Feature Match Round 7: Chris Clapton vs. Amiel Tenembaum

Posted in Event Coverage on August 24, 2003

By Jim Grimmett

Amiel Tenembaum and Chris Clapton are both sitting on 6-0 and looking for the one more win to take them through to day two. The winner will have a good chance at a top eight slot if they can win the next round too.

Amiel is playing a Red and White Slide deck, with Lightning Rift, Astral Slide, Angels, Dragons and Starstorm. Chris is playing Mono White Control, again with Astral Slides but playing main deck Silver Knights and more of the White spells Amiel is playing. Both players need lots of land and more often than not, the winner is the player who doesn’t get mana screwed. Another important card is the lightning Rift, making all of Chris’ cycling cards a Shock to his own head.

Amiel won the die roll and chose to keep his opening hand. Chris took a mulligan but stuck with his six cards.

Amiel’s Lightning Rift was the first spell of the game but it couldn’t do anything about Chris’ Silver Knight the turn later. Amiel cast a creature of his own the very next turn and let Chris’ Knight through for two before he drew a much needed fourth land off the top of his deck, turned over his Exalted Angel and flew in for four.

Next turn Amiel cast a Slide and attacked again, dropping Chris to 12 life and passed the turn. Chris responded by casting Wipe Clean, destroying Amiel’s Slide. “Main deck?” Amiel was very surprised, Chris just smiled. Chris came in for another two but wasn’t making much headway against the life gained from Amiel’s Angel. Amiel attacked again the turn later but ran into a Wing Shards Chris had held onto until he could get rid of the Slide. With nothing else to do Amiel dropped a Temple of the False God and cast an Eternal Dragon.

Chris wasn’t doing so well, having missed a few land drops and so cycled a Decree of Justice digging for land. He pulled a Plains off the top, played it and passed the turn. Amiel dropped another Temple, and flew in for five with his Dragon knocking Chris to a fragile seven life.

Chris untapped, drew and sent his Knight in for the last time before casting Akroma’s Vengeance to clear the board and Amiel cycled a Wrath of his own in reponse, then used his Rift to take Chris down to five.

Amiel bought a Dragon back to his hand in his upkeep and cast a morph before passing the turn. Chris did one better by hard casting an Angel of his own and dropping Dragon Scales on it – now it could kill Dragons and other Angels with ease. Amiel obviously didn’t like it as he cast Vengeance himself, followed by another morph.

Chris had a second Vengeance of his own and took out the Angel and a few turns later brought his dragon back, ready to cast it. Amiel took the opportunity to cycle Decree of Justice, making six 1/1 guys. He attacked with all of them next turn and Chris cycled a Decree of his own, but could only make two 1/1s, blocked two of Amiel’s soldiers and went down to one life. He untapped, drew another land and they moved on to game two.

Chris bought in an Oblation, an extra Wipe Clean and three Astral Slides, taking out his Knights and a Dragon Scales. Amiel bought in two more Wing Shards, a Decree of Justice, a Decree of Annihilation, two Akromas and his fourth Temple of the False God. He took out most of his anti-Goblin cards: a Starstorm, three Spark Sprays and three Gempalm Incinerators.

Chris chose to play and both players kept their opening hands. For the first few turns all the action was with Amiel. He cycled, cast a Rift and a morph. Things started to look better for Chris on turn four with a Dawn Elemental. Amiel missed his fourth land drop, but had a Slide and cast that instead.

Chris managed to get a few attacks in and cast an Astral Slide of his own and both players sat behind their creatures and Slides for a few turns until Chris broke the deadlock by cycling Decree of Justice in Amiel’s end step – putting seven 1/1 soldiers into play. The next few turns Chris went on the offensive, and Amiel killed a few soldiers each turn but not before Chris had knocked him down to four life.

Chris drew another good card, Wipe Clean, and killed Amiel’s Astral Slide, breaking the symmetry again but Amiel had another waiting in his hand and Chris couldn’t force through the extra damage he needed. Both players solidified their board positions with extra creatures, an Akroma for Amiel and a Dragon for Chris but Amiel’s Lightning Rift had been busy and Chris was down to half of his life. Chris tried to force through a little more damage but Amiel had better blockers and every time a card was cycled Chris was two closer to a losing the game. Eventually Chris had to Slide a creature himself and Amiel took him to four. “Show me two cyclers.” Amiel showed him the two in his hand and Chris conceded.

Amiel wins 2-0.

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