Finals: Owen Turtenwald (11) vs. Andrew Shrout (28)
A couple of Players’ Championship hopefuls and Pro Tour regulars meet here in the finals, as Andrew Shrout takes on Owen Turtenwald. The snow is falling outside and temperatures are dropping, but inside the action is heating up! Which of these all-stars will earn the first Open win of 2014?
Both players elected to mulligan their opening hands… and also elected to mulligan again! Down to five each, this game wasn’t exactly what either player had in mind. Thoughtseize revealed Andrew’s pretty good five of Advent of the Wurm, Experiment One, Fleecemane Lion, and both Plains and Forest. Owen took the Experiment, so Andrew’s turn one play hit the bin. Owen used Temple of Deceit to scry then also Thoughtseize again. Selesnya Charm got added to the hand and Owen too Andrew’s Fleecemane Lion… but another lurked on top of his deck! Voice of Resurgence also joined the board.
Owen played land four and then took five to fall to 8. Gray Merchant of Asphodel came down next for Owen to drain two and gain two, but it pretty easily died to Selesnya Charm on the next attack step. Andrew found Selesnya Guildgate on top as well, so the Advent in his hand loomed large. Owen simply played more lands, and after two of Andrew’s creatures attacked Mutavault traded with Voice. With the trigger on the stack, Devour Flesh took down the Lion. But Andrew still had a ton of action, as the 2/2 Voice token and the 5/5 Wurm token provided plenty of pressure. Nightveil Specter for Owen effectively kept Andrew off for a turn, and Pack Rat also joined his board.
With Owen at 1 and Andrew at 21, things didn’t look great… but with a chip and a chair, Owen was still alive. He had two Mutavaults and Pack Rat (with no cards currently in hand) as well as Nightveil Specter back on defense. Andrew did not enter his attack step yet again, and it looked as if Owen might be able to pull out a victory if he could fade a few more draw steps. He found Soldier of the Pantheon before passing, but that meant Owen’s Pack Rat could start going to work.
For the rest of the game, Owen’s cards were basically Goblin Marshalls. This diminished the effectiveness of Andrew’s topdecked Voice of Resurgence, but he decided to attack in regardless. Before blockers were declared, Owen made another rat. Then the two tokens blocked the 5/5 and the card Pack Rat and Nightveil Specter blocked the 4/4 Elemental. Andrew ordered his blocks in such a was to remove all but one Pack Rat token from the board (and a pair of Mutavaults to back it up), but Nightveil Specter started to go to work. First Banisher Priest, then Voice of Resurgence, on and on the 2/3 flyer beat in.
Mistcutter Hydra off the top as a 7/7 (Andrew drew many lands!) allowed him to try once again for the big attack. All four of Andrew’s creatures came in: 7/7 Hydra, two Voices, and 2/1 Soldier. Owen made a third Pack Rat token before blocking with Mutavault on the 7/7 and large rats elsewhere. Two 8/8 Elementals entered the battlefield for Andrew, but they were still smaller than Owen’s */* rats!
Owen now went for the gusto: all three of his currently 3/3 rats and Nightveil Specter entered the red zone. With Andrew at 17, he had to block at least one rat with a 3/3 Elemental, which he did. Owen made another token in response to drop Andrew to 7.
But Andrew topdecked Selesnya Charm! That gave his enormous guy trample, which was enough to pull the game back from the brink. What a game!
Andrew 1, Owen 0.
Owen had the play again and this time both players decided to keep their seven card openers. Imagine that! The first play of the game came from Owen on turn two with Pack Rat, while Andrew had Voice of Resurgence. Lifebane Zombie on turn three from Owen revealed Andrew’s hand of Fleecemane Lion, another Voice, Boon Satyr, and Selesnya Charm. Owen took Andrew’s Lion and passed.
Andrew attacked with his Voice to drop Owen to 18, and he added a second Voice to his choir. Owen, with four lands including one Mutavault now, swung in with both of his creatures and activated Pack Rat before a Thoughtseize robbed Andrew of a freshly drawn Advent of the Wurm. Andrew played a fourth land as well before attacking Owen to 12 and casting Banisher Priest on the rat token. Owen swung in again, making another rat before damage, to drop Andrew to 10.
The race is on!
Andrew pondered for a moment as to how best approach his turn, and elected to swing with all three of his creatures. Owen decided to go to 6, and Andrew left four mana available. On his next turn, Owen activated Mutavault and attacked with all of his creatures to attempt lethal, and when the Advent of the Wurm token was met with Hero’s Downfall Andrew quickly checked that he was in fact dead and scooped.
Yet another exciting game!
Andrew 1, Owen 1.
With lots of back and forth action in the first two games in this match, this third game of the match was sure to be an exciting one. Andrew now had the play for the first time in the match, and having broken Owen’s serve in game one had a slight advantage. But Owen’s proven time and time again that no one is better prepared to play Mono-Black and come back from near-death situations, so it was all but assured that we’d have a nice fun game three.
Four lands and Boon Satyr, so the 4/2 hit the bin. Even worse, Pack Rat came down on Owen’s next turn. Fleecemane Lion off the top turn three helped Andrew quite a bit, but Owen’s third land spelled problems for Andrew. Another Soldier was followed by an attack to drop Owen to 9, and Owen then started the long and slow process of creating more rats.
One rat entered the red zone for Owen, who then passed after Temple of Deceit scry’d a card to the bottom. All three of Andrew’s creatures attacked, and in response Owen activated Pack Rat. In response to that, Last Breath removed one of Owen’s rats (the physical card version) before blockers, but took seven to fall to 6.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel drained four precombat, and after attacks both players had 10 life. Andrew kept up the pressure though, swinging with both Soldiers and the 3/3 Lion. Owen blocked a 2/1 and fell to 5, then Voice of Resurgence joined Andrew’s side of the board. Owen, facing an untapped Voice and three untapped mana, went through all of the permutations before electing to simply play a land and pass back to Andrew. Gray Merchant stood in front of a now Monstrous Lion, but at end of turn Owen made two rats. A kill spell of the top meant that Andrew did not have enough to survive, and Owen Turtenwald is your first Open champion of 2014!
Owen 2, Andrew 1.