Grand Prix Copenhagen 2000

Round 4
Feature match
Alex Shvartsman vs. Brian Hacker

This match-up pits two of the travelling Americans against each other, Hacker is 3-0 with two byes and a match win and Shvartsman is playing his first duel after three rounds of byes. Alex is not very confident in his deck and will rely on winning early as he does not have many bombs. Both players are playing three colour decks Shvartsman with B/W/u and Hacker with U/R/w

Game one
Alex wins the roll and elects to play first. Both players drop unfair Spellshapers with Alex leading with his Undertaker and Brian replying with a Waterfront Bouncer. Next turn Alex attacks with his Undertaker offering Brian the trade which Brian declines. Next turn Brian replies with his own attack and drops a Flowstone armour which is the start of Alex problems. Alex drops Bog Smugglers and attacks with the Undertaker again. Brian plays a Shock Troops on his turn and when Alex tries to attack on his turn Brian attempts to two for one, blocking the attacking Bog Smugglers and sacrificing the troops to attempt to kill the uUndertaker. Alex reacts to sacrifice by tapping the Undertaker to cast Ramosian Rally saving the Smugglers. After the attack Alex plays an Alabaster Wall.

Brian prevents Alex from gaining the momentum by dropping a Ridgeline Rager on his turn he does not have the mana to pump it in order to trade with Alex's Smuggler on the next attack. Alex follows up this attack with a Murderous Betrayal. Things quiet down for a while as Brian's Bouncer makes it hard for Alex to either attack or use his Murderous Betrayal. Things heat up again when Brian activates his Flowstone Armour on Alex's Alabaster Wall at the end of Alex's turn. Brain follows up on his turn with Gerrard's Irregulars an attacks with them, Alex blocks with his Smugglers, and Brian tries to kill them by assigning three to them and one to Alex, preventing Alex from saving them with the Alabaster Wall. Alex instead, uses Cho-Mannos Blessing to keep the Smugglers alive. Could the Smugglers go all theway? Alex seems to think so and uses the Murderous Betrayal to get rid of Brian's Bouncer and attacks with the Smugglers again next turn. After this however things get out of his control as Brian proceeds to drop a creature on the next two, on which Alex is forced to use his Murderous Betrayal taking himself down to four and then two life. When Brian lays a Glider and a Cloudskate in the same turn Alex has no answer and dies next turn as he can only use the Murderous Betrayal to kill one of them. Alex was mildly screwed in that game after failing to draw his second white until turn seven and never really seeing his blue splash.

Game Two
Game two sees Brian getting a more aggressive draw forcing Alex on to the defensive after using Flowstone Armour to kill and early Cateran Persuader. Alex's Murderous Betrayal again sees play but Alex can't seem to draw anything but land. The main turning point of the game hinges around an attack by Brian. Brian attacks with a Scoria Cat, Battle Squadron and a Nightwind Glider. Alex's defences consist of a WindScouter, which Alex finally got the island to play last turn, and an Alabaster Wall. The Windscouter blocks the Battle squadron and the Wall blocks the Cat, which Alex then kills with his Murderous Betrayal in an Effort to kill the squadron with his Windscouter. Brian responds by lunging the Windscouter and the Alex replies by casting Ramosian Rally and preventing the damage with the Alabaster Wall but Brain finishes the Windscouter off with a Flowstone Strike. At the end of this exchange Brian had the upper hand with Alex down to eight due to using the Betrayal and his Nightwind Glider still in play. After nibbling away at Alex for a while with the Glider at a point a time due to Alex's Alabaster wall, Brian drops an Outrigger with Brain at four life. A Stinging Barrier follows this up and Alex is dead next turn.

Hacker wins 2-0

- Tarik Brown

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