Sunday, Sept. 9: 12:30 p.m. - Round 8: Josh Rider vs. Nick Page
by Josh Bennett
"I brought my wax, in case I make top 8." And then he gave his moustache a twirl. I'm not exaggerating. He gathered the corner of his moustache, and twisted it, impishly.
Page sent back his first seven, and Rider did the same. His six were no better.
"And there goes the crowd." - Josh Rider
After all those mulligans it was slow going. Page played a third-turn Chronatog Totem. Rider had a Spiketail Drakeling, and allowed Page to have his Primal Plasma. It became a 2/2 Flier. Rider swung in and Page attempted a trade, but Rider had Brute Force for the save. Page upgraded to Whipspine Drake, but Rider had Stingscourger to send it home.
Page played a plains and a morph, pretending like it wasn't the Drake. Rider paid to keep his Stingscourger and passed the turn. Page flipped his Drake over, and tapped six for Reality Strobe on the Drakeling. Rider shrugged and countered it. He replaced it with Prodigal Pyromancer.
And then began a parade of enormous monsters from Page. First there was a kicked up Kavu Primarch. Then, Imperiosaur. A Havenwood Wurm was enough to convince Rider to move to Game 2.
Page 1 - Rider 0
Again the players started with Drakeling and Chronatog Totem. Rider added a morph and hit for two, then Lightning Axed Page's Whipspine Drake. He untapped, swung in, and unmorphed a 5/1 Aquamorph Entity, hoping to make a quick game of it.
Page untapped and showed him Piracy Charm, cutting down his hopes. The Drakeling was sacrificed to stop an incoming Havenwood Wurm. When Page passed again on seven mana, Rider said "I was told the second one was the real surprise." Page obliged him by playing it, then followed up with a kicked Kavu Primarch.
Rider had meanwhile dug with Fathom Seer and set up a Flamecore Elemental as fall guy. His only hope was that he'd peel a plains to go with his emergency sideboard plan of Teferi's Moat, but Page removed even that hope with Tromp the Domains.
"Such is my life." - Josh Rider
Nick Page defeats Josh Rider 2-0
Sunday, Sept. 9: 1:29 p.m. - Round 9: Yi Cheng vs. Matt Vienneau
by Josh Bennett
Cheng started with a Thornwield Archer and a Poultice Sliver. Vienneau suspended a Giant Dustwasp and then put out Grinning Ignus, trading for the Sliver. Cheng replaced it with Pallid Mycoderm. Vienneau played Llanowar Empath, fetching another Ignus. Cheng hit with the Mycoderm, but made no play on his five mana.
Vienneau attacked for two and played his Ignus. This time Cheng sent both his men, using Dawn Charm to save his Archer from the Ignus, but he still had no more men to add to the board. Vienneau's Dustwasp came into play, joined by Wormwood Dryad and a 3/3 Storm Entity, and he crashed in for eight. Cheng had Judge Unworthy for the Wasp. Luck was not with him. His top three were misses, and the fourth was a land.
Arc Blade took care of the Archer, and by extension, Cheng.
Vienneau 1 - Cheng 0
Terramorphic Expanse enabled a second-turn Deathspore Thallid for Cheng, but despite all three colours of mana he made no third-turn play. Vienneau suspended Dustwasp and then Arc Blade. Cheng played his fourth land hit for one, and then passed it back.
Vienneau made a Flowstone Channeler. Cheng answered with Spoorloth Ancient. Vienneau played an Ignus and held his ground. Cheng swung in with both, and Vienneau put Channeler in front of the Thallid, but Strength in Numbers bowled it over. The Ancient's ability allowed the Thallid to generate two Saprolings and kill of the Ignus.
The Wasp and Blade came off suspension, killing the Deathspore Thallid, and Empty the Warrens provided six goblins. Cheng played Pallid Mycoderm, but Vienneau kept up the pressure, a Shivan Meteor allowing his crew to strike. Cheng's last two mana meant Judge Unworthy on the Wasp, and this time he found Lucent Luminid to kill it off.
He untapped and put out Teneb. Vienneau was ready with Utopia Vow, and swung in again, but Cheng put the brakes on him with Deadwood Treefolk getting back the Ancient.
Now the game was swinging away from Vienneau. He suspended a Nantuko Shaman while Cheng put out his Ancient. He made a Goblin SKycutter, but his board was way outclassed. Cheng sent his men, and foiled a Vienneau double-block on the ancient by creating a Saproling and sacrificing it to the Mycoderm.
