Gateway Round 2: Ben Seck vs. Gary Talim

Posted in Event Coverage on May 8, 2003

By Josh Bennett

Armed with his perpetual smile and wackier-than-usual deck, "The" Ben Seck is ready to take down the Masters Gateway. The two-time Grand Prix Champion is playing a crazy red-white cycling deck, like Astral Slide but supercharged by Fluctuator. The presence of maindeck Disciples of Law helps to give red decks fits. That's bad news for Gary "MF" Talim, who recently Top 8'd at Grand Prix – Singapore. The big man is with Sligh, like so many others trying to speed their way to two grand.

Game 1

Lightning Rift
Talim won the die roll and kicked off with a Goblin Cadets. Seck went one better with Mox Diamond and Lightning Rift. Talim's draw was substandard, and he had to send a Volcanic Hammer to the dome. Seck trumped him with Fluctuator. Suddenly he had lots of cantrip Shocks at his disposal.

Talim failed to find a third land, playing out a pair of Cursed Scrolls and some Seals of Fire. Seck had ample time. He Tutored for Lightning Rift, then drew another. That was more than enough versus Talim's two land. He machinegunned him out.

Seck 1 – Talim 0

Game 2

Seck pulled Clear and Radiant's Judgments for Angels and a Radiant's Dragoons. Talim pulled some burn to bring in land destruction and Fledgling Dragons.

Talim's draw had a little more gas this time around. He kicked off with Mire and Pup, then a mountain, Pup and Cadets. Seck had to play a Secluded Steppe, readying a Slice and Dice, but Talim came down with Rishadan Port to keep Seck off his critical third mana. Seck gamely played a Fluctuator, and Talim showed him the Blistering Firecat to take the game. It was the very picture of a nuts Sligh draw.

Seck 1 – Talim 1

Game 3

Seck paused on his second turn in the deciding game, staring down a Fanatic. He decided to drop a Fluctuator before passing it back. Talim again had the port, keeping Seck off his Red mana. Seck did not have a second red source, and was forced to play a Drifting Meadow, clearly short on lands. Talim further slowed him down with a Pillage on the Fluctuator.

Seck again failed to find land, and Talim punished him. Pillage and Wasteland reduced him to just a Blasted Landscape. He did not draw another land. Stone Rain left him permanentless. Only then did Talim start bringing out the men. With the Port keeping Seck on the back foot, Talim cruised to victory.

Final Result: Gary Talim defeats Ben Seck 2-1

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