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Witton Wins it!

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The Australian National Championship 2010 has come to a triumphant finish! The largest Australian Nationals ever, 134 players battled over the weekend, narrowing down to an exemplary Top 8. There were some familiar faces in the finals: Jeremy Neeman, hot off a Top 8 at Pro Tour: San Juan, last year’s Finalist Ian Wood, and previous Champion Steven Aplin. Rounding off the Top 8 were Ben Fleming, Edwin Jones, Alex McCormick, Adam Witton and Geoff Zhao.

When it came to the matches, there was clearly one dominant force. Adam Witton’s Red/Green Ramp deck was explosively powerful, combining the best accelerants Standard has to offer with the fiery power of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. He swept the final match in three straight games, at one point dealing 18 points of damage in a single turn thanks to the land-fetching power of Primeval Titan. The new Standard scene has been well and truly set, with long-time mainstay Jund all but dropping from the metagame and new decks rising to prominence. M11 cards have surfaced in nearly every deck, with Fauna Shaman, Destructive Force and various Titans showing up in winning decklists.

Joining the new National Champion at Worlds this year in Chiba, Japan will be Jeremy Neeman and Ian Wood, with Edwin Jones as alternate.

Congratulations to Adam Witton, the 2010 Australian National Champion!




Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 Jeremy Neeman   Jeremy Neeman, 3-1        
8 Steven Aplin   Jeremy Neeman, 3-2
       
4 Edwin Jones   Edwin Jones, 3-0   Adam Witton, 3-0
5 Ben Fleming    
       
2 Adam Witton   Adam Witton, 3-1
7 Geoff Zhao   Adam Witton, 3-1
       
3 Ian Wood   Ian Wood, 3-1
6 Alex McCormick    

3rd Place Playoff  
Edwin Jones Ian Wood, 3-1
Ian Wood


EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Team Profiles

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Finals
    Jeremy Neeman vs Adam Witton

  • by Pip Hunn
    3rd/4th Playoff
    Edwin Jones v Ian Wood

  • by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
    Semifinals
    Adam Witton vs Ian Wood

  • by Pip Hunn
    Semifinals
    Edwin Jones vs Jeremy Neeman

  • by Pip Hunn
    Quarterfinals
    Ben Fleming vs Edwin Jones

  • by Pip Hunn
    Quarterfinals
    Ian Wood vs Alex McCormick

  • by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
    Quarterfinals
    Steven Aplin vs Jeremy Neeman
    (with a touch of Adam Witton vs Geoff Zhao)

  • by Russell Alphey
    Standard Decks with Winning Records

  • by Pip Hunn
    Top 8
    Decklists

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 2 Blog
    Catch up on what happened during Day 2 of the Australia Nationals!

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1 Blog
    Catch up on what happened during Day 1 of the Australia Nationals!

  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet

INFORMATION
 1.  Adam Witton $3,000
 2.  Jeremy Neeman $2,000
 3.  Ian Wood $1,500
 4.  Edwin Jones $1,500
 5.  Alex McCormick $500
 6.  Ben Fleming $500
 7.  Geoff Zhao $500
 8.  Steven Aplin $500
Pairings Results Standings
Final

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  • Top 8 - Decklists
    by Pip Hunn

  • Alex McCormick
    Australian National Championships – Top 8



    Ben Fleming
    Australian National Championships – Top 8



    Steven Aplin
    Australian National Championships – Top 8



    Adam Witton
    Australian National Championships – Top 8


     

  • Standard Decks with Winning Records
    by Russell Alphey
  • Alex McCormick
    5-0-1 – Australian National Championships 2010




    Desmond Ng
    5-1 – Australian National Championships 2010


    Jamie Mackintosh
    5-1 – Australian National Championships 2010


    Ricky Ahearne
    5-1 – Australian National Championships 2010


    Al Connoly-Hansen
    5-1 – Australian National Championships 2010



    Adam Witton
    4-1-1 – Australian National Championships 2010


     

  • Quarterfinals - Steven Aplin vs Jeremy Neeman (with a touch of Adam Witton vs Geoff Zhao)
    by Ray "blisterguy" Walkinshaw
  • Jeremy Neeman ran well in front of the pack this tournament, winning everything but the die roll here against Steven Aplin.

    Both players started out with a Raging Ravine each, while Aplin searched out an Island with a Scalding Tarn, and Neeman summoned a Wall of Omens. The third turn saw Aplin Cultivate, while Neeman summoned a 3/3 Knight of the Reliquary. Aplin summoned Garruk Wildspeaker and untapped two of his lands. Neeman cast Explore, and sacrificed a second fetchland before successfully putting a hit on Garruk. Aplin replaced him with Jace, the Mind Sculptor, bouncing the Knight, forcing Neeman to activate his Stirring Wildwood to deal with the second Planeswalker.

