Round 10 Feature Match: B.I.G. vs. Potato Nation
by Sideboard Staff
These two teams were at the top of the field at 7-0-2. Whoever won this round was almost certain to be top seed in the Top 4.
Team Potato Nation:
Gary Wise had a white/green deck that had a lot of fat, including a Blastoderm and a Hunted Wumpus. Gary's deck had an unusual amount of removal for a white/green deck, including two Angelic Favors, a Topple, and a Desert Twister.
Scott Johns was running a red/white deck that had a lot of good combos in it, including two Arms Dealers and Squee, along with two Laccolith Grunts and an Avatar of Hope. Scott's primary aim with his deck, however was to stop Brian's three Blastoderms.
Michael Turian was playing another blue/black deck that was very fast, with lots of small black creatures, some removal and some counterspells, and a great finisher: Ensnare.
Potato Nation was pretty confident about their decks. When asked about their opponents, Team B.I.G., they noted that most of B.I.G.'s members were from California, and that while "California was once the hotbed of magic, today's its a Dust Bowl."
Brian Hacker had a blue green deck with tons of fatties, including 3 (!) Blastoderms, Avatar of Might, and 2 Vintara Elephants. But as his opponent, Scott Johns, was playing red, his two Oxarids could also be crucial in this matchup. Brian also had a few counterspells to stop Scott's most crucial spells.
Igor Frayman had a blue/black deck with a lot of black removal, including 2 Seals of Doom. Since Michael Turian had a lot of blue creatures, the removal would not be useless, as it might have been against another black deck. Igor expected to win through Rootwater Commando or through his Spiketail Drake.
Gab Tsang had a red/white deck with some good red creatures (two Fault Riders and two Lesser Gargadons), a small rebel chain (with a Nightwind Glider) and some good red removal, including a Rupture.
When told about Potato Nation's "Dust Bowl" quote, B.I.G. responded by saying that "there's no-one more washed up then Scott Johns."
The matches played out as follows:
Michael Turian vs. Igor Frayman: This was a clash of blue/black decks. In the first game, Mike's earlier Drake Hatchling was Vendetted by Igor, who played a Plague Witch, Seal of Removal and a Stormwatch Eagle. Igor's Highway Robber was Thwarted by Mike. Mike, however, drew a lot of land and didn't have enough creatures to hold off Igor's forces; he had to attempt to Sever Soul Igor's Eagle just to stop it for one round. Mike used a Withdraw to put a Plague Witch and a Cloud Sprite back in Igor's hand, but Igor Snuffed Out Mike's Blockade Runner and rushed Mike for the victory. The second game was a race, with both players playing creatures as fast as they can and beating each other down. The key play in the game was when Mike Counterspelled Igor's Highway Robber, which, if it had resolved, would have shifted the life race dramatically in Igor's favor. The third game was rather strange. Mike got off to a very quick start with a Spineless Thug and a Trickster Mage, but Igor had a Spineless Thug of his own. Because the Thugs couldn't block each other, each player's life total descended rapidly. Neither player could mount a defense either, because they were both stuck at three lands. Finally, Mike played a Belbe's Percher and used it to finish Igor off.
Final Result: Mike Turian 2, Igor Frayman 1.
Scott Johns vs. Brian Hacker: In the end, this matchup didn't turn on Brian's three Blastoderms, as many had predicted, but instead revolved around his two Oraxids, which held off Scott's army of red creatures. In the first game, Scott started out with a Mogg Toady and a Ridgeline Rager. Brian's only green land was a Hickory Woodlot, which he used to bring out a Snorting Gahr. Unfortunately, when the Gahr blocked Scott's Mogg Toady, the Toady suddenly made like Luke Skywater with a Flaming Sword, killing the Gahr. However, Igor played two Oraxids to completely stop Scott's offense in its tracks. Brian then played a Drake Hatchling, followed by two Blastoderms, and won quickly thereafter. In game 2, Brian didn't draw any Blastoderms for a long time, but managed to assemble quite a sizable arm of creatures, including an Oraxid, Rib-Cage Spider, Trickster Mage, a Giant Caterpillar, and Living Terrain. Scott, however, had plenty of his own creatures, including two Laccolith Warriors, an Arms Dealer, a Spur Grappler, and a Ridgeline Rager. Brian played a Drake Hatchling and started attacking Brian with it, killing a Mine Bearer that threatened to stop the Hatchling's assault. Scott eventually destroyed the Hatchling, and put a Flaming Sword on a Ridgeline Rager that could thus hold off Brian's Blastoderms. However, when Brian finally started drawing some Blastoderms (along with an Avatar of Might), Brian used his Trickster Mage to tap the first-striking Ridgeline Rager. Eventually, Brian is able to send his big creatures through Scott's army and win the game.
Final Result: Brian Hacker 2, Scott Johns 1.
Gary Wise vs. Gab Tsang: In the first game, Gary was able to quickly put out a Defiant Falcon and a Nightwind Glider, but was stuck at three lands. Gab's Defiant Vanguard was Toppled by Gary, but Gab was able to bring out a Nightwind Glider and a Defiant Falcon that slowly reduced Gary's life total until he was down to three life. However, Gary eventually stopped Gab's Nightwind Glider with an Angelic Favor, and then starting put out some big green fat, including a Hunted Wumpus and a Thresher Beast. Gary's big green creatures started reducing Gab's life total at an alarming rate, but Gab topdecked a Rupture that killed Gary. In the second game, Gary got off to a very fast start with a Defiant Falcon, a Silt Crawler, and eventually a Thresher Beast. Gab was only able to draw two Mogg Toadies and a Diving Griffin, which was killed by Gary's Seal of Fire. Mogg Toadies aren't so hot against green fat, and Gary won. In the final game, both players got out Defiant Falcons rather quickly. Gab summoned a Soul Charmer, and attacked with it, but Gab used his Defiant Vanguard to summon a Pious Warrior to block. Gary then again Toppled Gab's Defiant Vanguard, and then summoned two big green creatures: Blastoderm and Hunted Wumpus. He then played a card that is not normally thought of as being worth playing: Fanatical Devotion. Time was running out, and Gab was trying to block Gary's big creatures so that he didn't die before the game ended. Gab also got out an Alabaster Wall, but Gary Snuffed it Out. Finally, Gary had a Trenching Steed and his Hunted Wumpus on the board, and Gab only had a Keldon Beserker. Gary attacked with his Wumpus, and Gab blocked it with his Beserker, then Rhystic Lightninged it and hit it with a Seal of Fire (he needed the extra damage because Gary had a Spidersilk Armor out). Everyone assumed that Gary would sacrifice the Trenching Steed to regenerate the Wumpus with the Fanatical Devotion. However, Gary started putting the Wumpus in his graveyard. Scott Johns, sitting next to Gary, looked like he would have a heart attack, but fortunately Gary realized the correct play, and sacrificed the Trenching Steed to regenerate the Wumpus. Gab then gave up.
Final Result: Gary Wise 2, Gab Tsang 1.
Potato Nation defeated B.I.G. 2-1.