Round 8 Feature Match: Dark Side of the Moon vs. B.I.G.
by Sideboard Staff
Ray Tautic vs. Brian Hacker
This black-red mirror match was all about tempo advantage. The games should have been lightning fast, and they were.
Although both players felt that Tautic has a strong advantage in the matchup, game one was all Hacker. He started off by casting a Laccolith Grunt and then a Rathi Assassin to make sure Tautic's creatures could not attack. They could not block either, else Grunt's ability would simply take them out.
Highway Robber and several other creatures were played by Hacker, who used Assassin's other ability to summon a Spineless Thug as well. Meanwhile, all Tautic was casting are one toughness creatures. This was right up Hacker's alley, as he eventually cast Flowstone Slide for 1, not only killing almost every one of his opponent's creatures, but pumping up his own guys to deal more damage. It was all over on the following turn.
In the second game Tautic drew only one land in his opening hand and was forced to mulligan. His six-card hand had only one land as well, but he kept it rather than go down to five cards. He drew a second land right away, but it was three turns before he found the third. Hacker, meanwhile, had another great start. He played a turn three Spur Grappler and was able to tap out on the following turns to attack for four. His second creature was Viceling - a perfect card against mana-hosed Tautic. Hacker won the match in about ten minutes.
Brian Lynch vs. Gabe Tsang
Lynch was off to an excellent start with Seal of Strength, Coiling Woodworm (a huge monster as both players had forests), and Belbe's Armor. Tsang had nothing but a Soul Charmer.
Tsang made a quick comeback when he Toppled the Woodworm and played out a bunch more creatures. Lynch seemed to be drawing nothing but land and was soon overwhelmed.
Second game did not go any better for the Boston player as Tsang summoned up such bombs as Blastoderm and Troubled Healer, among other things. Unable to stop Tsang's creatures because of the Healer, nor to remove it, Lynch soon conceded.
Ben Halpren vs. Igor Frayman
Frayman started off with a pair of Islandwalkers, which would normally pose a serious threat to Frayman. However, Halpren was able to sacrifice all his islands to a Trenching Steed and slowly establish control of the game. Frayman kept posing threats but Halpren would always find answers to them. Eventually though Frayman managed to remove Troubled Healer and outlast a Parallax Wave to take the game.
Since the other two matches were already over, the two players did not really feel like playing out the rest of their match. However, as neither would concede, they played another game and Halpren managed to win that one. At this point both players agreed to draw, since their game would only have a very minor effect on the tiebreakers.