Coverage of U.S. National Championship

Posted in Event Coverage on August 20, 2010

By Wizards of the Coast

Welcome to the 2010 United States National Championship! We've got 237 players from all over the country and they'll be fighting it out over the next three days to earn the right to represent the US in the World Championships in Chiba, Japan. Among the prominent players here are Luis Scott-Vargas,Zvi Mowshowitz, Gerard Fabiano, Charles Gindy, Patrick Chapin, Michael Jacob, and Daily MTG writers Brian David-Marshall, Steve Sadin, and Mike Flores. The day starts with four rounds of Standard, followed by three rounds of Magic 2011 Draft. Stick around!

 
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Day 1:
    Complete Coverage for Friday
  • by Event Coverage Staff
    Info: Fact Sheet



Friday, 9:00 a.m. – A Brief History of US Nationals

by Monty Ashley

Since the first United States National Championship was way back in 1994 (before some of this year's competitors were even born!) it occurred to us that maybe everyone wasn't familiar with the history of the tournament. Behold!

Date City Champion National Team Decklists
July 9-10, 1994 San Jose, CA (Origins) Bo Bell    
July 15-16, 1995 Philadelphia, PA (Origins) Mark Justice Henry Stern
Peter Leiher
Mike Long
 
July 5-7, 1996 Columbus, OH (Origins) Dennis Bentley George Baxter
Mike Long
Matt Place
 
July 18-20, 1997 Columbus, OH (Origins) Justin Gary Kyle Bigos
Jeff Butz
Bob Maher
 
July 3-5, 1998 Columbus, OH (Origins) Matt Linde Mike Long
Bryce Currence
 
July 2-4, 1999 Columbus, OH (Origins) Kyle Rose John Hunka
Christopher Tobler
Zvi Mowshowitz
Top 8 Decks
June 8-11, 2000 Orlando, FL Jon Finkel Chris Benafel
Aaron Forsythe
Frank Hernandez
Top 8 Decks
June 1-3, 2001 Orlando, FL Trevor Blackwell Brian Hegstad
Eugene Harvey
Top 8 Decks
May 31-June 2, 2002 Orlando, FL Eugene Harvey Eric Franz
Andrew Ranks
Top 8 Decks
June 27-29, 2003 San Diego, CA Josh Wagener Gabe Walls
Justin Gary
Top 8 Decks
June 18-20, 2004 Kansas City, MO Craig Krempels Bill Stead
Ben Zoz
Top 8 Decks
August 12-14, 2005 Baltimore, MD Antonino De Rosa Neil Reeves
Jonathan Sonne
Top 8 Decks
July 28-30, 2006 Atlanta, GA Paul Cheon Ben Lundquist
Luis Scott-Vargas
Top 8 Decks
July 26-29, 2007 Baltimore, MD Luis Scott-Vargas Thomas Drake
Michael Bennett
Thomas Drake
Top 8 Decks
August 1-3, 2008 Chicago, IL Michael Jacob Sam Black
Paul Cheon
Top 8 Decks
July 24-26, 2009 Kansas City, MO Charles Gindy Adam Yurchick
Todd Anderson
Top 8 Decks
August 19-22, 2010 Minneapolis, MN      


Friday, 9:30 a.m. – Winning Grinder Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff

Milton Deer

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Planeswalker (3)
3 Garruk Wildspeaker
Instant (3)
3 Disfigure
Artifact (2)
2 Eldrazi Monument
61 Cards

Ryan Paul

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Other (5)
5 Forest 2 Island 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Mountain 4 Raging Ravine 4 Rootbound Crag 3 Scalding Tarn 2 Verdant Catacombs 2 Birds of Paradise 4 Bloodbraid Elf 1 Borderland Ranger 2 Frost Titan 4 Lotus Cobra 4 Nest Invader 4 Noble Hierarch 3 Sea Gate Oracle 3 Vengevine 3 Eldrazi Monument 2 Garruk Wildspeaker 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor *4 Cunning Sparkmage *1 Forked Bolt *3 Goblin Ruinblaster *1 Jace Beleren *3 Manabarbs *3 Obstinate Baloth
5 Cards

