Day 1 Coverage

Posted in Event Coverage on August 16, 2008

By Wizards of the Coast

Day one of the Great Britain Nationals is at an end!

Three rounds of Standard down, and four of Lorwyn/Morningtide. We are starting to see how the format is shaking out, and who has the best handle on it so far. Nobody is undefeated, but there are a whole host of good players sitting at 6-1.

Stephen Murray of Scotland, Jonathan Randle (of GP Birmingham top 8), editor Craig Stephenson and former national champ Rich Moore are all sitting happy at 6-1. There is still everything to play for though, as we have Shadowmoor/Eventide draft and four more rounds of Standard.

Will the red decks win? Can Swans storm it or Storm swan into the top 8? Stay tuned for all the coverage of day 2, with decklists and all, tomorrow here on


  • Podcast: The Halfway Line
    by Rich Hagon
  • Feature Match Round 6: Send in the Clowns
    by Stuart Wright vs Matteo Orsini-Jones
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Festival Fun
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Needle Drop Kicks
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Podcast: The Start of Lorwyn
    by Rich Hagon
  • Feature Match Round 5: The Filling in a Kithkin Sandwich
    Richard Moore vs Ben Sanders
    by Tim Willoughby
  • 3:20 p.m.: A Tale of Two Drafts
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Feature Match Round 3: Shades of Blue
    William Dunn vs Quentin Martin
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Feature Match Round 2: Weaving Magic
    Jonathan Randle vs Neil Rigby
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Podcast: Read All About It in the Standard
    by Rich Hagon
  • Info: Round 4 Pods
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Round 4 Playerlist
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Info: Round 3 Playerlist
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Podcast: God Save the Queen
    by Rich Hagon
  • Info: Round 2 Playerlist
    by Event Coverage Staff
  • Feature Match Round 1: Careless Considerations
    Glenn Goldsworthy vs Simon O'Keeffe
    by Tim Willoughby
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff

Feature Match Round 1: Careless Considerations - Glenn Goldsworthy vs Simon O'Keeffe

by Tim Willoughby
Simon O'Keeffe

Glenn is something of a legend when it comes to Magic in Great Britain. With his Big Green Deck he is a regular on the GP circuit, known as much for his banter as his solid play. Having made it in from a grinder, Glenn found himself against regular 2HG teammate Simon O'Keeffe, originally from Ireland, but now living in London, who was in the top 8 of GB Nationals just last year.

Simon won the roll, and started with just a Plains, while Glenn had a Spinerock Knoll.

"You're a dirty combo deck! A dirty dirty combo deck!"

"Yes I am. You know you love it."

The first play of the game was a Kitchen Finks from Simon, which would make that whole ‘dealing 20 damage' plan rather weak, as all of a sudden there was 22 to deal. Glenn had a Lotus Bloom to suspend, while Simon had a Careful Consideration after his attacks. Unfortunately for Simon, he wasn't quite careful enough. He accidentally drew an extra card with his Careful Consideration and while both players were friends, Glenn had to call a judge, what with it being nationals and all. Drawing extra cards at a professional level is a game loss no matter which way you slice it.

Glenn Goldsworthy

Simon was pretty philosophical about it all.

"At least I didn't take much damage!"

Glenn Goldsworthy 1 – 0 Simon O'Keeffe

"I could regale you with stories of my long lost childhood in Tibet." suggested Glenn, aware that the first game had not been the most exciting. "It was lost because I was never in Tibet."

At this point things descended into a bizarre interlude with a sheep called Clifford who is a dentist, but ultimately wants to be free and sale the seas as a vacuum cleaner salesman in gay Paris. I really wish I was making this up.

When Simon had to mulligan for game 2, the otherworldly ramblings got even more random, with talk of Clifford's girlfriend Bessie, who left him, making Clifford vengefully insane, declaring "America, you are next!"