    Meanwhile, Geoff Zhao's Cunning Sparkmage and Step Lynx were staring down Adam Witton's Avenger of Zendikar and friends, so it wasn't looking good for Zhao in Game 1. Witton soon finished the first game with a Comet Storm to the face.

    Witton 1 – Zhao 0

    Neeman's Knight came down again, and Aplin had another Garruk, which soon succumbed to the Knight, leaving behind a lonely looking Beast. Neeman finally went for a Destructive Force, and with help from his Knight, managed to pay for Aplin's Mana Leak. When the dust cleared, Neeman had four land and a 10/10 Knight of the Reliquary, while Aplin had three lands. Aplin cast Cultivate, before getting his life total halved by the Knight. A Tectonic Edge from Neeman helped him continue to apply pressure, destroying Aplin's Raging Ravine, and it wasn't long before Neeman was up a game.

    Neeman 1 – Aplin 0

    Game 2 began with lands on both sides, but not much else. Aplin had the first play with a turn four Garruk, untapping two lands, allowing him to Mana Leak Neeman's Elspeth, Knight-Errant. Aplin continued to Cultivate more lands, while untapping lands with Garruk. When Neeman summoned a Baneslayer Angel, Aplin instead made a Beast, kicking an Into the Roil on the Angel when it tried to get all attacky-like.

    Behind me, Zhao's quick Koros deck had pumped out Goblin Ruinblasters to even his match against Witton at one game apiece, only to again lose the third.

    Witton 2 – Zhao 1

    Neeman accelerated some additional lands into the battlefield himself with Explore before replaying his Angel. Aplin cleared the table with a Destructive force of his own, leaving him with Garruk and four lands to Neeman's two. Neeman played a Sejiri Steppe and passed the turn back, sending Aplin's incoming Raging Ravine on a Path to Exile, but taking the Beast token on the chin, dropping to 15. Over the next two turns, Aplin created two more Beasts, while Neeman summoned Elspeth. Neeman send his Stirring Wildwood over to have a chat with Garruk, and considering his already dwindling loyalty, Aplin let him go. The Beasts retaliated, taking down Neeman's Planeswalker, before being joined by a Primeval Titan. Neeman removed the Titan with an Oblivion Ring, but dropped to nine during Aplin's turn, and zero the turn after.

    Jeremy Neeman and Steven Aplin battle it out.

    Neeman 1 – Aplin 1

    Game 3 saw Neeman accelerate up to six land, while across the table and stuck on three lands, Aplin's hand was overflowing into his graveyard. Neeman wasted no time summoning a Knight of the Reliquary, and using it to get his Baneslayer Angel past a Mana Leak. Together, they punched Aplin square into Game 4.

    Neeman 2 – Aplin 1

    In their fourth game, Zhao had managed to remove an Avenger of Zendikar with an Oblivion Ring, but if Witton had enough mana to summon one, it probably wasn't a good sign for Zhao. Soon enough, Witton's double Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle had Zhao offering the handshake of defeat.

    Adam Witton defeats Geoff Zhao 3 – 1

    Neither player did much more than play (and search for more) lands in Game 4, until Neeman walked his Gideon Jura into a Mana Leak. Aplin followed up the counter with a Jace, drawing three cards but not finding any land to play. Neeman summoned Ajani Vengeant, and promptly Lightning Helix'd the blue Planeswalker. Having not found anything on top of his deck that could shuffle away the non-lands, Aplin cycled an Explore and destroyed Neeman's Raging Ravine with a Tectonic Edge. Neeman was unconcerned, summoning an Elspeth, Knight-Errant and getting his army started. When Aplin finally found a Raging Ravine, Ajani simply kept it tapped. Aplin could only exhale through his teeth as Neeman Summoned a Baneslayer Angel and sent in his One Man Army soldier token for 4. Another Explore helped Aplin find another land, but he had nothing to stop the Angel and Soldier dropping him to 6. Elspeth was up to 7 loyalty, while Ajani was back up to 4.

    Activating a Misty Rainforest at end of turn dropped Aplin to 5, allowing him to Into the Roil the Baneslayer. Another Rainforest dropped him to 4, before he cast Destructive Force. Neeman responded by Path'ing each of his creatures so he'd at least have a pair of lands after to the Force resolved. Oh, and an Ajani with 4 loyalty, of course. Aplin passed the turn back with three lands in play. Neeman Helix'd Aplin once, and before he could do it again, Aplin congratulated his opponent.