Alex Buehler

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Other (6)
6 Forest 2 Khalni Garden 1 Mystifying Maze 5 Plains 4 Stirring Wildwood 4 Sunpetal Grove 3 Tectonic Edge 2 Avenger of Zendikar 1 Baneslayer Angel 2 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn 1 Gaea's Revenge 2 Iona, Shield of Emeria 1 Joraga Treespeaker 4 Overgrown Battlement 2 Pelakka Wurm 1 Terastodon 4 Wall of Omens 3 Vengevine 3 Cultivate 4 Explore 4 Path to Exile 4 Summoning Trap *2 Luminarch Ascension *2 Oblivion Ring *3 Perimeter Captain *1 Pithing Needle *2 Qasali Pridemage *1 Terastodon *4 World Queller
6 Cards

Ghorbani Payman

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Other (4)
4 Arid Mesa 4 Forest 3 Misty Rainforest 2 Mountain 1 Mystifying Maze 2 Plains 2 Raging Ravine 2 Sejiri Steppe 1 Stirring Wildwood 2 Sunpetal Grove 1 Terramorphic Expanse 1 Baneslayer Angel 3 Birds of Paradise 4 Bloodbraid Elf 3 Cunning Sparkmage 4 Fauna Shaman 1 Inferno Titan 4 Knight of the Reliquary 4 Noble Hierarch 1 Obstinate Baloth 1 Qasali Pridemage 1 Realm Razer 1 Stoneforge Mystic 4 Vengevine 2 Ajani Vengeant 1 Basilisk Collar 1 Sword of Vengeance *1 Bojuka Bog *3 Celestial Purge *3 Dauntless Escort *1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence *3 Naya Charm *1 Obstinate Baloth *1 Qasali Pridemage *2 Realm Razer
4 Cards

Axel Jenson

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Other (11)
11 Island 7 Mountain 4 Scalding Tarn 3 Call to Mind 3 Foresee 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Mana Leak 4 Ponder 4 Preordain 4 Pyromancer Ascension 4 See Beyond 4 Spreading Seas 4 Time Warp *4 Burst Lightning *3 Into the Roil *3 Jace Beleren *1 Mind Spring *4 Negate
11 Cards

Yoni Skolnik

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Other (4)
4 Arid Mesa 6 Forest 4 Misty Rainforest 2 Mountain 2 Plains 3 Raging Ravine 1 Rootbound Crag 2 Sejiri Steppe 1 Terramorphic Expanse 4 Birds of Paradise 4 Bloodbraid Elf 4 Cunning Sparkmage 4 Fauna Shaman 1 Inferno Titan 4 Knight of the Reliquary 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence 4 Noble Hierarch 1 Realm Razer 1 Stoneforge Mystic 4 Vengevine 1 Basilisk Collar 3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant *1 Bojuka Bog *1 Dauntless Escort *3 Manabarbs *2 Oblivion Ring *2 Path to Exile *3 Qasali Pridemage *1 Ranger of Eos *1 Realm Razer *1 Sun Titan
4 Cards

James Seelhoff

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Other (2)
2 Evolving Wilds 4 Forest 12 Mountain 2 Raging Ravine 2 Terramorphic Expanse 4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 3 Avenger of Zendikar 4 Bloodbraid Elf 1 Inferno Titan 2 Obstinate Baloth 4 Primeval Titan 3 Siege-Gang Commander 2 Terastodon 4 Cultivate 4 Explore 4 Rampant Growth 3 Summoning Trap *1 Bogardan Hellkite *3 Lightning Bolt *2 Obstinate Baloth *1 Pelakka Wurm *4 Pyroclasm *3 Ricochet Trap *1 Summoning Trap
2 Cards

