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Round 1: Pikula & Price vs. Walamies & Thoren

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It's hard to get a bad pairing at the invitational, but the teaming up of roomates produced this fabulous combination: The Deadguys versus Team Punisher. Thoren and Walamies are giants of the game, their recent success only heightening the waning glory of Price and Pikula. With the Europeans heavily favored to take the title, the Deadguys had no illusions about their chances.

"We are gonna get our asses beat." - Dave Price
"Who are you playing?" - Thomas Pannell
"I don't know, but we're awful." - Dave Price

They busted their packs. So many cards across two windows made things difficult for the already bamboozled duo.

"There's too many cards here, I'm confused." - Dave Price

They started sorting out colors, albeit slowly, and after pulling out the green, it all became clear to Price.

"Yep, I have no idea what I'm doing." - Dave Price

It didn't help that they weren't working with the strongest card pool ever. R&D's Mike Donais drifted by, and couldn't help but laugh out loud at their decks. Their only bombs were Insurrection and Dragon Roost, a little slower than they would have liked. Though the opportunity to win all at once should he draw Insurrection delighted the attack-phase-minded Price. They soon pared things down to near completion.

"Should I play this card?" - Chris Pikula
"Do whatever the hell you want." - Dave Price

Things were a little more civil on the European side of things. Walamies and Thoren worked together quickly to arrive at red-blue and green-black. Though they thought their decks were good, they weren't sure what to expect from two Tournament Packs and four Boosters.

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Disaster was averted early for the Deadguys when Price ripped Shock to take down a Sparksmith. Both players built their forces, and then Thoren cleared a path for Walamies's attackers with Erratic Explosion. Walamies swung with Husk and Wirewood Herald, then added Snarling Undorak. Things looked particularly great when Pikula could only manage a Gravel Slinger, ensuring he'd eat five more before he stabilized.

Price decided to pick up the slack with Goblin Machinist. Thoren built his defenses and let it smash him. Price's six mana let it bash through for 8. Pikula tried to steady his defenses with Improvised Weaponry, and cheered when no Cruel Revival was forthcoming from Walamies. He put his mammoth blocker in front of the Husk and watched as Walamies sacrificed three creatures to take it down. One was Screeching Buzzard, costing Pikula and Price each a card. One was Wirewood Herald, fetching Wellwisher. All in all, a good trade.

Pikula was stalled on four lands. A Buzzard was enough to convince Walamies to hold back. Thoren took more Machinist beats. Pikula cheered his teammate on. He was, after all, the only one doing anything.

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Another Tusker from Walamies and Pikula really needed his fifth land. He cycled Swat and turned up gold. Price swung all out, readying a killing blow. This time the cards flipped up were Insurrection and Pinpoint Avalanche!

Walamies and Thoren smiled. Even with Pikula's Cruel Revival for one of the Tuskers, Thoren hit for eight, and then Walamies busted out a bunch of creatures and ate them with the Husk, giving Thoren and Walamies the match.

Jens Thoren and Tomi Walamies defeated Dave Price and Chris Pikula

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