Round 6 Feature Match: Being Zvi Mowshowitz vs. The Farm
by Mark Wraith
Both of these teams were on 3-1-1 going into this round, and thus needed to win to progress to the next round, a draw would be of no use to either. The matchups here were
Eric Phillips Blue/Black versus Marius Johnsen Red/Blue
Matt Linde White/Black versus Sigurd Eskeland White/Blue
Brock Parker Red/Green versus Oyvind Odegaard Green/Black
Team being Zvi Mowshowitz is comprised of players who were more well-known in the past. Apart from Matt Linde, they don't play so much any more, but Brock Parker has also had some good results in the past year. The Farm are comprised of Norwegians, with their best known player being Sigurd Eskeland.
In the Parker - Odegaard match, Oyvind gains a significant early advantage. He has evasion creatures in the form of Belbe's Percher, and Rathi Intimidator. The ground is stalled with a Silverglade elemental of Oyvind's up against Brock's Thresher Beast. Brock would be able to get out of the situation, but he can find no red mana to go with the Thundercalp and Flowstone Strike in his hand. Oyvind finds yet another evasion creature with a Cateran Enforcer, and facing eight points a turn of unblockable damage, Brock is forced to concede.
In game two both players play assorted green creatures to start, but Brock's hand is too land heavy. When Oyvind eventually draws a swamp, he is able to remove two of Brock's creatures and reduce him to Rushwood Dryad. Despite this fact he still has a chance. The Rushwood Dryad has reduced Oyvind to twelve, and Brock has an Invigorate and a Rhystic Lightning. This means that the Dryad will need to attack only twice more to win the game, and he has enough mana left over to cast a chump blocker for the Thresher Beast. Oyvind is unfortunately only able to reduce Brock to one, and Brock's solitary creature wins him the game.
Oyvind has a similar start to game three as he did in game one, with a Belbe's Percher and a Rathi Intimidator. These rapidly reduce Brock's life total, but Oyvind is also taking damage from a Hired Giant, and a Rushwood Dryad. Brock has a Rhox in his hand, and is waiting for Oyvind to use his Seal of Doom before casting it. Unfortunately for him, Oyvind immediately draws his Snuff Out, killing the Rhox. Brock is forced to chump and goes down the next turn.
Eric Phillips gets off to a slow start in his first game, doing nothing for the first five turns except Withdraw Marius' creatures. He then starts to play creatures, with a Stronghold Zeppelin, and a Cateran Enforcer. Marius has only a Whip Sergeant and a Kyren Sniper, and Eric finishes him off quickly with the two creatures. Despite his slow start, Eric won very quickly once he got going.
In game two Eric's opening hand is very land heavy. He has a Maggot Therapy, a Stronghold Zeppelin. His draws after this are much better, though, topdecking a Cateran Enforcer, and using it to fetch a Cateran Kidnappers. Marius is short on mana and cannot deal with these at all, after his Cinder Elemental is Vicious hungered.
So the Match comes down to the final game - Sigurd Eskeland versus Matt Linde. The first game is a typical white on white match, with Rebels everywhere and a seemingly hopeless stall in play. However, while Sigurd does little on each of his turns, Matt still keeps the pressure up, with first a Charmed Griffin, then a Cho-Manno, Revolutionary, and a Noble Purpose. Matt has a Vendetta, Avatar of Woe, and a Cho-Arrim Bruiser in his hand. Once the Bruiser comes out, Sigurd's position starts to decline. He doesn't have sufficient creatures to block. Sigurd deicdes that, although he hasn't lost just yet, his position is so bad that he will eventually lose, and since he now needs to win the next two games, he concedes with 27 minutes left in the round.
Matt is forced to mulligan in game two, but it doesn't seem to have had much effect on his game, as he plays a Fresh Volunteer, and gets his rebel engine going with a Defiant Falcon. Sigurds own rebel chain is delayed once his Ramosian Sergeant meets a Vendetta. Matt's rebel chain is not enough to cause Sigurd any real problems, and when the game again, seemingly inevitably, stalls, Sigurd plays out a Blockade Runner, a Crooked Scales, and an Avatar of Hope! With time fast running out on the round, Sigurd speeds through his remaining turns, dealing eight damage over four turns with a Blockade Runner.
Unfortunately for both teams, only five minutes is remaining at the end of this game, and after they have finished shuffling, less than four. They both realize that they are unlikely to get through without a victory, and so play at a very rapid pace, but neither plays draws anything to break the stall, and the game peters out to a draw, despite Sigurd's best attempt to again finish Matt off with a Blockade Runner.
The Farm draw 1-1-1 with Being Zvi Mowshowitz
The Farm did indeed miss out on day two (finishing 36th), but Being Zvi Mowshowitz scraped through in 32nd the last berth that makes it through to the draft.