Donnie Par

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Other (1)
1 Arid Mesa 4 Celestial Colonnade 1 Evolving Wilds 4 Glacial Fortress 5 Island 1 Misty Rainforest 1 Mystifying Maze 5 Plains 1 Scalding Tarn 3 Tectonic Edge 2 Sun Titan 4 Wall of Omens 1 Condemn 3 Day of Judgment 1 Deprive 3 Elspeth, Knight-Errant 1 Gideon Jura 2 Jace Beleren 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor 2 Jace's Ingenuity 4 Mana Leak 1 Negate 2 Oblivion Ring 3 Path to Exile 2 Preordain *1 Day of Judgment *4 Flashfreeze *1 Gather Specimens *1 Jace Beleren *3 Negate *1 Oblivion Ring *1 Path to Exile *3 Relic of Progenitus
1 Cards

Louis Kaplan

Download Arena Decklist
Other (4)
4 Arid Mesa 5 Forest 4 Misty Rainforest 2 Mountain 2 Plains 3 Raging Ravine 2 Rootbound Crag 2 Sejiri Steppe 1 Terramorphic Expanse 1 Baneslayer Angel 3 Birds of Paradise 4 Bloodbraid Elf 3 Cunning Sparkmage 4 Fauna Shaman 1 Inferno Titan 4 Knight of the Reliquary 1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence 4 Noble Hierarch 1 Qasali Pridemage 1 Realm Razer 1 Stoneforge Mystic 4 Vengevine 2 Ajani Vengeant 1 Basilisk Collar *1 Cunning Sparkmage *1 Dauntless Escort *3 Manabarbs *1 Oblivion Ring *2 Obstinate Baloth *3 Path to Exile *2 Qasali Pridemage *1 Realm Razer *1 Tectonic Edge
4 Cards

Susan Zell

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Other (1)
1 Dragonskull Summit 3 Forest 1 Lavaclaw Reaches 3 Mountain 4 Raging Ravine 4 Savage Lands 3 Swamp 4 Verdant Catacombs 2 Abyssal Persecutor 4 Bloodbraid Elf 4 Putrid Leech 4 Sprouting Thrinax 2 Bituminous Blast 4 Blightning 1 Crystal Ball 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Maelstrom Pulse 2 Slave of Bolas 3 Terminate *2 Doom Blade *4 Goblin Ruinblaster *3 Jund Charm *2 Manabarbs *4 Obstinate Baloth
1 Cards

Thomas Cleberg

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Other (3)
3 Dragonskull Summit 3 Forest 1 Lavaclaw Reaches 3 Mountain 4 Raging Ravine 1 Rootbound Crag 4 Savage Lands 3 Swamp 4 Verdant Catacombs 4 Bloodbraid Elf 2 Grave Titan 4 Putrid Leech 4 Sprouting Thrinax 4 Blightning 3 Duress 2 Garruk Wildspeaker 2 Lightning Bolt 4 Maelstrom Pulse 2 Slave of Bolas 3 Terminate *3 Doom Blade *1 Duress *2 Manabarbs *4 Obstinate Baloth *2 Pyroclasm *2 Thought Hemorrhage *14 sideboard cards
3 Cards

Mike Gualtieri

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Other (4)
4 Arid Mesa 12 Mountain 4 Scalding Tarn 4 Teetering Peaks 4 Ball Lightning 4 Goblin Guide 4 Hell's Thunder 4 Hellspark Elemental 4 Kargan Dragonlord 4 Plated Geopede 4 Burst Lightning 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Searing Blaze *3 Brittle Effigy *4 Dragon's Claw *4 Lodestone Golem *4 Traitorous Instinct
4 Cards

Matthew Pratser

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Other (3)
3 Evolving Wilds 4 Forest 12 Mountain 3 Terramorphic Expanse 4 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 4 Avenger of Zendikar 4 Bloodbraid Elf 3 Bogardan Hellkite 4 Primeval Titan 4 Siege-Gang Commander 2 Sylvan Ranger 4 Cultivate 2 Growth Spasm 4 Rampant Growth 3 Summoning Trap *2 Back to Nature *4 Magma Spray *3 Pyroclasm *3 Ricochet Trap *2 Slave of Bolas *1 Swamp
3 Cards

