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Day 2 Blog Archive

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TABLE OF CONTENTS


  • Blog - 7:35 p.m. - Stories from the Floor
    by Ben Goodman
  • Blog - 7:24 p.m. - Round 12: Jeffrey Szelzki vs. Guillaume Cardin
    by Ben Goodman
  • Blog - 3:51 p.m. - Bytown Flavo(u)r
    by Chris Millar
  • Blog - 3:37 p.m. - Round 11: Duncan McGregor vs. Nick Page
    by Ted Knutson
  • Blog - 2:43 p.m. - Round 10: Richard Hoaen vs. Guillaume Daoust
    by Chris Millar
  • Blog - 1:51 p.m. - Round 9: Nathon Braymore vs. Benjamin Page
    by Ben Goodman
  • Blog - 12:48 p.m. - Round 8: Rich Hoaen vs. Brandon Brager
    by Ted Knutson
  • Blog - 12:22 p.m. - Round 7: Guillaume Daoust vs. Doug Potter
    by Chris Millar
  • Blog - 11:00 a.m. - Double your fun: Drafting with Nathon Braymore
    by Ben Goodman

  • BLOG

     
  • Saturday, August 5: 11:00 a.m. - Double your fun: Drafting with Nathon Braymore


  • Nathon Braymore, former national team member, was once again within close distance of the Top 8. With a perfect 6-0 record and first place position, the chance of a repeat performance is very strong. Seeing his completed deck, I have a firm belief that we'll see him on Sunday.

    The first pack was decent but nothing to write home about, with the standouts being Brooding Saurian, Squall Drifter, and Ursine Fylgja. After a moment's consideration, he decided on the Drifter, and the next pack had him use his second chance to get a Fylgja over a Rimehorn Aurochs-he preferred to stay in one color at this point considering the early state of the draft. His next picks pushed him into green, though, as he received an Aurochs Herd (over Mouth of Ronom) and a Juniper Order Ranger along with two green snow lands. To finish out the first lap, two more Ursine Fyljgas decided to follow in the footsteps of the first two packs and wandered into Braymore's pile.

    The second pack started off similarly, with Squall Drifter being the first pick over a second Aurochs Herd after significant deliberation and followed that with a Stromgald Crusader. His third pack was one that I found particularly interesting, as it had both a Mouth of Ronom and a Sunscour. Yes, the free Wrath of God. He took it. He also received a Diamond Faerie and two Gelid Shackles over the next two packs and a late Boreal Griffin to round out what was shaping up to be an excellent deck.

    The next pack, though, was the one that made both of our jaws drop. After an unassuming but solid start of Boreal Druid, Aurochs Herd, and Boreal Centaur, the fourth pack had a surprise. It cost seven mana, was white, and Nathon already had one in his pile. Yeah, the second Sunscour. My notes for the pack look like this:

    Snowseek, SCP, GR, SUNSCOUR WTIOJWOTIJDTOA

    The picks refused to get worse, though, and the next four picks saw an Arctic Nishoba (over a second Juniper Order Ranger), a Snow-Covered Island (to help his splash for Faerie), a Ronom Hulk, and an eighth pickDiamond Faerie.

    It's always the second Wrath that gets ya.

    Braymore was understandably enthused after the draft and considered the deck to be very strong.

    "My strategy was to stay out of blue-it's good but it's inconsistent. You need a lot of snow for it to work and if it's not there you're in bad shape. My deck came out very strong and I had to be the only G/W drafter. The Diamond Faeries were too late for there to be any other explanation-other G/W drafters would have splashed for it. It's impossible to lose combat after an untap with one in play."

    "I wasn't really paying attention to the other colors, but it seemed like there was very little blue, red and black to consider. People may have over-metagamed as green and white are typically very popular, but this table seemed to avoid it. My curve is really weird-I have no three or four drops, but if I can survive to my high end creatures I should win. The Sunscours help a lot there if I get screwed, and if I get flooded then I can just reset the game. I'd be really disappointed if I went less than 2-1 with this deck and I think 3-0 is a realistic possibility."

