Round 9: Matthew Toepfner (Humans) vs. Kenny Mayer (Naya Pod)
Kenny Mayer battles in the Standard Open in Baltimore
On the bubble with one loss, Kenny Mayer was working on a rally following a Round 1 stumble. His Naya Pod deck faced a tough fight this round in Humans, wielded by Matthew Toepfner.
Kenny won the die roll and stayed on seven cards, and Matthew also kept. Leading Rootbound Crag, Kenny passed the turn as Matthew quickly got down to business with Plains and Doomed Traveler. Razorverge Thicket and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben enhanced Kenny’s board, and Matthew stayed hom with the Traveler after casting Grand Abolisher.
Attacking, Kenny traded his Thalia for Grand Abolisher (leaving Doomed Traveler to deal lethal) before casting Blade Splicer. Matthew missed his land drop and played Honor of the Pure, but couldn’t attack with his 2/2 Traveler. When Kenny attacked he chumped the Golem, but Huntmaster of the Fells threatened to punish his mana screw.
Topdecking Plains, Matthew Fiend Huntered the Golem token and ended the turn after attacking Kenny to 20. Kenny’s Gavony Township would go active with an untapped land, but he didn’t have one—just another Huntmaster of the Fells and Copperline Gorge. Even so, that was a hefty board to contend with. Playing another Honor of the Pure, Matthew also cast Champion of the Parish and swung for 3 damage with his Spirit token.
Kenny began doing offensive math but wound up passing the turn instead, triggering both Huntmasters. He sent both their triggers at the Spirit token, knocking Matthew to 16. He drew Plains and put it down, but even Hero of Bladehold wasn’t likely to be enough here. He cast her anyway, and Kenny tapped out to Township his team during the end step.
His attack saw just the two Ravagers enter the red zone, and Matthew double-blocked one with the double-pumped Champion and Fiend Hunter. Matthew took 5 and lost his Fiend Hunter, with Kenny casting Birthing Pod and then Thalia afterward. That flipped Huntmaster on Matthew’s turn, and was faced with some not-great choices for attacks. He decided to make none, and just played Hero of Bladehold.
Kenny 1, Matthew 0
Matthew kept his hand while Kenny mulliganed to six, and then five. Plains pass for Matthew, while Copperline Gorge and Birds of Paradise was good for Kenny. Matthew cast the peculiar Elite Inquisitior, and Kenny missed his three-drop due to a tapped Sunpetal Grove.
Champion of the Parish and Honor of the Pure landed, but Kenny had Ray of Revelation for the enchantment and only took 2 damage from the Inquisitor. He played Copperline Gorge on turn 3 and then used Fiend Hunter to remove Champion from the game.
Matthew played Glacial Fortress and Hero of Bladehold, ending his turn afterward with the 1/3 in his path. Kenny had no answer to the 3/4, just Acidic Slime for Glacial Fortress and a prayer. Feeling of Dread tapped his blockers and he took 10 damage. “Not good,” Kenny admitted. He had Huntmaster of the Fells on his own turn, and had to hope that Matthew missed blue mana this turn.
He drew Plains, fortunately for Kenny, and began weighing his options for attacking. He attacked, and Kenny immediately put Slime in front of Hero before thinking over his other options. He wanted to leave Huntmaster out of the fray if at all possible, and decided to put Fiend Hunter and a Wolf in front of two Soldiers, taking 7 damage and going to 3 life. Mirran Crusader post-combat and moorland Haunt completed Matthew’s turn.
Kenny drew Razorverge Thicket and played it, passing the turn. Kenny flipped Huntmaster to kill a Soldier token, the real threats being immune to his effect, and Matthew drew. He played Seachrome Coast, earning a grimace from Kenny—only one turn before Feeling of Dread flashbacked to kill him. Matthew didn’t attack, and Kenny used Township to gear up his creatures.
His next card was no good, however, and he conceded.
Kenny 1, Matthew 1
Matthew Toepfner is on Humans, beating down with a massive army.
Keeping seven cards, Kenny started with Copperline Gorge and a pass, while Matthew played Seachrome Coast. Another Gorge gave Kenny Strangleroot Geist and first blood, but Matthew had more than a few good answer to the Geist. Turn 2 Champion of the Parish, however, was not one of them.
Kenny attacked for 2 and played Razorverge Thicket—then he passed turn. What was in his hand that he had no mana dork and no three-drop? Probably a lot of Huntmasters. Seachrome Coast and then Leonin Relic-Warder gave Matthew a bit of offense, but he decided to use the Cat defensively and block Geist.
He cast Blade Splicer on his own turn, followed by Birds of Paradise, but had nothing else—he’d be hoping to dodge Fiend Hunter and Relic-Warder in this spot, otherwise that Hero might grow obnoxious. Honor of the Pure was nearly as frustrating, and the accompanying Relic-Warder really stung. Matthew played Glacial Fortress and attacked with his Hero, Kenny forced to block with Geist and Huntmaster on the Hero or just take a bunch—he decided 11 damage wasn’t so bad.
Playing Plains, Kenny passed turn and flipped his Huntmaster and dealt 2 damage to the 3/3 Relic-Warder, tipping Matthew off to the Ray of Revelation he was holding. Combust on the Hero of Bladehold before combat was a big swing, and Matthew chose not to attack after that one. He played Mirran Crusader and passed, but Ray during the end step killed Honor and triggered another Huntmaster flip.
Kenny went to 13 and drew, casting Huntmaster of the Fells to go to 15 and back in the lead on life. Matthew shook his head, but had to press on. He swung Mirran Crusader in, and Kenny decided not to block with his Blade Splicer. After that, Matthew cast Hero of Bladehold, which would force Kenny to not play spells on his own turn.
Both Huntmasters flipped to kill Hero, and Matthew fell to 10. One spell a turn would be a slow route to victory for Matthew—he needed to reverse Kenny’s creature advantage. He cast Oblivion Ring on Wolf token and ended the turn, leaving Crusader on defense for a stable board state.
Not stable for long—Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Birds of Paradise let Kenny flip both Huntmasters to get two more tokens, going to 15 life. Another Mirran Crusader was among Matthew’s best cards, but Kenny was continuing to grow. He drew, passed, and killed off Matthew’s Soldier tokens, knocking him to 6 life.
Kenny 2, Matthew 1