Pro Tour-New York 1999
Top 8 - Semifinals
Shawn Keller (USA) vs Dave Humpherys (USA)
- Alex Shvartsman
With both players using blue-red Tinker strategies, matches end up decided by a variety of factors. It is second-guessing your opponent's hand, taking just the right risks and, of course, quite a bit of luck that will decide the outcome of each game.
Game one began with Shawn having a very fast mana draw. He used Grim Monolith - Voltaic Key combo to play a turn 3 Phyrexian Colossus. Dave had an answer to that - he generated a lot of mana as well and proceeded to play Citanul Flute, use it to get a Viashino Heretic and play it.
The situation seemed pretty grim for Keller, yet he tapped out to play Widlfire! Left with no way to get fast mana, Humpherys was helpless to stop the Colossus for the next three turns.
Second game was all Dave, as he used Avalanche Riders to slow down Keller's mana development, played a Phyrexian Processor paying nine life and killed his opponent with extra-large Minion tokens.
In the third game both players drew their sideboard cards. Humpherys used Rack and Ruin to remove Temporal Aperture and Worn Powerstone early in the game. A few turns later Keller responded in kind, destroying Phyrexian Colossus and Citanul Flute. Humpherys used his Goblin Welder to replace Keller's Phyrexian Processor with the Temporal Aperture he destroyed earlier - an excellent play especially since Keller only had 4 mana in play and was unable to abuse the Aperture. However, he was unable to remove the 10/10 Minion token that eventually assured Keller a win.
Humpherys played a turn one Tolarian Academy in the fourth game. Keller dropped some artifacts but was stuck with red mana only. Eventually he played his own Academy and tapped it for 2 blue mana before having to bury it, tapped the rest of his mana sources and cast Confiscate on Dave's Academy! Humpherys underdrew land and was unable to stop Keller from abusing Temporal Aperture for several turns, gaining significant card economy. Eventually Keller played a Shivan Hellkite and was able to win the game shortly after.
Keller 3 - Humpherys 2