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Round 11: Taking it to the Red Zone

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The letter G!eoffrey Siron has burst onto the scene recently with a Top 8 at Pro Tour-Columbus and an appearance in the team finals at the World Championships as a member of the Belgian National Team. He's currently 9-1 and would be on top of the standings if it weren't for the undefeated status of his opponent, Arnost Zidek. Zidek is a relative newcomer who put in a lot of preparation for this event on Magic Online. Before the match, his wife leaned over from the railing and gave him a kiss for good luck.

There was some discussion of her coming down into the feature match area, which prompted the following conversation:

Zidek started Pro Tour-London 10-0.

"Is she your friend?"

"She's my wife."

"Does she play?"

"No. Actually she takes photos for a Czech Magic site."

"Does she know cards?"

"No…do you have a problem with her watching?"

"No, it's okay. No problem."

In the end she decided to stay in the stands and cheer from there anyway.

After a couple more words and a mulligan from Siron, they started the match.

Game 1

So, I'm going to be trying a little experiment here. We're going to be watching this match from the perspective of the red zone. I have no idea if it'll be interesting or not, but I figure it's worth a try.

Rows in blue are attacks from Zidek and white rows are attacks from Siron.

AttacksBlocksResultSLZL
ShapestealerNoneSiron takes the one.1920
Secretkeeper, Waxmane Baku, and ShapestealerNoneWith his Gnarled Mass tapped by the Waxmane, Siron takes five and falls to 14.1420
Moonwing MothNoneSiron takes two in the air.1220
Moonwing MothNoneSiron takes another two.1020
Moonwing MothNoneAnd another two.820
Gnarled Mass and Feral DeceiverRiver Kaijin on Gnarled MassUnchecked Growth takes down the Kaijin and deals six to Zidek.814
Moonwing MothNoneYet another two in the air.614
Feral Deceiver, Nezumi Ronin and Gnarled MassSecretkeeper on Nezumi RoninSiron concedes the game at the conclusion of the attack, as he's facing a lethal counterattack.08

The missing details are a Honden of Night's Reach that emptied Zidek's hand early and kept it that way throughout the game, effectively nullifying the Secretkeeper. That is, until Zidek topdecked and played a Moonbow illusionist, which forced Siron to make the final alpha strike. He seemed frustrated with Zidek's choice of blocks, asking, "Why would you block like this?"

Siron was in a hole after Game 1.

Zidek paused and shrugged, "Because I win this way." After the attack he was left with Waxmane Baku, Moonwing Moth, and Moonbow Illusionist, which was enough to kill Siron, but only if he didn't have any blockers in his hand.

Pointing at Secretkeeper, Siron responded, "You could win with that guy."

"Could I?"

"You can pick up lands. It'd be a 4/4 flying."

Geoffrey Siron 0, Arnost Zidek 1

Game 2

AttacksBlocksResultSLZL
Kagemaro, First to SufferNoneZidek takes five from the unblocked Maro.2015
SecretkeeperNoneSecretkeeper through the air.1615
Kagemaro, First to SufferNoneZidek takes another five.1610
SecretkeeperGibbering Kami and Venerable Kumo double blockZidek looks surprised and shakes his head. Secretkeeper and the Kumo trade.1610
IslandGibbering KamiA Genju gives Zidek another flier. The creatures trade.1610
Kagemaro, First to SufferRiver KaijinRiver Kaijin chump blocks.1610
Island and Waxmane BakuTraproot Kami blocks IslandNinja of the Deep Hours sneaks in for Waxmane. Zidek draws.1410
Kagemaro, First to SufferNoneKagemaro hits for another five.145
Island, Waxmane Baku, and Ninja of the Deep HoursNoneSiron activates Kagemaro to clear the board.145
  Zidek concedes.140

Zidek may still have been rattled from the end of last game, because he made a couple of mistakes this game. He forgot a counter on his Waxmane Baku early, and then later neglected to use a counter before returning it to his hand for the Ninjutsu of Ninja of the Deep Hours. He could have forced through an extra three damage, although I doubt it would have ended up mattering. Kagemaro plus Death Denied gave Siron far more card advantage than he could handle. He conceded shortly thereafter.

Geoffrey Siron 1, Arnost Zidek 1

Game 3

AttacksBlocksResultSLZL
Waxmane BakuNoneTurns into Ninja of the Deep Hours. Zidek draws a card.1820
Ninja of the Deep HoursNoneZidek draws another card.1620
Nezumi CutthroatNoneZidek takes two from the rat.1618
Ninja of the Deep HoursNoneAnother card for Zidek.1418
Nezumi CutthroatNoneKeeping the race even.1416
Nezumi CutthroatNoneAnd it's tied.1414
Ninja of the Deep HoursNoneVeil of Secrecy ensures no blocks and puts a counter on Waxmane Baku. Zidek draws.1214
Nezumi CutthroatNoneTwo more to Zidek.1212
Forked-Branch GaramiNoneGarami gets through for four.128
Waxmane Baku and Kitsune BlademasterNoneFour damage on the counterattack.88
Forked-Branch GaramiNoneSiron activated Kagemaro before attacking and cleared the board of all but a 2/2 Garami.86
Forked-Branch Garami and Gnarled MassShinen of Stars' Light blocks the GaramiThe Shinen chump blocks to keep Zidek alive.83
Forked-Branch Garami and Gnarled MassNoneSiron takes the game and the match.80

Zidek had a turn-two Eye of Nowhere on Siron's land, but Siron threatened to come back with a turn-three Kiku, Night's Flower. When he also had Kagemaro, it went downhill quickly for the Czech player, although he managed to make it close. The final nail in the coffin was a Death Denied, recovering both Kagemaro and Kiku from Siron's graveyard. The second Kagemaro activation cleared the board again and Zidek couldn't stop the large green men that Siron had waiting in the wings.

Final Score
Geoffrey Siron 2, Arnost Zidek 1

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