Finals (Loser's Bracket) Feature Match - Kyle Rose vs. Frank Hernandez
Kyle Rose is a champion. He won last year's US Nationals, won thirteen consecutive matches at PTLA three and won this year's PT London. He knows as much as anyone how to play this game and how to win. Today however, was Frank Hernandez' day.
Playing what looked on paper to be a poor deck matchup, Frank's Stompy deck proved to be up to the task, winning a four game match against Kyle's Replenish deck.
Game one was a breeze for Kyle. Playing a second turn Lilting Refrain followed by a third turn Attunement, Kyle Activated the enchantment on turn four, allowing him to Replenish 2 Parallax Tides, a Parallax Wave and two Attunements into play, thanks to Frantic search. While Frank was able to take Kyle down to 15 life, hw couldn't do anything when Kyle cast Opalescence the next turn, forcing a concession.
Game two also started slowly for Frank who found himself staring at a second turn Energy Field. Unfortunately for Rose, he didn't draw the fourth land he needed to capitalize, and when Frank played a Tangle Wire, Kyle knew he was in trouble. Soon, hordes of small green creatures were hitting Kyle for a lot of damage forcing the big man to go to game three.
Game three saw Kyle stop play for better than ten minutes to make one decision. Staring at a Rancored Llanowar Elf, an active Lyrist and a Thran Foundry, Kyle activated his third turn Attunement on turn four, allowing him to draw into the following hand:
2 Parallax Wave
2 Frantic Search
Eventually deciding to discard the two searches, the Opalescence and a Wave, Kyle cast Replenish, figuring he'd draw out the use of the Foundry, setting him up for a stronger Replenish two turns later. Unfortunately, Kyle didn't know that Frank was holding a Tangle Wire, and when the Nemesis artifact hit play, the normally stoic Rose was visibly upset. With Kyle at 13, Frank cast another Llanowar and played a Treetop Village, and one turn later, the game was over.
The most unfortunate aspect of this match was how it ended. Playing first Kyle was forced to mulligan three times, eventually keeping a hand with Seal of Cleansing, Replenish, Opalescence and an Island. While he did get to play a Plains on turn three, Kyle could only watch as Frank Goldfished (i.e., played a one man practice game) a fifth turn kill. Frank Hernandez of Tallahassee, Florida makes the national team along with Jon Finkel and Chris Benafel, who will soon play off for the national champion title, as well as Aaron Forsythe, who defeated teammate Mike Turian 3-0.