    Jeremy Neeman defeats Steven Aplin 3 – 1

     

  • Quarterfinals - Ian Wood vs Alex McCormick
    by Pip Hunn
  • Ian Wood was last year's Finalist and made his second Top 8 out of two Nationals, this time piloting an Eldrazi Conscription deck bolstered by the power of Fauna Shaman. Alex McCormick has had a strong showing this tournament. Heading to Pro Tour: Amsterdam later in the year, a Nationals victory would give him a reputation to develop overseas. McCormick is piloting a tweaked blue-white control list, impressively foiled out over the testing season. Would his shiny Planeswalkers be enough to defeat Wood's creature-heavy deck?

    Wood won the dice roll and began the match. He stared hard at a one-lander with multiple Birds of Paradise. He led with one, then a Wall of Omens to try and cycle into his second land. He luckily found the Forest needed to play out a Hierarch. Wood's board started to take shape with a Jace, the Mind Sculptor, immediately using Jace's ability to Brainstorm, fixing his hand for the next few turns. McCormick had an Oblivion ring for the Jace, but had no pressure.

    Wood began the game's aggression with an attack from his Noble Hierarch before summoning a Fauna Shaman. The powerful tutor had seen a lot of play through the weekend, creating engines with Vengevine and Bloodbraid Elf. McCormick had an answer in Jace, bouncing the Shaman back to Woods' hand.

    Wood summoned a Knight of the Reliquary and passed. McCormick cast an Elspeth, Knight-Errant and created a Soldier token. Wood had an Oblivion Ring for the Elspeth and summoned his Fauna Shaman again, needing an opportunity to get his engine active. McCormick cast an Oblivion Ring of his own to get his Elspeth back and found a Wall of Omens for added defence. With the ground comfortably clogged up, McCormick sent his Soldier token into battle, aided with a blessing from Elspeth. Wood summoned a Knight of the Reliquary, which barely touched the battlefield before getting Path to Exile'd.

    After another attack from McCormick, Wood finally activated his Fauna Shaman, fetching out a Vengevine. On his turn he searched for another of the hasty green monsters, this time summoning one and attacking McCormick's Elspeth, Knight-Errant. A Wall of Omens served its purpose and ran in front of the attacker. After attacking with a pumped Soldier token, McCormick cast a Martial Coup for 5, clearing the board and leaving Wood with effectively one turn to find an answer. At 8 life and staring down lethal, Wood cast a Sovereigns of Lost Alara, but McCormick had a Path. His return attack was lethal.

    McCormick 1 – Wood 0

    Woods' first play was a Qasali Pridemage, followed with a Knight of the Reliquary while McCormick had nothing but lands. Qasali Pridemage attacked for three, bringing McCormick to 14 before Wood added to his board with a Fauna Shaman. McCormick's only option was to play a Wall of Omens and try find a threat. His best offering was another Wall, while Woods started to work on his Vengevines, using Fauna Shaman to first tutor for them and then to drop them into the graveyard. An Elspeth from Wood was met with a Negate, giving McCormick an opportunity to drop a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Wood went to start filtering lands with his Knight of the Reliquary, who was stopped by a Path to Exile.

    The game slowed while Wood charged up his graveyard with Vengevines. McCormick used his Tectonic Edges to whittle Wood's mana base down, before laying out another Wall of Omens, giving him a trio of staunch defenders. Wood dropped his third Vengevine into the bin, aware of his dropping life total. Once the fourth Vengevine hit the graveyard, two Hierarchs brought an impressive 16 power of Vengevine back from the graveyard. All of them and the long-waiting Pridemage attacked. McCormick Path to Exile'd one of them and Condemned the another, leaving a mere ten power of creatures attacking. A Wall of Omens jumped in front of the Pridemage and the other stopped a Vengevine, with a single green attacker hitting McCormick to 9. McCormick untapped to see what defences he could muster. A Jace let him dig deeper for answers, but the relentless pressure of recurring Vengevines was too much. McCormick scooped up his cards and moved to the sideboard for Game 3.

    Wood 1 – McCormick 1

    Wood's Fauna Shaman was answered by McCormick's Jace, both players eager to start their engines in what promised to be a long third game. Wood attacked with his Shaman rather than activating it, using his 4 mana to cast his own Jace to wipe out both. McCormick replaced his lost Planeswalker with an Elspeth, Knight-Errant and passed. Wood cast a Knight of the Reliquary, which made McCormick spend a Day of Judgment to stop things from getting out of hand. A Vengevine hit the bin in response thanks to the Fauna Shaman, and Elspeth, Knight-Errant continued to build loyalty counters by generating another Soldier.