    Personally, I think 3-0 is what I'd expect from a deck like this, and it would take some unlikely circumstances for him to lose. You can be sure we'll be following him for the rest of the day as he makes his run for the elimination rounds.


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 12:22 p.m. - Round 7: Guillaume Daoust vs. Doug Potter


  • Yesterday, I neglected to mention that Guillaume already has a Canadian Nationals Top 8 finish to his credit, a fourth place in 2003. The Montreal resident is also one of a handful of players who can pull off the Champs "Triple Crown," with wins in both 2HG and Limited Champs. Doug Potter, meanwhile, is an Edmonton native who predicted that he would get a feature match yesterday because of Ted Knutson's curiosity. "Knutson wanted to know, "Who's the infamous Doug Potter?" I didn't think I was that infamous, but I guess I'll go with it." The "infamy" comes from being a regular character in the writings of Magic Invitationalist Jeff Cunningham. On a completely unrelated note, I'm using a Mac to write this and I might as well be using a freakin' Etch-a-Sketch.

    Game 1

    Guillaume spent his first couple turns straightening out his mana, with Tresserhorn Sinks and a Forest leading Into the North for Arctic Flats. Doug looked to get the beatdown started early with a turn 2 Krovikan Scoundrel, but Guillaume killed the Rogue with his Stalking Yeti. Doug's next play was Phobian Phantasm, followed by Garza's Assassin a turn later. For a few turns, the Phantasm and the Yeti (aided by Goblin Rimerunner) traded damage and each player added another creature to the board. Potter added a Garza's Assassin for Potter and a Rimebound Dead for Daoust.

    With the life-totals 10-9 in Potter's favour, an Island finally showed up and he used it to play a Frost Raptor. At the end of the turn, Daoust aimed a Krovikan Rot at the Raptor while Potter was tapped out. After that, Potter's Garza's Assassin banished the Stalking Yeti, removing the Krovikan Rot from the game.

    Potter declined to pay the upkeep on the Phantasm and took the opportunity to Recover and replay the Assassin, leaving him with a scant three life. Guillaume got in for one damage with his Skeleton with a little help from Goblin Rimerunner, knocking Doug to two. The Rimerunner was assassinated at end of turn. When Doug tried to play Grim Harvest on his Assassin, Guillaume responded with the lethal Surging Flames.

    Daoust 1 - Potter 0

    Game 2

    Doug played first this game, leading off with a trio of Swamps followed by Phyrexian Ironfoot. Goblin Rimerunner hit the table on Guillaume's side, joining a Mountain, Swamp, and Forest. Who needs Into the North?

    Potter tapped out for a Zombie Musher, which Daoust nuked with his Stalking Yeti. They spent a couple turns building up their boards, with Garza's Assassin and Phobian Phantasm joining Potter's side, and Balduvian Warlord and Ohran Yeti for Daoust

    On Potter's turn, he read and reread the Warlord before sending his Phantasm and Ironfoot into the red zone. Guillaume put three guys in front of the Ironfoot. When Potter attempted to destroy the Rimerunner with Krovikan Rot, Daoust used the Warlord to move it over to block the Phantasm (more on this later). Potter then assassinated the Stalking Yeti, leaving Daoust with just the Warlord, facing down Ironfoot and Phantasm. On the ensuing attack, Guillaume used his Warlord to block Ironfoot and then used its ability to move itself over to block the Phantasm. At this point, they double check with a judge to make sure this is legal. It turns out that it's not! Apparently, the blocks have to be legal, so the Warlord can't be used to put a blocker in front of a creature that it couldn't normally block. At the end of it all, the Warlord ended up dying to the Phyrexian Ironfoot.

    At this point, Doug was way ahead in life and added Disciple of Tevesh Szat to his side of the table. Guillaume hoped that his Deepfire Elemental would help him get back into the game, but Doug had Chill to the Bone. Guillaume drew one more card and scooped.