The Neck Hug

Conveniently at this point the second game began, much the same as the first, with a Spinerock Knoll from Goldsworthy, and a turn two Lotus Bloom. Simon had a Mirror Entity for turn three, who ran in for one, and was joined by its twin. Meanwhile Glenn was busy building up charge counters on Molten Slagheap, and letting counters tick down on Lotus Bloom. The Mirror Entities swung for 8, taking Glenn to 11. He would be dead the next turn as things stood.

Lotus Bloom came into play for Glenn, before Rite of Flame, Manamorphose and a second Rite of Flame. Pyromancer's Swath was spell five, and Grapeshot, spell six. This did 18, then Ignite Memories came out from under Spinerock Knoll. O'Keeffe, with nothing but spells in hand, scooped them up quickly.

"Sorry man, do you need a hug?"

"Not from you!"

After receiving his hug from the coverage staff, Simon turned to Glenn.

"So... Big Green Deck?"

Glenn Goldsworthy wins 2-0!

Podcast: God Save The Queen

by Rich Hagon

152 players reached the starting line of Nationals here at Birmingham, and we make sure that every single one of them gets a mention before they go 0-3 drop. The early going of Standard also occupies our attention, as a long road of 14 rounds across two days gets under way. Grinder outsiders, Pro players, former National champions and team members, they're all here to do battle for the right to represent Team GB in Memphis later this year. Join us for all the action.

Podcast: Read All About It in the Standard

by Rich Hagon

Yes, another GB-centric pun to get us underway, as we go in-depth with the Standard Metagame, and see which 19 players have maintained their 100% record as we head towards 4 Rounds of Lor-Lor-Mor Draft. Top players, top plays, match reports and more.

Round 2: Weaving Magic - Jonathan Randle vs Neil Rigby

by Tim Willoughby

Jonathan Randle has a pretty good history with the Birmingham NEC venue. Grand Prix Birmingham was his breakout performance, finishing in the top eight with Kithkin not two months ago. For round 2 of the GB nationals, his opponent was Neil Rigby, known as Riggers to most, one of Team MoxRadio, and a wickedly good deckbuilder and player from the north of England.

Neil won the roll, and led with a Figure of Destiny off a Plains. There was just a River of Tears from Randle, who passed. He took 2 from that Figure, who levelled up, and Rigby played a Burrenton Forge-Tender, a powerful choice for the maindeck, given how many red decks seem to be in the room.

Randle had an end of turn Spellstutter Sprite, and a Pendelhaven came on his turn to make that blocker more exciting. It couldn't handle a 4/4 Figure of Destiny though, and Riggers was cagey about committing much more to the board. Once he had four mana available, he played Knight of Meadowgrain, safe from any Rune Snaggery, and continued to beat.

More attacks from Riggers put Jonathan on just 7, and though Randle had played just a single spell, he didn't seem phased by the situation. He had an end of turn Cryptic Command to bounce Figure of Destiny and draw a card. There was no immediate follow up, but now Riggers didn't have anything too scary on the board. He continued to play Burrenton Forge-Tenders and had a Windbrisk Heights to threaten something a little more dangerous.

When Jonathan tried for a Scion of Oona, Riggers went for Unmake. A Rune Snag came from Randle, but there was enough mana there that it's tax was easily paid. A second Scion of Oona did stick, and allowed Randle to start attacking. A Spectral Procession came from Riggers, but he was unwilling to commit to the red zone. He lost a Knight of Meadowgrain at the end of turn to Nameless Inversion, not helping the plan of building a force with which to overwhelm.

Each play took to playing draw-go for a few turns, looking to refuel. It was Riggers that found gas first, in the form of a Thistledown Liege, which resolved at the end of turn. This meant he could swing in the following turn. He tried for a Mirrorweave targeting the Liege after it was clear that he was getting through with enough attackers. Jonathan calmly responded with a Slaughter Pact targeting the blue/white Liege. A second Mirrorweave came out from under Windbrisk Heights, only to be countered by a Rune Snag. A Wizened Cenn came out from other another Windbrisk Heights, to make the damage that was getting through up to 3, but the turn had really not gone as Riggers had hoped.

