Round 13 Feature Match: Noah Boeken (Netherlands) vs. Tom Harle (England)
by Kim Eikefet
In the last round of the swiss, Noah Boeken faced Tom Harle in a game where the winner would make top 8. Boeken won the die roll, and he chose to draw, so Tom got to play first. The Englishman dropped a turn two Benalish Trapper and then a turn three Riptide Crab. Boeken played a turn three Hooded Kavu, but Harle answered by summoning a Tidal Visionary.
Boeken didn't particularly like the Visionary, so he Tribal Flamed it. Tom then cast a Crimson Acolyte and a Tower Drake, while Noah added to his offense by popping down a kicked-up Duskwalker and a Phyrexian Slayer. With a constantly sinking life total, Tom cast Probe with kicker, but got nothing but two lands - Noah had three cards in hand and naturally, he held on to his Shivan Emissary. And as Tom tapped out of white mana, Noah could cast the Emissary to kill the Benalish Trapper.
With the Trapper out of the way, Noah started sending his Hooded Kavu and his Duskwalker, the two creatures Tom couldn't stop. Tom cast Fact or Fiction and picked the pile with a Stormscape Apprentice and a Vodalian Serpent over a Glimmering Angel, an island and an Obsidian Acolyte, and he also played the Stormscape Apprentice. But the Duskwalker and the Hooded Kavu took him down to one life, and before the Apprentice got active, Harle died to a Tribal Flames.
Boeken 1 - Harle 0
The second game was really long. Noah played first, and he cast a turn four Phyrexian Slayer after Tribal Flaming Tom's turn two Tidal Visionary. But Tom had other creatures, he cast a turn three Seashell Cameo and a Stormscape Apprentice. Unfortunately, he stalled on three lands, but he was still able to cast multiple creatures; a Galina's Knight, a Dream Thrush and a Benalish Trapper.
Meanwhile, Noah built up his offense. He played a Firescreamer and a Phyrexian Battleflies, and the Shivan Emissary took care of the Benalish Trapper and left Tom with one master decoy only. When Tom finally drew another land, finally a plains, he promptly cast Probe with kicker, but it wasn't a good sign that Noah discarded an Agonizing Demise. Noah then went on to play Suffering, taking Tom's only Plains, and Tom's Tower Drake was Tribal Flamed.
Tom was down to eight when he drew another Plains and started playing more creatures. While Noah went draw-go for a while, Tom dropped a kicked-up Faerie Squadron, a Crimson Acolyte, a Glimmering Angel and then he played another Probe with kicker. But that didn't stop Noah from playing a Phyrexian Reaper the next turn. Noah then went on to play a Viashino Grappler and an Ancient Kavu, while Tom tried to deal with it.
The Englishman cast a Vodalian Hypnotist and a Riptide Crab that blocked the Reaper and gave him a card. He then found some Shackles for the Reaper, and he also cast a Benalish Heralds and tried to draw into something. So while Noah drew an Ancient Kavu and a Pouncing Kavu, Tim finally got his Obsidian Acolyte. Casting it, he could give his Angel protection from black and send it in for two damage every turn, and suddenly, most of Noah's removal was totally useless.
Noah cast Plague Spores targeting the Benalish Heralds and a plains. Tom saved the card drawer, but lost his plains, but still, he could play a Benalish Knight with kicker that he started sending for four each turn. Noah then tried to race him by casting a Duskwalker with kicker, but it was too late; the Angel and the Knight went all the way.
Boeken 1 - Harle 1
Before the final game, the two players called the head judge to see if maybe they could get some extra time. They did, but not in the way they expected. When Paul Barclay approached the table, they didn't really have an argument, so the game started - and Tom, who had opted to play, started by drawing a card... So Tom got a warning and a forced mulligan for inappropriate draw at the start of the game.
Tom kept his second hand, but it wasn't really that good. He played a turn two Vodalian Hypnotist, and over the next three turns, he activated it to take a card from Noah's hand. Noah, on the other hand, played a turn two Shivan Zombie that started to attack.
Tom failed to draw more than four lands, and three of them were plains while the last one was a Salt Marsh. He drew a Seashell Cameo, so finally he could play his Benalish Brapper only to see it killed by a Shivan Emissary. Noah continued sending his Zombie that had been joined by a kicked-up Duskwalker, and although Tom drew and played a Crimson Acoyte, Noah won during his next turn by attacking and casting Tribal Flames.
Boeken 2 - Harle 1