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Round 4: Darwin Kastle vs. Brian Kibler


Before his round 4 feature match began, Darwin Kastle explained to me that during playtesting Rob Dougherty had nicknamed the deck Kastle was running "Spawn of Kibler," which was particularly ironic since Brian Kibler was Kastle's opponent this round. Kastle wouldn't tell me exactly what was in the deck, or what his name for it was, because he wasn't sure if Kibler knew what exactly he was playing. That meant I got to guess along with Kibler as the match developed.

During the early turns of game 1 Kastle's deck looked like a farily straight-forward red-green beasts deck. He played out Wirewood Elf, followed by Ravenous Baloth and then a Contested Cliffs. The Cliffs picked off Kibler's own Wirewood Elves, but that didn't hurt him much because he had already played two different copies of Explosive Vegetation and had all the land he could want.

I knew Kibler was running both Silvos and Akroma so that Baloth wasn't actually all that large and I was starting to think it would be funny if Kastle was running a fatty deck that had been named in honor of Kibler, but that was actually going to turn out to have smaller creatures than the ones in Kibler's own deck.

However, that's when Kastle showed me just how appropriate his deck's name really was: he played a Kilnmouth Dragon and revealed three other dragons from his hand. Suddenly Kastle had a 14/14 dragon in play versus the Dragon-meister and Kastle's dragon could even tap to deal 9!

"Now would be a good time to cast Vengeance," said Kastle to Kibler. Kibler agreed and followed up with a Windborn Muse. Kastle only had six lands so the Muse prevented Rorix from attacking on the next turn, but after that Kastle dropped a second Kilnmouth, revealing two dragons and turning it into an 11/11. Kibler never did find an answer to the second Kilnmouth. He did have Silvos, but it wasn't big enough to race Rorix plus Kilnmouth so Kibler was forced to just play out Exalted Angels and hope that Kastle would let him chump block with them. Meanwhile Kastle had a pair of Imperial Hellkites left in his hand which he was holding back in case Kibler found a second copy of Akroma's Vengeance. He didn't.

Between games Kastle explained that his name for the deck was "The Claw." Not surprisingly, Kibler preferred "Spawn of Kibler."

In Game 2 it was Kastle's turn to burst of the gates with Wirewood Elf and "veggies," but unlike Kibler in game 1, Kastle actually had some gas to follow up with: turn 4 Rorix. Kibler did have a Pacifism for Rorix, but Kastle had a Naturalize for the Pacifismand he had another 14/14 Kilnmouth Dragon. Meanwhile Kibler couldn't find the fourth land he needed for Explosive Vegetation ... with 20-power worth of dragons versus a mana-screwed opponent, Kastle was somehow able to pull it out.

After the game the two players were arguing about who would have won if Kibler had actually been able to ramp up to six mana. Kibler revealed a hand with Akroma, Akroma's Vengeance, and Silvos; but Kastle showed off three dragons (including a back-up Kilnmouth) and a pair of Silklash Spiders.

Final Result: Kastle - 2, Kibler - 0

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