Randle remembered to pay for his Pact, had a small swing in, and passed. With 2 Mutavaults, Scion of Oona and Spellstutter Sprite, his board was big enough to be troublesome, and Riggers went for the only of the Faeries he could target with an Unmake, only to hit a Rune Snag for the third time in the game.

The only real stroke of good luck for Riggers was that he hadn't seen Mistbind Clique or anything resembling a quick clock from Randle, meaning that he had time to draw into more threats. A Spectral Procession one turn was followed by Goldmeadow Stalwart on the next. With 7 creatures in total, having already traded off Mutavaults on a previous turn, Riggers rumbled in. A Nameless Inversion took down Wizened Cenn, and after blocks, Randle was on a precarious single life point.

It was at this point that Mistbind Clique showed up, along with a Cryptic Command to tap down all of Riggers' creatures. This allowed Randle to attack for exactly enough for Game 1.

Jonathan Randle 1 – 0 Neil Rigby

Neil was kicking himself as he shuffled up for the second game, declaring that he'd played one of his turns very badly. Had he led with his Wizened Cenn on the big Mirrorweave turn, he could have forced Randle to act first, and taken the game right there. He was quick to take his opening hand for the second though, and nodded as Randle had to mulligan down to 6.

Figure of Destiny came down to begin game 2, and found himself racing an Ancestral Visions from Randle. Wizened Cenn was the next play from Riggers, which prompted a Rune Snag from Randle. This was countered by Riggers though, with a Mana Tithe. Randle nodded to himself. This was why that Figure of Destiny had only attacked for one on turn two!

Riggers needed to get in the early beats, and played a Spectral Procession to help him get there. A second Wizened Cenn meant that by the time Ancestral Visions had ticked down, Randle was on 6, and facing quite the force. He played Damnation for his fourth turn, breathing a sigh of relief, but was still not in great shape when Knight of Meadowgrain and Mutavault joined the party on Riggers' side of the board.

Randle used Cryptic Command to tap down Riggers' creatures and continued to play the waiting game. He repeated his trick the next turn, only with sufficient land to also get down a Spellstutter Sprite. This enabled Mistbind Clique to do its thing, again proving the threat to wrest control from Riggers' grasp.

Randle was not looking to hurriedly get in a fight, and sat back on defence, restocking his hand while Riggers too was playing little more than mana producers. Admittedly these included a pair of Mutavaults, but they weren't enough to allow him to attack round for the final 8 points.

Finally, Randle took the initiative, with a Bitterblossom. Riggers played Wizened Cenn only to see Cryptic Command from his opponent. This didn't stop Riggers attacking, and trying a Wizened Cenn from under Windbrisk Heights. Rune Snag stopped the 2/2 while Slaughter Pact killed off Knight of Meadowgrain. For the second game it seemed that after the early rush, Faeries had all the answers. When Riggers tried for an attack with Mutavault, another Mistbind Clique sprung from Randle's hand, ready to block.

With the champion ability on the stack, Riggers had a Mirrorweave targeting his Mutavault, which left Randle championing his Bitterblossom. All of a sudden, there was also not a creature to block with, and Randle didn't see that he could have ‘activated' one of his now unactivated Mutavault creatures. He went to a precarious 3.

A timely Unmake on Mistbind Clique looked to bring that Bitterblossom back into the game soon thereafter, giving Riggers a shot, but Rune Snag to hold it off was enough to seal things.

Jonathan Randle wins 2 - 0!

Round 3: Shades of Blue - William Dunn vs Quentin Martin

by Tim Willoughby

Normally I would wait until lingerie entrepreneur Quentin Martin is in the limited portion of nationals to cover him. This time though, the online panty vendor is playing a deck that he actually feels good about in constructed, with a few, shall we say, greedy choices. His opponent, Will Dunn, had won his slot in GB Nationals just yesterday in the Grinders, with the same aggressive merfolk deck that he's playing today.

