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Gateway Round 4: Antonino De Rosa vs. Dave Williams

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"Force Spike is so good against me!"

Dave Williams is dreading the die roll, "In New Orleans I lost eleven straight die rolls--you can check, they kept track! I then lost six straight in money drafts and I've lost all of them so far today! It's something like twenty in a row. Force Spike just owns me."

Antonio held up the dreaded object of randomization and offered Dave the chance to go for low roll. Antonio rolled a 13 but Dave could not slip in beneath it and his die came up 15. Dave could only sigh.

Game 1

Neither player mulliganed and Antonio kicked off the match with a Careful Study putting a Roar and a Wonder in his yard. Dave was shocked that he could Duress without fear of Force Spike and took a Circular Logic and saw a Merfolk Looter and an Arrogant Wurm in his immediate future.

Antonio played the Merfolk and began chanting for Dave to let him live. Dave did not oblige and cast Sickening Dreams for 1 discarding Anger. Antonio was decidedly less animated as he played a land and passed the third turn back with no threat in play. Dave cycled a Barren Moor and Antonio asked Dave to hold his cards higher because he could see them. "Is it the Burning Wish? I'm gonna use it anyway." Dave nabbed a Last Rite from his board and passed it back to Antonio.

Antonio tapped out to play his Roar of the Wurm even though he knew it would cost him the Arrogant Wurm in his hand. Sure enough, Dave cast Last Rites for two cards taking a Logic and the Arrogant Wurm and leaving a Rootwalla. He discarded a Buried Alive and a Visara, the Dreadful.

The Wurm came in for six and Antonio played his Rootwalla. Dave played a Doomed Necromancer that had haste thanks to the Anger in the bin. He soon switched places with the Visara in Dave's yard and the game was over shortly thereafter.

Dave: "That's about how you want it to work...that was optimal!"

Antonio - 0 Dave - 1

Game 2

Dave wasn't as happy starting off Game 2 with a mulligan and didn't seem happy with what he kept on his second pass. Antonio came out fast with a turn two Wild Mongrel and a third turn Arrogant Wurm. Dave's draw was pretty poor and he could do nothing and scooped on turn four when Antonio made a Roar of the Wurm.

Antonio - 1 Dave -1

Game 3

Both players are seasoned veterans of high-level magic competition and they kidded around about the pressure of single elimination tournaments. Dave tried to summon some drama, " It all comes down to this..."

"You nervous?" teased Antonio.

"Very," Dave deadpanned.

Don't think for a moment that this means that they didn't want to win--they were just being realistic. They are both excellent players and one of them was going to be eliminated and there was nothing either of them could do about it.

Dave had to mulligan for the second game in a row and his good humor began to unravel. Antonio evened things out with a mulligan of his own. Both players kept their next six cards.

A Swamp to open the game prompted speculation form Antonio as to his opponent's turn one play, "Duress? Cabal Therapy?" Dave could only sigh, "I'm gonna say go." Antonio, on the other hand played a Basking Rootwalla with his first turn.

Dave Burning Wished for a Buried Alive and could only brace himself for the savage beatings of the Rootwalla. Dave cycled a Barren Moor looking for a discard spell that would allow him to force through his key cards. Antonio took Dave's watch which was lying nearby on the table on placed it on his Rootwalla, "You're on the clock!"

He started swinging for three a turn.

Dave tried a Cabal Therapy but it was Enveloped.

Three a turn.

He resolved a Buried Alive for Visara, Anger, and Undead Gladiator.

Three a turn.

An attempt to Stitch TogetherVisara was Enveloped.

Three a turn.

Dave tried to Zombify the Visara but that was countered with Circular Logic.

Ever the professional, Dave shrugged it off. Antonio offered his hand and wished Dave luck tomorrow at the Pro Tour.

Final Result: Antonio - 2 Dave - 1

PT Chicago Masters Gateway 2003: U/G Madness
Antonino DeRosa

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