    Alex McCormick and Ian Wood fight for the right to represent Australia.

    Wood hard-cast a Vengevine and used it to attack Elspeth. McCormick activated two Tectonic Edges to strip Wood of a second green source, limiting his access to Vengevine mana. Wood kept attacking his Vengevine into the Planeswalker, and bolstered his lone man with a Knight of the Reliquary. McCormick kept grinding away, making more tokens, and dropping an Oblivion Ring to remove the Vengevine. An activated Colonnade from Wood attacked Elspeth through the air, but McCormick was holding the Path to Exile to keep his Planeswalker going. A Jace Beleren from Woods was stopped by a Negate, with the board slowing down to a crawl.

    McCormick attacked with his Celestial Colonnade, while Wood was running out of time to deal with Elspeth before she went ultimate. McCormick and Wood traded Tectonic Edges and Colonnades, with the Elspeth eventually falling thanks to the advantage provided by Knight of the Reliquary. When the dust settled, the Knight was immense. A Qasali Pridemage destroyed the Oblivion ring to get Wood's Vengevine back, which was enough to move on to the next game.

    Wood 2 – McCormick 1

    Wood dropped an early Jace Beleren, which would provide him with direct card advantage until McCormick found an answer. He followed up with an Elspeth, having the Planeswalker advantage for the first time in the match. McCormick Path to Exile'd his own Wall of Omens, stalling on lands. Wood pumped a Soldier token and attacked McCormick down to 16, before using a Tectonic Edge to keep McCormick low on lands. He then dropped a Knight of the Reliquary for further pressure. McCormick didn't find a land on his turn. Between the Soldier and a freshly-cast Vengevine, Wood attacked McCormick down to 8. Wood had a full grip and an active Knight to protect his swing for lethal, and moved on to the Semifinals.

    Ian Wood defeats Alex McCormick 3 – 1

     

  • Quarterfinals - Ben Fleming vs Edwin Jones
    by Pip Hunn
  • Jones took some early damage from Fleming's classic Jund deck before moving to stabilise with a Knight of the Reliquary. Fleming had a Bloodbraid Elf into a Maelstrom Pulse to deal with the Knight and begin laying down some beats, whereas Jones' board was relegated to a pair of Noble Hierarchs. Fleming continued to build his army with a second Bloodbraid Elf, and Jones had an answer in Baneslayer Angel. Fleming found a third Bloodbraid Elf and cascaded into another Pulse to deal with the Angel, leaving Jones unable to do anything but summon a Cunning Sparkmage to take down Fleming's Geopede. Jones managed to find a Bloodbraid Elf of his own to try and stall the board out, except that his Elf was more impressive on the attack thanks to double exalted triggers for the Hierarchs. After a few messy combat phases, the board had stabilised with both players looking to the top of their libraries for threats. Jones found one first. An unanswered Knight of the Reliquary proved too much pressure for Fleming.

    Jones 1 – Fleming 0

    Jones established a commanding board presence early in the game, with a Fauna Shaman and Stoneforge Mystic coming into play early. Fleming countered with an Obstinate Baloth to stem the bleeding. Jones got his Shaman engine going and tutored up Vengevines to fill his graveyard. Bloodbraid Elf from Jones cascaded into a Cunning Sparkmage, bringing back the Vengevines and overpowering Fleming's defences. Jones cast a Basilisk Collar and attempted to suit up the Sparkmage, but Fleming had a Lightning Bolt to contain the shenanigans. Jones' pressure was too much, though, with Fleming unable to find answers to the other men on the board.

    Jones 2 – Fleming 0

    Game 3 started off stronger for Fleming, with a Sprouting Thrinax and a Goblin Ruinblaster keeping Jones off-step. A Cunning Sparkmage from Jones dealt with the troublesome Goblin, but his damage had already been done, keeping Jones off Bloodbraid Elf mana. Jones eventually found his fourth land and hard-cast a Vengevine. Fleming attempted a Slave of Bolas on the Cunning Sparkmage, who killed himself in response, the expensive sorcery seeming a little like overkill to get rid of the 0/1.