    Daoust 1 - Potter 1

    Game 3

    Guillaume played first and once again used Into the North to get his mana settled. Neither player did much until turn four, when the human headache, Balduvian Warlord came into play, followed a turn later by Ohran Yeti.

    Out comes the human headache, Barbarian Warlord then Ohran Yeti. Potter countered with back to back Zombie Mushers. Ronom Hulk put Potter even further behind and he'd need to find an answer to it quickly. He had a number of outs, including a pair of Garza's Assassins. Unfortunately for Doug, they just didn't show up. Meanwhile, Guillaume's Balduvian Warlord ensured that he would never have any good blocks, so after a few turns of chumpblocking, Doug was finished off by the Ronom Hulk

    Guillaume Daoust defeated Doug Potter 2-1


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 12:48 p.m. - Round 8: Rich Hoaen vs. Brandon Brager


  • The youthful Brandon Brager.

    Rich Hoaen picked up his third loss last round, meaning his back is now firmly against a wall. One more loss and he'll be dropping from the tournament, before taking his frustrations out on hapless victims on Magic Online. Across from his is 17-year-old Brandon Brager, another Toronto player who managed to qualify for Nats via rating. Brager's Coldsnap deck is green and black, with a decent helping of moo cows (Aurochs), and some minor acceleration plus Grim Harvest recursion. Hoaen's deck is blue-black-red snow, the favored archetype among most of the pros, provided people don't gobble up your snow lands.

    Brager cast a first turn Boreal Druid and then had no action until Rimehorn Aurochs on turn 4. Hoaen curved right along, casting Rimewind Taskmage, Frost Raptor, and Balduvian Fallen, following that with an underdrop of Blizzard Specter so he could pay the upkeep on the Fallen. Brager tossed an Aurochs Herd onto the table but did not tutor with it, and then attacked a turn later, killing Hoaen's Specter and Taskmage at the expense of his Rimehorns. Hoaen's aerial assault meanwhile was whittling away Brager's life total. Grim Harvest brought back the Rimehorns for another go, but they just served to chumpblock the now burly Fallen, dropping Brager to 4. Zombie Musher and a third Frost Raptor proved too much for Brager, and he was forced to capitulate against a few too many evasive beaters.

    To give you an idea of the pace of play in that one, it ended in under 7 minutes.

    Hoaen 1 - Brager 0

    Hoaen's win keeps him alive.

    Brager opened the action in game 2 with a second turn Into the North, and third turn Sound the Call, which died immediately to Surging Flame. Hoaen cast Frost Raptor and Zombie Musher to give himself some board presence, while Brager put a Disciple of Tevesh Szat on the board and cast his second Sound the Call. Hoaen made sure the Disciple would not be a problem by freezing it solid. Brager failed to have any other notable action, clearly drawing the bad half of his deck, and died very quickly. The win keeps Hoaen in the tournament with four rounds left to play.

    Hoaen 2 - Brager 0



     
  • Saturday, August 5: 1:51 p.m. - Round 9: Nathon Braymore vs. Benjamin Page


  • Nick Page

    As the draft portion of the event winds down, we find ourselves following Nathon Braymore on his quest for the perfect 9-0 record. His opponent, Benjamin Page, hailing from Moncton, has a 6-2 record and is hoping to win out to make the cut. He has his work cut out for him, though, as Nathon's deck bears a number of bomb cards, the highlights of which are twoSunscours. We'll see how the match unfolds…

    Nathon won the die roll, chose to play, and both players kept their hands. Braymore led off with a Stromgald Crusader, which was matched by a Bull Aurochs from Page. No green source was forthcoming for the undefeated player, but a Swift Maneuver let him remove the Aurochs and draw into his Forest, immensely improving his position. A Goblin Furrier emerged to replace the Bull Aurochs and was followed by a Simian Brawler on the following turn, but Braymore's access to green let him play out a Boreal Centaur and a Squall Drifter to stop Ben's advance.

