterful” Christian said regarding his playing to a top-deck.
Christian – 1 Barry – 0
Both players threw back their first hands for game 2. “So this is how it's gonna be” Christian said tossing back his six cards for five. He must have been delighted when Barry also followed. Christian kept his 5 with a shrug and a “sure”. Upon seeing his first draw phase on turn one the next words out of his mouth were “I'm a master”.
Barry had a fairly exciting double mulligan with a turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic fetching up a Sword of Body and Mind. Christian meanwhile put a Forest into play (courtesy of a a Verdant Catacombs) and played out an Overgrown Battlement. When Stoneforge Mystic was hit by a Lightning Bolt as it put the Sword into play on turn 3 Barry noted Christian's lack of a third land. He thought for a second and then slammed a Day of the Judgment onto the field.
Two turns later and the first hit from Sword of Body and Mind via a Kor Firewalker that came into play the turn before brought Christian down to 16 who was still sitting there with 2 lands. He finally found a third land in the form of Terramorphic Expanse but it was not even close to looking good for him at this point. Barry sent his growing team (a Kor Firewalker and an equipped 2/2 wolf token) into Christian bringing him to 9. When the second hit milled a large number of Mountains Christian picked up his cards for game 3.
Christian – 1 Barry – 1
Christian kept his starting hand for game three but Barry was displeased with his initial seven immediately throwing the hand back for six. While Christian spent his first two turns playing Terramorphic Expanses for his lands Barry was busy making sure Stoneforge Mystic wasn't late to the party. The two-cost creature tutored up a Sword of Body and Mind spelling bad news for the Vegas player if the game went too long.
And then Christian whiffed again on lands on turn 3. “Not like a master...”as he played his Overgrown Battlement and passed. He found a land on the fourth turn which joined his second Overgrown Battlement but a Lightinng Bolt on the Stoneforge Mystic was stopped by Spell Pierce keeping Barry's creature protected for the turn four Sword of Body and Mind trigger.
“Heart of the cards!!!” Christian shouted drawing his next card. He looked at it.
“Oh...wow! I didn't think that would actually work!”
Christian Cultivated for some Forests and then happily dropped his top-decked Acidic Slime onto the field to get rid of the Sword of Body and Mind. Christian's board prompted a Day of Judgment from Barry after attacks leaving Christian to rebuild his green mana with a third Overgrown Battlement.
Barry dug for gas with a Preordain and then passed after playing a land with four mana open hand loaded with counterspells. Some of that mana was used to counter Christian's Primeval Titan with a Mana Leak. A turn later Stoneforge Mystic came down for Barry who tutored up the Sword of Feast and Famine. A turn later and Stoneforge Mystic was connecting for 3 and his last card in hand (a Mana Leak) shut down Christian's last card (Green Sun's Zenith).
“Oh you didn't really have to.” Christian said. He quickly offered the handshake.
Christian – 1 Barry - 2