Round 18: Ken Krouner vs. Anton Jonsson
This situation is familiar ground for Anton Jonsson, who has had a breakout season with two Pro Tour Top 8s, and a Top 8 at Euros. A win here would put him in contention for Top 8, and would be a great way to cap off his season. On the other hand, Krouner has never played in front of the cameras, although he came very close at US Nationals where he came in ninth on tiebreakers. This is his opportunity to make it there for the first time, and in the most prestigious tournament of the year. Today's tournament has certainly been a roller coaster for Ken, as he started off 0-3 before going 12-0, which was followed by 0-2.
Krouner- "I haven't planned for winning or losing. My reaction is going to be off the cuff."
Ed Fear-"I'll stand back then."
Jonsson opened with Suntail Hawk, and followed up by spitting out Tireless Tribe and Spurmage Advocate. Krouner played a second turn Quiet Speculation, getting three Roar of the Wurm. The three white dorks attacked for three on the next turn, and Jonsson did not have a turn three play. Battle Screech was cast on turn four and Enveloped, while another three points of damage got through. With four mana on the table, Krouner flashed back the Roar. The Hawk attacked for one in the air, and Jonsson cast a second Battle Screech, summoned Tireless Tribe, and flashed back both to bring his bird token total to six. A second Roar was flashed back, while the first Wurm stayed back. Jonsson's bird army finished the job, while Spurmage Advocate and Tireless Tribe took care of the Wurm problem on the ground.
Krouner- 0 Jonsson- 1
Krouner cast a second turn Mongrel, and Jonsson played a Quiet Speculation of his own, getting two Deep Analysis and Battle Screech. Krouner brought out Werebear, and Jonsson summoned Dogged Hunter. Mental Note put Grizzly Fate into Krouner's graveyard, and his team attacked for three. Jonsson cast a Deep Analysis out of the graveyard, played Suntail Hawk, and decided not to flash back the Screech. On end step, Aether Burst bounced the Hunter, and Krouner attacked for nine, discarding Roar, Moment's Peace and a land to his Mongrel to get threshold. Roar was flashed back right away, putting some significant pressure on Jonsson. The tempo advantage proved to be too much, and it was off to Game 3.
Krouner- 1 Jonsson- 1
Krouner's opening draw contained no land, and he mulliganed to six. Jonsson came right out the gate with Spurmage Advocate and Suntail Hawk, while Krouner had Werebear. Tireless Tribe added to Jonsson's side, and Krouner summoned Wonder. Jonsson simply played another Hawk and passed the turn. Mental Note milled off Krosan Reclamation, which was followed by Werebear hitting the table. A second Spurmage Advocate joined Jonsson's team, which was being held off entirely by Wonder. Krouner tapped seven mana and hard cast Roar of the Wurm, but Jonsson had Envelop.
Luckily, Krouner had the answer in his graveyard. He untapped, flashed back the Reclamation on Glory, and made a Wurm. Jonsson had a third Hawk and still couldn't attack without devastating his side. It didn't help that Jonsson had yet to draw a fourth land. Krouner tapped seven and hard cast another Roar, and did not attack due to Jonsson's Advocate. This put Krouner into a weird position, where he could be forced to trade a Wurm for two Mental Notes. Both Wurms attacked, and all of Jonsson's creatures ganged up on one of the 6/6 monsters. Before damage, Krouner Aether Bursted Spurmage Advocate, and the other one killed off the unblocked Wurm. Jonsson had Prismatic Strands to save his creatures, and Krouner went back to work, making another Wurm. .
Jonsson replayed the bounced Advocate and played another. He followed up by discarding Battle Screech and flashing it back. Oh, for want of a fourth land. Krouner untapped, thought for a bit, and cast Mental Note. It put Reclamation into his graveyard, and Aether Burst bounced the only untapped Advocate. This also gave Krouner threshold, making his two Werebears 4/4. Both Wurms attacked, and Prismatic Strands was flashed back to save Jonsson for at least a turn. This was followed by a threshold Grizzly Fate, putting Jonsson into a really bad position.
Jonsson attacked with three Hawks and two bird tokens with a shrug. Wonder blocked and killed one, and Krouner went down to eight life points. He then untapped, thought for a while, and attacked with two Wurms and four Bears. One Advocate killed a Wurm, bringing back Roar of the Wurm and a land, while the other Advocate brought back Reclamation and Mental Note to take care of the other 6/6. The four bears got through for eight damage, and Grizzly Fate was flashed back to make another four bears. Jonsson finally drew his fourth land at this point, and attacked with four 1/1 flying creatures. One died in blocking, and Prismatic Strands saved the one that was blocked. This brought Krouner down to five. Strands was flashed back on Krouner's upkeep to stop a lethal attack, and buy Jonsson a turn. The board became even more obscene, with two more 4/4 Werebears entering the fray.
Jonsson tapped on his deck, and drew his card.
Krouner- "This is for all the glory!"
Instead it was Battle Screech. Krouner was at five, and Jonsson only had four fliers without summoning sickness on the table. However, he did have a lethal flying attack in play for the next turn. The trick would be surviving the onslaught from Krouner's massive green army. After some contemplation, Krouner sent everyone into the Red Zone. Ten minutes of thinking, a whole lot of blockers and some Advocate shots later brought Jonsson down to one life point, but left him with only three creatures on the table. The fact that Jonsson was even able to survive that attack is a testament to his playskill, but it was all for naught. Krouner made yet another four bears, Jonsson drew a card, and extended his hand.
Final Result: Krouner- 2 Jonsson- 1
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