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Round 10: Simon Marshall-Unitt vs Chris Clapton

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Game 1

Both Simon and Chris are at 7-2, so the winner of this match should be able to safely intentional draw into the top 8.

Simon wins the die roll and opens up with a Mountain, Chris takes his turn and plays a Swamp. The matchup turns out to be RG vs BW clerics. The first creature to hit the table is a Shepherd of Rot on Chris’s second turn. Simon has no third turn play and so the Shepherd of Rot is able to swing in for a cheeky one point before being joined at the frontline by a morph. Chris flicks the morph up to me to show me that it’s a Crude Rampart. Fortunately Simon has a fourth turn play of a Symbiotic Elf and is able to deter attackers for a while. Chris summons an Aven Redeemer in his turn but this has to stay at home after Simon’s Everglove Courier and Stonewood Invoker show up and threaten a ground assault. A Daunting Defender gets added to the cleric defence line and Chris looks in good control of the board.

The attacking from Chris begins in his following turn, after Simons play was a morph creature. Chris plays Crown of Suspicion targetting the Everglove Courier and it goes to the graveyard. Aven Redeemer then flies in for two points before Chris makes another morph. Simon has an answer though, and takes advantage of the Aven being tapped to Pinpoint Avalanche the Daunting Defender. Simon then takes his own turn and unmorphs Skirk Marauder targetting the tapped Aven Redeemer. Chris has a trick up his sleeve and unmorphs Daru Healer to prevent one point of damage to the Aven. However Simon has a way to deal with this too and enchants his Symbiotic Elf with a Lavamancer’s Skill which enables him to finish off the Aven. The Skirk Marauder then attacks and trades with the Shepherd of Rot. Chris and Simon both do nothing during their own turns, although Chris uses Simon’s end step to unmorph his Crude Rampart.

Simon’s seemingly better board position is suddenly destroyed as Chris drops a morph and unmorphs it as Bane of the Living to give all creatures –2/-2. This takes out all of Simon’s creatures and leaves Chris with the Bane and the Rampart. Simon has no cards left in his hand but top decks a Krosan Tusker and puts it into play. Chris then summons another Daunting Defender followed by another Aven Redeemer when Simon makes no play in his intervening turn. Another top deck for Simon allows him to play a Barkhide Mauler, but now Chris is able to attack for two points a turn with his Aven. The Aven keeps swinging and Simon can’t find an answer. Both players have lost a chunk of life to the early game Shepherd, and so the Aven is very close to finishing off Simon. A Cruel Revival targetting the Tusker and the dead Shepherd is enough to secure the game.

Both players sideboard a single card vs each other and discuss the previous day’s Constructed format as they shuffle up for game two.

Game 2

Simon chooses to play first again, and decides against keeping his hand. He mulligans to six and keeps it. Stonewood Invoker is Simon’s first play on turn two, and this is matched with a Starlight Invoker from Chris. Turn three follows a similar pattern with both players deploying morph creatures.

On turn four Simon makes his first attack, sending across his morph. Chris is tapped out and so has to make an important decision. He comments that he fears a Skirk Marauder but nevertheless blocks with his Invoker. Damage goes on the stack without any effects, and the creatures end up bouncing off of each other. Chris untaps and sighs “What a good time to not draw a land”. He sends his morph into the battle and Simon blocks it with his Invoker. The morph turns out to be a Patron of the Wild, which boosts itself. Chris uses an Inspirit to save his morph creature and take down the Invoker. Simon’s turn is slightly uneventful as he makes another morph and passes the turn. Chris tops a Plains and can now cast his Aven Redeemer.

Down comes a Crested Craghorn on Simon’s side and he gets back into the game. This wanders over with the morph, and provokes the Aven Redeemer. The Aven dies and Oliver Schneider shouts out “The Craghorn dies too!” from the sidelines. “Nearly got away with it” replies Simon jokingly.

Yet again though Chris has been safely sitting on a Bane of the Living, and unmorphs it in his turn to take down all of Simon’s creatures. A big swing from Chris nearly takes five life from Simon but he has a Pinpoint Avalanche to deal with the Bane. He then casts Vile Deacon. Simon puts out a Barkhide Mauler in his turn for defence and Chris adds a Daunting Defender to his cleric arsenal. The Vile Deacon goes on a rampage and smacks Simon for five. A backup Deacon gives him a little buddy to riot with, but the first Deacon is then hit by another Avalanche during the attack step in response to its triggered ability. The new Deacon swings for another five taking Simon down to a lowly seven life. Another two morphs added to Chris’s board makes Simon scoop.

Chris Clapton wins 2-0

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