The last time I saw Brandon Scheel, he had made the 6,000-mile trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina from his home in Ames, Iowa. The 300 miles here to Chicago is a little less of a grind. Speaking of grinding, the last time I saw David Williams, he was off in Las Vegas, winning money against the best poker players in the world.
"Where are you from?" Williams asked as the players were shuffling up for the first game.
"Iowa. I live with Gerry [Thompson] in Iowa," Scheel responded, grinning.
Upon hearing Gerry's name, Williams flashed a smile of his own. "You must be a Faerie man if you live with Gerry. Maybe not, though." Based on last known information, it was a reasonable read.
Brandon Scheel isn't playing Faeries.
Brandon Scheel showed early on in the match that Williams' read was off with a turn-two Wall of Roots
, powered by a Reflecting Pool
and Grove of the Burnwillows. The Wall stopped Williams's Llanowar Elves
in its tracks until he decided to Terror
it on the following turn. Now that the path was clear, Williams added to his army with a pumped-up Tarmogoyf.
At this point, Scheel could be playing either Quick 'n Toast or Reveillark. When he used his Reflecting Pool on the following turn to drop a Greater Gargadon into play, the Quick 'n Toast option went right out the proverbial window. However, since he was unable to find a third source of mana, it seemed his chances to win were starting to go the same way. Williams made things even worse by dropping Garruk Wildspeaker into play and immediately making a Beast token.
Scheel, confident in his ability to beat his opponent on only two lands, decided against playing a third. His decision was made significantly easier due to his deck refusing to give him any other option. Thanks to Scheel's deck being... uncooperative, Williams was well in control of this game. When he used Garruk to power out a superfluous Chameleon Colossus and Wren's Run Vanquisher, Scheel just conceded, having shown Williams nothing more than a Wall of Roots and a Greater Gargadon.
Williams 1, Scheel 0
Williams started out of the gates in fast fashion again, this time making a Llanowar Elves and a Tarmogoyf on the first couple of turns. Not wanting to get behind, though, Scheel immediately burned Williams's men away with a Firespout. With no creatures on the table, and nothing to play immediately, Williams was content to just activate his Mutavault and send for two.
When Williams attempted a Chameleon Colossus on the following turn, Scheel Time Walked him with a Venser, Shaper Savant. Scheel then untapped and dropped a Reveillark into play. Now it seemed it was he who was on the offensive. Williams wasn't having any of that, though, and used a Profane Command to kill the 'Lark before it could do anything dumb, getting back his Tarmogoyf in the process.
David Williams isn't playing Mono-Red.
With Williams again gaining the offensive upper hand, Scheel was forced to wipe the board with a second Firespout. His deck is incredibly well-suited to recovering after a wipe of the board, since all it really takes is a Reveillark or Body Double to get the ball rolling. Apparently, Williams's deck was well-suited to recovering after a Firespout, too, since he just played a Wren's Run Vanquisher and a Tarmogoyf to replace the creatures he had just lost. Scheel, as has become the theme so far this game, just untapped and played a thirdFirespout to clear the board yet again.
Now that Scheel had burned through three of his Firespouts, Williams finally found an opportunity: the Chameleon Colossus that would have lived through them. The Colossus wasn't late, just waiting for the right time to make a fashionable entrance. Unfortunately, its entrance drew the attentions of a little lady named the Sower of Temptation, and the Colossus decided to go party with her.
Williams wasn't ready to let go, though, and a Profane Command killed the Sower and returned his Tarmogoyf to play. That left the path clear for two Mutavaults to drop Scheel to 9. Scheel had blown through all of his control at this point and was forced to draw his card and pass the turn. When Williams came over to end things on the next turn, Scheel packed up his cards.
After the game, Scheel admitted that he had kept a hand that was a little iffy against Dave's green-black deck. "This is usually a good matchup for me, but I kept a suspect hand. I kept a hand that was good against mono-red. I thought he was playing that since it was what he was playing around with last night." It turns out that both players had made assumptions before the first game about their opponent's deck, and being wrong ended up costing Scheel the game.
David Williams defeats Brandon Scheel 2-0.