Quentin won the die roll and started out with a Vivid Creek, followed by a pair of copies of Vivid Marsh. Will's mana base was not super exciting, but he did get the first beater on the board in the form of Stonybrook Banneret. He followed up with Wake Thrasher, only to see it die to a Murderous Redcap from Quentin.

Merrow Reejeray was the next monster on Will's cavalcade of fish, and he had a Sage's Dousing to stop Demigod of Revenge from Quentin, whose mana was miraculously just working. That Redcap was making attacking tough though, and those turns passing while Quentin's ‘Q and Toast' deck got going weren't necessarily working in Dunn's favour.

The attacks came when Lord of Atlantis tapped down Murderous Redcap, with swings bringing Q to 13. A Pyroclasm was stopped by Cryptic Command, and further swings from Will made it a quick Game 1. Quentin had drawn little but land in the first game, but the internet based lace merchant seemed unflustered.

Will Dunn 1 - 0 Quentin Martin

Quentin was very happy with his seven, and led with Vivid Creek followed by a Dreadship Reef that he was to gradually build up mana with over the coming turns. Will had turn two Lord of Atlantis, and followed with Merrow Reejerey, allowing for some healthy beats.

A pair of copies of Pyroclasm killed off the lords, forcing Will to rebuild, which he began with Sygg, River Guide and another Lord of Atlantis. Murderous Redcap killed off the lord, and for the first time in the game, Will didn't have more creatures to follow up with, preferring to hold back with lands up and 3 cards in hand.

Careful Consideration from Quentin forced a Cryptic Command from Will, to counter and bounce Dreadship Reef. Quentin Floated mana, and used it to cast Mind Spring for 3. One way or another he would get his cards. After taking a hit from Will, Quentin was again playing the card drawing game, with another Careful Consideration.

When Will attacked with Lord of Atlantis and Sygg, River Guide, Quentin was quick to block Sygg, who survived thanks to his protection ability. This did tap Will down below Cryptic Command mana though, meaning that Demigod of Revenge from Quentin on his turn was able to resolve, as there was only a Sage's Dousing from Will, and this could be paid for.

The life totals at 13 – 10 in Will's favour, there was now a legitimate race going on. Will attacked and played both Silvergill Adept and Burrenton Forge-Tender. He really wanted to press the advantage while he had it. Quentin was the one with card advantage, and he played yet another Careful Consideration. This found him a Damnation, which resolved.

All of a sudden, with so many cards, Quentin was in great shape to get things back. There was a Sygg, and two Burrenton Forge-Tenders from Will, but Oona, Queen of the Fae seemed a strong response from Quentin. The Queen quickly made one Quentin Martin Pro Player card blocker for attacks. A Pact of Negation from Q stopped any Cryptic Command shenanigans, and Oona got to swing back to take it.

Will Dunn 1 – 1 Quentin Martin

For game 3, Will was all about the beatdown, leading with Burrenton Forge-Tender and Lord of Atlantis. Quentin was quick to trade Pyroclasm for that Forge-Tender, but didn't have an immediate answer for the Lord. It was joined by Merrow Reejerey, making the clock 6 points of damage a turn, to which Quentin's only play was Careful Consideration.

Quentin quickly fell to 9, but his Careful Consideration had set up a Demigod of Revenge in the graveyard, who got to hit play thanks to one in his hand. A quick swing for 10 all of a sudden made the race tight.

Will had to get in for lethal fast, as he was facing lethal swings back. He attacked with his team, and played a Mirrorweave, targeting Demigod of Revenge. Quentin was tapped out. The game was over, but it wasn't over in Will's favour. A Pact of Negation from Quentin was enough to elicit Will's scoop.

Quentin Martin wins 2 - 1

A Tale of Two Drafts

by Tim Willoughby
Quentin is ready to draft it up!

Going into the first draft of the weekend, there were some very good players at 3 – 0 with varying levels of confidence in Lorwyn/Morningtide. Quentin Martin, a self styled ‘limited specialist', he still has a good feel for the format following all his testing for Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur.

