here is one round left of day one of English Nationals, and it is the first of the Coldsnap
draft portion of the event. While players have fair amounts of experience with much of the rest of the event's various formats, it's safe to say that a fair few might be a little less well prepared for the cold than might be considered prudent.
Stuart Wright is not among these people. I cannot quite imagine him as a boyscout, but he definitely seems to take their motto of 'Be Prepared' seriously. The result in both his draft and constructed play are clear. He is currently at 5-1, and the rumour buzzing around is that his Coldsnap deck is likely to continue the trend.
Stuart led off with a double mulligan, but had early Black/Red and Black/Blue snow lands, while his opponent, Iain Bain had a Boreal Druid to accelerate out an Ohren Yeti. Iain got in the early beats. Stuart worked on card advantage with Survivor of the Unseen, and slowed his opponent down a little by killing the Druid with Surging Flame, but it was Iain doing all the damage.
A Karplusan Minotaur came out for Iain, and was met by a Zombie Musher. Iain also had a Goblin Rimerunner, though and got to swing for more than Stuart could deal with with the few cards in his hand.
A quick Game 1 went to Bain.
For Game 2 it was Iain's turn to mulligan. He still had the first few beaters though, in the form of Martyr of Spores and Boreal Druid, with the latter dying immediately to a Surging Flame. The Martyr though, seemed a little keener to stick around, and was soon joined by another druid.
Stuart seemed stuck for blue mana for a while, on the back foot with just a Zombie Musher on D. When he finally found an island, he let out a small cry of 'yay!', and played a Blizzard Specter.
A turn later, Stuart had another.
'That's not very fair…'
'I wasn't informed that I was meant to be trying to be fair…'
A couple of swings later, Iain was out of cards in hand, and scooping it up.
For Game 3, both players hit their colours neatly by turn three, but it seemed that Iain was ahead, with a Boreal Druid, Martyr of Spores and Ohren Yeti in short order. Stu's Disciple of Tevesh Szat looked like a fair answer to most of these, but Wright had to work a little harder to come up with a good response to Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper, the latest in Bain's cavalcade of threats.
A Blizzard Specter came out for Wright, and was almost immediately put on chump blocking duty, forcing Bain to activate his Marytr of Spores with some help from the Disciple. Bain revealed an Ohren Viper with his Martyr, and got a token for his trouble… best Martyr ever.
The following turn, there was little that Stuart could do but chump block the rare monster and sigh when a Resize kept him alive. Having drawn a total of 3 spells over the course of the game, he was feeling a little despondent.
The third spell was a Rimescale Dragon, but without the time that would have been afforded by even a single spell, Stuart was very much on the ropes.
When Iain passed the 'notice that attacking with everyone wins you the game' test, Stuart extended his hand.
Iain Bain wins 2-1.