It’s a comfortable feeling, sitting at 4-1, needing just one win to secure a Day 2 appearance. For David Hafter, an on-again, off-again player from way back, it was made slightly less comfortable by being matched up against superstar Kenji Tsumura—and in the feature match area, no less.
Hafter is playing Doran this weekend, a natural fit for his preference for green-black decks. His version skews more to the aggro side, with full racks of Bitterblossom and Ohran Viper, backed up by Profane Command. Tsumura is running with a metagamed Faeries, sporting just the essential creatures and seven dedicated removal spells.
David Hafter and Kenji Tsumura rip each other’s hands apart.
Hafter started with an inauspicious mulligan to six, then led out with Thoughtseize
after Tsumura laid a Faerie Conclave
. He saw a hand of Secluded Glen
, River of Tears
, Spellstutter Sprite
, Scion of Oona
, and Rune Snag
. He took the Snag.
They played lands back and forth, and on his third turn Hafter got on the board with a Bitterblossom (and a Pendelhaven eager to help out). It resolved. Tsumura answered with an end-of-turn Scion and then a Bitterblossom of his own. He hit with his Scion and passed it back to Hafter, who was on 14 after his first Faerie Rogue hit the table.
Hafter tried another Thoughtseize, earning the Spellstutter Sprite. Tsumura played a Mutavault, and held back. Hafter played a third Thoughtseize and Tsumura put down Cryptic Command and went into the tank. He settled on tapping Hafter’s blockers and bouncing a land. Hafter floated mana for Terror on the Scion, then lost 2 more for a peek at Tsumura’s River of Tears in hand.
Tsumura untapped, turned on his man-lands, and hit for 6, leaving Hafter on 4 life with way more problems than he had answers. He drew his card for the turn and scooped up his cards.
Tsumura 1, Hafter 0
Both players went down to six, but this time Hafter had the better part of it. He led off with Ronom Unicorn and faced a turn-two Thoughtseize from Tsumura. Tsumura stole away a Tarmogoyf, leaving a hand of Pendelhaven, Horizon Canopy, Swamp and Squall Line. He played the Canopy and hit for two. Tsumura had no third land.
Hafter cycled away his Canopy, then untapped, hit again, and plonked down a Doran. Tsumura had no choice but to allow it into play. He Terrored the Unicorn at end of turn and played a Bitterblossom. Doran gave him five to the chin, and an end-of-turn Squall Line for two left Tsumura at five life without blockers. He tried an emergency Spellstutter to chumpblock, but Hafter had Slaughter Pact.
Hafter 1, Tsumura 1
Again with the Thoughtseize! This time from Hafter, following a first-turn Mutavault from Tsumura, nicking Damnation and leaving behind River of Tears, Island, Terror and Cryptic Command. Tsumura dropped the River and swung for 2. Between that, painlands and Thoughtseize, Hafter was already at 15.
He took another point to make Birds of Paradise, but Tsumura was happy to send it packing with Terror on his turn. Hafter’s followup was Tarmogoyf (already a 3/4), and it stuck. Tsumura played a fourth land and kept them open. Hafter hit for 3 and passed. Cryptic Command played Repulse on his ‘Goyf. Again Tsumura waited on his lands, and this time Spellstutter Sprite took care of the ‘Goyf for good, the assist going to Mutavault.
Tsumura untapped and hit for 3, knocking Hafter to 9. Hafter tried another Tarmogoyf, but Tsumura had a second Command in hand to Dismiss it. He served 3 more and showed Hafter a Mistbind Clique during his upkeep, taking the match.
Tsumura 2, Hafter 1
Pro Tour-Hollywood 2008
Pro Tour-Hollywood 2008