Finals: Neil Reeves vs. Trent Boneau

Posted in Event Coverage on June 7, 2003

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.

“I gotta tell you it would be nice to beat Reeves.” Trent looked up from his three piles of mana 6, 6, and 6. “but I am running the devil’s mana here.”

There is no hard and fast strategy for one-on-one draft. I don’t know if anyone west of Jon Becker’s Philadelphia crowd plays it as anything other than a desperate airplane Magic fix on long flights overseas. Neil seemed to have a pretty good grasp on the ebb and flow of the card though. He took a first pick Mythic Proportions passing a Wirewood Savage and Barkhide Mauler in green. Trent shipped him a second pick Sparksmith with an uncommon missing. “You took an Uncommon over Sparky so that’s either Slice and Dice or Lightning Rift. When the Savage came back I knew it was Rift. You took the Barkhide mauler which is like DING, DING, DING!”

Trent was unimpressed with the deductions, “That sounds good but let’s face it… Dave was standing behind me the whole time.” Trent won the roll but decided to let Neil play first. “It seems like drawing might help my deck… the ol’ grey ghost!”

Neil mulliganed his opening hand and both players kicked off on turn three with mystery men. Neil’s morph swung in without incident and he played a Krosine Vorine, which provoked and traded with Trent’s second morph a Master of the Vale. An Everglove Courier left Neil with few cards in hand and he was amazed by how many Trent still seemed to have. Trent’s morph—a Seaswift—trade with the Courier and he played a Goblin Grappler and another morph. A turn later he Lay Wasted Neil’s Mountain and Neil cycled a Slice and Dice in response to kill the Grappler.

Neil’s morph kept hitting away for two a turn but he had no follow-up plays. When Trent played a Crested Craghorn he chose not to provoke and got in for four points of damage. The score was Neil = 9 Trent = 12. When Neil played out Sparksmith, Trent was forced to provoke and kill it. An unmorphed Battering Craghorn took Trent to 9 but he was able to stem the bleeding with Mistform Wall. Neil made morphs and Spurred Wolverine for a couple of turns while Trent played Screeching Buzzard and Goblin Goon.

Trent was up by one creature with one card in hand. Neil thought for a moment and got out his trusty toothpick. He played a Berserk Murlodant and swung in with the team. The one card turned out to be Cruel Revival and the Murlodant went away allowing the Goon to eat one of Neil’s men. On the next turn, Trent swung the Goon into a double block. When Neil used the Spurred Wolverine to give first strike, Trent flipped up a Willbender and gave the Goon first strike instead.

Neil - 0 Trent - 1

Game two

Stonewood Invoker, Wirewood Savage, trade Invoker with a morph, start drawing cards with the Savage on turn five. Trent tried to keep up with Sparksmith and Grappler but a timely cycle of Slice and Dice warranted the quick scoop.

Neil - 1 Trent - 1

Game three

With the match—and the title—on the line, Trent elected to play and was rewarded with a turn two Saprksmith. Neil’s turn two play was Wirewood Elf and he followed with a Wirewood Savage grateful that Trent’s follow-up to Sparky was a morph. Neil was missing a fourth land and could not cast the fat beasts he was holding. Trent won a battle of face down creatures with an umorphed Master of the Vale but Neil found land number four and played Hystrodon face-up for a card from the Savage. The Hystrodon was Cruel Revival-ed on Trent’s next turn but the flood gates were open and Berserk Murlodant drew Neil extra card number two.

Trent finally drew another Goblin after playing Lightning Rift and cycling into a Grappler—killing the Savage in the process. The Sparksmith killed a morphed Slateback and Neil had only a Wirewood Elf in play. Neil had been holding a Mythic Proportions for a few turns—living in fear of the Willbender. Without the mana to unmorph it—if that was indeed the remaining morph on Trent’s side of the table. Neil tapped all of his mana to enchant his Elf with the local enchantment and won the game on the next turn.

Neil - 2 Trent - 1

Congratulations to Event Horizons Invitational Winner Neil Reeves!

Neil Reeves

Download Arena Decklist
Sorcery (1)
1 Slice and Dice
Enchantment (2)
1 Crown of Fury 1 Mythic Proportions
Land (18)
10 Forest 8 Mountain
Other (3)
1 Evergrove Courier 1 Beserk Murlodont 1 Explosive Vegatation
40 Cards

Trent Boneau

Download Arena Decklist

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