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Magic: The Gathering Invitational 2000
Round 5 Recap

Chris Pikula went into Round 5 as the last remaining undefeated player. Zvi Mowshowitz was close behind him at 3-1 and hoping to end day 1 in a tie for first. No one really knew exactly who was supposed to win the matchup between tradewind/Awakening and Squirrel prison. One of the most fun aspects of this format is the weird matchups that no one had really thought about before. the players seem to be universally enjoying this format.

Pikula declined the opportunity to cast a turn 4 Masticore while Zvi was tapped out because he wanted to leave up Annul. Zvi played right into his hands by going for a turn 4 Awakening. Chris then untapped and dropped both masticore and Elvish Lyrist. Zvi tried to answer with a tradewind, but all that did was allow Chris to play his Opposition. When Zvi played Tradewind #2 (giving him 3 creatures in play), Chris saw his opportunity and played a deranged Hermit. Zvi's active tradewind wasn't enough to bust him out of the lock, especially when Chris dropped Deranged Hermit #2 on hsi next turn. Zvi was struggling to stabilize Chris's horde of squirrels when he misspoke and forgot to block two Squirrels with hsi Walls of Blossoms. Chris wasn't sure whether he should let Zvi take that back (what with thsi being the Invitational and all). he decided to appeal to an outside arbitrator and asked dave Price what he shoudl do. Dave said that if Zvi screwed up then he screwed up and Chris shouldn't let him go back. Zvi thought thsi was perfectly reasonable, though he said if it had happened the other way aroudn he would have let Chris take it back. Zvi's mistake meant he was dead. Chris almost certainly would have won that game anyway so neither player saw this as a big deal.

Game two was quite weird. Zvi had trouble drawing land at the beginning, but he did manage to get an oath of Druids onto the table. Chris decided to go for his Prison lock and played out Opposition aznd Deranged Hermit. But that let Zvi Oath forever. Zvi didn't have mana in his main phase for most of the game, but he was able to Oath up a Spike Weaver and three tradewind Riders. The Tradewind Riders forced Chris to let Zvi out of the mana lock and Zvi was able to play out Awakening and make his tradewinds even better. After the game Chris commented that "i must have screwed up somewhere." Once Zvi oathed up those Tradewind Riders, there really wasn't anythign Chris could do. The most likely scenario where Chris wins that game is way back at the beginning he could have played Morphling instead of Deranged Hermit. Then Zvi wouldn't be able to oath (Zvi had Wall of Blossoms out) and Chris could have tried to kill him with Morphling.

In game 3 Zvi let Chris have a Deranged Hermit because he felt he could force out an oath fo Druids. he did, but Chris was able to use two Miscalculations to get off a hush and destroy it. Zvi answered with Awakening, but he didn't have any buybacks to go with it. Chris tried for Opposition, but Zvi played Forbid with buyback. Chris threw a Morphling at Zvi's Forbid to force him to blow it. Chris then played out a Deranged Hermit. Zvi sat there with Awakening in play, hoping to draw a buyback card. he drew Counterspell and then Forbid, but that didn't help when Squirrels were beating him down. Zvi used up his Spike Weaver while still hoping for as buyback and never found one. On the last possibel turn, after the Weaver was gone Zvi drew .. Oath of Druids. Too little, too late.

Pikula 2 (Now 5-0)
Mowshowitz 1 (Now 3-2)



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