“In the last five drafts I've been in, I've ended up blue. Not particularly because I wanted to (though I definitely did!), but just because it worked out that way!”

He was rather hoping to be able to make the most of this experience in 4 rounds of draft today, against potentially worse prepared opponents.

Just one of those worse prepared players (entirely by his own admission) was former English National Champion Richard Moore. The littlest hobo was taking a break from Magic and working while Lorwyn was at its height, and as such had only drafted the format just once before.

What do you do when you're in England and don't know what to do about a format? You talk to Stuart Wright. Stuart suggested to Rich that drafting Kithkin, the Finkel plan, was a very solid choice, and once that had high potential upside even given a low experience level.

Richard went with the plan all in, and it paid off for him well in the end. He first picked a Moonglove Extract from an unexciting booster, and then Avian Changeling in a heartbeat over Warren Pilferers. Moore ended up with a pretty classic Kithkin deck. No bomb rares, but a solid curve, and the reinforce tricks and removal to be able to cause some serious mischief.

Richard Moore moonlights as Buddy Jesus

Quentin, meanwhile, had a little more sauce going on in his deck. With first and second pick Nameless Inversions, he tried to slide into being a Faerie deck, but when that window closed to him, he seemed more than happy to take a Cloudcrown Oak, and move into Treefolk. This is an archetype that Martin describes as one of the best in the format, and he ended up with a lot of very powerful cards in his pile. He picked Epic Proportions fourth in pack two, and got a sixth pick Colfenor's Plans, which he cits as a sleeper card in the format. With a Rootgrapple, he had no compunctions about playing the powerful enchantment to get him some gas.

In pack 3, Quentin had a really tough choice for his first pick. There were plenty of good options, including Weed Pruner, and Violet Pall. The Leaf-Crowned Elder which made his pile ended up being an incredible monster for him though. With nearly 50% of his deck triggering the kinship, and a Treefolk Harbinger to set up with, the four drop would prove quite the beating.

Round 5 Feature Match: The Filling in a Kithkin Sandwich - Richard Moore vs Ben Sanders

by Tim Willoughby

"Did you ever feel the urge to work your way up to the rank of Colonel, Sanders?"

"Er... no."

After the obligatory pose-off at the start of the round, in which Richard got bested, in part by some impressive facial hair, Richard Moore, former English National Champion won the die roll. Moore's start was impressive, with Order of the Golden Cricket, then Kithkin Zephyrnauts, while Ben's first play of the match was a Diviner's Wand. Kinsbaile Baloonist and Plover Knights were the next plays from Rich. He kept missing on his kinship, but it didn't matter, as Moore was curving out beautifully.

Ben had just Plover Knights, and dropped to 1 on attacks. Avian Changeling

"This one will have to be special. Real special."

"That was........................... special."

Ben quickly scooped up his cards, it was on to Game 2.

Richard Moore 1 - 0 Ben Sanders

"If I win this, then I drafted Kithkin between 2 other white drafters, and I'll have beaten them both" crowed Moore, clearly pleased with the way his nationals was going. Back when he won English Nationals he was playing white weenie, and he was clearly loving attacking with little white creatures.

Ben had a look at his hand and declared "Yup, I'm going to get lucky. I'll keep this."

"You've already got a little bit lucky... I'll mulligan."

Ben led with a turn one Mosquito Guard, and had an Adder-Staff Boggart. He lost the clash, and put a Kithkin Harbinger on the bottom of his deck, while Rich shipped Kinsbaile Baloonist to the bottom.

Kithkin Greatheart was swiftly followed by Avian Changeling and Kithkin Zephyrnaut from Moore, meaning that he could beat in successfully. Dan had a Fire-Belly Changeling, and a Diviner's Wand to soup it up some. On top of this, he soon followed up with Kithkin Greatheart.

A Moonglove Extract killed off the Changeling, and Rich beat Dan down to 7. Moore was proving supremely bad at hitting his kinship, and compounded his problem by playing Weight of Conscience, and forgetting that it still allows blocking. His attacks still took Ben down to 2, but in the process, Rich lost a Kithkin Zephyrnaut.