    A second Sprouting Thrinax joined Fleming's board shortly after, providing a hint as to why he was so eager to kill the pinger. Jones cast a Bloodbraid Elf, cascading into a Basilisk Collar. The Collar made his Vengevine even meaner, and Fleming was relegated to chump blocking in an effort to stay alive. Fleming played defensively for a few turns, but when Jones dropped a Baneslayer Angel and Fleming only had three Saproling tokens, defeat was inevitable.

    Jones 3 – Fleming 0

     

  • Semifinals - Edwin Jones vs Jeremy Neeman
    by Pip Hunn
  • Jones is enjoying his first Top 8, and now his first Top 4. Qualifying on Limited rating, Jones was glad he chose to attend Nationals this year. He called his girlfriend to alter their prior travel arrangements to include Worlds, and she generously agreed to not only let him go, but accompany him. Jeremy Neeman is also looking forward to a trip to Japan later in the year, where he’ll be aiming for a Top 8 to match the ones he earned at PT: San Juan and Nationals. Both players chatted happily while shuffling before settling down to see who would be moving on for a shot at the finals.

    Both players started with a mulligan, but Neeman looked at a hand of too many Gideon Jura‘s and not enough lands before heading to five. Jones led out a Fauna Shaman and Neeman accelerated his draw with an Explore. Jones swung with his Shaman and ran out a sword of Vengeance, drawing a ‘Nice’“ from his opponent. Neeman dropped an Elspeth, Knight-Errant and made a Soldier token to defend her with. The Fauna Shaman suited up and attacked, Elspeth falling to two loyalty counters. Neeman used the brief respite to accelerate his lands with an Explore. The Fauna Shaman was untapped thanks to the Sword, discarding a Vengevine and fetching a Bloodbraid Elf.

    The Elf came into play next turn, bringing a Sparkmage with it. After the dust from Jones’ attack settled, Elspeth was dead and Neeman had fallen to 14. A Day of Judgment from Neeman cleared the decks, but another Bloodbraid meant a Vengevine-supported attack for seven the next turn regardless. Neeman had another Day of Judgment, with Jones drawing a Knight of the Reliquary in turn. The Knight was big enough to be lethal, but Neeman drew a Path to deal with the Knight. In a back-and-forward, Jones drew another Bloodbraid Elf, cascading into a Birds of Paradise and bringing his Vengevine back for another round. Neeman dropped men to clog the ground up, but was only on 3 life. This made Jones’ freshly cast Inferno Titan exactly lethal.

    Jones 1 – Neeman 0

    Fauna Shaman from Jones began the action, but then Jones stalled on lands. Neeman took advantage of the moment’s lull with an Ajani Vengeant, which killed the Shaman. Jones found his third land and played a second copy of the funky green bear. Neeman accelerated with an Explore and stopped Jones’ Stirring Wildwood from untapping, leaving him without a green source. The Fauna Shaman swung at the annoying Planeswalker but was Condemned to the bottom of the library. Jones summoned a Stoneforge Mystic, fetching a Basilisk Collar. Ajani kept Jones’ land tapped down. Day of Judgment from Neeman kept the pressure off Ajani, only for Jones to draw an Oblivion Ring to answer it. Neeman simply cast a second one, causing a visible slump from Jones.

    Edwin Jones is not actually a professional wrestler. No really, he’s not.

    A Sword of Vengeance was cast, leaving an impressive array of equipment without any creatures to enhance. Neeman began to apply pressure with Stirring Wildwood. Without access to his Forest, Jones couldn’t cast anything. He finally drew a second one and summoned a Baneslayer Angel. Neeman’s Ajani crept close to his ultimate. Jones cascaded a Bloodbraid into an Knight of the Reliquary . Both the Elf and the Angel attacked the Ajani, but the Wildwood stopped the ground assault and the Angel was Pathed. With an impending Armageddon, Jones chose not to find the land the Path entitled him to. Ajani blew up all of Jones’ lands, leaving him with few resources but a very large Knight of the Reliquary. Neeman played out his third Ajani Vengeant to keep the Knight tapped down, drawing a laugh and a concession from Jones.

    Neeman 1 – Jones 1

    Jones accelerated a noble Hierarch into a Knight of the Reliquary, while Neeman focussed on his land count with an Explore. Jones kept up the pressure with a Vengevine, while Neeman ran out an Ajani and killed the Hierarch, gaining some life back to 18. Jones had the perfect foil to the Ajani in a Cunning Sparkmage before attacking with his men, dropping Neeman to 9. Neeman Path to Exile‘d the Knight, buying a little more time. He didn’t get to enjoy it, though; Jones found a Vengevine waiting on top of his library, summoned it, and attacked for exactly lethal.