"Well, I screwed that up." - Matt Vienneau
Cheng played a morph and passed it back. Evolution Charm regrew Dust wasp, and Vienneau played it. Unfortunately for him, Cheng's morph was Thelonite Hermit, overwhelming him.
Vienneau 1 - Cheng 1
Cheng had a turn-one Essence Warden and a Scryb Ranger he traded immediately for Vienneau's Goblin Skycutter, but no third turn play. Nor Vienneau, who spend his mana making a kobold with Kher Keep. Cheng made a Goldmeadow Lookout that fell to Dead, and replaced it with Pallid Mycoderm.
Vienneau played a Grinning Ignus, stuck on three land. When it survived the turn, he used it to bring out Stonebrow, Krosan Hero. Cheng's Warden had put a buffer on his life total, but the big centaur started taking bites out of it. Vienneau replayed the Ignus and at last a fourth land. Cheng had no play, and suffered another six for it.
Finally he hit six mana, which meant that it was Teneb time, and Cheng made a warding gesture, hoping potential asnwers were stuck at the bottom of Vienneau's deck. Unfortunately, he had the Vow in hand. He also used Evolution Charm to fetch a second forest.
Deadwood Treefolk recurred the Lookout and provided the necessary incentive for Vienneau to keep Stonebrow at home. He made Fomori Nomade and passed the turn. Cheng tried the Lookout again, but this time Arc Blade sent it packing.
Cheng untapped and dropped Magus of the Abyss. Together with his fading Deadwood Treefolk it meant another shot at an active Teneb. Vienneau watched him get back the Dragon. Shivan Meteor was waiting in his hand, but Cheng had Dawn Charm, and now things began to get very ugly indeed.
Teneb swung and resurrected the Treefolk, which in turn brought back the Lookout. To his credit, Vienneau didn't so much as slump.
And then, Cheng decided to get greedy.
He played a Whitemane Lion at the end of Vienneau's turn, bouncing itself for the one life from the Warden, leaving him tapped out. Vienneau seized the opportunity with Riddle of Lightning on Teneb. No big deal, right? Even if he killed it off, the Treefolk would start the whole dance over again. Vienneau checked his top three, no help there. He flipped over the fourth card.
Scourge of Kher Ridges.
The clock was ticking, very little time remained in the match. Cheng sacrificed the Treefolk to the Abyss to get back Teneb and put it into play. Vienneau untapped and cashed in his two Ignuses for the Scourge, with mana left over to Pyroclasm. Cheng untapped and got rid of his Magus. He hit with Teneb and brought back the Treefolk, and then replayed the Magus.
Now Vienneau had all his mana. He dropped an Ignus and blew Teneb out of the sky on Cheng's turn, forcing Whitemane Lion and a replayed Dragon. He untapped untapped, and used all his mana to blow up the sky and the ground, clearing the board except for his Scourge and hitting for six. As he sped through the turn, time was called. The extra turns would start with Cheng.
This was a problem, because Vienneau's victory in the air needed three attacks. He called for the head judge to ask for an extension. While the table judge fetched him, Vienneau explained "I really don't want a draw, and I don't think you can win here." Cheng begged to differ, showing him the Magus of the Abyss he had gotten back when his Treefolk died. Vienneau looked down at his tapped out lands, including the Kher Keep that could have made the save and said "Oh."
The Head Judge concluded that because the pace of play had been acceptable, there would be no extension. Cheng played his Magus and a Lucent Luminid and handed it back to Vienneau. Vienneau's outbound Scourge sent them both home. On turn three of five, Cheng played a morph. Vienneau's deck gave him Empty the Warrens, which with his Ignus meant ten goblins ready to stand in the way of the attackers. His life total was two. Cheng swung in on the final turn and after Vienneau blocked, showed Strength in Numbers to trample over for the win.
Yi Cheng defeats Matt Vienneau 2-1
Sunday, Sept. 9: 2:41 p.m. - Round 12: Alex Kenny vs. Miles Smith
by Josh Bennett
It was make-or-break time for Alex Kenny and Miles Smith. Their tiebreakers meant that the winner of their match would have a spot in the Top 8. Kenny was with Dredge, and Smith was with blue-white-red Blink.