It looked like Ben might manage to pull things back, with a Galepowder Mage to mean that he had a blocker for Moore's flier. It was all for nothing though, when an Oblivion Ring allowed those final 2 points to get through.

Richard Moore wins 2 - 0!

Podcast: The Start of Lorwyn

by Rich Hagon

For some players, Lorwyn-Morningtide draft is a fondly-remembered land of peace and prosperity. For others, it's a barely-remembered slugfest of confusing tribal signals, immense bombs coming late, and 1-2 records. Find out who remembers what, as we bring you Rounds 4 and 5, plus coverage of the all-important Draft.

Needle Drop Kicks

by Tim Willoughby

It is not very often that you hear of Needle Drop winning games in limited. It is even rarer that that win comes from casting Needle Dropon yourself.

This situation was this. In a slightly rough spot, attacks took one player down to a precariously low life total. Lightning Crafter then tapped to kill of the lone 3/3 who was threatening to come in for the swing back and win. With Diviner's Wand equipped, the 3/3 was safe though, when the canny player used a Needle Drop to deal 1 to themselves, and draw a card, meaning that the now 4/4 survived and was able to swing back to finish things off.


Festival Fun

by Tim Willoughby

So while the GB Nationals are going on, there is a great deal else happening here at M-Fest. While the traders have sold quite a few cards for Standard already, there have also been some big sales on cards for other formats, including Vintage, for the Vintage National Championships which are running on Saturday. There are also block PTQs every day, and Grand Prix trials.

On the block side of things, we've already seen a very interesting development with a new deck from Ireland doing great things in the hands of Stewart Shinkins in today's PTQ. More information on that one later in the weekend.

For more casual fun, there is the 2HG tournament, open gaming, and historic sealed deck, which sports packs from the Wizards of the Coast Vault. There is even the chance to win the new From the Vault: Dragons pack before it's street date here this weekend. The Grand Melee will be on Saturday, and is sure to be great fun, if rather complicated for the judges having to keep nominal control of things.

There is the vague possibility perhaps, that you might want to do something other than play Magic all weekend. Well, there's plenty more to do for those who get burned out on the big game. There is a Monopoly tournament going on for would be property tycoons, and a wide variety of Hasbro's various board games are available for open play for anyone that wants.

With music playing between rounds and a general party atmosphere, M-Fest is now in it's second year, and gets bigger and better every year. Players have come over from around Europe to check it out. If you can, come on down. If you can't just get comfy – there are still 2 more days of Magic going on here, and we will do our best to bring as much of it to you as possible.

Round 6 Feature Match: Send in the Clowns - Stuart Wright vs Matteo Orsini-Jones

by Tim Willoughby

The match got off to a blistering start. Matteo had a turn two Silvergill Douser to Stuart's Blightsoil Druid, then a Vendilion Clique in Stuart's draw step. Liliana Vess, Giant HarbingerMoonglove Changeling and Weed Pruner Poplar were the options, and Matteo went for the poplar after a little thought.

When Stuart evoked Spitebellows it prompted a ‘How lucky!' from Matteo, but he was still happy enough as he rumbled in for two with Silvergill Douser thans to Kinsbaile Skirmisher, and Cenn's Tactitian soon followed.

Stuart played Giant Harbinger, finding a Blindspot Giant with the search ability. Between Cenn's Tactician, Moonglove Extract and Silvergill Douser, that Skirmisher got to beat up Giant Harbinger without dying. While that Blindspot Giant and Moonglove Changeling came down, Stuart made an uncharacteristic misplay in blocking Kinsbaile Skirmisher with Blindspot Giant, and losing it to Cenn's Tactician continuing to pump the 2/2.

“Man... I just forgot how to count!”

Having been schooled, he took beats the following turn from the amazing growing Skirmisher, and a fresh Dewdrop Spy. Stuart had a Dreamspoiler Witches, and followed up with Liliana Vess, which fetched a card.

