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Round 5: Tommi Hovi vs. Dave Montreuil

Toby Wachter

Tommi Hovi vs. Dave Montreuil

Dave Montreuil's story is one of the more interesting ones to come out of Magic this year. Montreuil, a Canadian, moved to Switzerland this year. He then proceeded to win Switzerland's National championship, and place second in the European Championships. Montreuil is a musician, who was able to put his winnings to good use, making his transcontinental move a little more comfortable. He is now back in his home country, participating in the World Championships. Montreuil is using monored, the same deck that he played to his second place performance at Euros.

While shuffling, Montreuil turned to me and mentioned, "I was saying I wanted a Feature Match. I wanted to say hi to the people back home again!"

Game 1

Hovi played first and opened with Underground River, while Montreuil played a mountain. Goblin Raider was summoned on turn two, and attacked on the following turn. Seal of Fire was then played, along with a second Raider, which was Absorbed. This was not as good as usual for Hovi, who had to take two damage from pain lands to cast the Absorb. Montreuil summoned Goblin Elite Infantry to increase the size of his army on the following turn. Hovi played Fact or Fiction on end step, and the piles presented were Probe/Gerrard's Verdict and Salt Marsh/Dromar's Cavern/Dromar's Charm. Hovi took the two card pile and untapped.

The Verdict was now played, and Montreuil discarded Shock and Volcanic Hammer. Hovi was not done, and tapped out to kill off the Raider with Vindicate. Montreuil took full advantage of the situation, and played Blood Oath. He thought about the cards he knew Hovi had, and named sorceries. Hovi showed two Probes, and went down to nine, before an Infantry attack brought him to seven.

Probe with kicker now stripped Montreuil of the Volcanic Hammer in his hand, while Hovi discarded a Nether Spirit, which would hold off the Infantry. At this point, Hovi had the game stabilized, and played another Probe with kicker. Montreuil had one card in hand, and played Urza's Rage with kicker in response, which caused Hovi to play Dromar's Charm to gain five life. This left Hovi tapped out once again, and Montreuil tapped his deck hoping for a good threat. He drew Fire, and used it on Hovi to bring him to an uncomfortable four life points.

Tommi Hovi

Hovi untapped and played Fact or Fiction on main phase, and the piles presented were two Wrath of God/Verdict and two lands. Hovi took the three card pile, and played Verdict on himself to gain six life, bringing him to ten. The following turn saw Hovi Wrath away the Infantry, which meant that his Nether Spirit would come back on the following turn, and get to work in the Red Zone. Montreuil cast Chimeric Idol to stop the bleeding, and the Nether Spirit was now held back for the time being. A second Idol came out on the following turn and resolved.

Dismantling Blow was played with kicker on the end step, taking out one of the Idols. Hovi untapped and played Verdict on himself yet again, gaining six more life. At this point, Hovi had the game well under his control, but still needed to clear the way for his kill condition, or at least draw into Dromar. A Fact or Fiction revealed the 6/6 Dragon, and it was put into a pile along with a land, while Probe, Fact or Fiction and Dismantling Blow were in the other. Hovi decided to take the Dragon, and go for the kill. Montreuil tried to get Blood Oath to resolve, but Hovi was ready with Memory Lapse.

Dromar was now summoned, and things looked quite bad for Montreuil. He replayed Blood Oath, which was Memory Lapsed once again. Vindicate took out the Idol, and Dromar along with Nether Spirit put an eight damage dent in Montreuil. Hovi showed a hand filled with answers, but Montreuil was not ready to concede. He played Blood Oath for the third time, and it was countered. This was enough to convince Montreuil to concede.

Hovi- 0 Montreuil- 1

Game 2

Montreuil started off with a first turn Kris Mage, while Hovi did not play a land on his first turn, and instead discarded Nether Spirit. It came into play on the following upkeep, and Hovi played a Salt Marsh. Montreuil missed his second land drop, and at this point things looked bleak. Hovi was not missing any land drops, and Montreuil's only option was to shoot Hovi for one every turn. A second mountain finally showed up, and Hovi used Wrath of God to clear the board. Hovi played Probe with kicker on the next turn, and Montreuil discarded Dodecapod along with Chimeric Idol. A Raider and Dodecapod attacked, and the Spirit blocked the 5/5 monster.

Yet another Probe with kicker was now played, leaving Montreuil with no hand while Hovi had plenty of cards. Seal of Fire was used to kill off Nether Spirit, clearing the way for Montreuil's team to attack for ten damage. Vindicate killed off Dodecapod, and Dromar's Charm was used to gain five life. Montreuil now only had one card in hand, and played Fact or Fiction. Montreuil took a risk and put Dromar's Charm in one pile, and four other spells in the other. He played Blood Oath before Hovi could take his turn, but it was countered with Memory Lapse.

Dave Montreuil

Hovi now untapped, and used Verdict on himself to gain life. With the game entirely under his control, he continued to draw more cards with Fact or Fiction, while Montreuil's attempts at dealing a significant amount of damage were stopped with countermagic. Last Breath and Vindicate took out Montreuil's team, and Nether Spirit went to work. A second Spirit soon joined, increasing Hovi's clock. Montreuil answered back with Chimeric Idol and Kris Mage, and seemed to have the table held down for the time being. However, Hovi attacked with both Spirits, and used Dromar's Charm during combat to kill off the Idol and keep his Nether Spirit alive. He then used another Verdict on himself to gain six life.

Last Breath eliminated the Kris Mage, and Montreuil was once again left with no non-land permanents on the board. Blaster Mage was summoned, and resolved. It blocked a Nether Spirit for a turn, and Montreuil followed up by playing Urza's Rage on the other Spirit, which meant Hovi would have to look for a different win condition. Meanwhile, Kris Mage was in play, and slowly depleting Hovi's life total with every turn. A Verdict targeted Montreuil, who discarded a land and Dodecapod. Hovi had the answer in Wrath of God, and the potential problem was now taken care of. Probe with kicker a turn later forced Montreuil to lose his hand, but one of those cards was Dodecapod.

Hovi thought for a bit, and tapped out to play Dromar and Seal of Cleansing. Dromar then attacked for six damage, and Dismantling Blow was played with kicker to take out Dodecapod. Another Nether Spirit joined Hovi's team, and the game was soon over.

Final Result: Hovi- 2 Montreuil- 0

After the game ended, Montreuil commented, "Teaches me to keep a one land hand."

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