Kenny mulled to five, and stalled on two lands, with just a Narcomoeba to his name. Smith played an end-of-turn Sulfur Elemental, untapped and dropped Lightning Angel, swinging for six. Kenny drew his third land and played Bonded Fetch. Smith had a Helix for it on his turn, but it still allowed Kenny to get a Troll into the graveyard. Kenny again declined to sacrifice the Narcomoeba and fell to 8.
Kenny dredged the Troll, scoring a second Narcomoeba, as well as two Bridge from Below. A Bonded Fetch let him dredge a second time, this time putting Dread Return into the yard. He flashed it back for a 7/7 Troll and six zombie tokens. His mull to five had turned around.
Any hope was immediately extinguished as Smith showed him Demonfire to go with his Angel, dealing the final eight.
Smith 1 - Kenny 0
Kenny led with Drowned Rusalka, but stalled on one land. He sacrificed it, putting Grave-Troll in the yard and snagging a second land. He dredged back the Troll, getting Narcomoeba and a Bridge from Below. He played Looter and passed it back. Smith meanwhile had a pair of Signets and a Court Hussar.
Kenny continued to loot and dredge, getting up to all four Narcomoebas in play eventually. Smith's draw was not very busy. He had a Blink for Hussar to get rid of the Bridge, and a Sulfur Elemental. Kenny's library was dwindling. He dredged a second Bridge into his 'yard, as well as a Dread Return. He flashed back Dread Return, getting three tokens, but Smith had Venser to stop it.
The three tokens provided the fuel for a second Dread Return which got him Drowned Rusalka. He sacrificed Narcomoeba to Rusalka and dredged, hitting two more Bridges. His three creatures in play was enough for a third Return, getting six zombies and a Flame-Kin Zealot, dealing enough to take the game.
Smith 1 - Kenny 1
After a mulligan from Kenny, he led out with Merfolk Looter, which fell to Lightning Helix. His next play was a Stinkweed Imp. Smith stalled on three mana for a turn, taking two before he found a blue mana to get Lightning Angel online. Kenny held his Imp back and played Magus of the Bazaar. Another Helix pushed it off the board.
Smith made a second Angel and hit with both, trading with Stinkweed Imp. Kenny dredged the Imp, but got no action, so he replayed the Imp and passed the turn. Cloudskate sent it back to hand and Smith got in for another three. Kenny had nothing more than to try the Imp again, but Blink sent it home and Smith got in for five.
By now Kenny had resigned himself to the futility of the Imp. Smith showed him a second Cloudskate to speed up his inevitable demise.
Miles Smith defeats Alex Kenny 2-1
Sunday, Sept. 9: 4:08 p.m. - Decklists: The Top 8 Decks
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Canada Nationals 07
Sunday, Sept. 9: 5:33 p.m. - Photo Essay
by Josh Bennett
This is the face of the man responsible for convincing Hall of Famer Gary Wise to come out to Nationals. His shirt says it all.
Just before the start of the second draft, a snapshot of two players dropping while the dropping is good.
Former National Champion Josh Rider sports a shirt that says it all, while Jeff Cunningham resents his overwhelming sense of style.
Phil Samms shows off some classic footwear. Fashionable yes, but also functional. Following a Game 1 loss, Samms pumped up and managed to pull out the win.
This gentleman has certainly come to the right place. Insider sources tell me that this shirt is a particular hit with the ladies.
Two contenders for the Canadian Nationals Best Facial Hair Award. Who wins? We, the viewers.
The close of a day's competition.
Worlds Bound, The 2007 Canadian National Team: (left-to-right) Andrew Ting-A-Kee, Shaun McLaren, Daniel Kramer and Mike Arenson.
Sunday, Sept. 9: 6:52 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Shaun Mclaren vs. Miles Smith
by J. Evan Dean
Welcome the Quarter Finals of Canadian Nationals!!!
Before us we have Shaun McLaren from Edmonton, Alberta with AngelFire against Miles Smith from Hamilton and his Red/Blue/White Blink Decks.
Before the round even starts Miles was trying to intimidate his opponent by bringing out small battalion of Dungeon and Dragon Miniatures and insisting they all face his opponent. Shaun countered with a Monopoly Shoe and Thimble. The early advantage clearly goes to Miles. Finally, the players switch sides before getting down business.
Both players keep their openers and the first real action doesn't come until turn four when Shaun played a court Hussar off of a Signet but fails to hit his third land. Seeing an opening Miles laid a Venser and bounced the signet. Shaun replayed the signet but is forced to discard a Sacred Mesa at end of turn.