    Jones 2 – Neeman 1

    Neeman assembled a rapid defence with double Wall of Omens. Jones dropped a Fauna Shaman, and Neeman contributed a Knight of the Reliquary to the battlefield. Jones’ Vengevine started eating away at the Walls. Neeman found a better creature in Baneslayer Angel. Jones, thoroughly displeased, attempted to Oblivion ring it. Neeman’s active Knight sought out a Sejiri Steppe to protect the Angel, so Jones’ second Ring took out the troublesome Knight instead. One threat dealt with, Jones still had to find a way of dealing with a 5/5 lifelinked flier. Neeman’s Primeval Titan seemed like overkill, but there probably isn’t anything like too many powerful creatures when your opponent’s not packing Day of Judgment. Jones certainly found them overwhelming, and both players headed to Game 5.

    Neeman knows you can never have too much of a good thing.

    Neeman 2 – Jones 2

    Jones began the decider with a Stoneforge Mystic, tutoring up the powerful Sword of Vengeance. Neeman cast a Knight of the Reliquary, and Jones flashed the Sword in using the Mystic’s ability. A Vengevine hit the board tapped and attacking, Neeman electing to fall to 16, before powering out a second Knight of the Reliquary. Jones attempted to Oblivion Ring the active Knight, which forced Neeman to fetch out his Sejiri Steppe to protect it. The Vengevine attacked in once again, with Neeman’s other Knight only a 4/4 and unable to defend itself. Instead, Neeman sacrificed his Wall of Omens. With two Knights active, Neeman moved to the offensive, cracking a fetchland and attacking Jones for 10. A post-combat Primeval Titan fetched a Khalni Garden, giving Neeman a very big blocker and a very little one alongside it. Jones couldn’t find a way through, and conceded the match.

    Neeman 3 – Jones 2

     

  • Semifinals - Adam Witton vs Ian Wood
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Having exploded onto the Australian Magic scene with a finals appearance last year, Ian Wood is looking to go one better this year. Standing in his way is Melbournite Adam Witton.

    Witton won the roll, and used an Explore to accelerate a Terramorphic Expanse into play on turn two. Wood was happy to attack for 1 with his Noble Hierarch before summoning a Fauna Shaman. Witton continued to gather lands with a Cultivate, while Wood just attacked with his Hierarch again, leaving his Shaman open to work its magic. Witton summoned a Primeval Titan, fetching two Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, dwarfing Wood’s board position. If he was concerned, Wood didn’t show it, discarding a Vengevine at the end of Witton’s turn, and playing a Celestial Colonnade before passing it back to Witton.

    “You’re on 19?” Witton asked, as he attacked with his Titan, fetching two Mountains. “12 to you,” he announced. Wood let the Titan though, dropping to 1. Witton then cast Rampant Growth.

    Ian Wood putting his elbow into it.

    Witton 1 – Wood 0

    Wood lead Game 2 with a turn two Fauna Shaman, getting in for 2 while snapping Witton’s Cultivate with a Negate. Wood then summoned Elspeth, sending the Shaman to the skies and dropping Witton to 13. Witton was stuck on three land, despite digging with an Explore, and was soon sweeping up his cards.

    Witton 1 – Wood 1

    Game 3 began slowly, with Wood playing enter the battlefield tapped lands while Witton Rampant Growth‘d and Cultivate‘d a game plan he liked. Wood summoned a Knight of the Reliquary, only to see again Witton drop Primeval Titan on the table, finding a pair of Valakuts. Path to Exile dealt with the Titan, and the Knight attacked in for 3. Wood summoned a Lotus Cobra, but passed the turn back without a land-drop. Witton untapped and played a Khalni Heart Expedition before summoning a second Titan, this time fetching a pair of Mountains and dealing 12 to Wood with the Valakuts. A Terramorphic Expanse added the third counter to the Expedition, and they were off to Game 4.

    Adam Witton’s not sleeping, but if he was, he’d be dreaming of Valakuting you. For a lot.

    Witton 2 – Wood 1

    Witton split a Fork Bolt between Wood’s turn two Lotus Cobra and its owner, but Wood simply replaced it and summoned a Noble Hierarch. Can you guess what happened next? That’s right, Witton killed them both with another Fork Bolt. Wood summoned Elspeth, Knight-Errant, while Witton cast Rampant Growth for a Mountain, giving him two to go with the Valakut he already had. Wood sent in his Soldier for 4, but Witton had a Fork Bolt for that on his turn, too. He also embarked upon a Khalni Heart Expedition, but was out of lands to get anywhere with it. Wood made another Soldier, but had no other play, happy to sit on five open lands. Rampant Growth got Witton a third Mountain, while Wood again attacked, this time choosing to add a second Solider over pumping.