Oaken Brawler revealed that card to be a Peppersmoke, which would be very good with those Dreamspoiler Witches. Attacks from Matteo took Stuart down to 7. With Liliana Vess still about, Stuart got to use her ability to search again, and immediately draw the card that was found, by using Peppersmoke to off Silvergill Douser. The second search target was a Shriekmaw to kill the now 5/5 Kinsbaile Skirmisher.

“I guess I'd be fine now if I could just add up.”

A Weight of Conscience removed Dreamspoiler Witches, and Matteo continued to rumble in. Stuart was now on five, and had a Black Poplar Shaman, but seemed cold to a Dewdrop Spy that, as the only flier on the board, was rather making a nuisance of itself. While Stuart drew a Weed-Pruner Poplar, it was not enough, and he was soon scooping up his cards for Game 2.

Stuart Wright 0 – 1 Matteo Orsini-Jones

“Man... that Weed Pruner woul dhave been soooo good!”

Game 2 started briskly, and Stuart led with Black Poplar Shaman. A Paperfin Rascal from Matteo revealed a Spitebellows for Stuart and a Silvergill Adept for Matteo. Both players kept their cards as they were.

Matteo's next monster was a Changeling Sentinel, while Stuart had a Lowland Oaf. A Giant Harbinger came next from Stuart, who was intent on filling his side of the board with massive monsters. He found a War-Spike Changeling, declaring the awkwardness of not having a Thundercloud Shaman when you want one.

Matteo had that Douser, and a Moonglove Extract. There was a Peppersmoke for the Adept, and War-Spike came down. Matteo was playing land-go, while Stuart continued to drop 3/3s, choosing Weed-Pruner Poplar to come next. The following turn he ran in with everyone, and got to get a bit of payback for the last game, by stopping both a Neck Snap and a double block using the regeneration ability of Black Poplar Shaman to keep all of his creatures alive.

Former UK Nationals finalist Tom Harle asked from the bleachers “Is this the X-1 feature match?”

Stuart enjoyed the fact that he'd nearly sideboarded out that Black Poplar Shaman. Turns out that on board tricks sometimes just work.

Stuart Wright 1 – 1 Matteo Orsini-Jones

Matteo led with Kinsbaile Skirmisher on turn 2, and followed with Paperfin Rascal. He revealed Notorious Throng, winning that clash easily. All Stuart had at this point was Blightsoil Druid. He used the druid to power out a Lowland Oaf, which traded with the merfolk.

When Stuart tried a Tarpitcher, he met a Broken Ambitions. The clash revealed a Peppersmoke from Stuart, which he quickly put to the bottom of his deck. After attacking for 2, Matteo made two 1/1 creatures. When Stuart played a Dreamspoiler Witches.

Matteo sighed, then used Weight of Conscience to remove the faerie from the game.

“What? The classic, sigh then kill my guy?”

Matteo followed up with a Vendilion Clique to improve his hand, and started attacking in the air. A Moonglove Extract followed. When Stuart used Release the Ants on the Faerie, Matteo chose to kill it off himself with the extract, afraid of Stuart getting to kill his whole team slowly but surely with the clash burn spell.

A Shriekmaw killed off a Stonybrook Angler, and Stuart declared the race to be on. He attacked with his team, then played Liliana Vess to fetch a card and passed. He had a War-Spike Changeling and a Peppersmoke for Matteo's one creature.

Stuart was enjoying himself now, coming back for the win. Matteo, meanwhile was drawing nothing but land. After 3 land in a row, he tossed his hand on the table and conceded.

Stuart Wright wins 2 - 1

Podcast: The Halfway Line

by Rich Hagon

With four rounds of Draft to wade through, Swiss pairings made it very hard to reach the hallowed ground of 7-0. So hard in fact, that the princely sum of ZERO players made it all the way. That makes the top of the table seriously bunched up with a host of former Champs, Top 8ers and perennial nearly-men looking to make a push towards the GB team. Join us tomorrow for the second half of the Swiss.

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