A Lightning Angel from Miles delivered the first bit of damage, but Gods wrath the next turn reset the board.
A couple of turns later and a hasty Angel hit the board for Shaun allowing him to get in some damage of his. Venser was able to remove it from the board a couple of turns later; something that Demonfire failed to do due to a Remand. At this point Shaun is up 16-15.
The conventional wisdom says that this is a bad match up for Shaun as the Blink deck is designed to feast on control deck especially its cousin AngelFire. This is unfortunate as Shaun has said he would shave his head if he makes the National Team. An act that I'm sure would make his mother happy.
Returning back to the game we see another Lightning Angel has come into play for Shaun and attacked for four on the back of a Sulfur Elemental that Miles played a couple of turns earlier. The next turn the Angel dropped Miles to six and a Demonfire for 10 (just in case he had another Helix) put game 1 in the books. The Great Alberta Hope Shaun McLaren is up 1-0.
IN: 3 Cryoclasm, 2 Condemn, 2 Detrivore
OUT: 4 Lightning Helix, Siege Gang-Commander, 2 Momentary Blink
IN: 3 Detrivore, 1 AEon Chronicler
OUT: 1 Sacred Mesa, 2 Firemane Angel, 1 Faith's Fetters
This game starts off a little quicker than the last as a turn 3 Morphed Akroma is quickly met with a Wrath of God. On turn five Shaun played his decks namesake and got in for three. After being dropped to ten, Miles finally got the Angel off the board and removed from the game at the hands of a Demonfire.
Miles proceeded to cast Grand Arbiter Augustine IV, Court Hussar and a Lightning Angel over the next couple of turns. However, Shaun's freshly cast Sacred Mesa was able to hold the fort for a little while.
A Sulfur Elemental turned off the Mesa and allows Miles to dropped Shaun to a precariously low 2 life. Shaun was able to reset the game with a Wrath of God but Miles droped another Grand Arbiter and once again Shaun was on the verge of certain death. Shaun's deck continued to deliver the goods as another Wrath of God killed the Arbiter and Firemane gave Shaun a threat and a clock. Condemn dealt with the Angel when it tried to attack, but when Miles went for the Blink flashback in an attempt to unmorph his Akroma Shaun had the Remand to keep Akroma as just a Grey Ogre.
On his next turn Shaun Suspended both Detrivore and Chronicler for 1 and Miles was now is a very tight spot. Although slowed for a turn by a Condemn, Shaun was still easily able to put away the Game and now only 20 life stood between him and a haircut (oh…and the Canadian Nationals Team)
The game started off a little awkward as neither player realized that they each controlled a Flagstones for a full turn. Shaun couldn't find a third land or a signet and Miles two Sulfur Elementals quickly dropped him to 11. A Detrivore for one puts Shaun in an even bigger hole and the game was sealed when a Riftwing bounced one of his two remaining lands.
Before the game started Shaun made a minor adjustment to his deck by siding out the other Sacred Mesa and bringing a Firemane Angel back in.
NOTE: Due to excessive chatting with the competitors Coverage has received a warning. Bad beat for me. 9
A turn 3 Lightning Angel from Miles opened up the scoring, but it could not avoid God's Vengeance the following turning. Shaun played a Firemane Angel on the following turn and then action really started!
BOTH players then spent their next turn suspending a Detrivore for three.
With both players only having a couple of turns until all their lands go away they need to empty their hands quickly. Over the next couple of turns Miles played two Cryoclasms and a Lightning Angel while Shaun could only muster suspending a Cronicler for 1.
A couple of turns later, Miles asked how big his own Detrivore was to which Shaun replied 5/5. Miles then attacks into the Firemane Angel and Shaun blocked with both Firemane and his own 3/3 Detrivore. As both players went to put their creatures in the graveyard it is pointed out that Miles Detrivore is actually only a 4/4. JUDGE!!!
Due to the importance of the situation the ruling is appealed. However, the initial ruling that both creatures are dead as that is what the players felt was the game state at the time is uphead. Both then receive their second warning for Misrepresentation of the Game State this match. AWKWARD!!
As we resume the game Shaun started to pull away with a Lightning Angel. Miles desperately tried to stabilize with a Cloudskate on the Angel but a Helix sealed the deal.
A bald Shaun McLaren will now be representing Canada in New York.
