Posted in Event Coverage on February 8, 2004

By Michael Thicke

Dave Humpherys, Upper deck Entertainment's newest Magic-culled employee, was looking to supplement his earnings a bit this tournament and get his company's logo some exposure. Ken Ho was on a roll, having taken down fellow Californian Ian Spaulding in the semifinals with his mono-black machine.

Game 1

Ken mulliganned to begin the match, playing first. He led with Disciple of the Vault and followed it up with Grimclaw Bats. Humpherys had a second turn Vulshok Morningstar, but his third turn Leonin Sun-Standard did not have a third land to go with it. That made Ken's third turn Chittering Rats devastating.

"Ooh, it hurts," Ken remarked, clearly confident about his chances.

Another Rats of Ken's fourth turn pretty much ended the game, as Humpherys hand contained nothing but uncastable spells.

Ho 1 - 0 Humpherys

Game 2

Grimclaw Bats

Humphery's first spell of the game was a turn four Clockwork Condor, while Ken led with the usual Disciple of the Vault, Slith Bloodletter, Bonesplitter. The Condor wasn't really up to the task, as it only managed to trade with a 'splittered Disciple while the Slith continued to grow.

Dave passed his fifth turn without a play, leaving two Plains and three Islands untapped. When Ken gave him the "Are you bluffing?" stare, he just grinned and set down his hand. Ken asked for the wording on Soul Nova (It removes the creature and equipment from the game, so you cannot regenerate from it and Disciple of the Vault will not deal damage), and then attacked with just Grimclaw Bats equipped with Leonin Scimitar. Humpherys didn't have the white instant and took three. At the end of Ken's turn he revealed his "trick" - Regress on Slith Bloodletter. Not all that exciting, considering the board position.

Humpherys' parade of unimpressive plays continued on the next turn with Somber Hoverguard played for the full six mana. On Ken's turn it then traded with Disciple of the Vault. Perhaps the worst Hoverguard ever.

Luminous Angel was Dave's next play, but at this point he was too low for it to be a factor. Ken attacked with both his creatures, forcing Humpherys to make very unenviable choice: either trade with one on Ken's dorks, or let himself go to one and risk losing to one of Ken's three Consume Spirits. He decided that his only out was Loxodon Warhammer on the Angel, so he let himself go to one. The Warhammer was not forthcoming, and Ken did indeed have the Consume on his turn to take the game, match, and tournament.

Ken Ho 2 - 0 Dave Humpherys

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