    The midgame looked to stall, but a Boreal Griffin joined Nathon's flying brigade (off of a second Forest) and … until Page dropped a Rimescale Dragon, which elicited grimaces from the spectators. Braymore wasn't fazed by the enormous icy dragon and the reason was soon clear as a Gelid Shackles flew out of his hand onto the beast. Ben's shoulders visibly slumped as he could only look on while a bevy of beasts formed on the other side of the table-Ursine Fylgja and Diamond Faerie hit on the following two turns while Page could only muster lands and two-drops. He took a quick survey of the board, flicked the Shackles back to the other side of the table and packed up his cards.

    Braymore 1 - Page 0

    Both players kept quickly and their starts were identical-forest, Boreal Druid. Page maintained his Boreal theme with a Centaur of the same type, while Braymore established his early game survival plan with a Kjeldoran Outrider. With an untap, the soldier was capable of holding off the Bull Aurochs Ben played on the following turn, and with only Forests in play, there was little he could do to break through.

    Braymore locks up his second Nats Top 8

    A Juniper Order Ranger came down on the next turn for Nathon and the game looked worse and worse for the Moncton denizen. Boreal Griffin and Aurochs Herd came down, fetching another Herd, who joined his friend. All Page could do was draw land and sigh as he brought out his box of counters that would only fortify his opponent's creatures. The fatties continued to pour out and the Ranger continued to grow.

    Braymore counted up the creatures and the damage that could break through, shrugged, and pushed all his creatures into the zone-men fell on both sides but Ben fell to seven and still had an angry green horde to deal with. After a few turns of continued alpha striking, Page revealed the Rimescale Dragon in his hand that he was unable to cast and let lethal damage resolve.

    Nathon Braymore moves to the full locked position at 9-0 and will be playing in the elimination rounds. Page needs to win the next two rounds and hope for the draw if he wants to make it.

    Braymore 2 - Page 0


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 2:43 p.m. - Round 10: Richard Hoaen vs. Guillaume Daoust


  • These two players have met before at Canadian Nationals. They were both defeated in the semi-finals in 2003 and had to play off for third place and a slot on the national team. Hoaen won that match, with his U/B Psychatog deck taking down Daoust's Mono-Black Control deck in three straight games.

    "This matchup probably isn't as good as that one was," Rich joked as they shuffled up.

    Guillaume decided to play first, but unfortunately he didn't get to much playing. Hoaen had a land-destruction-heavy draw, playing Eye of Nowhere, Stone Rain, Stone Rain, Demolish, and Demolish. Daoust also had mana denial in his deck, but it was little more expensive and came in enchantment form (Annex, Dream Leash, and Confiscate). He never got a chance to play any of these cards because by turn six, Daoust had no permanents and a Firemane Angel in his graveyard keeping his lands company.

    One hit from a 10/10 Magnivore and one draw step later, Guillaume conceded.

    Richard Hoaen 1 - Guillaume Daoust 0

    Guillaume brought in Circle of Protection: Red, Psychic Possession, and a pair of Wrath of Gods, and took out Three Dreams, Confiscate, and Genju of the Fields. He chose to play first again. He got off to a better start this time, with land and an Izzet Signet. His second play, an Azorius Signet, was Remanded then Mana Leaked the following turn. Meanwhile, Hoaen was using Sleight of Hand and Compulsive research to dig. To Rich's surprise, the first Wildfire was actually played by Guillaume, but it was met with a Mana Leak, and a turn later, Rich tapped out for Meloku the Clouded Mirror. Guillaume destroyed the Legendary Moonfolk by summoning forth the Wrath of God.

    Unfortunately for Guillaume, that was the last meaningful play he would get to make. His hand contained a useless Copy Enchantment, with nary a Dream Leash or Annex in sight. He played land-go for a few turns, while Rich burned through his deck with Compulsive Research, Sleight of Hand, and Tidings, and followed each Blue spell with land-destroying Red one.

    The second Wildfire was Hoaen's, and it basically sealed the deal, leaving Daoust with a land and a Signet while Hoaen had five lands. An Eye of Nowhere a turn later made the ensuing Magnivore lethal in one hit. Daoust extended the hand.

