Round 7: Dan Hiler vs. Garett Young
Known for his Valakut and Charbelcher preferences over the 2011 Open Series season, it was a surprise to not see Garett Young on Primeval Titans today. Dan, for his part, had gotten to 5-1 facing mostly Wolf Run all day, so Garett might’ve dodged a bullet by audibling.
Dan's Summonings are serious...
Dropping to six cards, Garett started the game with Darkslick Shores and Ponder—the exact same play that Dan made on the following turn, each player rearranging their top three cards. Heartless Summoning on turn 2 for Garrett, while Dan spent the second turn on another Ponder after playing his land, passing back to Garret.
Solemn Simulacrum resolved, searching Garrett’s deck for an Island and revealing him to be on U/B Heartless—and also revealing him to be lacking lands, as he didn’t play one for the turn. Dan cast Treasure Mage on turn 3, tapping out to search for Steel Hellkite. Nodding, Garrett untapped and drew, attacking.
Dan predictably declined to block, taking 1 damage, and another Solemn Simulacrum followed for Garrett, finding a Swamp and concluding his turn. Dan made two Phantasmal Images on his turn, copying Solemn Simulacrum each time and ramping up his mana. Dan did not attack, keeping all those Solemns in play.
Garrett drew and attacked again, dealing 2 damage as Dan refused to give him any cards. Playing a third Solemn, Garrett searched up land and ended the turn, still without making a land drop. Dan tapped out on the next turn, casting Spine of Ish Sah on Heartless Summoning—ouch! Oddly, he followed with an attack and Garrett took the trade with Treasure Mage, drawing a card.
Just Havengul Lich and an attack on Garrett’s turn, dealing 4 damage now and threatening to take over the board if he got to untap with his Lich in play. Grand Architect from Dan diversified his options, and he used it to cast Phyrexian Metamorph on Spine of Ish Sah. That dealt with the Havengul Lich handily, and a follow-up Phantasmal Image gave Dan a third Solemn Simulacrum; although he might’ve been better off with the Lich!
Dan blocked a Solemn with his own this time, taking 2 damage as each player drew a card and falling to 11 life. A pair of Perilous Myrs from Garrett threatened all those Phantasmal Images, and of course also threatened Dan’s life total as Garret ended the turn. Another Phyrexian Metamorph on Spine killed one of Garrett’s lands, and Steel Hellkite resolved. Tapped out, Dan attacked with his two Phantasmal Images, and Garrett took 4 to fall to 8.
He attacked, Dan declining to block and going to a dangerous 7 life. Paying 2 life for his own Metamorph, Garrett copied Steel Hellkite—interestingly not copying Spine to kill the Hellkite, as Grand Architect would make Garrett’s lose in combat. He’d paid that 2 life for a reason though… Dan immediately attacked on the next turn, and Garrett blocked one Phantasmal Image, firing a Tragic Slip at the unblocked Image and then again at the Steel Hellkite, taking just 1 damage from the attacking Grand Architect, going to 5 as Dan drew two cards. Wurmcoil Engine and a second Grand Architect followed, but the Steel Hellkite on Garrett’s side made it through the sky unchecked.
Garrett 1, Dan 0
Dan began with an Island in game 2, while Garrett’s Drowned Catacomb started off tapped. “Look at you,” he said as Dan dropped Heartless Summoning on the second turn, following with his own after playing Nephalia Drownyward.
...but Garrett's Summonings took the day!
Things turned bad for Garret on the next turn—Grand Architect into Treasure Mage for Wurmcoil Engine into Wurmcoil Engine! “His start’s faster than mine,” Garrett said, dismayed as all he could do was Phantasmal Image the Engine.
Pumping the opposing Engine to kill it, Dan followed with Dungeon Geists on the deathtouch token. He attacked with his Mage and and Engine, but Tragic Slip slew the Wurmcoil Engine. Tapping out, Garrett resolved Consecratd Sphinx and began to get back in the game. Just the deathtouch Wurm swung from Dan, with Myr Superion following but no other game.
Garrett played a real Wurmcoil Engine and ended his turn quickly, continuing to draw as Dan untapped and made a Sphinx of his own with Phantasmal Image. Tragic Slip killed that one before the end of the turn, Garrett untapping with plenty of mana. He attacked with his Sphinx and his Engine, dealing 3 damage as Dan traded a deathtouch token for the real Engine—Garrett got another pair of tokens. Pondering, he played Phantasmal Image and copied Sphinx.
Now drawing four cards, Garrett had gotten pretty far ahead of Dan, and the top of Dan’s deck had little to offer by way of cooperation. Both Sphinxes attacked alongside two lifelink tokens and a deathtouch token, Dan trading with the deathtouch and blocking the lifelinkers to kill them at no loss, going to 24 life. Ponder into another Wurmcoil Engine, and Garrett passed.
Dan drew and played Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, immediately boosting its loyalty and grabbing Phyrexian Metamorph. He tried to copy a Sphinx, but Doom Blade put the machine down before it could do anything. Garrett’s next attack sent everything at Dan, ignoring the Tezzeret, and he chumped with Treasure Mage, taking 6 and going to 3 life. Dan had just Dungeon Geists, Grand Architect, and Myr Superion remaining on the board alongside Tezzeret and the Summoning. Post-combat, Garrett’s Rune-Scarred Demon searched for a game-ender—Perilous Myr, who combined with a friend to deal 4 damage.
Garret 2, Dan 0