Brian Kibler showed up to play with his trademark headphones blaring loud music. He paid little attention to his opponent Franck Canu, who has been traveling the US tournament circuit for a month now, though he will return to his native France right after GP Los Angeles.
Kibler won the die roll and began the game with double Shepherd of Rot, against Franck’s Wellwisher and morph. “These guys are really good against Wellwisher dot deck”, mused Kibler sarcastically, as he killed the morph creature with Profane Prayers. Treespring Lorian died a death by clerics, allowing Brian to swing in safely for two.
The game suddenly turned into a battle between good and evil. Kibler’s evil empire of Shepherd and Shepherd faced down double Wellwisher, gaining Canu multiple life a turn. It looked to be a long game, with Canu dropping Wretched Anurid to go on the offense.
Kibler, not in the least fazed by the board, cast Blackmail targeting his opponent. Canu slowly reveal Forest, then Symbiotic Beast, then jokingly refused to let Kibler see the third card in his three card hand. “Let me see that!”, Kibler said while reaching across the table to flip over Silent Specter. “I think I’ll choose that one, and the Beast too”, he intoned casting a second Blackmail to strip Canu’s hand of any threats.
Kibler evened up the board with a Nantuko Husk, prompting Canu to suicide attack his Wirewood Herald in search of a better elf. Wirewood Savage emerged from the deck straight into play.
At this point, Kibler stopped keeping track of the life totals, with Canu gaining six life a turn. The Frenchman summon Screeching Buzzard to go on the offense, but Kibler morphed his two morph creatures, showing double Daru Healer to prevent all the flyer damage. “Oh no!”, Franck exclaimed, his plans thwarted completely. He could only but summon Venomspout Brackus to the fray, with Kibler adding Aven Soulgazer on his own side.
At this point both players were looking for their ways to win. Kibler needed to basically have Canu deck himself, while Canu needed the Anurid Murkdiver in his deck to finally start hitting for two a turn.
“Isn’t this exciting?”, asked Kibler, as Franck dropped Wellwisher number three into play, allowing him to gain fifteen life a turn.
“Can I count your deck?”, asked Canu quietly. “Sure”, replied Kibler. “How many do I have? “. “Sixteen”. “How many do you have?” “Fourteen…ooooooooh!”, joked Franck, gaining another fifteen life to go over the hundred life mark for the first time this match.
There were more creatures being cast on both sides, but none of the really mattered. Both players had complete logjams on the table, with Kiblers cleric horde facing down Canu’s elf and beast parade. Finally, a bajillion turns into the game, Canu drew his Murkdiver and went to work for six a turn. His Brackus kept Kibler’s Soulgazer from effectively blocking, and the Murkdiver crept through the Swamps to deal unblockable damage. The Daru Healers worked overtime to prevent two of the damage, but the attacks started taking their toll on Brian.
Brian drew, and played Jareth (which would do little good at this point in the match, with Canu at a comfortable 155 life). However, he also held Akroma's Blessing in hand, allowing him to block the Buzzard, and give his flyer protection from Green once Canu tried to Brack it. That plan went all awry when Canu cast Cruel Revival after the block, taking the Soulgazer out of the picture.
As Franck’s library dwindled, he raced to knock beat Brian. With six cards left in Canu’s library and the life totals somewhere at infinity to five, Kibler cast Doubtless One, hoping to gain enough life with the 7/7 spirit linked cleric to win through decking. Canu attempted to Swat one of the Daru Healers in response, but it was saved by the previously unused Akroma's Blessing. Kibler finally appeared as though he might have a chance-until Canu drew Wirewood Pride, pumping his Anurid Murkdiver to 10/9 to win the game before Brian could swing.
Franck Canu 1 - Brian Kibler 0
Canu stalled at three Swamps, only able to play a pair of morph creatures. Meanwhile, Kibler came out strong, with a third turn morpher, fourth turn Doubtless One, and fifth turn Daunting Defender.
Before the game turned into a total one sided massacre, Franck drew a Forest and played his first Wellwisher of the game. Kibler, keeping with the offense, played Aven Soulgazer to pump his avatar to a 3/3. Next turn, Brian swung with his team, which drew a concession.
Each player revealed their morph creatures. Kibler showed Haunted Cadaver. Canu flipped over Silent Specter and Venomspout Brackus.
Game three began with only thirteen minutes left in the round, thanks to the extraordinarily long game one. Canu came out quickly with first turn cycle-a-land, second turn Wellwisher, third turn morph creature. Kibler, not to be outdone, stalled the entire game immediately with second turn Battlefield Medic, third turn Daru Healer, fourth turn Doubtless One.
Franck drew his fifth land…and played a Screeching Buzzard. Meanwhile, Kibler stalled a turn before drawing his fifth land. This prompted him to cast a morph creature of his own, which was revealed to be Daru Healer at the end of Canu’s turn. Adding an Aven Soulgazer to the flock, Kibler started smashing face with his now 5/5 avatar, with seven points of damage prevention backing the guy (double Healer, single Medic). Canu could only stare in dejection at his freshly drawn Anurid Murkdiver, which had no chance of racing against a nigh invulnerable, Spirit Linked cleric. Even his second Wellwisher didn’t do much to staunch the flow of blood as Brian added to his threats by playing Daunting Defender. Swat took out one of the two 1/2 guys, but Canu began talking to himself in French, a telltale sign of his worry at the game state.
Canu morphed his Treespring Lorian, as Brian played clerics numbers six and seven to the board in the form of a second Battlefield Medic and his first Shepherd of Rot. Canu played Symbiotic Beast (which provided many chump blockers for the Doubtless One). Kibler reduced Canu down to four life-when Canu played a third elf, allowing him to go up six life a turn via his Wellwishers.
Kibler attacked with his Soulgazer, which was blocked by Screeching Buzzard. Brian cast Feeding Frenzy to kill one of the Wellwishers, but lost his Soulgazer to Cruel Revival on the following turn. Kibler peeled Jareth off of the top of the deck as time was called, and won the game on the third extra turn on the strength of his Shepherd and his legend cat giant.
Brian Kibler 2 - Franck Canu 1
GP LA First Rochester Draft
GP LA First Rochester Draft