    Richard Hoaen 2 - Guillaume Daoust 0


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 3:37 p.m. - Round 11: Duncan McGregor vs. Nick Page


  • Duncan McGregor

    Nick Page is a 26-year-old customer support representative from Waterloo, Ontario, who just happened to be the lucky recipient of the last ratings invitation to Canadian Nationals. He also collaborated for this event with the man sitting across from him this round, fellow Waterloo resident and last year's 9th place finisher, Duncan McGregor. The deck matchup for this battle pits McGregor's Ghost Husk deck against Page's Magnivore.

    McGregor opened the game with Dark Confidant, losing a land to Stone Rain, but playing another and casting Umezawa's Jitte. Another Stone Rain killed another land, but McGregor was operating fine on two, equipping his Confidant and swinging again. Page drew some cards with Compulsive Research, but didn't seem to be finding much, while Bob filled McGregor's hand with gas and enough lands to cast it. A Paladin en-Vec was his next play. Pyroclasm from Page merely removed a Jitte counter to protect Bob, and he dropped to 2 on the next attack from McGregor. A hasty Magnivore smashed for 7, but McGregor still had 6 life left after the attack - more than enough to sound Page's death knell.

    McGregor 1 - Page 0

    Nick Page

    Both players kept their opening hands for game 2. McGregor's second turn Castigate hit a Spell Snare, but Duncan followed that a turn later with Paladin en-Vec, while Page did strangely nothing. Page missed his land drop on turn 5, countering Umezawa's Jitte from Duncan with another Spell Snare. Turn 6 brought another mana whiff, but Goblin Flectomancer showed up in his funny hat, looking to party. McGregor's fresh Nantuko Husk died to Volcanic Hammer, and the subsequent Prmise of Bunrei tokens disappeared too via Pyroclasm, while the Paladin continued to plink away at Page. Dark Confidant gave McGregor a source of heavy card advantage, and managed to deliver a Mortify off the top exactly on time, killing a Meloku the Clouded Mirror, while the attack left Page at 6. Page found himself unable to find an answer in his next card and was forced to pack it up. The win assures McGregor of avoiding last year's fate, and means you'll see his name in at least a quarterfinal matchup tomorrow.

    McGregor 2 - Page 0


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 3:51 p.m. - Bytown Flavo(u)r


  • Part of the sprawling Parliament mall. Look, castles!

    If you don't count Toronto (and who would?), Ottawa is the best national capital in all of Canada. Nicknamed "Bytown" because of its proximity to a town, Ottawa is quite a city. Home to a whole host of buildings with the word "National" in the title, including the National Gallery of Canada, the National Arts Centre, the National Archives, and the National Taco Bell. It just makes sense that the Canadian National Championships for Magic are held here, in the aptly titled Ottawa Congress Centre. Located alongside the scenic Rideau Centre Plaza in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the Congress Centre is only walking distance from a number of the city's major attractions.

    While Canada is mostly known for hewers and canoers, you won't find too many ax-wielding portagers in this part of the country. That's because they're all in Toronto. What you will find, however, are bureaucrats. They help to create the forests of red-tape and the rivers of documentation through which normal Canadians must hew and/or canoe. Just up the street from the Rideau Centre you'll find Parliament Hill, home to the Parliament buildings, which are decidedly not funkadelic. This is where the nation's politicians, as well as a dozen or so feral cats, do their business.

    At Grand Prix - Toronto, Scott Larabee told me that Ottawa played host to the best Canadian Nationals ever. Why was it the best? It may or may not have had something to do with the Byward Market, located only a block away from the Congress Centre. The Market, as it called by local abbreviators, is, shockingly, an open market where food lovers can purchase fresh berries, fresh fish, and some seriously fresh beets. You may also be able to pick up some fat beets, but I haven't been able to verify that. Once the sun goes down, the Market is buzzing with ax-wielding portagers and party-goers in equal measure, since it's also the home of most of the city's hot night spots, including the intergalactically famous Zaphod Beeblebrox Nite Club.

    And rivers!

