"Have fun, good luck, I hope you mulligan," Phil Li said to his opponent, Adam Prosak, in rapid-fire form as they sat down to the final match of Invitational play on Saturday.
"Your wish is granted," Adam immediately replied, sending his opening grip of seven cards back for a lower calorie hand of six.
Phil was the first to the battlefield with a creature, casting a second-turn Nest Invader. The board became comically similar as Adam answered with his own copy of Nest Invader, then both players cast Lotus Cobras. A second Cobra for Phil allowed him to cast Garruk Wildspeaker ahead of schedule. He used the green planeswalker's untap ability to generate enough mana, with some help from his Spawn token, to cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor as well.
"Just two planeswalkers?" His opponent groaned.
Sphinx of Lost Truths with the kicker cost paid was how Adam fired back, giving himself both an attacker as well as a virtual Ancestral Recall. Unfortunately for the Arizona native, Phil Li had a hefty counter play. He untapped and used his Garruk to net him enough mana to cast Frost Titan, tapping the Sphinx, then Clone, copying the Frost Titan and tapping his opponent's Lotus Cobra. It was a pretty impressive turn; did Adam have any type of return fire?
He started his turn by using a fetch-land, adding an extra mana to his mana pool from it via Lotus Cobra. While looking through his library for the land he wanted, however, he surveyed the board again. Rather than figure out which mana source to fetch up, he opted to concede in light of his opponent's overwhelming advantage.
Phil Li 1, Adam Prosak 0
"HOLY SHI…" Prosak exclaimed, trailing off with a glance at the innocent peanut gallery hanging on his every word.
"I drew all four Birds," Phil replied with a shrug.
He put the creatures to good work quickly, using them to cast a Vengevine and sending it to the red zone. Prosak fired back with a Frost Titan, using the 6/6 to tap down one quarter of the Birds of Paradise. Phil had a Frost Titan of his own, or rather a Clone he used to mimic his opponent's. Thanks to all of his one-mana accelerants, he had enough mana to use the Titan's ability to target Prosak's copy, keeping it tapped down.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor for Adam undid his opponent's Clone, though he felt the play was clearly bad. The Magic 2011 rare was simply recast a turn later, again copying Frost Titan, and Adam switched gears to begin Brainstorming with Jace in an attempt to come up with a better game plan than Unsummoning Clone. His planeswalker worked like a charm, finding him a second copy of Frost Titan which he used to lock down his opponent's mimic version.
Brainstorm continued to work wonders for Adam, who found a Vengevine and a second Lotus Cobra and began sending his team sideways. His twin set of Frost Titans allowed him to keep his opponent's biggest blockers tapped down and Phil Li found himself trying to dig up a solution to his opponent's gigantic army. He couldn't, however, and Prosak evened the match to one a piece.
Phil Li 1, Adam Prosak 1
The third game started with both players on a mulligan, and while shuffling his opponent's deck Phil split two of Adam's sleeves. It was a humorous turn of events as Li had split multiple sleeves from his opponent in BOTH of the first games. Li kept his second grip, but Adam had to ship his back for five.
"This is the best hand I've ever seen," Adam said as he looked at his set of five before agreeing to keep it.
Phil led the way with a Fauna Shaman on his second turn to which Adam replied, "This is going to get awkward." How so? By Adam casting his own copy of the 2/2! Phil attacked with his, but Prosak wasn't willing to trade. Instead Adam untapped and cast Lotus Cobra, ready to activate his Shaman in an effort to begin filling his graveyard with Vengevines.
Garruk Wildspeaker hit for Li, who promptly used the planeswalker to create a 3/3 Beast token. Adam used his Fauna Shaman to turn a Nest Invader into Frost Titan, then ripped a fetch-land to generate enough mana to cast the 6/6. That tapped the Beast, and Prosak was able to attack his opponent's Garruk to death. Phil answered with a Jace, the Mind Sculptor but Adam used his Frost Titan to take that out, tapping Fauna Shaman.
Clone from Li allowed him to copy his opponent's Frost Titan, but Adam used Fauna Shaman to fetch up a second copy of the 6/6. He didn't have enough mana to tap the Clone, but Li couldn't lock down both of his opponent's Titans, attacking to tap the freshly cast copy of the mythic rare while dropping Prosak to 5 life. Adam attacked back, locking down the Clone'd Frost Titan and freeing up his second copy to begin attacking the following turn.
Phil Li didn't have much time to push through the final 5 points of damage against his opponent. With his faux Frost Titan locked down he used Fauna Shaman to fetch up Avenger of Zendikar. He cast the 5/5 to net a whopping eight 0/1 Plant tokens.
"Daddy needs a new pair of shoes," Adam said, with a grimace.
His opponent attacked with Beast and Prosak ominously said "Block with Fauna Shaman, just so I get a point." What he meant wasn't immediately clear, but at the end of his opponent's turn a Hornet Sting from Adam allowed him to finish off the Beast. Adam marked "+1" on his score pad.
Unfortunately for Adam, the Hornet Sting wasn't enough to keep him alive. His rip for the turn wasn't enough to deal with his opponent's Plant tokens and when Phil revealed he had a fetch-land in his hand Adam conceded gracefully.
Phil Li 2, Adam Prosak 1