Round 9: Zvi Mowshowitz vs. Alex Shvartsman

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Your Move Games teammates Alex Shvartsman and Zvi Mowshowitz both drafted green red decks. The power levels of these two decks couldn’t be more drastically different. Zvi walked away from the draft with a pretty powerful deck which featured three Sparksmiths. On the other hand, Alex ended up playing winners such as Tempting Wurm. Apparently Shvartsman and Brian Hegstad ending up messing each other’s drafts, to the point where neither of them ended up with good decks.

Alex: “If I lose, I’ll be sure to beat Hegstad next round-you can quote all four of us (Ed Fear, Shvartsman, Mowshowitz and Dave Williams, all at the feature match table) for that.”

Alex won the die roll and showed much jubilation as he chose to play first.

Game One:

Ed Fear momentarily distracted Alex by stealing his scorepad. “Are you keeping? ARE YOU KEEPING?” yelled Zvi, trying to get the attention of his teammate. “Yes, yes, I’m keeping. Hold your horses”, replied the Russian.

Zvi started the game off with second turn Sparksmith. Alex dropped a morph creature, which died the following turn as Zvi played Goblin Taskmaster and Wellwisher, shooting the Skirk Commando for two damage.

Zvi debated whether to attack with the Wellwisher or not, and finally did, reducing Alex to eighteen life. He then cast Lay Waste on one of Alex’s Forests, setting Shvartsman back a turn on mana in a deck that consists of multiple large creatures.

Alex recovered nicely, playing a sixth turn Goblin Machinist and a seventh turn Stag Beetle, which came into play as a 6/6. By this point, Zvi had Sparksmith, Goblin Taskmaster, Wellwisher, Everglove Courier, Silklash Spider and Barkhide Mauler. This allowed him to shoot any creature on the board for three damage (thanks to Alex’s goblin) and gain two life a turn to offset his pain from the Tim.

Alex attacked with the Goblin Machinist, which Zvi blocked via his spider. Alex activated the machine twice, but revealed Leery Fogbeast and Erratic Explosion. This kept the green creature alive, but allowed Zvi to shoot down the Machinist at the end of Alex’s turn.

On the following turn, Zvi went completely nuts. He dropped a second Sparksmith and a morph creature, allowing him to shoot any of Alex’s creatures for six damage each turn. Alex, his board only the 6/6 Stag Beetle, desperately tried to hang on by casting a Wellwisher of his own, enchanted his Beetle with Crown of Fury, and summoned a morph creature. Zvi simply gained three life, shot the morph creature (Charging Slateback) for three, untapped, gained three more life, shot the beetle for six, and beat Alex to death with a horde of creatures.

Zvi Mowshowitz 1 - Alex Shvartsman 0

Between games, Alex showed me his sideboard: Goblin Pyromacner, two swamps, and a Crown of Suspicion. His best hope with the Crown would be to enchant his Goblin Machinist with the Crown, as only the Machinist would survive being enchanted with the Crown. This would allow him to sacrifice the enchantment to essentially Wrath of God all of Zvi’s one toughness red critters. The Pyromancer, assuming Zvi couldn’t tim it, would serve the same purpose.

Game Two

Zvi failed to draw a mountain over the first few turns, playing three Forests and Invigorating Boon. He cast third turn face-down Craghorn, which Alex Shocked to death. Meanwhile, Shvartsman went on the offense with Thoughtbound Primoc, a morph creature, and Wellwisher.

Zvi finally drew into his Mountain after cycling Lay Waste number two, allowing him to drop Sparksmith on the table. It died to Erratic Explosion, allowing Alex to swing in for five. Next turn, Zvi repeated his play, but cycled Lay Waste number three to give his Sparksmith a +1/+1 counter and survive the attack of the Wellwisher. This dropped the life totals to 20-7, with Alex summoning a 3/3 Stag Beetle.

Zvi drew, but it didn’t matter as Alex had Wave of Indifference the following turn as Alex attacked for seven and the win.

Alex Shvartsman 1 - Zvi Mowshowitz 1.

Game three:

Alex: Let’s have a Sparksmith free environment this game.
Zvi: Let’s face it, the chances of this happening are nearly zero.

Zvi summoned a second turn Sparksmith.

Zvi: Sparksmith in the house!
Alex: Indeed.
Zvi: You must have Vitality Charm in the House!

Alex attempted to keep a creature on the board with a morph, but Zvi merely cast Sparksmith number two plus a morph of his own. Alex’s answer? Tempting Wurm! Zvi could only play a land and Everglove Courier off the huge 5/5 creature, which Alex promptly enchanted with Crown of Fury.

Zvi shook his head in dismay, only able to cycle a Lay Waste into yet another land. Alex came in for six, and then played Stag Beetle (5/5). Zvi answered with Silklash Spider, but Alex cast Wave of Indifference, allowing him to reduce his teammate to a precarious one life.

Zvi came back across with his guys, with the life totals becoming 7-1. His defense consisted of Goblin Taskmaster and Silklash Spider, while Alex couldn’t alpha strike without being killed on his next turn. He could only play Goblin Machinist and pass the turn. Zvi played a third Sparksmith, and looked to stabilize.

Alex drew, and smiled.

Alex: “That’s exactly what I was looking for.”
Zvi: “What’s that?”
Alex: “Cycle Krosan Tusker, get a Swamp.”
Zvi: “What’s that for?”
Alex: “It’s going to kill your entire team.”
Zvi: “How are you going to do that?”
Alex: “Draw a card. Cast Crown of Suspicion on my Machinist. Sac it, kill all your guys.”
Zvi: “oh.”

This killed three of Zvi’s Sparksmiths, and his Taskmaster, leaving him with only Everglove Courier, Silklash Spider and Venomspout Brackus on the board to Alex’s 6/5 first striker, 5/5 beetle and 0/5 pumping goblin. Alex followed up his Tividar’s Crusade by casting Wellwisher, a morph creature, and Charging Slateback, while Zvi stalled the board for a while with a his 5/5 and his 2/7.

Alex attacked with his morph creature, and Zvi blocked with all of his guys. Alex tapped nine mana and revealed Krosan Colossus! Then, in a moment of completely insanity, Alex sacrificed the Crown of Fury on his Tempting Wurm, under the impression that his summon - wurm was a summon - beast.

Alex: “First strike damage on the stack?”
Zvi: “Ok.”
Alex: “Deal….”
Zvi: “Your beast doesn’t have first strike.”
Alex (looking at his wurm): Oh *bleep*!
Zvi: “All those rares have weird creature types.”
Alex: “I guess I’m two for two for making horrible mistakes in feature matches this weekend.”

Even though, Alex kept on trucking with his huge creatures, all the while gaining copious amounts of life with his Wellwisher. In the end, Zvi couldn’t keep up with the assault and finally took lethal damage from the Russian’s attackers.

Alex Shvartsman 2 - Zvi Mowshowitz 1



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