by Elaine Chase
The Gary Wise vs. Aaron Forsythe match promised to be quick one way or another. Both were packing aggressive creature decks. Forsythe's red/green deck was filled with the usual assortment of big common creatures and contained a splash of white for a few control spells. Wise's deck had a full complement of Mercenaries with plenty of ways to pull them out of the deck in addition to the beefy trio of Derelach, Ascendent Envencar, and Volrath the Fallen.
Wise started out strong by playing Cateran Summons for a Rathi Intimidator on turn one. Neither player was able to do anything but play land before Wise played the Intimidator on turn three. Forsythe put out a Flowstone Wall on his turn. Wise proceeded to serve for 2 with the Intimidator and then played a Cateran Kidnapper. The threats started to build on the other side of the table when Forsythe played a Keldon Berserker. After attacking with the Intimidator, Wise played one of the three Rhystic Syphons he had drafted, bringing Forsythe down to 11 and putting himself significantly ahead in life at 25. Forsythe continued to build up threats by playing a Vintara Elephant on his turn before attacking with the Berserker for 5, bringing Wise back down to 20. Wise attacked again with the Intimidator before dropping Volrath on the table. Since Wise was tapped out and unable to activate Volrath's ability to discard a creature card to pump up its power and toughness, Forsythe put a Treetop Bracer on the Berserker and then attacked with both the Berserker an the Vintara Elephant. Wise blocked the Elephant with the Cateran Kidnapper. Forsythe played Wild Might on the Elephant, and was able to smash through for 13, bringing Wise down to 7. Wise attacked with Volrath and the Intimidator, forcing Forsyth to block Volrath with his wall. Wise then dropped a Death Charmer to keep as a blocker. Forsythe came back swinging by attacking with the Berserker for 6, dumping his mana by making the Elephant lose trample twice. At one life, Wise attacked back with Volrath, while holding back both the Charmer and the Intimidator in case Forsythe pulled out his Living Terrain next turn. Volrath was blocked by the Elephant and ate a spinal thug from Wise's hand to survive. On his turn Forsythe played a Monkey Cage. Wise responded by gating with the Intimidator for a Mishapened Fiend. With nothing else to do, Forsythe ended his turn and was promptly attacked by Volrath and the Intimidator. He blocked Volrath with the Berserker and dropped to 5 life. On his turn, Forsythe played a Spore Frog, which created one lonely Monkey token. During the end step, Wise killed off the Frog with a Steal Strength, and Forsythe conceded.
The second game had a slow start with both players only laying land until Wise played a Rathi Intimidator on turn three. Considering the amount of damage the Intimidator did in game one, Forsythe was less than thrilled. He followed by paying Spore Frog, which wasn't quite the turn-four play he was hoping for. Wise attacked with the Intimidator and then played Rathi Fiend, bringing the life score to 17-15. Forsythe killed off the Fiend immediately with Ryhstic Lightning and then served for 1 with the Frog on his turn. With nothing else to do, Forsythe ended his turn and was beaten down to 13 by the Intimidator. Wise then played a Catearen Kidnapper. Forsythe was able to Topple the Kidnapper on his turn, and then set the Frog loose for another point of damage. Wise continued the Intimidator beatings, and then played both a Belbe's Percher and a Misapened Fiend. Still unable to get anything on the table, Forsythe attacks with the Frog again. Wise retaliates by attacking for 5 with the Intimidator, Percher, and Fiend. At 6 life, Forsythe finally draws something and plays Living Terrain on his Plain. Since it was no use as a blocker, Forsythe attacked with the Plain and the Frog, bringing Wise down to 8 life. Never letting up, Wise attacks again with the Percher, Intimidator, and Fiend, causing Forsythe to sacrifice his Frog. Wise then dropped a random blocker. Forsythe played a Keldon Beserker, which was also unable to stop Wise's hoard of evasion creatures. Wise continued to beat down with the Percher, Intimidator, and Fiend, bringing Forsythe down to just one life. Adding insult to injury, Wise then Severed Souled the Living Terrained Plain, making the score 14-1. On his turn, Forsythe played a Monkey Cage and then conceded.
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