    That Rampant Growth had given Witton a sixth land, so that made it Titan O’Clock, fetching two more Valakuts. He then cracked his Expedition, fetched two Mountains and the match was over.

    Adam Witton defeats Ian Wood 3 – 1

     

  • 3rd/4th Playoff - Edwin Jones v Ian Wood
    by Pip Hunn
  • It’s been a long weekend. Both players battled through 14 rounds of intense Magic to get here. Now, one final round remains before them to determine which duellist will get the coveted third place, with the inclusion in the Australian Worlds team and the attendant glory.

    Jones began Game 1 with a Stoneforge Mystic and a Knight of the Reliquary. Wood countered by accelerating into a Vengevine with a pair of Birds of Paradise. Jones found a Vengevine of his own, attacking with the hasty green Elemental and a 4/4 Knight. Wood left his Wall waiting for a bigger threat and fell to 11. Wood’s Vengevine attacked, eating up the Mystic, and then was joined by a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. The Knight was bounced back to Jones’ hand.

    Jones summoned a Noble Hierarch and put a Basilisk Collar onto the Vengevine, gaining himself five life and killing the Wall of Omens in the process. Elspeth, Knight-Errant joined the Jace on the board, giving Wood another buffer. Wood’s Vengevine knocked Jones down to 15, and an Oblivion Ring removed the Basilisk Collar from the equation. Jones summoned his second Vengevine and both attacked Jace, killing the Planeswalker. Another Knight of the Reliquary for Jones kept the board interesting.

    Edwin Jones eyes up an increasingly complicated board.

    Jones summoned a Qasali Pridemage and sacrificed it to get his Basilisk Collar back, re-equipped a Vengevine, and swung with his two Vengevines at Elspeth. The Planeswalker bit the dust and Jones looked more comfortable with the state of the game. Wood summoned a Ranger of Eos, which fetched out two Noble Hierarchs. Jones did some fetching of his own, using his Knight to rapidly fill his graveyard with lands. Jones’ Vengevines attacked once more, this time the equipped one trading with Wood’s copy that had hung back on defence. The ground stall continued for a few turns, with an increasingly-large Knight smashing into Wood’s continually-redeployed blockers.

    A Realm Razer from Jones pushed the game forward, with Jones having the overwhelming advantage on the board. His Knight of the Reliquary chomped away at Wood’s creatures before being Path’d. Wood drew a Sovereigns of Lost Alara and attacked with a token, fetching out a Conscription and hitting Jones for 12. He had overextended, though, and Jones’ return swing was lethal. Both players moved to their sideboards after a marathon first game.

    Edwin Jones 1 – Ian Wood 0

    The second round started off with Wood’s Jace bouncing a Noble Hierarch. Jones played a Sejiri Steppe, protecting a Fauna Shaman to allow it to swing in and finish off the Planeswalker. Wood followed up with an Elspeth. An opposing Linvala, Keeper of Silence came down on the other side of the board, but Wood had a Path to Exile ready. He played another Jace and the Planeswalkers started going to town. A second Linvala from Jones got Path’d, leaving the Planeswalkers unopposed as they built towards their ultimates. Jones didn’t find any Oblivion Rings or other answers, and scooped up his cards.

    Ian Wood searches his library.

    Ian Wood 1 – Edwin Jones 1

    Both players powered out an early Fauna Shaman, with Wood dropping three one-cost mana producers to keep his Shaman company. Jones livened up the game with a Stoneforge Mystic and a Basilisk Collar before passing back to Wood. Wood went hunting for a Sovereigns of Lost Alara and had the mana on-board to summon it.
    Jones settled back in his seat.
    A few moments passed.
    Jones blinked.
    His head nodded.
    Jones realised he was simply too tired to continue playing. He conceded the game, the match, shook hands with Wood, and headed off to bed.
    Ian Wood is the third Worlds team member, and Jones goes to Chiba as the alternate.

     

  • Finals - Jeremy Neeman vs Adam Witton
    by Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw
  • Jeremy Neeman has had a heck of a weekend, not dropping a match all the way into the finals, beating his top 4 finish last year, and the top 8 finish the year before that. The jury is still out on if it beats his Pro Tour Top 8 in San Juan earlier this year, though. Adam Witton? He’s just happy to be here...