Sunday, Sept. 9: 8:17 p.m. - Semifinals: Andrew Ting-A-Kee vs. Mike Arenson
by Josh Bennett
Welcome to the Semi Finals of Canadian Nationals 2007.
In one corner we have Andrew Ting-A-Kee from Toronto, better known to his friends as Amat. He is playing Red/Blue/White Blink and can best be described as a nervous little kid who is clearly just happy to be playing is his first Nationals.
His opponent is Mike Arenson from Winnipeg playing AngleFire.
As mulligans were resolving Amat is nervously sitting there shaking and tapping his foot on the ground is perfect timing to with his ever rising heart beat. When Mike decided to ship his six card hand back Andrew asked, "doesn't your deck do nothing with five cards?"
Mike kept his five card hand that held one land and two signets. After missing his second land drop for the second time Amat punished his opponent with a Grand Arbiter the Augustine IV. On the next Tin-A-Kee dropped a Lightning Angel and attacked with in. However for reasons unknown to everyone, including Andrew, the Grand Arbiter stayed home. It didn't really matter as a Lightning Helix and a Demonfire for five quickly ended the game.
IN: 2 Boom//Bust, 3 Detrivore
OUT: 4 Court Hussar, 1 Lightning Helix
IN: 3 Avalanche Riders, 2 Cryoclasm
OUT: 4 Lightning Helix, 1 Demonfire
While sideboarding Amat hoped that they had a better game stating that "We're here to have fun….while making money!"
Not much happened until Andrew started attacking his opponent's lands. First with a Venser on a bounce land, the with a Avalanche Rider on another. A couple of turns later a Riftwing bounced a signet while another Venser (the first one long dead) took down a land. Andrew was literally up eight mana sources to one at this point and we were quickly moving to Game 3.
Amat made a slight change between games by siding out a Numot for a Demonfire.
Mike is finally able to play a real game this times as he led with turn three and four Lightning Angels. Andrew tried to stabilize with a pair Angels himself but the Big Momma of Angels, the Angel with anger management issues, Akroma, Angel of Fury herself crushed the red zone and put a win Mike's column.
When asked what it felt like to finally have mana Mike said, "great!!! I'm so excited; I don't even know to do with it!!"
As we began the game Andrew's nerves were starting to get the better of him as verbally beat himself up over a bad keep and an even worse Court Hussar. The game advanced with Lightning Angel from Mike dealing some early damage. A Cloudskate and an avalanche ridin' Dawin fought back for Amat. A Demonfire took care of the Angel and put Tin-A-Kee in control.
A couple more turns and a second Lightning Angel from Mike left the life totals at 6-4 in Amat's advantage. A Momentary Blink on Cloudskate moved the Angel aside, leaving Mike with no blockers and lethal damage coming at him. With no out left Mike extended his hand and wished his opponent good luck in the finals.
Sunday, Sept. 9: 9:07 p.m. - Semifinals: Shaun McLaren vs. Daniel Kramer
by Josh Bennett
"I don't know if you heard, but [the team] are from Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Winnipeg. It's going to make playtesting tough." - Daniel Kramer
It was definitely a cross-country affair, but despite the diversity, Kramer had still wound up fighting his teammate Yi Cheng in the quarterfinals. They played a perfect 75-card mirror match of their Blue-Black Pickles deck. Unfortunately for him, there was more control-on-control to slog through, as he squared off against the tournament's undefeated player, Shaun McLaren, who only took a break from winning to concede to a friend. His Angelfire deck had served him well all weekend.
Both players started with early karoos, and since McLaren was on the draw that let him get an early Firemane Angel into the graveyard. Kramer was ready with an Extirpate on McLaren's draw step. He saw a hand of four lands, Signet, Compulsive Research, Wrath of God and Aeon Chronicler. His Compulsive Research was delayed with Remand.
Kramer put out a morph and Wrath from McLaren showed it to be Brine Elemental. Kramer had another, and protected it from Helix with a Spell Snare. McLaren played a Court Hussar and sent it back. They both accumulated mana. Kramer had an Urza's Factory, but he didn't hit eight lands until McLaren was suspending his Chronicler for six. He gamely made a man and got in for two damage.
McLaren made another Hussar and a Lightning Angel. Kramer wasted no time Terroring it. Unfortunately, he was getting buried under McLaren's card advantage. He played Vesuvan Shapeshifter face up with a Hallowed Fountain to turn it into a Court Hussar.