    Abutting the Market is the borderline-naughty Sussex Drive. If you continue down Sussex, you'll find the U.S. Embassy (if you have trouble finding it, just look for the building with a moat), followed a little further down by the aforementioned National Gallery. Home to the works of some of Canada's most famous artists like my personal favourite, Lawren Harris, the gallery is impossible to miss because of the 30-foot high metal spider sculpture right outside the building. I'm not sure if this particular spider can block flyers, but it is covered with pigeon "leavings." Continue down Sussex and you'll eventually bump into the Prime Minister's castle. At least, I'm pretty sure it's a castle. I'll get Goodman to fact-check that.

    Ottawa is also the home of a number of excellent post-secondary institutions, all of which I haven't graduated from, but only one of which I actually attended. Nestled (or more like wedged) between the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers, Carleton University is arguably one of the best universities in the entire Ottawa Valley, boasting such excellent alums as Blues Brother Dan Ackroyd and some other people (many of whom haven't been indicted on fraud charges). Highlights of my tenure there include the time I almost tripped over a beaver while walking to school and an A+ in Accounting, which my mother will never let me forget about.

    In summary, Ottawa is pretty happenin' place and I wouldn't cut the "g" off that gerund if I didn't mean it. Next time there's a major tournament here, I suggest you attend. Go Sens!


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 7:24 p.m. - Round 12: Jeffrey Szelzki vs. Guillaume Cardin


  • Jeffrey Szelzki

    Jeffrey Szelzki and Guillaume Cardin are on the bubble in this match-the loser gets to sleep in tomorrow and the winner gets to play for an invite to Paris and the glory of national championship. Guillaume is trying to repeat his performance three years ago of grinding in to the Top 8, and he's already done the first half by grinding in today. Szelzki, on the other hand, is looking for his first trip to the elimination rounds in a major event, and he's only one match away.

    Game 1

    Jeff won the coinflip and both players kept very quickly. The pace of this match could best be described as furious, as both players played very quickly and talked at the same rate. The first turn had a Sleight of Hand from Jeff and a Sensei's Divining Top from Cardin, showing the obvious archetypes that both players had piloted to 4-1 records in the Constructed portion thus far. All Cardin has for his second turn is another Top while Szelzki has a Stone Rain for the third turn on a Forest. Cardin easily caught up, though, and Jeff had very little action and couldn't even hit his fifth land drop for three turns.

    The progression of this match could best be described as "uneventful", as it revolves entirely around lands either entering or leaving play. The Magnivore player could seemingly not draw any action and Cardin continued to work his Top and play out as many lands as he could, getting up to eight (thanks to a Kodama's Reach) while Jeff could only hit six (and only two of them were blue). A Sleight of Hand locked down one of them, and a bounceland could not help.

    Guillaume played his ninth land after working the top end step and it looked like he was ready to finish this off. Heartbeat of Spring entered play to a dejected sigh and a "yup" from Jeff. Early Harvest floating nine resolved, Muddle transmuted to get Weird Harvest, Weird Harvest was cast for six fetching two Drift of Phantasms, a Maga, Traitor to Mortals, and three Sakura-Tribe Elders, and at this point it was all but over. Two Elders fetched a Mountain and a Swamp, massive amounts of mana were added to Cardin's pool, and Remands weren't enough to stop a Maga for about a million points of damage.

    Cardin in action!

    Guillaume Cardin leads the match 1-0.

    Game 2

    This game started as the last one did, as Jeff chose to play, both players kept, and the first spell was turn one Sleight of Hand. Guillaume did not hit a Top, though, and Jeff's second turn was a bounceland. Szelzki hit a turn 3 Stone Rain and a turn 4 Eye of Nowhere, but the Heartbeat player had two Tribe Elders to minimize the damage. A 3/3 Magnivore charged into the red zone next turn, but once again Jeff could not manage to hit his fifth land drop. Cardin thought for a very long time during his turn, and Jeff's cynical "You're not going to go off on me, are you?" was met by a Heartbeat of Spring, an Early Harvest, another Heartbeat of Spring, and a Weird Harvest for four, which fetched three Drifts and a Maga. Four transmutes later, Jeff saved some time by extending the hand.

