Finals - Jonathan Smithers vs. Brad Nelson

Posted in Event Coverage on October 24, 2010

By Brian David-Marshall

"I am a Pro Point rookie," said Canadian Jonathan Smithers as he and Brad Nelson settled in for their Finals match-up. When he goes to Paris to compete it will be the opening salvo in his Rookie of the Year campaign. Meanwhile the person he was facing in these finals was in the midst of taking the final territory in his Player of the Year assault this season -- Brad Nelson.

Game one

Jon won the roll and elected to play first but could not keep his opening hand. While he was shuffling Brad wrote a note on a piece of paper and held it up to the camera to wish his dad a Happy Birthday.

"Last week was my Dad's birthday and I told him I would bring home a trophy for his birthday since I couldn't be there," explained Brad. Jon nodded but made a note of his own apologizing for spoiling Brad's gift.

Auriok Edgewright led off turn two for Jon with a Silver Myr for Brad. Jon attacked for two and played Nim Deathmantle. Brad took that window to kill the Edgewright with Arc Trail -- doing bonus damage to Jon -- and played Sunspear Shikari.

"You were the guy taking those," said Jon who had been drafting similar white creatures on the other side of the table. He played Perilous Myr and passed the turn. Brad attacked into knowing that Jon would want to save his Perilous Myr for when he had Deathmantle mana. Brad followed up with Necropede and Shikari number two.

"You were taking all my Shikaris!"

Brad had slow rolled Oxidda Scrapmelter for the Deathmantle and even let Jon equip the Myr. He drew it out a little longer playing the Barrage Ogre instead. Jon did manage to get at least one Sunspear Shikari and moved the Deathmantle over.

Brad leaped into action and threw the Necropede at the equipped Shikari and used the ability from the artifact creature to put a -1/-1 counter on the Perilous Myr. Jon sent them Myr damage at Brad's Silver Myr and he tapped it for mana and used it to play Scrapmelter to destroy the Deathmantle and wipe Jon's board clear.

They played a couple of additional cards but Brad was able to mop up from that point.

Game two

Brad reached for his sideboard and pulled out two Mountains and swapped them for two other Mountains in his deck while Jon was doing a little sideboarding of his own. Jon kept his hand this game while Brad thought about his Myr-light hand but opted to keep and manage to play a Silver Myr on turn two after Jon's Sunspear Shikari.

Brad Nelson

Accorder's Shield came down and swung the life totals in opposite directions when the equipped creature got in for two. Brad played Chrome Steed but would have to play catch up this game.

"Your start is good."

Jon played Nim Deathmantle and Perilous Myr. Brad played Trigon of Corruption and Panic Spellbomb and now had a big Steed. Jon had Flesh Allergy and was able to wipe Brad's creatures off the board by sacrificing the Perilous Myr. Brad played Barrage Ogre but was getting ready to take four a turn when the Sunspear picked up the Deathmantle.

Jonathan Smithers

Brad cycled his spellbomb and played Vulshok Replica leaving mana up for the Trigon. Brad did not let Jon gain any life. He blocked the Sunspear and threw the Replica at him. Jon went to work post-combat and was able to play two Glint Hawks and pick up and replay his Accorder's Shield for free each time. Finally he reequiped it to the Sunspear. Brad began whittling it down to size with his Trigon and played Razor Hippogriff returning Steed.

Brad replayed the Steed and was able to block the Sunspear with his Chrome Steed and only give Jon one life per turn. The score was 31 to 9 in Jon's favor. Jon played Kemba's Skyguard and passed the turn. Brad shot down a Glint Hawk at end of turn with Barrage Ogre and his empty Trigon while Jon was tapped below Deathmantle mana.

Brad added a Leaden Myr whose sole job was to get flung by Barrage Ogre at the first opportunity, like when Jon tried to move the Shield over to Glint Hawk. Jon had four mana up but instead chose to move the Deathmantle over to his Skyguard. He was tapped out.

Brad glared at the board before finally sending his Chrome Steed and flyer into battle. After combat he used Arc Trail on the Skyguard and finished it off with a tossed Chrome Steed. Painsmith and Perilous Myr were enough for Brad to finally say, "You got it"

Game three

Brad chose to play and kept his opening hand. Jon deliberated and finally -- and grudgingly -- mulliganed.

"I need to learn not to peek."

"I always peek, it is still right to mulligan," said Brad while Jon relayed the story of the missing color of mana waiting on top of his deck.

"Would you have mulliganed this hand -- " began Jon before Brad cut him off.

"Tell me about it after the game."

"I can tell you now," shrugged Jon.

"I don't want to think about it now," said Brad as he kicked things off with Myrsmith.

"Yeah that's a good one," shrugged Jon as he played Leaden Myr.

Brad played Panic Spellbomb, made a guy, and cycled the spellbomb to get in for two past the Leaden Myr that was barred from blocking. Jon played Glint Hawk and replayed Leaden Myr.

Brad tapped four for Trigon and Jon sighed in relief, "I thought you were gonna Arc Trail me."

"That would have been sick," Brad said wistfully.

Little did Brad know the sickness that was lurking on the other side of the table. Jon untapped and played Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon.

"Are you for real?" slumped Brad.

"Yeah, that was passed to me in pack two. I am not even joking."

Brad soldiered on with a Necropede making another Myr. He asked the judge for a token.

"I will just give you some and you can use them at your leisure," offered the judge.

"I don't know how long I am gonna be using them," frowned Brad. He used the Trigon to make the dragon a 3/3 and took that many poison counters. Jon played Revoke Existence to make sure there was no additional dragon shrinkage. Brad passed the turn back to a wide-eyed Jon.

"Wow, I just drew it!" he declared as he played Livewire Lash, equipped the dragon, and attacked. He had exactly one white mana left for Seize the Initiative to get poison overkilll. The ability on the Lash let him do two infect damage when it was targeted by the white instant, it got a +2/+0 bonus from the Lash in the first place, and then an additional +1/+1 for good measure from the spell.

Just like that the hometown player who had never earned a Pro Point before this weekend had defeated the player well on the way to being the fastest player to amass 100 career Pro Points.

Congratulations to Jonathan Smithers the 2010 Grand Prix Toronto champion!

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