Paul Cheon makes Kyle McDuffie an offer he can't refuse.
Before the match, Paul Cheon and Kyle McDuffie discussed the possibility of drawing this round. McDuffie needed to win one of the next two rounds and draw the other to make Top 8, and Cheon offered him a chance to draw now and try to pick up his win next round. Based on Tim Aten's performance at US Nationals two years ago, and Pat Chapin's mathamological prowess, Cheon was confident that one player with four losses would make Top 8. He also concluded that a draw with him would tremendously help McDuffie's tiebreakers, since he got paired up.
McDuffie eventually decided to play, even though he wasn't looking forward to the prospect of playing Cheon. His opening draw was a bit lackluster, and he had to send it back to his deck. While he was shuffling his deck up, Cheon once again offered the draw. With McDuffie down a card on the play and not really wanting to play Cheon anyway, he decided he would rather take his chances next round.
Round 13: Carl Dillahay vs. Melissa DeTora
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. . .and DeTora packed it in to head to Game 2.
Dillahay 1, DeTora 0
Carl Dillahay seems happy with this matchup.
The players shuffled up for Game 2 in relative silence, with nothing more than the din of the gallery to provide ambient noise. DeTora was less than pleased with her opening hand, and had to settle for the next six. Down a card and on the play, things weren't looking good for her run to Top 8.
Dillahay opened strong with a triple Figure of Destiny draw. DeTora had a Terror to slow things down, as well as a second-turn Bitterblossom to drop a few blockers into play, but she was still dropping quite low, and eventually her Bitterblossom would start doing more harm than good. At the end of DeTora's fourth turn, Dillahay used Tarfire to kill DeTora's lone token. This cleared the way for him to attack her with 1/1 and 2/2 Figures of Destiny. A Mutavault jumped in the way of the 1/1, and Dillahay chose to make it a 2/2 and trade with the land.
After combat, he dropped a Magus of the Moon into play, shutting down DeTora's other Mutavault as well as her other non-basics. All she had to keep going was an Island. Her Bitterblossom kept churning out blockers and chipping away at her life total. When Dillahay attacked her with his 2/2 Figure and a Magus of the Moon, she chump blocked and let herself fall to twelve. Dillahay doubled up with another Magus of the Moon to protect the effect of his other one, and passed the turn to DeTora.
A Murderous Redcap came down for her, but had to shoot the Figure of Destiny while Dillahay was tapped out. This left her dropping ever lower, and a within a few incinerates from Dillahay, she was at two. She dropped to one during her upkeep, and sent the game back to Dillahay, who had no cards in hand, and two Magi of the Moon in play.
During his upkeep, at one life, DeTora played a Mistbind Clique to tap all of Dillahay's lands. He could have floated a couple of mana into his draw step in case he drew a burn spell, but he chose to just tap his lands and draw his card. DeTora's Clique had also championed her Bitterblossom, saving her from her own card.
Then the attacks began. Dillahay wasn't drawing anything to kill DeTora with and soon ran into trouble. When DeTora dropped a Razormane Masticore into play, she had a way to clear the Magi off the table and reopen her blue mana, which would surely lock the game up for her. In the two turns it took her Masticore to finish off the Magi, Dillahay's deck failed to provide the killing stroke, and he conceded facing down a lethal attack.
Dillahay 1, DeTora 1
That was an exciting game to watch, and you know DeTora had to be pleased that, despite starting down a card in a suboptimal matchup, she was able to pull that game out, and at one life, too! Games like that are exhilarating to watch, and the suspense is palpable.
Melissa DeTora hopes to pull out another win.
"I'm really surprised that you didn't have anything to kill me there," DeTora admitted after the game.
"I had a window and failed to get there," Dillahay lamented.
For the second game in a row, DeTora was forced to mulligan. She fared well in the last game but admittedly had to get lucky to pull the win out. Despite getting that exhilarating win last game, you know she had to have sunk a little knowing she would be starting at a disadvantage for the game that mattered most.
Dillahay started off strong again with a first-turn Figure of Destiny, which he promptly made into a 2/2 alongside a suspended Rift Bolt. DeTora managed to sneak a Bitterblossom into play before Dillahay's Magus of the Moon turned all her lands into Mountains on the following turn. When Dillahay had a Tarfire to push DeTora's lone token out of the way, the path was clear for him to turn his Figure into a 4/4 and attack for six. DeTora took a look at her top card, which wasn't an Island or a Murderous Redcap, and she scooped up all her cards.
Carl Dillahay defeats Melissa DeTora 2-1