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Pro Tour-Los Angeles 2000
Round 8 Feature Match

by Randy Buehler

Coming into this match, Kurt led the Pro Tour as the only 7-0 player on Day 1 and Darwin was 3rd with a 6-0-1 mark. During the draft, Darwin sat to Kurt's right and thus fed him two thirds of the time. Burgner wound up with his trademark aggressive green/white deck while Darwin wound up black/white.

Darwin's Cateran Brute was the first spell cast in game 1. Kurt then played a Charmed Griffin 9and Darwin didn't have anything to put into play). Kurt's board looked pretty beefy when he followed up with Boa Constrictor, but Darwin soon Severed the Griffin's Soul. Kurt dropped turn 6 Megatherium (a 4/4 trampler) and turn 7 Monkey Cage. Meanwhile Darwin just kept drawing land and only had Mercenary to go get with the Brute. Darwin accused his deck of mocking him when he top-decked Devout Witness the turn after Kurt's Monkey Cage hit the table. Kurt drew Rushwood Legate and cast it mostly just to creature three 2/2 Ape tokens. That was more than Darwin and his 8 lands could deal with so the players moved quickly to game 2.

Both players displayed nice mana curves in game 2. Kurt played a Charm Peddler and then Darwin played Steadfast Guard. Kurt played turn 2 Deepwood Drummer while Darwin followed with turn 3 Deepwood Ghoul. Kurt attacked with the Peddler and Darwin chose to block with Steadfast Guard -- effectively trading it for a card from Kurt's hand because Kurt did the expected and used Deepwood Drummer to create a 3/3 Charm Peddler. Kurt then dropped Crossbow Infantry and his 3rd turn was done. Darwin played turn 4 Pious Warrior and on his own 4th turn Kurt sent all three of his creatures and used Invigorate to kill off the Warrior. Since he gave Darwin three life instead of paying the mana for Invigorate, Kurt still had 4 mana to use and two cards in his hand. Down came turn 4 Megatherium -- wow! Darwin's "answer" was Ramosian Commander. Kurt served for 4 and played land #5 and a Monkey Cage (leaving him no cards left). It was a pretty impressive first five turns, but that's pretty much exactly how Kurt's green/white decks are supposed to work -- they're designed to punish opponents who play with expensive spells or lots of searching.

However, Darwin wasn't dead yet. He Arrested the Megatherium, pretty much shutting down Kurt's offense (until his Monkey cage went off anyway). After Kurt failed to draw a creature, Darwin gated a Ramosian Sergeant and Kurt only got 1 ape. Kurt served with his lone ape and used Invigorate to take out a Commander and a Steadfast guard. After that Darwin spent several turns gating out Rebels to block with, thus forcing Kurt to throw his draw phases into his Deepwood Drummer. Darwin once again had a mana-heavy draw, with 10 in play when Kurt drew the game-breaking card: Wishmonger. Wishmonger allowed Kurt to destroy Darwin's Arrest and add Megatherium to his growing swarm. Wishmonger allowed Darwin to block and never lose any creatures, but Kurt had 6 creatures in play to Darwin's 3. And then Kurt drew another random creature. A couple alpha attacks and some trample damage finished Darwin off.

Burgner - 2
Kastle - 0



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