    ..But not as happy to start the finals with a mulligan to four. Luckily, his four card hand allowed him to accelerate out plenty of mana, ending his fifth turn with two Forests, four Mountains and a Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle in play. Neeman had a few lands of his own, and summoned a Wall of Omens, but his eyebrows shot up when Witton continued the hits, summoning a Primeval Titan, fetching two more Valakuts. Neeman dispatched the Titan with a Path to Exile, but that only gave Witton a fifth Mountain to go with his three Pinnacles. Neeman summoned another Wall, and drew even deeper with an Explore, finally finding and playing a Tectonic Edge to give himself some breathing room. Witton untapped and cast Cultivate, dealing 6. Played the Mountain he found with the Cultivate, dealing another 6, dropping Neeman to 7 (thanks, Arid Mesa) then cast Rampant Growth. Neeman decided against continuing this one.

    Could Jeremy Neeman’s amazing weekend be coming to an end?

    Witton 1 – Neeman 0

    Neeman summoned a Knight of the Reliquary on turn three, while Witton again fished lands out of his deck, passing back his third turn with two Forests and three Mountains in play already. The Knight helped Neeman accelerate out a Baneslayer Angel, while Witton had a turn four Primeval Titan for two Valakuts. All was not lost for Neeman, who already had one Tectonic Edge in play. He played another, and took out both Pinnacles, before sending the Angel in for 5. Witton summoned an Avenger of Zendikar, bringing with it seven Plants, before attacking with the Titan, finding the last two Valakuts and making the Plant tokens 2/3’s. The Knight blocked and killed the Titan after fetching another Tectonic Edge and destroying a third Valakut. Neeman was down to two lands, but his Knight was 8/8 and he still had the Baneslayer. He played a Raging Ravine (probably more of a Shivan Oasis, this game) and fetched out and used his last Tectonic Edge. The Baneslayer stayed at home.

    Adam Witton and his Mountains cannot be stopped.

    Witton summoned another Avenger, and played a land. There was some confusion as to just how big the plants ended up, but in the end, everyone agreed they were Definitely Big Enough.

    Witton 2 – Neeman 0

    This time Neeman had no play on his third turn, while Witton’s Mountain-count was already up to three. No, four with another in hand. Thanks, Cultivate. Not surprisingly, this was followed by a Primeval Titan, and when Neeman didn’t have a Path to Exile for it, his life total quickly sank into the negatives, crowing Adam Witton the 2010 Australian National Champion!

     

  • Team Profiles
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Name: Adam Witton
    Finish: 1st (Team Captain)
    Hometown: Melbourne
    Age: 27
    Occupation: Student
    Standard Record: 4-1-1
    Draft Record: 5-1
    How many GP/PT/Nats top 8’s have you had? Zero
    What Standard deck did you play this weekend?Valakut.
    What was the best M11 card in your Standard deck this weekend? Primeval Titan.
    What deck do you NOT want to play against in this Top 8? W/G/R Destructive Force




    Name: Jeremy Neeman
    Finish: 2nd (Team Member)
    Hometown: Canberra
    Age: 20
    Occupation: Student
    Standard Record: 4-0-2
    Draft Record: 6-0
    How many GP/PT/Nats top 8’s have you had? Top 4 GP: Sydney 2006, Top 8 PT: San Juan 2010, Top 8 Nats 2008, 2009 and 2010.
    What Standard deck did you play this weekend? Destructive Force + Primeval Titan Ramp
    What was the best M11 card in your Standard deck this weekend? Primeval Titan
    What deck do you NOT want to play against in this Top 8? U/W’s probably the worst matchup. It can be a bit of a grind.




    Name: Ian Wood
    Finish: 3rd (Team member)
    Hometown: Adelaide
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Engineer
    Standard Record: 4-2
    Draft Record: 5-1
    How many GP/PT/Nats top 8’s have you had? Two.
    What Standard deck did you play this weekend? NLB (Next Level Bant) Got the list and sideboard from deck-building extraordinaire Michael Maurici.
    What was the best M11 card in your Standard deck this weekend? Fauna Shaman
    What deck do you NOT want to play against in this Top 8? Mono Red.




    Name: Edwin Warwick Nicholas Jones
    Finish: 4th (Alternate)
    Hometown: Canberra
    Age: 22
    Occupation: Bar Duty Manager
    Standard Record: 4-2
    Draft Record: 5-1
    How many GP/PT/Nats top 8’s have you had? This one.
    What Standard deck did you play this weekend? Fauna Naya
    What was the best M11 card in your Standard deck this weekend? Fauna Shaman
    What deck do you NOT want to play against in this Top 8? Valakut. Grrrrr...

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