Feature

Round Two Feature Match: Laura Mills vs. Cameron Heize

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Game One

Cameron first saw Mirrodin during the Trial last night. The last time Sideboard saw Laura Mills she was beating Sol Malka at the US Nationals in 2002. Since then Laura has gone from writing for Brainburst to writing for Star City Games.

The two players settled in for what looked like it would be a friendly game. The early banter was lighthearted and friendly. Both players took the early mulligan to six cards.

“One of those hands that if you keep you know you’re going to lose,” Laura explained to her opponent as she tossed her seven cards back in the deck. Both players appeared slightly more content with the six card hands they received back.

Cameron dropped a turn one Auriok Transfixer, and when Laura didn’t have a turn one drop of her own the Transfixer started wandering into the red zone.

The Transfixer was able to scoop up a Leonine Scimitar before it next ventured into the red zone, and it needed it to get by the Atog played by Laura. With the Scimitar on the Transfixer Laura elected to just let it by and then swing with Atog.

“Missing land drops is not good,” Laura remarked, a comment which Cameron was able to agree with. Both players were stuck at three lands at that point, and neither was able to play anything other then the early drops they had made.

“Goblin War Wagon,” Laura announced as she placed him on the stack in the middle of the table. Having found her fourth land finally she was able to play the four mana 3/3. The Wagon wouldn’t be swinging right away though, as the turn one Transfixer would keep it tapped down.

Cameron could see the game slipping away after Laura played Journey of Discovery to dig up some lands. He ripped the top card from his deck with some trepidation and exclaimed, “Dang, I still can’t play anything.” He hadn’t found the land he needed.

Laura played a Tel-Jilad Archers which Cameron blew off the board with Shrapnel Blast. It cost him one of the two creatures he had on the table though, as the only artifact he had to sacrifice was an Iron Myr. Laura swung with her Atog and Rustspore Ram and Cameron was down to 15.

Cameron was finally able to find the land he needed to drop a real threat though. Somber Hoverguard joined his side of the table to provide a real flying threat against Laura. The Hoverguard just didn’t appear as if it would be enough though. Laura added the Fangren Hunter to her side of the table, adding a 4/4 trampler to an army that appeared on the verge of victory.

Somber Hovergaurd acquired a Bonesplitter and Laura lost her Clockwork Condor to a Shatter moments later though, and the tables appeared to have turned. The now 5/2 Hovergaurd went into the red zone and brought Laura’s life total down to five.

Without any way to remove the large flying beasty Laura scooped her cards up and prepared for game two.

Cameron Heize 1 – Laura Mills 0

Game Two

Cameron was once again unhappy with the cards he pulled off the top of his deck to start the game. His mulligan to six made him feel a little better about his chances and he kept.

Laura didn’t like her seven cards at all and sent them flopping back onto the top of the deck, ready to be shuffled up again.

Cameron again got off to a good start, and this time he didn’t appear to be slowed by any mana difficulties. An Auriok Bladewarden hit the table while Laura was stuck with only two lands on the table.

She finally did find a third land and used it to cast Yotian Soldier. “Gonna Annul him?” she asked Cameron as she placed it on the table.

“Sure,” Cameron responded, but he didn’t have the Annul in his hand. Laura played a Berserker and sent the hasted little man into the red zone, only to find him back in her hand, bounced by the Aether Spellbomb.

Cameron certainly didn’t have any mana problems as he piled land after land onto the table. He was having problems drawing anything that would actually help though. An Iron Myr came off the top of the deck and landed on the table, it was the best he could do. In the meantime though he continued to feel the little pinging of the Yotian Soldier landing on his head.

The little pinging of the Soldier was joined soon afterwards by the Goblin War Wagon, a large creature for this format.

The Iron Myr got a little larger with the addition of a Bonesplitter to the side of the table for Cameron. Laura decided he looked like too good a blocker at that point though so she went ahead and Detonated the Bonesplitter.

Cameron ripped yet another land off the top of his library and then bemoaned his string of crummy draws. “Gotta love it,” he said as he played the land.

Cameron played the Auriok Transfixer that had worked so hard to give him game one and asked how it would die. Laura was quick to help him out by killing it with the Pyrite Spellbomb she had played early in the game.

“I swear I have more creatures then this,” Cameron mentioned as he played another Bonesplitter. The Myr got bigger, but it didn’t seem to be helping Cameron.

The Myr finally was forced to meet his demise, with Cameron having no choice but to block the Fangren Hunter that Laura sent into the red zone. The Yotian Soldier had been doing his work for a long time and Cameron went down to seven life.

“Land,” Cameron stated for the record as he drew his card. Cameron now had eight lands on the table and two in his hand, nothing he could do as Laura sent her Atog, War Wagon and Soldier into the red zone to end game two.

Cameron 1 – Laura 1

Game Three

Cameron decided to play to start game three, which was the opposite of the decision Laura had made at the beginning of game two.

Both players kept for the first time in the match, happy with their seven card hands. Cameron dropped the Transfixer turn one and sent him into the red zone turn two. Laura started the game a little slower, just making her two land drops and passing the turn back to Cameron.

Turn four the beef started to hit the table, with Clockwork Condor joining the table on Cameron’s side, weighing it heavily in his direction.

Laura played a Vulshok Berserker and sent him into the red zone, maybe hoping that Cameron would block with his Condor and remove them both from the table. Instead, Cameron took the damage and then swung to do three damage of his own.

The pace of play picked up quite a bit at this point. The two players knew they were under time constraints and wanted to try and get game three completed.

Laura moved to her attack step, then decided not to attack with anyone. Instead she added an Ogre Leadfoot to the table and passed the turn, as the round clock clicked toward the three minutes to go mark.

The Ogre Leadfoot swung into the red zone on the next turn and was met with a Soul Nova from Cameron. The game was looking more and more like a draw at that point.

Time was called and Cameron took turn one. A Bonesplitter came out of his hand onto the table and then was equipped to the Hoverguard. The Hovergaurd moved toward the red zone and left Laura with a lot of thinking to do. The Archers blocked and with lethal damage on the stack Cameron bounced the Hoverguard back to his hand.

The Hoverguard went back onto the table, where he seemed to be in charge. The Bonesplitter was reequipped onto the beastie and he went running back into the red zone, bringing Laura’s life total down to five on turn three.

Turn five would belong to Cameron, and unless Laura could remove the Bonesplitter or the Hovergaurd then Cameron would win this game on turn five. Laura sent her men into the red zone and Cameron went down to five life.

Laura apparently didn’t draw the card she needed, as when Cameron swung into the red zone on turn five game the game ended in his favor.

Cameron won the match two games to one.

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