    Guillaume Cardin advances to 9-3 and is a lock for a Sunday appearance.


     
  • Saturday, August 5: 7:35 p.m. - Stories from the Floor


  • This weekend has featured interesting plays both good and bad, so I acted like a sponge, and absorbed a few of them while talking with players to recount here for your reading pleasure.

  • Phil Samms managed to make one of the most lopsided trades possible in the first round. With five mana up, he attacked his opponent with a Court Hussar, representing Ink-Eyes. His opponent blocked… with Giant Solifuge. You heard me correctly. Court Hussar traded for Giant Solifugeon the attack.
  • You may have heard this one already, but it bears reiterating-Rich Hoaen's first round did in fact feature a turn 1 "misclick". A U/R dual land was put into play, but it was not the Steam Vents Rich had in hand. It was instead an Izzet Boilerworks that went back to the grip. The kicker? He won that game.
  • Steven Wolfman was later heard bemoaning his play in his third round feature match, but with the solace that, "At least I got the first turn land drop right."

  • J. Evan Dean found himself in a dire situation in round two against a Magnivore deck. Both players were at two and the Vore deck was tapped out, so all Evan had to do was attack with his creatures for the win. Unfortunately, one of those creatures was a Dark Confidant and it seemed as though destiny would be the only determining factor in this match… or would it? The only cards Evan had were three tapped 2/2s and four lands-two Plains, a Godless Shrine, and a Caves of Koilos. His hand contained more creatures and a Shining Shoal. The top card of Evan's deck was an Eight-and-a-Half Tails, so his doom was imminent… can you see the play enabling him to survive?
  • The subtle but correct play here is to Shining Shoal targeting the Bob, and when it resolves, choose the source as… Caves of Koilos. As soon as it's tapped for a black, Bob will die from the Caves and the burn will bring Evan to one, but not zero. Unfortunately the closeness of the match led to a quick flip and a quicker expletive, showing that fate's fickle finger spares nobody.

  • Rich Hoaen once again has made the stories page, but not for his unlikely victories this time-rather, his unfortunate defeat at the hands of a powerful mono-blue deck bearing eight copies of a certain common-I'll let you figure out which one. His opponent's turns were as follows:
  • Turn 2: Krovikan Mist.
    Turn 3: Krovikan Mist, in for 2, Martyr of Frost.
    Turn 4: Krovikan Mist, in for 6, counter your spell with the Martyr revealing Rune Snag.
    Turn 5: In for 9, Snag your spell.

    The next game?
    Turn 2: Krovikan Mist.
    Turn 3: Krovikan Mist, in for 2.
    Turn 4: Krovikan Mist, in for 6.
    Turn 5: Krovikan Whispers, in for 9.

    One could say that his demeanor did not improve with this loss.

  • A young gent named Nick Page managed to 3-0 his Coldsnap pod with a rather unconventional strategy-his deck featured multiple Martyrs of Ashes and threeIcefalls. His game plan often developed with Martyr wrathing the board on turn 3, Icefall taking out a snow land on turn 4, casting Icefall again on the following turn, using another Martyr to clear the board and recover both Icefalls… you see where this is going. One of his opponents was seen triple-blocking a Thermopod with a Rimebound Dead and two Rimewind Taskmages-what good are they when all your snow lands are in the graveyard?
  • Nathaniel Kelly, a resident of the Halifax area, had an odd card in his sideboard not seen since Honolulu-Leave No Trace. He said that it was intended for the Tron plan of Confiscate, Copy Enchantment, and Annex, but when he found himself playing against Guillaume Daoust's U/W/R Firemane enchantment deck akin to the Ravnica Block Constructed decks of the same type, he found himself in a perfect opportunity to bring the card in. When the first one resolved, two Annexes and two Dream Leashes both headed to the graveyard and Daoust had an expression that could be described as "surprised".
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