Andrey Yanjuk

Download Arena Decklist
Other (5)
5 Forest 2 Island 4 Misty Rainforest 1 Mountain 4 Raging Ravine 4 Rootbound Crag 3 Scalding Tarn 2 Verdant Catacombs 2 Birds of Paradise 4 Bloodbraid Elf 1 Borderland Ranger 2 Frost Titan 4 Lotus Cobra 4 Nest Invader 4 Noble Hierarch 3 Sea Gate Oracle 3 Vengevine 3 Eldrazi Monument 2 Garruk Wildspeaker 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor *4 Cunning Sparkmage *1 Forked Bolt *3 Goblin Ruinblaster *1 Jace Beleren *3 Manabarbs *3 Obstinate Baloth
5 Cards

Jon Madsen

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Other (12)
12 Island 6 Mountain 4 Scalding Tarn 3 Call to Mind 3 Into the Roil 4 Lightning Bolt 4 Mana Leak 4 Ponder 4 Preordain 4 Pyromancer Ascension 4 See Beyond 4 Time Warp 4 Treasure Hunt *4 Coralhelm Commander *2 Dispel *3 Flashfreeze *2 Jace Beleren *4 Pyroclasm
12 Cards

Kai Ruan

Download Arena Decklist
Other (2)
2 Arid Mesa 3 Celestial Colonnade 5 Forest 2 Island 4 Misty Rainforest 2 Plains 1 Sejiri Steppe 1 Stirring Wildwood 2 Sunpetal Grove 1 Terramorphic Expanse 2 Verdant Catacombs 4 Birds of Paradise 2 Dauntless Escort 4 Knight of the Reliquary 4 Lotus Cobra 4 Noble Hierarch 3 Rhox War Monk 4 Sovereigns of Lost Alara 2 Sun Titan 2 Eldrazi Conscription 2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant 1 Jace Beleren 3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor *1 Deprive *2 Flashfreeze *1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence *2 Mind Spring *2 Negate *2 Oblivion Ring *2 Oust *2 Qasali Pridemage *1 Sphinx of Jwar Isle
2 Cards


Feature Match Round 1 – This One's for Pride – Conley Woods vs. Tom Martell

by Nate Price

"Alright, Conley, third time's a charm," Martell said as his Woods approached the table.

"What are we, one and one?" Woods asked.

"Yep, this one's for the lead. You are now my most played person in pro level competition."

After a little banter back and forth, Martell started to pile shuffle his deck.

"Alright! Sixty cards! Good start to the day," he joked.

When Woods pulled a box of Kleenex out of his bag while reaching for his sideboard, Martell went after him.

"What?! You paired me against the plague! Is there any way we could get a judge to sit in for me and play byproxy?"

"It's only strep throat," Conley said with the straightest face he's ever made.

"Yeah, that doesn't sound contagious at all," Martell said, rolling his eyes.

When Woods opened with a basic Plains, Martell shot him a startled look.

"Look, it's just a basic land. There's no reason for that," Woods shot back.

"Yeah, it's just not one I expected from you," Martell honestly responded.

Martell's offense was a little more powerful than the opposition. His first turn Noble Hierarch enabled a Lotus Cobra on the following turn which was immediately joined by a Knight of the Reliquary thanks to a Verdant Catacombs. That Knight was immediately hidden under an Oblivion Ring. To replace it, Martell made a Garruk Wildspeaker and a second Noble Hierarch.

Conley Woods and Plains? What game am I watching?!

