Feature Match Round 14: Tuomo Nieminen vs Thomas Gundersen

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Gundersen is in the unfortunate position of being paired down for the last round. Meaning he will have to play for the top 8 rather than ID in. Nieminen needs a win and some luck to make the last eight but there are plenty of dollars to play for.

Nieminen mulliganed and shuffled a lot before presenting his deck for a second time. He kept a one land, Chromatic Sphere, Silver Myr, Talisman of Dominance, Vedalken Archmage hand and peeled the second and third lands that he needed straight off the top without even needing the Sphere. Gundersen, meanwhile, ramped up to a Vulshok Berserker off a Copper Myr. The Archmage entered play. The following turn Tuomo used a Journey of Discovery to find him two additional land which let him cast his Silver Myr to draw a card.

Gundersen kept attacking with the Berserker, adding Tel-Jilad Chosen and an Elf Replica to the board. Nieminen replied by making a Wurmskin Forger, two tokens on the Archmage and one on the Forger. It succeeded in holding Thomas off, stabilizing at fourteen life.

Holding back, Gundersen added more men to his side in the form of a Nim Replica, a Slith Predator and a Tel-Jilad Archer. Nieminen, however, entwined a Tooth and Nail, putting a Myr Enforcer and a Broodstar into play… The Enforcer was Shattered. Nieminen did not seem to mind, making a Lodestone Myr and a Clockwork Condor. Gundersen scooped.

Nieminen 1 – Gundersen 0

Niemen looked to his sideboard to find answers to Gundersen’s incredibly fast RG deck, he added an Elf Replica and a Viridian Longbow. Thomas replaced some of the more redundant cards with more creatures from the board to gain an edge.

Gundersen’s opening hand did not contain a creature. He had an Electrostatic Bolt, a Shatter and a Deconstruct. Tuomo’s first play was a Viridian Joiner that was immediately Bolted, it was followed a turn later by a Lodestone Myr that was Shattered. Meanwhile, Thomas had found a creature – an Alpha Myr.

Nieminen made a Silver Myr and a Cathodion. Gundersen recklessly Deconstructing the Cathodion and attacked with his Myr, making both players manaburn for three. The Cathodion was replaced by a Clockwork Vorrac. Now stabilized behind the Vorrac’s huge behind, Tuomo was safe to play his Archmage and cantripping Enforcer.

Not to be outdone, Gundersen had made a Trolls of Tel-Jilad, but Nieminen did not seem to care, making a Cobalt Golem which kept the card drawing flowing. The Trolls attacked, knocking Tuomo to thirteen. Nieminen passed his next turn doing nothing, whilst Gundersen topdecked a Viridian Shaman to take out the growing Vorrac. The Trolls kept swinging; Tuomo decided to chump block with his Myr.

Neither played added anything to the board for a turn, the Trolls smashed in again, taking Nieminen to eight. Tuomo then mainphase Irradiated the Shaman then swung with the Golem and Enforcer. The Alpha Myr blocked the Golem and was Battlegrowthed to trade, Gundersen fell to 13. Tuomo made a post-combat Molten Slug.

The slug took out Gundersen’s Tree of Tales. The Slug held off the Trolls and Gundersen made a Tel-Jilad Archers. Nieminen did nothing except let his artifact lands and Enforcer die to the Slug over the next few turns whilst Thomas started swinging with his two big Green men. Nieminen used a Talisman to draw a card before letting it die the following turn. Thomas added a Tel-Jilad Chosen to the board and a Slith Predator.

Finally, Nieminen found a card that actually did something – Tooth and Nail. It was entwined, finding a Wurmskin Forger and an Elf Replica, which Tuomo chose to hold back to draw another card. The Forger claimed to of its counters for its own, boosting the Archmage once. It was irrelevant, Gundersen alpha-struck the next turn and showed the now lethal Predator Strike.

Gundersen 1 – Nieminen 1

Nieminen started out with an AEther Spellbomb, Gundersen trumped with a Chosen. The Spellbomb was sacrificed to find land, Nieminen made added a Tree of Tales to his two Forests and passed. He found a Swamp the following turn and made a Cobalt Golem. Gundersen had already made an Alpha Myr and his two men swung at Tuomo. The Golem blocked the Myr which was unsurprisingly Predator Struck.

Another Forest later and Nieminen made his all-powerful Molten Slug. The board position changed. The Alpha Myr was sacrificed, being Thomas’ only artifact. Tuomo made a Viridian Joiner that was Bolted at the end of turn, but the Molten Slug was now enjoying free rein of the red zone, dropping Gundersen to twelve.

Thomas made a second Chosen and held back. Tuomo found his seventh land, a soon to die Tree of Tales, and cast the search part of Tooth and Nail, finding Nim Replica and Wurmskin Forger, holding back with the Slug.

The two Chosen swung in the next turn, the Slug blocked one, but the little guy was Battlegrowthed and Predator Struck and the Slug hit the bin. Nieminen fell to nine, Gundersen followed up with a Nim Replica. Nieminen made a Replica of his own, leaving four mana open. The Replica’s traded and Tuomo’s Irradiate took down the now 3/2 Chosen. Nieminen took two.

Gundersen made Viridian Shaman, taking out a Tree of Tales, just to keep the pressure up but it was to no avail. Nieminen stabilized with a Wurmskin Forger backed up by an Archmage. Thomas had no window to attack and could only pass up his turn. Nieminen started going nuts, making a Talisman and a Viridian Longbow. The turn after he made an Oblivion Stone and a Myr Enforcer. Gundersen conceded. Now it was down to Nieminen’s tiebreakers as to whether or not he made top 8.

Nieminen 2 – Gundersen 1

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