by Randy Buehler
Mike Long sat down with a 9-1 career record in Duplicate Sealed and shuffled up the only 2-color deck in the field. Pat Chapin sat across from him and took game 1. Mike switched to a black/red/green deck after sideboarding. His decision looked pretty good when he busted out turn 4 Reclusive Wight. After Pat used Being an Evil Minion Sucks to kill it, Mike responded with turn 7 Mutated Cockroach. Chapin was soon forced to start chump blocking, but he managed to stay alive just long enough to draw Wall of Schizophrenia and trade with the Cockroach. Meanwhile Pat's Swamp mosquito was slowly poisoning Mike to death. Chapin stabilized the ground and got Mike to 9 poison counters, but Mike top-decked Surge of Strength and attacked for the kill. Chapin could have survived the trample damage if he had thought about Surge of Strength before blocking, however, Chapin blocked in the one way that gave Mike a chance to win. Oops. Pat is actually quite ill and has been swigging from a bottle of Benadryl all day. In game 3 Pat used Illusionary Wall to hold off Mike's forces long enough for Swamp Mosquito to fly over 7 times. Then Pat used the card selection of Forbidden Crypt to hold Mike off for 3 more turns and win the match with that Swamp Mosquito.
Darwin Kastle got some chuckles from the crowd by playing a turn 4 Security Detail against Jon Finkel. Finkel wasn't laughing when Darwin showed played a Tooth and Claw and demonstrated a pretty cool combo: sac my creatures to get a 3/1 from Tooth and Claw and as a response put another 1/1 into play. Jon did draw his Dracoplasm along with his one Mountain, but Darwin killed it with Too...Many...Words and eventually swooped in for the kill using Opalescence. However, Jon had the last laugh in game 3 when he created a big Dracoplasm. Darwin had Too...Many...Words ready to kill it, but Jon announced to the assembled crowd "I Don't Think So!", countered the enchantment, and attacked for the kill on the next turn.
Gary Wise won game 1 against Nicolai Herzog in about 3 minutes thanks to a Dracoplasm of his own. Nicolai then took about 3 times that long to sideboard into a completely different deck and proceeded to win both sideboarded games against Gary, dropping Gary and his "limited skillz" to 0-2.
Dirk Baberowski used Wood Sage very aggressively against Zvi Mowshowitz, naming "Dracoplasm" every time. He eventually found it, but Zvi had 2 ways to deal with it and Dirk ended up getting decked. Dirk used Song of Serenity to hold Zvi off in game 2, but Harmonic Convergence allowed Zvi to win anyway.
The match between Kai Budde and Koichiro Maki was all about Femeref Enchantress. Kai drew it in game 1, proceeded to draw all but one card in his library, and then finally found the Rolling Stones that he needed to allow him to attack with Illusionary Wall. Koichiro worked Kai with Enchantress card advantage in game 2, but in game 3 it was Kai who got the early Enchantress that allowed him to pull out the match.
Jakub Slemr rolled to 2-0 with a sweep of Steve O'Mahoney-Schwartz while Chris Pikula swept Dave Price to get himself to 2-0 as well.
The match of the round, though, was definitely the match between Brian Hacker and Dave Humpherys. Hacker seemed to have the deciding game in hand when he pulled off the Donate-Conspiracy combo (naming "Walls") while Humpherys had no cards in his hand. However, Humpherys promptly drew Rolling Stones off the top of his deck! Wow. And then to add insult to injury, Dave drew opalescence on his next turn and attacked Hacker's with Brian's own Conspiracy!
Going into round 3 there were 4 2-0's and 4 0-2's. Humpherys, Pikula, Slemr, and Finkel were undefeated while Wise, Price, Hacker, and Kastle were still looking for their first match win.
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