It was slow going on both sides. McLaren sped it up with Lightning Angel, and so Kramer was able to turn over both his Shapeshifters and return fire. Still, he didn't have a ready answer when McLaren came down with Sacred Mesa. He dug with Repeal on a Signet, but couldn't stop it. His Teferi to strand Aeon Chronicler was a hollow victory. McLaren was able to make enough Pegasi to swing and Demonfire for the win.
McLaren 1 - Kramer 0
McLaren mulliganed to five and was on the back foot early. His Remand on a morph met Spell Snare, and when he Helixed it Kramer was ready with a replacement. He tried Lightning Angel and Kramer removed its soul, and now it was Kramer's turn to reap the rewards of a suspended Chronicler.
The first dividend was a morph. McLaren made a second Angel, and Kramer cast Extirpate, choosing Lighning Helix. It showed McLaren had only Wrath and a land in hand. He was clear to flip up Shapeshifter and block. His Chronicler came off suspend, but he was so intent on his turn that he laid a land without thinking, his hand size dropping to three and forcing his Chronicler to stay home.
McLaren dutifully wrathed, but Kramer was all gassed up. He dropped Teferi at end of turn. McLaren was empty-handed.
"I think this is the first time I've ever been out of cards with this deck." - Shaun McLaren
McLaren's draws turned up nothing useful, and a pair of morphs from Kramer put him away quickly.
McLaren 1 - Kramer 1
After stopping Court Hussar with Remove Soul, Kramer made a face when confronted with Lightning Angel. He had to let it in. The following turn another joined it, and both swung in. Kramer tutored up Slaughter Pact with Mystical Teachings, falling to fourteen. After paying off his pact, he passed with three land open.
McLaren untapped, swung, and suspended a Chronicler for one. Kramer had Teferi to keep it from coming into play. Another swing put him to eight. He passed his turn, but stopped McLaren in his draw step, casting Extirpate for Lightning Angels. He saw a hand of Detritivore, Pyroclasm, Condemn, Wrath of God and a land.
When McLaren swung in again, Kramer dropped Shapeshifter in the way. Wrath cleared the board. McLaren tapped out for a stocked Detritivore, but Kramer's Mystical Teachings brought out a Pull from Eternity before it could wreak havoc. He Extirpated and and saw that McLaren had drawn a Court Hussar.
Kramer put out a morph, and his last two cards were Spell Snare and Cancel, which he used to protect his investment from Pyroclasm and Lightning Helix. McLaren got out his Hussar. The morph was a Brine Elemental, which stole a turn from McLaren, but he couldn't attack into the Condemn. Next turn he drew a Remand, which was good news because McLaren only had one mana free, so he finally got in for five.
The bad news was that a swing from the Hussar knocked him to seven, which was Demonfire range, and the Remand hadn't served him another counter.
McLaren 2 - Kramer 1
Kramer had Removal Soul for Court Hussar and an early morph, which gave McLaren a window to play Compulsive Research. His next trick was suspending Detritivore for two, and Kramer had no white sources on his side of the board. He frowned as he played Mystical Teachings, getting the Cancel he could play rather than the Pull from Eternity he couldn't.
Detritivore ate a land and McLaren tried to Wrath away the morph. Kramer took the bait and played his Cancel, leaving himself unable to stop Sacred Mesa. Things were definitely on their way downhill. Detritivore ate another land and stepped onto the field as a Gray Ogre. Kramer cycled a Remand to delay Court Hussar a turn and made a morph.
Now McLaren was starting to make tokens. He tried the Hussar again, but its soul was removed. Kramer sent his morph. McLaren made two tokens and double-blocked. Feeling the overall futility of fighting the Mesa, Kramer got Slaughter Pact with Teachings to take care of both. He paid for his Pact and held back.
The tokens kept coming. McLaren didn't need to play another spell.
shaun McLaren defeats Daniel Kramer 3-1
Sunday, Sept. 9: 9:22 p.m. - Finals: Andrew Ting-A-Kee vs. Shaun McLaren
by Josh Bennett
"I'd say 'May the best player win,' but I want to win." - Andrew Ting-A-Kee
So began the last match of the 2007 Canadian National Championships.
Ting-A-Kee started with a suspended Cloudskate which counted down while both players built mana with Signets. Remand on McLaren's second slowed him down a little. Ting-A-Kee dug with Court Hussar, but McLaren showed him how it was done, firing off a pair of Compulsive Researches, discarding land, Signet, and Firemane Angel.
