Live Coverage of 2004 English National Championship

Posted in Event Coverage on June 27, 2004

By Richard Edbury

Steve Easton may be the first English player to play with magic cards, as he started playing at the Gen con, where Magic was first demo'ed. His first Pro Tour; Columbus back in the first year of the pro tour earned him a 28th place finish, playing a Counter post deck in Ice Age block constructed. Paul Willis has also had success on the pro tour, although he has been playing for a while, he made money in Kobe playing a speedy affinity deck which he also sports today (although the list is much different).

The winner of this match will be guaranteed a spot in the top eight as these two players sit top of the Swiss, Steve has just won his last 6 rounds of draft making him tied for English Nationals draft champion with Sam Gomersall.

Paul is playing a fairly standard build of Affinity where as Steve Easton is playing Tooth and Nail with red and Eternal Witness.

Paul mu

Eternal Witness
lliganed and his start was very unimpressive two Great Furnaces and an Arcbound Ravager were not very impressive when a pyroclasm hit. Interestingly Paul chose to sac both his lands to the ravager. He had plenty more land so whilst Steve developed his mana base and played small guys like Eternal Witness and Solemn Simulacrum he was able to attack with an added cranial plate. Steve had a ton of mana available but was dead to one hit from the ravager, and with no actual spells he could carry on. On his last turn he made a potentially game costing mistake. He cast Reap and Sow with entwine targeting an artifact land rather than Paul's Glimmer Void, Paul sacrificed the land in response to the Arcbound Ravager and this meant Steve could cast his small blocker, this would have given him another draw to find a game winning Tooth and Nail.

Paul Willis leads 1-0

This time it was Steve who mulliganed he looked fairly short of mana, but had several artifact destruction spells in the form of Oxidize and Naturalize and a pyroclasm slowed Steve down considerably. Even so a Disciple of the Vault, Blinkmoth Nexus and Arcbound Worker were gradually killing Steve. Eventually with Steve on 12 life he played an Oblivion Stone, Paul hit him to 9 and passed the turn. The following turn he cast Arcbound Ravager, which Steve allowed to resolve, although he realised this was a mistake shortly after, he was forced to blow the stone and when Paul sacrificed all his artifacts, the disciple ended the game.

Paul Willis wins 2-0 and is now almost guaranteed a spot in the top 8

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