Pat McGregor quietly hit up the 2010 Opens and found himself with an Invitational berth in Richmond last month. He turned that into a Top 8 finish with Boros though he lost in the quarterfinals to Charles Gindy. The Boros vs. U/B matchup is a subject of some debate and we decided to let it play out in print this weekend.
Both players kept but Pat had the play and used it well. “Goblin Guide—aggression you!” he declared cracking a Scalding Tarn to play it and revealing a Sea Gate Oracle. Jeremy spent turn 1 on an Island and a Preordain scrying one card to the bottom. Pat kept the pressure up popping an Arid Mesa to play a Stoneforge Mystic and find Sword of Body and Mind. Goblin Guide revealed a Tectonic Edge this time prompting a smile and a “how lucky” from Pat.
Jeremy's Duress took care of the sword revealing a Lightning Bolt Spikeshot Elder Plated Geopede and a second Stoneforge Mystic. He played a second Preordain next digging through the deck and setting up favorable Guide scenarios. Pat attacked for 3 dropping Jeremy to 13 and then landed a Plated Geopede. Jeremy's third turn was spent on Spreading Seas as he left a fresh Swamp open representing Disfigure. When Pat failed to find a fetch on his own turn the Guide met the removal spell and he only got in for a measly 2 points. His second Mystic dug up a Gear and he passed the turn.
Pat bemoaned his friends declining to pick him up any chow but Jeremy was all business. He spent a Doom blade on the Geopede and a Mana Leak on Adventuring Gear as the Mystic duo went beatdown and were joined by a very unimpressive Steppe Lynx. Sea Gate Oracle (finally) landed for Jeremy and Pat continued to whiff on land. He got Jeremy to 8 but a Frost Titan on the subsequent turn locked down his Plains and appeared likely to lock him out of the game completely. Pat dropped down a bittersweet Adventuring Gear while Jeremy untapped for Jace the Mind Sculptor bouncing the cat.
Jeremy's next assault dropped Pat to 6 and when he failed to find a land once again he scooped.
Jeremy 1 Pat 0
Pat again had Goblin Guide on the play this time via a Mountain and this time revealing a Creeping Tarpit. Jeremy didn't seem sure what to play eventually landing on a Duress snagging Pat's Journey and leaving him with Stoneforge Mystic and lands. Pat again gave Jeremy a land on his attack while his Stoneforge Mystic dug up Adventuring Gear after he drew a third fetchland.
Jeremy played a Ratchet Bomb and passed the turn back to pat who decided to play into the card disadvantage in exchange for some serious damage. He played and equipped the Gear to his Stoneforge cracking a fetch to bash for 7 damage dropping Jeremy to 9. The Bomb ticked up during Pat's end step. An Inquisition of Kozilek revealed that Pat had hit only lands since the Duress and Jeremy played the Tarpit and passed.
Pat drew and immediately played his fetch to earn at least +2/+2 on that Mystic. The Bomb popped in response to his fetch but that also enabled a Goblin Ruinblaster on the Tarpit. The Ruinblaster was Disfigured in a horrible accident but Jeremy did drop to 6 in the process—one of the worst numbers to be at against Boros. Jeremy stabilized against the Mystic on the next turn with a Sea Gate Oracle while Pat played draw go. Jace the Mind Sculptor hit for Jeremy as he began fatesealing but Pat managed to hit the runner with Sword of Body and Mind. He attacked Jeremy to 3 and made a Wolf token and was now threatening lethal in a game that had looked all but lost.
Jeremy used Jace to dig for cards and appeared to have perhaps found all he needed—he was sitting on a Consume the Meek and a Doom Blade. When Pat went to attack Jeremy pulled the trigger on the sweeper and cleared his board. Even so Pat was drawing relatively live now with 4 Mountains and 2 Plains plus a fetch in his hand. He played a second Adventuring Gear and passed the turn. Jeremy began with a fateseal on Pat followed by a Preordain. He had a Grave Titan in his hand but staying alive would be far more important and Jace was his most likely win condition at this point.
Pat bricked on an Evolving Wilds but he went ahead and played it in order to give himself some defense against Jace. Jeremy didn't let that happen burning a Spreading Seas on his own turn in order to make Pat crack it before the +2 ability. Pat drew a Steppe Lynx—shocking—and lost it to a Doom Blade. When he drew another land off the top the game was over. Screw followed by flood—among the most frustrating things that can happen to any magician.
Jeremy 2 Pat 0