The Cloudskate returned a Boilerworks, further cutting into McLaren's mana production, and Ting-A-Kee hit for three. He Remanded a Wrath of God, but had to let it through on the following turn. He passed his turn on an empty board. McLaren suspended a Chronicler for three.
Ting-A-Kee continued to draw a wealth of land and a shortness of threats. He Remanded a Lightning Angel. McLaren played a third Compulsive Research. His hand was overstuffed. Again, Ting-A-Kee found a blank, and this time the Angel had a friend. Ting-A-Kee decided his best course of action was to go to the dome. Helix, and then Demonfire for eleven, put McLaren to seven.
The problem with this plan was twofold. One, the plan hinged on a second Demonfire that he had yet to draw. Secondly, Ting-A-Kee was at sixteen after the Helix, and the incoming Chronicler and Angels would put him to two. So he would need McLaren to be holding eight blanks.
McLaren was not, in fact, holding eight blanks.
McLaren 1 - Ting-A-Kee 0
In the second game, Ting-A-Kee's deck remembered that it was supposed to do something. He had Avalanche Riders for McLaren's Izzet Boilerworks, and then a Cryoclasm on his island. This was just overture for his Lightning Angel. McLaren had a Hussar and then had to pay two life for an untapped Hallowed Fountain in order to Wrath.
Ting-A-Kee another Angel in the wings. McLaren was at seven. When he tried a second Wrath of God, Ting-A-Kee flipped over his last card, a Venser. He called for a topdeck. "Something with Fire or Lightning."
He drew his card.
The Riders made it seven exactly.
McLaren 1 - Ting-A-Kee 1
"Six lands and Blink," said Ting-A-Kee, shipping his hand back.
"I heard you kept six lands and Dodecapod." - Shaun McLaren
"And won. To clinch Top 8." - Andrew Ting-A-Kee
"You're the worst." - Shaun McLaren
"Hey, he played turn two Ravenous Rats!" - Andrew Ting-A-Kee
It was mulligans all around, two for McLaren, one for Ting-A-Kee. McLaren undid some of the damage with an opening of Signet, karoo and Compulsive Research. Ting-A-Kee suspended a Cloudskate and made a Hussar. McLaren summoned Lightning Angel and swung in.
Ting-A-Kee wasn't fazed. Cryoclasm busted up Steam Vents, McLaren's only source of red. The Angel got one more hit before Cloudskate sent it home. The Hussar and Cloudskate evened the scores at ten apiece. He added another Hussar and after a moment's hesitation Blinked the Cloudskate to bounce McLaren's karoo. McLaren was left with a board of two Azorius Signets and a Hallowed Fountain.
McLaren held on for a turn, but there was no hope.
McLaren 1 - Ting-A-Kee 2
McLaren made the standard opening of Signet and Hussar, and lost a land to Cryoclasm. He didn't have Lightning Angel for the followup, however, and had to spend two idle turns. Ting-A-Kee stumbled on one of then when he needed white mana and found only Flagstones of Trokair, which turned into a tapped land thanks the the copy on McLaren's side of the board.
The following turn he finally got out a Lightning Angel. McLaren tried to outclass it with Firemane Angel, but Remand stopped that. Ting-A-Kee untapped and Vensered the Signet back to McLaren's hand, buying more turns without the Angel in play. McLaren replayed the Signet and Wrathed the board.
The 2007 Canada National Team
Ting-A-Kee's hand was all gas, however. He had another Lightning Angel and a Remand for the next Wrath of God. Avalanche Riders came down to crack an untapped land. McLaren pooled mana and thought for a moment before aiming Helix at Ting-A-Kee rather than his Riders. Ting-A-Kee hit. The life totals stood fourteen to ten in his favor.
McLaren untapped and stuck out an Angel of his own, getting past for three on the threat of a second Lightning Helix. Ting-A-Kee paid for his Riders and tapped out for Cloudskate, clearing the path again. McLaren obligingly showed the second Helix, this time on the Riders, a painland putting him at nine. He played a Signet and Wrathed.
Ting-A-Kee swept his creatures off the board, untapped, and hurriedly counted his mana. After playing a land, it was ten, exactly enough for the lethal Demonfire.
Andrew Ting-A-Kee defeats Shaun McLaren 3-1