Before the match started, the players began discussing some serious strategy from their pod. "Look what I rare drafted," Melissa exclaimed and reached for her sideboard. "Ooh! Did you get the Reflecting Pool," Patrick guessed? Melissa shook her head and flashed him the Wooded Bastion in her sideboard.
"I thought about taking that too!"
"6-0 in Limited," Pat stated. Based on the high-level strategy these two were discussing earlier, it isn’t hard to see why.
"Yep, 6-0 here, too," Melissa reminded him.
"Yeah, Limited is really the only thing I’m really good at," Patrick deadpanned perfectly.
When the players realized that they didn’t have a coin or dice to randomize who goes first, Patrick came up with a novel solution.
"Tell you what, I’ve got an apple in one of my pockets. I’ll let you guess which pocket’s it in."
"I don’t know about this," Melissa said as she laughed skeptically.
"Seriously, I’ll stand up and let you check the pockets."
"Um. . .do you have dice?"
At this point, Patrick turned around to the audience for help.
"Does anyone have dice, we’re trying to run a D&D campaign."
One member of the peanut gallery handed Patrick a box full of dice.
"So, do we just roll them all," Melissa jokingly asked?
Without missing a beat, Patrick just chirped "sure" and dropped the ten-sided dice onto the table.
"Ok, 10, 19, 27, Jeez! You are so screwed," Patrick laughed as he counted.
"Those are some great stats," came from the peanut gallery shortly thereafter.
As they discussed further randomization methods, Patrick slid his sleeve up and slammed his elbow down onto the table, much to the delight of the crowd. When Melissa laughed a "no," Pat just threw his hands up and yelled "Why not! I finally get someone I can take!"
At this point, the judge walked up and snagged both of their decks for a random deckcheck.
"So I’m getting deckchecked for the third time," Patrick complained to anyone that would listen.
"Apparently you’ve got some kind of a reputation," came the call back from the crowd.
"Yeah, I’ve been known to play forty when others are playing sixty. It’s kind of unfair."
Patrick started the first game off at six cards on the play. Melissa not only got to get additional card advantage, but her deck gave her two Nettle Sentinels, which stole the tempo advantage from Patrick. A Tattermunge Duo on the third turn kept her right on curve. Pat was forced to trade his second-turn Shorecrasher Mimic for the first Sentinel, and dropped an Oona’s Gatewarden to hold the other one at bay. He also added a Crag Puca to his side, which could hold off the opposing army fairly well.
Patrick Chapin and Melissa DeTora are battling for a perfect Limited record.
Melissa paid it no heed, though, and sent her two creatures into Pat’s defenders. The Gatewarden blocked the Duo, effectively neutralizing it, and he took the damage from the Sentinel rather than walk into a trap. Melissa just put the counters on her creature and played a Woodlurker Mimic
. Her deck refused her a fourth land, and she was forced to pass the turn after that with just three in play. Patrick seemed to be in the same situation, though, and he was forced to play a Noggle Hedge-Mage
with only two islands in play. He did get to tap Melissa’s lone blocker and swing for two, but he was falling a bit behind.
Melissa’s deck gave her the fourth land she needed on the next turn to play a Drove of Elves, which was sitting at 3/3 for the time being. Patrick’s deck still refused him a fourth land, and he was forced to pass the turn with only the Hedge-Mage, Puca, and three untapped lands in play. When Melissa dropped a Woodlurker Mimic and Tattermunge Witch on the following turn, the Drove got even bigger. Patrick was facing a five-creature army with a lone Puca to save him. When his deck gave him nothing on the following draw (I’m not sure what it could have given him), Patrick conceded.
DeTora 1, Chapin 0
Both players kept their opening draws for the second game of the match, but Melissa started out with the much faster draw. Since all we really saw from her in the first game were a bunch of two-drops, it seemed likely that she would come out of the gates blazing. A turn-one Nettle Sentinel followed by a turn-two Medicine Runner stormed over to Patrick’s side. His Noggle Hedge-Mage jumped in front of the Medicine Runner, and Melissa passed the turn.
When Patrick played a Sturdy Hatchling on the following turn, Melissa had a Snakeform to make sure it died to its own counters. A Merrow Levitator came down for Pat, and Melissa’s 2/2 Nettle Sentinel was stopped cold. She tried adding a Spawnwrithe to her side of the board, but Patrick had a Biting Tether. If he couldn’t have it, no one would. Thanks to the Levitator, though, Patrick was able to start building a replicating army. His levitated Spawnwrite attacked over Melissa’s freshly cast Crabapple Cohort and spit him out a little xerox.
Chapin tries to hold off DeTora’s green meanies.
The Cohort was nothing small, though, and it took a five-point chunk out of Pat’s life total on the following turn. A second soon joined it, and Pat’s Spawnwrithe
, Levitator, and Merrow Wavebreaker took on a much less impressive look. Nonetheless, he kept attacking with a levitated Spawnwrithe
and his Wavebreakers. That dropped Melissa to 14. He also had a Riverfall Mimic
to untap his levitator and provide some blockers for Melissa’s fatbacks.
The couple of Cohorts cavorted into the red zone and forced Patrick to think for a few minutes before declaring his blockers. Ultimately, he decided to block one with his Mimic and let the other one drop him to six. A Grazing Kelpie concluded her turn, but not before Patrick could play a Puncture Bolt to kill Melissa’s Sentinel.
With only one creature in his way now, Patrick used his Merrow Levitator to lift both of his Spawnwrithe tokens, with a little help from an Oona’s Gatewarden. He attacked her with his two flying Spawnwrithes, and his Merrow Wavebreaker, that he also lifted to the skies. Melissa came prepared, though, and used a Snakeform to bring one of the Spawnwrithes back down to Earth. Or Shadowmoor. Whatever.
Melissa is the first woman to go undefeated in Limited at US Nationals.
Melissa put the hammer down on the following turn when she played a Tattermunge Witch
with plenty of land in play. Now her already large men would get trample if Patrick blocked them, which posed all kinds of problems. He did a bunch of math, moving creatures around and tapping on the table like he was playing a frantic game of Simon. The real problem with this attack was that even if he survived it, his team would be depleted, while Melissa would still have a few large men and a Tattermunge Witch
. Pat found a Torpor Dust
in his hand (it was his last card), which untapped his Levitator, giving him an extra blocker. He eventually decided to block a crabapple cohort with all of his creatures except the Gatewarden. That gave him enough toughness that If Melissa chose to pump him three times with the Witch, he’d still survive. So, Patrick dropped to two.
His board now consisting of just a Spawnwrithe and Oona’s Gatewarden, he was going to need a miracle to deal with Melissa’s three creatures. He peeled his card and slid it facedown onto the table. He then started to slip slowly out of his chair and under the table. As he got to eye level with the table, he picked up a corner of the card. Immediately, he sat up like a shot and whipped the card up to his face. He excitedly tapped four mana and got a devilish grin on his face. With a windup that would make Todd Lincecum proud, he windmilled the card onto the table while visions of NBA Jam floated through my head. As he removed his hand from the card, the crowd around the table collectively held their breath. No one could believe it. He’d done it. And by done it, I mean he drew a card that did absolutely nothing. Nice Rosheen Meanderer.
Melissa DeTora defeats Patrick Chapin 2-0