Posted in Event Coverage on March 28, 2004

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

Mike Turian vs. Craig Krempels

Craig Krempels and Mike Turian sat down for an all CMU/TOGIT finals. They even came from each of the Magic uber-team's halves. Mike Turian is the soon to be departed spiritual leader of CMU. Mike is engaged to Rachel Reynolds who is working for Wizards of the Coast and when they get cohabitated he will no longer be able to play in DCI events due to her employment contract.

He will still be able to play in San Diego and Grand Prix DC but the Magic community has been pulling for him to win another title since he made Top 8 in Amsterdam. His opponent was New Jersey's own Craig Krempels. Craig was keeping pace with Oiso in last year's Rookie of the Year Race until the end of the season when the Japanese player pulled away. Craig had been in something of a sophomore slump and was actually not qualified for San Diego before he secured his Top 8 berth.

He had a couple of dramatic wins along the way to the finals including an entwined Savage Beating that sealed his place at the draft table. In the semi-finals against Brock Parker he demanded that his deck deliver a Promise of Power and he was able to entwine the spell and make a 6/6 flying token to win the match.

Game 1

Vulshok Berserker

Craig opened up with a pair of Myr. Mike also had a pair of Myr except one of his was of the Lodestone variety. Craig also had a broken rare and used his guys to accelerate into Fangren Firstborn. Mike had an answer of sorts in Soldier Replica. Craig cast Battlegear and sent his 8/6 beast into combat. Mike put everyone in the way and pumped the heck out of his Lodestone. Craig looked crestfallen, "I'm pretty sure I am getting Awe Struck here." He was and Mike gained eight life and the Fangren Firstborn went away.

Mike cast a Sword of Kaldra and tapped it to pump his attacking Lodestone. "There is another one of these in the draft and I hope it is in your hand."

Mike proceeded to ask Head Judge John Shannon what would happen if there was Shield of Kaldra in play and then two Swords of Kaldra were played. Craig's eyes widened, "What is happening?"

"Nothing, I was just wondering." (It turns out the second Sword would just go tot the graveyard as a state based effect due to the Legends rules.)

Craig drew five cards with Promise of Power and dipped to the halfway mark at ten life. That was enough for Mike to equip his Lodestone Myr and then pump it to make it a 10/10 trampler. Even if Craig blocked, Mike could kill the blocker with Soldier Replica and trample over for lethal damage.

Game 2

While they shuffled the two friends chatted. Mike asked, "Have you had fun this weekend? This has been pretty exciting."

Craig smiled--no doubt recalling his Savage Beating and Promise of Power, "I've had fun…and I get a trophy." Craig stopped having fun when he had to mulligan his hand on the play. He kept his next six.

Turian led off the action with a Leonin Scimitar and drew into a Plains to cast Auriok Transfixer. Craig Terrored it and played an Iron Myr. He was missing a third land drop though. Mike's Vulshok Berserker burst across the red zone for three damage and Craig had to Journey of Discovery for two lands on his next turn.

He fell to thirteen when Mike equipped the Berserkers and came in for four. He followed with a Soldier Replica. Craig played a Tel-Jilad Outriders and traded it for the Berserker on Mike's next turn. Mike played a Goblin Archeologist and a Wirefly Hive and rubbed his hands together, "Lots of coin flipping."

Craig played a Juggernaut and Mike attempted a Wirefly Hive token EOT. He won the flip and it brandished the Scimitar and attacked for three. Mike moved his Leonin Bola onto the Goblin, played a Sword of Kaldra, and passed the turn.

The Goblin tapped the Juggernaut and Craig looked at the Wirefly Hive token that was going to pick up the Sword of Kaldra next turn. He extended the hand and the spectators burst into applause. One of the most popular Magic players in the world was the Grand Prix Columbus Champion.

Congratulations Mike Turian!

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