Email a friend Printer Friendly

Round 14: Brian Hegstad vs. Alex Shvartsman


The day has just begun, but it is already do or die time for these two players. Brian Hegstad, a member of last year's championship Team USA, is playing the mono-black Mirari deck tuned by Brian Kibler for the Mini-Colony. Alex Shvarstman, now of Your Move Games, is playing a blue/green threshold Quiet Speculation deck that tries to win by generating large quantities of creatures.

Both players had two-drops to start the first game—Hegstad's a Nantuko Shade and Shvartsman's the less-impressive Werebear. Hegstad swung in for three, and then Shvartsman used the bear to accelerate out the ultra-nasty Phantom Centaur. Hegstad cast Tainted Pact, keeping Mirari, and then untapped and Mutilated the board clean.

Shvartsman had a second Centaur in hand but no second green source with which to cast it. He put out a Millikin, and then Hegstad forced him to discard the rest of his hand, including the Centaur, with a Mind Sludge.

Hegstad continued setting up for the long game, putting out the Mirari and then copying a Diabolic Tutor to get another Tutor and a Haunting Echoes. Shvartsman peeled a Grizzly Fate and put four bear tokens into play, which got one hit in on Hegstad. Hegstad then cast Mutilate and Haunting Echoes in the same turn, but Shvartsman had a Krosan Reclamation in his graveyard, which meant the Grizzly Fates and his Quiet Speculations would not be removed from the game.

It didn't really matter, as a string of copied Tutors and Tainted Pacts netted Hegstad a ton of extra cards, and eventually a Nantuko Shade and a Faceless Butcher did Shvartsman in.

Hegstad 1 – Shvartsman 0

Shvartsman sideboarded in the "anti-Edict package" and started out with an Acorn Harvest, a Squirrel Nest, and a Grizzly Fate. Hegstad was backpedaling, trying to stay alive with a bunch of one-for-one spells like Innocent Blood.

He eventually got his Mirari down and trapped a Werebear under a Faceless Butcher, but Shvartsman had Upheaval and reset the board. Hegstad couldn't regroup before a Phantom Centaur came down with other, less relevant creatures to suck up the Edicts.

Hegstad 1 – Shvartsman 1

Shvartsman had no green mana to start the third game, and could only set up by casting two Quiet Speculations and a couple Mental Notes, emptying his library of Roar of the Wurm and Grizzly Fate. Hegstad had all the time in the world to draw the right spells, and he did so, Sledging away Shvartsman's hand, leaving him with a packed graveyard, no hand, and four Islands in play.

Shvartsman drew a card and said go. Hegstad went to end the game with a Haunting Echoes, but the one card Shvartsman drew was Envelop.

"That was the best draw ever."

Hegstad put out a Grotesque Hybrid and hoped to kill Shvartsman before he could recover, but Alex drew a forest on the next turn and started making Wurm tokens.

Hegstad put out the Mirari and began the sickening stream of Tutoring, but Shvartsman drew a second forest and started adding bears to his army of wurms. Shvartsman took the offensive, running his array of tokens into the Hybrid and getting Hegstad's life low.

Hegstad had one opportunity to recover: he needed either a Coffers, an Echoes, or a Mutilate in his hand and had to Tutor/Mirari for the other two. He Mirari'd the Tutor, and got a Coffers and the Echoes, and then took a big hit from Shvartsman's team down to 2 life.

Shvartsman, with one card in hand, chose not to play out any more creatures. Hegstad untapped, Mutilated the board away, and then cast Haunting Echoes with Mirari to play around Envelop. Shvartsman's deck was reduced to a single Werebear, two Squirrel Nests, two Upheavals, and some land.

He played the Werebear and Hegstad trapped it under a Butcher. If Shvartsman could draw Upheaval, he would with the game with the Werebear, as Hegastad was out of Innocent Bloods. But a Nantuko Shade came down and killed Alex in two turns, ending the dream.

Final Result: Hegstad 2 – Shvarstman 1

2002 Worlds (OBC): Mono Black Control
Brian Hegstad
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

Cabal Coffers
22  Swamp

26 lands

Faceless Butcher
Nantuko Shade

4 creatures
Chainer's Edict
Diabolic Tutor
Haunting Echoes
Innocent Blood
Mind Sludge
Rancid Earth
Skeletal Scrying
Tainted Pact

30 other spells
Worlds 2002 (OBC): Quiet Speculation
Alex Shvartsman
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

Centaur Garden
12  Island

23 lands

Phantom Centaur

10 creatures
Careful Study
Grizzly Fate
Krosan Reclamation
Mental Note
Moment's Peace
Quiet Speculation
Roar of the Wurm

27 other spells

Aaron Forsythe was a professional Magic player and Internet columnist prior to leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to join Wizards of the Coast. His first duty here was Content Manager of this very website, a job that required him to do actual work as opposed to playing games all the time. So when a position opened in R&D, he jumped at the chance. He is now director of Magic R&D, and still plays Magic in his free time when he's not busy playing Magic.

Respond to Aaron Forsythe via email Respond via email Aaron Forsythe archive Aaron Forsythe archive

What is Magic?
2008 Regionals