by Thomas Pannell
This year's PTNY finals showcased a match between two underrated Pro Tour players, Andrew Cuneo and Mike Turian. Andrew Cuneo is regarded as the inventor of Cuneo Blue, the archetype for the current Draw-Go. Andrew is a member of the CMU team and an experienced Pro Tour player, but never achieved the level of success that many thought his talents would produce. Mike Turian was a member of both incarnations of Team CMU, and his talents were overshadowed by the overwhelming success of Erik Lauer and Randy Beuhler. Up until this morning, Mike had never played on the final day of a Pro Tour.
The matchup between Turian and Cuneo was considered very pivotal to the outcome of the match. Gary Wise was considered by many to have a sizable advantage in his match against Aaron Forsythe. Andrew Johnson had a bit of advantage over Scott Johns because of Johnson's multiple copies of Troubled Healer and Defender En-Vec. So if things went as expected in those matches it all came down to the Turian Cuneo match.
Cuneo chose to play first in the first game and laid land for his first couple turns. Turian used his first turn to lay a Mountain and a Seal of Fire. Cuneo played Rootwater Commando on his third turn. Rootwater Commando is especially good against Turian due to the Islandwalk ability. Not wanting to take 2 a turn for the rest of the game from the Commando Turian used his Seal of Fire to Destroy it. Turian then played Wandering Eye which caused both players to reveal their hands. Cuneo's hand showed a Stinging Barrier but Turian had the answer in Rystic Lightning. Cuneo then played a Pit Raptor but wasn't hurt by the upkeep as he didn't draw many spells over the next few turns.
Turian used this opportunity to play many creatures of his own. His side included two first strikers which allowed him to trade with Andrews Pit Raptor. After the Pit Raptor was gone it allowed Turian to full on attack and Andrew conceded on the following turn.
Cuneo played first again and played a third turn Belbe's Percher to which Turian answered with a Ribbon Snake. Cuneo seemed unimpressed though as he attacked with his flier any way. Turian realizing that Cuneo must have his Steal Strength bocked any way willing to trade his ribbon snake for the Steal Strength. Cuneo had it and the snake perished. Turian later removed the percher with his Seal of Fire. This left Cuneo with no offence, but before Turian could take advantage of this Cuneo played Scandalmonger. Over the next couple turns Cuneo used it to remove all of the cards in Turian's hand.
With no cards and only a lone faultriders in play Andrew began to attack with his Fen Stalker and was able to make it unblockable by activating Scandlemonger. The final blow came when Cuneo drew Seal of Removal. He used Seal of Removal to return Mike's only creature and then used his Scandalmonger to force Turian to discard it.
Andrew quickly won over the next two turns.
The Final game of this match was not played however because Scott Johns won his match in dramatic fashion to make Potato Nation champions of Pro Tour New York 2000.