Round 11 Feature Match: Noah Boeken (Netherlands) vs. Neil Rigby (England)
by Kim Eikefet
In the first round of the second draft, current European Champion Noah Boeken faced the English player Neil Rigby. Noah had a strong black and red deck with a lot of removal, while Neil played white, blue and green with Armadillo Cloak and a couple of good flyers.
Noah chose to draw first, and he played a turn three Hooded Kavu and a turn four Firescreamer. Neil answered by playing a turn four Rainbow Crow, and turn five, he dropped a Crusading Knight that was 4/4 thanks to Noah's two swamps. Obviously, Noah didn't like the Knight, and his two Tribal Flames killed it before it could do any harm.
After this, the race was on. Noah attacked with the Firescreamer and the Hooded Kavu while Neil sent his cloaked Crow over, gaining life in the process. In between, he played a Benalish Trapper, a Stormscape Apprentice and an Angel of Mercy, but they all died to Neil's removal. The Crow's ability made most of Noah's removal useless against it though, and eventually it went all the way.
Boeken 0 - Rigby 1
Noah let Neil play first in the second game as well. Neil had to mulligan after drawing a hand with an Archeological Dig as the only land, but he kept his second hand. It wasn't really good though, Neil played four lands and nothing else for the first four turns.
Noah, on the other hand, got a pretty good start. He played a first turn Phyrexian Battleflies that started the attack, and then he followed up with a third turn Viashino Grappler. Together, the two creatures got Neil down to 13 life before he had played a single spell.
It turned out that Neil's problem was the white mana. Even though he had eight plains in his deck, he didn't draw one until the fifth turn, but once he had it, he bust out a Llanowar Knight that he enchanted with a Traveler's Cloak to give it swampwalk and of course, so that he could draw a card and possibly draw into more white mana.
Noah had other plans though. He cast Suffering and destroyed Neil's plains. Neil drew another plains and cast a Benalish Knight, but the Knight was killed by a Shivan Zombie and one turn later, the plains and his newly cast Metathran Transport were wiped out by a Plague Spores. He got to keep his Capashen Unicorn and a Benalish Trapper though, but they didn't really stand up against Noah's critters which at that point included a Hooded Kavu as well. And without mana, Neil couldn't use the Trapper's ability, and eventually he died to the creature assault.
Boeken 1 - Rigby 1
Neil opted to draw in the final game. He kept his hand, but the knocking on his library suggested that something was wrong. It turned out that he again had problems drawing white mana. Noah got out a turn two Shivan Zombie and started atatcking, and he also cast an Ancient Kavu before Neil finally drew a plains. With the plains in play, Neil finally got out a Llanowar Knight, but then he had to see the plains disappear as Noah had drawn his Pain/Suffering.
Noah continued attacking while Neil struggled. Neil drew his Archeological Dig, cursed, and sacrificed it for white to Armadillo Cloak the Knight, and then he started attacking. But this time, the lifegain wasn't enough to keep him alive. Noah summoned a Viashino Grappler as well, and finally he played a Pouncing Kavu with kicker to finish off a pretty pissed Neil Rigby.
Noah Boeken 2 - Neil Rigby 1