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Round 8: Patrick Mello vs. Endre Skjetne

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Once upon a time, a competition was held in the city of Amsterdam. 305 sorcerers were gathered there to see who was the best of them all. After one day of playing with spells they picked up there and then, it was time for the sorcerers to see who had the best homemade spells. And that is how the German mage, Patrick Mello, got to fight against a brave Norwegian, Endre Skjetne.

Mello was the most famous one of the two. He had competed in many big tournaments all over the world, and done well in them, earning himself a name. Skjetne had also competed in many tournaments, but he hadn't had a big breakthrough yet. Still he had been close in a tournament in Nice, where he had won his first seven rounds only to lose six the following day.

When the two mages met, they both had five victories and two losses. And naturally, both of them wanted to show that their homemade spells were the best. Mello had brought a lot of red and blue and black spells with him, and wanted to control his opponent that way. Skjetne was more aggressive. He had brought green and blue spells.

Game 1

After tossing a die, Skjetne got to play first. The two sorcerers shook hands and drew their first seven spells. He kept them, and played an island. "Island, as expected for the Scandinavians," Mello replied, and played one of his own. The German was the first one to reveal a second colour. He put down a turn two Shivan Reef, then, during Endre's upkeep, he used an Ice to tap down one of the Norwegian's islands. Skjetne played a forest. Then he summoned a Merfolk Looter, which died to a Fire during the following turn.

With lots of blue mana in play, the two players went into draw-go mode for a couple of turns. Then, Endre tapped four mana and attempted to cast a Deep Analysis—and it resolved. He also flashbacked it, and with eight cards in his hand, he could discard a Roar of the Wurm at the end of his turn.

Mello decided it was time to cast something, and he got out a Merfolk Looter. It looked sort of puny though compared to the 6/6 creature that came into play Skjetne flashbacked his Roar of the Wurm. The Norwegian also cast an Aquamoeba.

During his turn, Mello looted, trying to find an answer to the 6/6 monster on the other side of the table. After thinking for a while, he summoned a Flametongue Kavu. Skjetne knew how to deal with that, though. He discarded a second Roar of the Wurm, a Force Spike and finally a Circular Logic to the Aquamoeba, and then he tapped one blue mana to use the madness ability of the Circular Logic. With three cards in his graveyard, that was enough to counter the Flametongue.

Endre decided it was time to attack. He sent the Wurm and the Aquamoeba in for nine. Mello, who had already taken two from his pain lands, went down to nine life. Then, the Norwegian flashbacked the second Roar of the Wurm, and played a Wild Mongrel.

Mello's only creature on the table was the Merfolk Looter, and he needed a way to get rid of the creature horde on the other side of the table. He spent quite some time thinking, then he cast Upheaval. Skjetne had a Circular Logic. Mello scooped.

Mello 1 – 0 Skjetne

Game 2

After suffering a defeat in the first duel, the German mage wanted revenge. He chose to go first in the second duel, and picked up his first seven magical potions. He started out by playing a Sulfurous Springs, revealing his third colour. Endre went for the speed, and played a Basking Rootwalla. Mello then got the aid of a Nightscape familiar. A Wild Mongrel came to help the Norwegian mage.

Mello then played a Flametongue Kavu, attempting to kill the Wild Mongrel. "Black-red beatdown," he remarked, while Skjetne pondered on whether to try and save his Mongrel or not. He chose to do so, and discarded two Yavimaya Coast and a Spellbane Centaur. During his next turn, he attacked with the Mongrel. Mello put the Kavu in front of it. While Skjetne had too few cards in hand to save the Mongrel yet again, he used its ability to discard an Arrogant Wurm, paying the madness cost to get the Wurm into play.

The German then played a Fact or Fiction, flipping over a Merfolk Looter, a Psychatog, an island and two Shivan Reef. Skjetne chose to put the Psychatog and the island in one pile, and Mello picked up the other one that contained the two Reefs and the Looter. Then, he cast the Looter.

Skjetne's following Wurm and Rootwalla attack took Mello down to 13 life. "Four cards in your graveyard? Better be careful now," Mello remarked, thinking about the Circular Logics. He went on to Ice an island, leaving Skjetne with two lands untapped. Then, he played a Flametongue Kavu that killed the Arrogant Wurm and attacked with his Familiar.

The Norwegian needed some way of keeping up the pressure. He dropped a fourth land and played a Deep Analysis, drawing two cards. Then he had to end his turn, only to be attacked by the Kavu and the Familiar during Mello's next turn, going down to 14 life. Skjetne also had to let a Psychatog resolve.

Still in need of answers, Skjetne flashbacked his Deep Analysis. He found a Circular Logic that took care of yet another Flametongue Kavu, but it didn't help him much as Mello had a Fire that killed the Basking Rootwalla. With no way of blocking a mad Psychatog, a Flametongue Kavu and a Nightscape Familiar, he scooped.

Mello 1 – 1 Skjetne

Game 3

Skjetne chose to play first in the third and deciding duel. His opening hand was far from satisfying though, and he decided to take a mulligan. Unfortunately, he had to mulligan yet again, and starting with five cards only, things looked bad for the Norwegian already from the start. Skjetne got out a turn two Aquamoeba, while Mello played a turn two Merfolk Looter. Going for speed, the Norwegian then played Call of the Herd.

However, this duel was to be the big Flametongue Kavu and Fire/Ice duel. Mello used his first Fire/Ice to tap down the Elephant token. The first Flametongue Kavu came into play after Endre had re-filled his hand by flashbacking a Deep Analysis that he used to pump his Aquamoeba. However, Skjetne had found a Circular Logic, and was able to counter it.

The Norwegian managed to keep up quite some pressure. He discarded an Arrogant Wurm to the Aquamoeba and flashbacked it, getting a "pretty good draw" remark from Mello. The German didn't look too worried about it, though. He used his second Fire/Ice to tap down the Arrogant Wurm.

Mello got out a Psychatog, and Skjetne needed some defense against the mad atog. He played a Nantuko Blightcutter. Mello used his second Flametongue Kavu to kill it. Then he played yet another Blightcutter. But at this point, the German had drawn his two remaining Fire/Ice, and he used one of them to kill the nasty anti-Psychatog creature.

A Fact or Fiction gave Mello the third Flametongue Kavu. The German also had a Memory Lapse when Skjetne tried to flashback his Call of the Herd. The Kavu took care of the Arrogant Wurm, and with 17 cards in his graveyard, Mello figured that it was time to attack. He sent over one of the Kavu and the Psychatog. Skjetne discarded a Basking Rootwalla to his Aquamoeba, used the madness and blocked the Psychatog to survive one more turn. However, when the fourth Flametongue Kavu killed his Elephant token and left him with only an Aquamoeba in play, there was no way the Norwegian could win. "Can I block all of them?" he asked when the Psychatog and two Kavu came over for a visit, and then he extended his hand.

"Well, you made it a close fight," Mello said, gathered his deck and went off to cast more spells. And that is the story of how Patrick Mello, the German mage, came to defeat the Norwegian sorcerer Endre Skjetne.

Final Result: Mello 2 – 1 Skjetne

Endre H. Skjetne, Norway

Patrick Mello
Rudi Völler Deck by Tante Käthe

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