Woods had a second-turn Kor Firewalker, which immediately started whittling away at Martell's life total. With a Garruk on the table now, he redirected it at the planeswalker, hoping to deal with it before it got out of control. When he tried to fill his hand up with a Ranger of Eos, Martell tapped one of his many basic Forests and a Hierarch to Mana Leak it. Martell's board consisted of a bunch of Forests, a Tectonic Edge, and a few green creatures. Woods commented earlier that he had no idea what Martell was playing thanks to his lands. Now that he had seen Mana Leak, he was a little more confident.

"Ok, now I know what you're playing."

"So you think," Martell slyly responded.

"Heh, I've seen Knight and Mana Leak and I still don't know what you're playing? Ok, man."

Martell just smiled. A turn or two later, with nothing to stop Martell's horde of creatures, Woods conceded.

Conley Woods 0 – Tom Martell 1

After the game, Martell "broke his deck down" for Woods.

"Yeah, I'm just Naya and Bant shuffled together. Just wait until I cascade into a Mana Leak at instant speed, then you'll know what's up."

"Are you still talking?" Woods deadpanned.

"Yeah, but I'm not doing it for you. I'm doing it for the people at home. You know, the love of the game."

Woods started the game off with a fairly aggressive draw. His first turn Soul's Attendant ensured that his follow-up Ajani's Pridemate came down as a 3/3.

"It's the white Tarmogoyf," Woods suggested, getting a nice laugh from the crowd.

Martell's first contribution to the board was a Knight of the Reliquary on turn three, and it was once again banished by an Oblivion Ring. With the way clear, and his Pridemate now a 4/4, Woods smashed in for five.

"Wow, that Pridemate gets big pretty fast," Martell sighed.

"This is actually the slowest Pridemate I've played yet." Woods pointed out.

After a War Priest of Thune came down to kill the Oblivion Ring, returning the Knight of the Reliquary, the Pridemate grew to a 6/6. A Fauna Shaman made it even bigger. When a second Soul's Attendant and Pridemate joined the table on the following turn, Martell looked to be in trouble.

"12/12," Woods told Martell.

"Too much," he replied.

Facing down two monsters, Martell was forced to start chumping, lest he die. He started his Fauna Shaman engine up with a Vengevine fetching a second Knight of the Reliquary.

"Are you trying to race me?" Woods asked.

"Yeah. You go big, I go big," Martell replied.

In addition to making his Pridemate's bigger, the Attendants were driving Woods' life total ever higher. He was sitting at 32 to Martell's 9. When Martell aimed a Path to Exile at his own Attendant, Martell knew something was up. A fourth land enabled a Ranger of Eos, fetching two Serra's Ascendants, which would put his Pridemates absolutely through the roof. Rather than delay the inevitable, Martell conceded.

Conley Woods 1 – Tom Martell 1

Tom Martell: Twice as cool as Calosso Fuentes.

"Oh my God, nice popped collar," Calosso Fuentes yelled as he came up to the feature match area.

"Um, it's two," both Woods and Martell immediately corrected him.

"Yeah, he's twice as cool as a guy with one popped collar," I said to Fuentes, putting him and his lone popped collar in their place.

"So cool is the word we're using?" Martell laughed. "I like it."

Game two started out with a Noble Hierarch and Lotus Cobra from Martell and a Soul's Attendant and Soul Warden from Woods.

"Soul sisters," Woods sung out as Martell shuffled his hand around.

Tom LaPille, who had stopped by to watch the match, just shook his head.

"I can't believe you just did that," he muttered.

The Original Soul Sisters...and a giant Pridemate.

"That's the name of the deck! Besides, you know you designed this card," Woods shot back, indicating his Soul's Attendant.

An Ajani's Pridemate came down as a 4/4 on the following turn. A Primeval Titan from Martell made it a 6/6, and the Knight of the Reliquary the Titan's trigger enabled made it an 8/8, dominating the board. Another Soul Warden kept it growing, and Woods started eating away at Martell's sacrificial team. With the life totals at 38 to 17, Martell decided to start trying to bring things under control. His Celestial Colonnade swung over for six, bringing Woods down to a far more manageable 32. Unfortunately for Martell, it was the last attack he would get. With his Pridemate already at 14/14, all Woods had to do was plop down the Elspeth, Knight-Errant he drew to take them to the air for one seventeen point chunk of damage, ending the game in one fell swoop.

