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Round 9: Michael Pustilnik vs. Benedikt Klauser

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The soft-spoke Austrian player faces of against the good doctor himself. Two of the nicest players on the circuit vying for a shot at the Top 8. This is not the first time they met. Klauser was one of the players Pustilnik crushed on his way to a Pro Tour win in LA last year.

Today the Austrian is looking for revenge.

Game 1

Things didn't start of on a joyful tone as Klauser was forced to take two mulligans before finally keeping a one land hand. Despite the bad start from the European Pustilnik could only cast a creature on his fourth turn.

By then Klauser had already found two more lands and played a Wild Mongrel with a Violent Eruption in hand. Sensing the danger Mikey took it away with Faceless Butcher.

Still Klauser had regained his footing and dropped a Nantuko Calmer to replaced it. The American sent his crew in and Afflicted the Calmer as it tried to stop the Chainflinger.

A Filthy Cur joined Mikey's army. Klauser fetched out his third Mountain and prepared to massacre away with the Eruption. Before that he took another swing and a Soul Scourger dropped him down to seven.

On his turn Benedikt agonized over which creatures to target with the Eruption. Finally he decided to postpone the choices by playing a Cartographer and bracing for another swing.

Mikey pushed his whole army into the Red Zone and Klauser was forced to face the Eruption damage enigma once again. This time he thought long and hard about his options before killing the Butcher, to get back his Mongrel before declaring blockers.

But the American had a trick up his sleeve. Before Klauser could block he used Thermal Blast to get rid of he Mongrel. The Austrian slid all the way down to two.

He was in deep trouble and the next draw didn't provide any miracle answers.

Mikey 1-0 Benedikt.

Game 2

After a few sideboard retouches they shuffled up for the second game with forty fie minutes still on the clock. Despite Klauser's attempts the first game had been quick, marked by his double mulligan.

Again the Austrian was plagued with a mulligan.

Mikey: "After all this you deserve a second turn Mongrel."
Benedikt: "We'll see."

The American got a second turn Barbarian Outcast while Klauser shook his head as he played a turn three Cartographer. He tried to trade but Pustilnik had Afflict.

A Petravark stole Pustilnik's only Mountain and by his murmurs on the next turn it seemed clear he was happy about that at all. Indeed he was forced to cast Innocent Blood to get it back after attacking with his Barbarian.

The Austrian played Nantuko Calmer and Pustilnik went for the throat: Mind Sludge. He cleaned out Klauser's hand get the three following cards: Acceptable Losses, Shower of Coals and Seton's Desire.

Klauser slumped in his chair before finding Ember Beast. Thermal Blast took out the Calmer leaving the Beast useless to stop a newly arrived Pardic Collaborator.

Pustilnik was playing at a blistering pace, swinging, dropping Sarcatog and playing Diabolic Tutor (for Morgue Theft) in a flash. His pace matched the way Benedikt's life dropped: fast.

The next swing brought Klauser down to five. Things looked grim for Austrian. He finally found a creature to help Ember Beast, Mad Dog. But it was too little too late.

A Faceless Butcher took it out of the way and the American finished a bloddy game with a sympathetic smile and a sincere "I'm sorry."

Final Result: Mikey 2-0 Benedikt.

Mikey: "A Feature Match shouldn't be so lopsided. He got very unlucky. It's sad because exactly the same happened in the semifinals in L.A."

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