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Round 12: Andrea Santin vs. Dirk Baberowski

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You all know the German. Dirk Baberowski may have a Pro Tour Championship and a Masters victory with his team, Phoenix Foundation, but what few people remembered is that he had already won a Pro Tour before semi-retiring from the game.

He is one of the only two players—the other being Randy Buehler, now a member of WotC's R&D—to win the very first Pro Tour they played in. Kamiel Cornelissen came very close but had to "settle" for a second place.

Andrea Santin is a very good Italian player who only recently exploded into the scene with a Top 8 in Worlds last year.

Game 1

Santin opened hostilities with a first turn Careful Study discarding Roar of the Wurm but they decided to just play land for a while until Dirk tapped out to play Deep Analysis.

Andrea took the chance to play another Study, this time discarding Arrogant Wurm straight into the game. The German wasn't so keen in brute force so he played Nightscape Familiar and Merfolk Looter for a trickier path to victory.

In came the Wurm and Santin tried to play Deep Analysis but Dirk already had enough problems to solve so he Lapsed it. The Italian took the chance to play his own Looter. Baberowski flashbacked the Analysis and played Psychatog.

Since the German had five cards in hand Andrea thought attacking wasn't such a hot plan. Since the table was stable Baberowski tried Fact or Fiction. Four counters later it resolved.

Pile one: Upheaval and land.
Pile two: Fact or Fiction, Merfolk Looter and land.

Dirk took the bigger pile.

Andrea: "Ok, so you already had an Upheaval in your hand."

Actually he didn't, but it was a good guess. The Psychatog entered the red zone and the Arrogant Wurm chumped it. Since things were going so well Dirk played a second Psychatog. The Italian dropped Basking Rootwalla and Looted in another Arrogant Wurm. On his turn the German played a second Familiar and another Fact or Fiction.

Andrea: "Good Fact or Fiction."
Dirk: "Can't complain."
Andrea: "Yeah, you could have flipped five lands and you would still win this game."
Dirk: "You're right."

Since he was very sure he couldn't turn the game around Andrea Santin conceded.

Dirk 1-0 Andrea

Dirk: "I was so happy to play against you because it's the only match-up I know how to play."
Andrea: "Well, I did beat Patrick."

Sideboarding action:

Andrea Santin
In: the Roar of the Wurms
Out: the Nantuko Blightcutters.

Dirk Baberowski
In: Three Chainer's Edicts and one Gainsay.
Out: "Some random stuff, I can't remember."

Game 2

Things didn't start well for Dirk who had to take a mulligan and wasn't very happy with his second hand. Santin came out with Study , discarding Study and Analysis, followed by Wild Mongrel.

That Mongrel pumped out Arrogant Wurm before being sacrificed for Chainer's Edict. It was quickly replaced by Nantuko Blightcutter. Despite the Italian's request for another Edict Baberowski could only muster a Familiar and a Looter.

Fire/Ice held the Wurm at bay for one turn and Dirk tried Flametongue Kavu. That would have changed the flow of the game around but Andrea Santin had the Circular Logic for it. A turn later, at one life, the German tried a second Flametongue but, once again, Santin had a counter for it.

Dirk: "Shadowblood Ridge. You were in so much trouble if that had been any other land."
Andrea: "Good old Shadowblood Ridge."
Dirk: "If that had been another land I would have played a second turn Looter."

Dirk 1-1 Andrea

Game 3

Again the Italian had Careful Study but this time he had "the fix": double Basking Rootwalla. The best the German could do was play Merfolk Looter. The Rootwallas attacked and were joined by Aquamoeba.

Meanwhile Nightscape Familiar showed up and promptly helped heapen a Memory Lapse to stop Nantuko Blightcutter. Since Andrea kept playing spells he couldn't pump his Rootwallas. Still had a very healthy fifteen life, Dirk played Edict killing a Rootwalla.

Another Careful Study got Deep Analysis and Aquamoeba into the graveyard. Another swing brought the German to eleven. He tried to play a second Familiar and Santin thought for a moment before letting it resolve.

One of the Familiars traded with the Rootwalla but Santin had another one to play through Aquamoeba. He again tried to play the Blightcutter and once again Baberowski had a Lapse to delay the problem.

Dirk flashbacked the Analysis to go down to five and tried to play Flametongue Kavu. But Andrea had Circular Logic to stop it.

Dirk: "I was afraid of that."

All the German could do was drop another Looter and let the Italian have his way. Santin thought for a moment before flashbacking Deep Analysis and sending everyone in. Again a Familiar traded with Basking Rootwalla.

The Aquamoeba brought Dirk to two life and Andrea finally played the poor Blightcutter. Things were looking grim but Dirk isn't a Pro Tour champion for nothing: he ripped a Flametongue Kavu.

Dirk: "That was a pretty good draw."
Andrea: "You are a professional."

Out went the Aquamoeba. The Blightcutter traded with the Kavu and another Blightcutter came into play. Dirk tried to find a counter but the best his two Looters could muster was Psychatog.

He did rip once again, this time Fire/Ice, and tried to take out Blightcutter but Santin was no slouch either and the only card left in is hand was a Counterspell. So all the German could do was play Psychatog.

His Looters started chumping the Nantuko Blightcutter and the German found Chainer's Edict after Looting with an empty hand twice. But once again Andrea had the Counterspell.

Dirk: "Good draw."

Out went another Looter and Dirk again drew a good spell: Fire/Ice. He tried to take out the annoying creature but once again Andrea Santin had just ripped a counter. To make matters worst the Italian untapped and played Arrogant Wurm.

There was still one last draw phase for Baberowski. One desperate last chance to get something. The result was quite ironic: Upheaval. It was quite a good answer but he only had six lands in play. So he scooped.

Final Result: Andrea 2-1 Dirk

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