Conley Woods 2 – Tom Martell 1



Feature Match Round 2 – C-C-C-Combo Breaker! – Ben Lundquist vs. Steve Sadin

by Dave Guskin

"This is going to be a fun match up!" claimed Sadin, and Lundquist agreed. Sadin writes the column Limited Information for Daily MTG on the Mothership and has had reasonable success across a number of PTs and GPs, including his win at the first legacy Grand Prix in Columbus in 2008. Lundquist, previously heralded as "the future of American Magic," has a number of high finishes including 2nd at GP Seattle 2009 and 18th at PT Kyoto 2009.

The players chatted amicably, about the Nationals tournament, their deck choices, and New York, since both are residents of that fine state – Sadin inquired if Lundquist was of a mind to move down closer to the city (New York City, of course) and Lundquist said he'd think about it.

Game 1

Steve Sadin

Sadin led with a mulligan into a Birds of Paradise – not exactly the start he was looking for, but good enough for the moment. Lundquist replied with a one mana spell of his own, breaking his fetch for an Island and casting Preordain. He left one on top, and passed it back.

Sadin used his Bird to cast a Hedron Crab, revealing himself as the graveyard-based Unearth/Vengevine deck. His subsequent tapped Drowned Catacomb milled some irrelevant cards from the top of his library, and he passed it back.

Lundquist had no play other than a land drop, but when Sadin played and leveled an Enclave Cryptologist, Lundquist had an end step Into the Roil. Lundquist then cast Awakening Zone, revealing himself as a Polymorph-style deck, and when his opponent had nothing other than a repeat of the last turn, he was free to cast his deck's namesake on the new Spawn token. He revealed about half his deck before finding Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which he slammed onto the battlefield.

Sadin was down, but not out. He cast another Hedron Crab, played and cracked a fetchland, and found two Vengevines in the twelve milled cards. He finished his turn with a Sedraxis Alchemist, one of the few cards capable of dealing with the monstrous Eldrazi on the other side of the table.

Lundquist desperately attempted to Preordain his fate once more, but with no additional action waiting on the top of his deck, he scooped to the expected and inevitable tide of Vengevines.

Lundquist 0 – 1 Sadin

The two New Yorkers commiserated over sharing rooms with friends, names withheld to protect the innocent, whose sleeping habits generally result in waking up with an armpit in your face. Neither were quite pleased with such a prospect, but Sadin mentioned he and roommate Brian David-Marshall decided to control their own destiny and audibled into a room of their own.

Game 2

Lundquist started things off with a Plant off of Khalni Garden, but only after Sadin mulliganed for the second time of the match. Ben had a second Garden to up his Plant count, while Steve only had lands and a lone, aggressive Noble Hierarch.

Ben Lundquist

After a bit of Preordaining, Lundquist had a third Garden to tend to his Plants, but Sadin upped his aggressiveness with an exalted Vengevine, taking Lundquist down to 13 after Hierarch and fetchland damage. Lundquist shrugged and had a turn 5 Polymorph, transforming a lowly Plant into the lord of all Eldrazi, Emrakul.

"Annihilator 6, huh," Sadin remarked, quickly dumping his hand onto the table, causing his board to swell to Cryptologist, Birds of Paradise, and Renegade Doppleganger copying Birds. Lundquist had an Unsummon for the true Birds, leaving Sadin with only his fake shapeshifted Birds to block. Sadin pondered for a moment when Emrakul attacked, choosing to sacrifice all of his permanents but a Drowned Catacombs, the Doppleganger and a Noble Hierarch, murmuring that he had one out if Lundquist had nothing and finally opted to take the 15 damage down to 4 life.

