Live Coverage of 2005 Pro Tour Columbus

Posted in Event Coverage on October 30, 2004

By Mike Turian

Before joining Magic Online as its digital product manager, Mike worked as a producer for Wizards's technology department, a product manager for organized play, and as an R&D lead developer. He has played Magic Online since it came out in 2002 and Magic since The Dark.

Jeff Garza sat down complaining about how he had to play against another Mind's Desire deck. He felt that Mind's Desire was his worst matchup. Little did he know that Nick West wasn't playing Desire at all but instead was running Scepter Control. This was both players' first Pro Tour and they both were now playing for Top 8. West said he had already beat six Reanimator decks on the weekend -- two of the Cephalid Breakfast variety and four traditional Reanimator decks. Apparently, Isochron Control was the right choice for this metagame.

Isochron Scepter

Garza, of Norfolk, Mass., was hoping to get to 36 points so that he would have a chance at Top 8, while West already had 36. West would have loved a draw but Garza had no interest. Garza felt that he had done so well that he had to give himself a chance for Top 8.

"So you are going first," asked Garza after losing the die roll.

"Most certainly," replied West.

Game 1

West started out Force Spiking a Brainstorm of Garza's… At this point, Garza realized that West wasn't playing Mind's Desire at all. On the second turn, Garza used a Sickening Dreams to pitch an Akroma, Angel of Wrath. West played Accumulated Knowledge. The next turn, Garza tried a Reanimate on Akroma but West had a Counterspell.

Garza did manage to get out a Putrid Imp the following turn. West played Accumulated Knowledge for two on the end step, followed by a Brainstorm.

West locked up the game on the following turn with an Isochron Scepter imprinting Orim's Chant. Garza had no way to break the lock and conceded the next turn.

West 1, Garza 0

"Can't I go out in a more honorable way than this? Chanting every turn how cheap," said Garza between games.

Game 2

Garza began Game 2 with a Careful Study. He discarded a Vampiric Tutor and a Verdant Force. On the second Garza was hoping to Reanimate but he hadn't found a land with either his Careful Study or his draw phase. He missed multiple land drops as West put down a Meddling Mage. Garza found a black source but Meddling Mage had named Reanimate. West Force Spiked an Exhume that Garza tried to play on two lands.

Meddling Mage

A Cabal Therapy attempt was stopped by Counterspell. West had permission for anything and everything Garza had tried throughout the whole match.

The Meddling Mage came across putting Garza on 11. An end-step Vampiric Tutor left Garza on 8 but with the card of his choice on top of his library. The card Garza choose was Duress. The Duress was also countered. Finally, Garza resolved a spell, but it was only a Putrid Imp.

Meddling Mage left Garza at 4 while West certainly appeared to have the game well in hand. Garza sat thinking about what card to name if flashbacked his Cabal Therapy. West was quiet for the first time all match.

Garza went for it and cast a Cabal Therapy, after West let it through Garza started talking to himself. In the end he named Mana Leak, West dropped his hand and showed a Counterspell but no Mana Leak.

Garza had another Exhume but couldn't get around the Counterspell, and the Meddling Mage carried West into the Top 8. With the win, Nick West went up to 39 points, which left him as the second seed after the Swiss rounds.

Final Score
Nick West 2, Jeff Garza 0

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