Unfortunately, Ben had another Unsummon for the Hierarch, leaving it stranded in Steve's hand.

"You barely had that one," Sadin said with a smile, and they were off to the rubber game.

Lundquist 1 – 1 Sadin

Game 3

The final game was free of mulligans, both players developing their position – Lundquist with a Preordain, and Sadin with a Fauna Shaman. Ben quickly aimed an unkicked Into the Roil at the Shaman, which played the role of Time Walk as Steve merely replayed it and passed after laying a Scalding Tarn.

Lundquist rapid fired into another Predordain and then a Ponder. Ponder found a fetchland for a green mana source, which let Lundquist play his Awakening Zone.

"I get to untap with Fauna Shaman?" Sadin asked, clearly excited at the prospect.

The aforementioned Shaman fetched a Hedron Crab, which was quickly joined by another after Sadin's mill revealed Vengevine. The Vengevine returned and smashed Lundquist down to 15.

Lundquist calmly untapped and launched his own combo, Polymorphing the new Spawn token into Emrakul. Sadin performed a little ritual for his draw step, hocusing and pocusing, calling upon the ancient Magics to send him aid, but the card he drew merely caused an eyebrow raise and not a full on windmill slam.

Sadin activated his Fauna Shaman, dumping a Vengevine into the yard. He fetched up a Birds of Paradise, then played and cracked a fetch to mill twelve cards. No further action dumped into Sadin's graveyard, but a Renegade Doppleganger soon became another Vengevine and three of the hasty Plants entered the red zone to attack his opponent.

Annihilator 6? Seriously?

Lundquist blocked one with Emrakul, and took the rest down to 7. He drew and flew over with the premier representation of ripped periods of time, which triggered a long session in the tank for Sadin.

"Can I win from here?" Sadin asked himself, apologizing to Lundquist, who was quite happy waiting for Sadin to decide what to do about his massive Eldrazi ally.

He kept Birds of Paradise, Fauna Shaman and Forest, but again declined to block, going down to a precarious 2 life. Sadin untapped, sighed when he drew a blank, and extended the hand.

Lundquist 2 – 1 Sadin



Friday, 12:15 p.m. – Railbirds

by Dave Guskin

During Round 1, you might be surprised to find that a number of players are on the sidelines, even near the beginning of the round. What gives?

Charles Gindy, last year's U.S. Nationals Champion, received a nice additional prize at the start of this tournament: a first round bye. With 237 competitors shuffled up before the start of play, it follows that one of them would be the literal "odd man out." Gindy spent his free hour wandering the hall, chatting with some of his compatriots and scoping out the field.

Charles Gindy scopes out the scene after defeating BYE

"I think my constructed deck is going to do well, given the field," Gindy claimed. He was far more excited to talk about Magic 2011 draft. "I have done a ton of drafts, and a lot of people are telling me they think it's just like M10. It's actually different, though."

Matt Nass, GP Oakland 2010 champion and ChannelFireball writer, had quickly finished his Round 1 match and agreed with Gindy. He mentioned that Scry was such a great mechanic to have in the Core Set. "It really makes the cards a lot better," he said. "Even something like August Owl is much stronger than it appears."

Stephen Birklid catches up with fellow CFB writer Matt Sperling

Among other players off to side was Stephen Birklid, another ChannelFireball site staple and Seattle-area Magic player, who ran through three separate Grinder tournaments searching for a qualification for today's Nationals tournament. He didn't do too well with his RG Ramp construction in the first two, but then he got to talking with Cedric Philips and borrowed Ced's Mythic deck.

"I smashed everyone I was testing against with it, but then I wasn't sure I wanted to play in another Grinder," Birklid mentioned. "Cedric was like, you have to play, you have a 'real' deck now!"

Stephen ended up with a heartbreaking 2nd place finish and thus was sitting out this year's Nats, but he's got hopes for a Magic Cruise trip or maybe even an invite to next year's first Pro Tour via the PTQ tomorrow.

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