by Randy Buehler
There's always a lot of speculation about what's going to get played in Type 1 at the Invitational. Dave Price played easily the coolest deck - a Mishra's Workshop deck that was sent to him by Andrew Cuneo. Cuneo is an old school Pittsburgh player who is legendary on the East Coast for building fun decks that are also quite competitive. When the DCI unrestricted Mishra's Workshop (a land that taps for 3 colorless mana that can only be used to cast artifacts), Cuneo pounced on the opportunity. He put together a deck full of 4-casting cost artifacts like Su-Chi, Juggernaut, and Icy Manipulator. When he e-mailed it to Dave Price, Price fell in love with the idea of beating people in the head with Juggernauts.
Price's first victim, I mean opponent, was Dave Humpherys. Humpherys is right in the middle of one of the coolest stories of the weekend. Humpherys came into day 3 tied for 3rd with Chris Pikula, one game out of first place. Chris and Dave are friends and Humpherys even handed Pikula the Squirrel-Prison deck that Chris used to go 3-0 in block party. But now that both of them were competing for 1st place, Humpherys decided to cut Chris off from free deck tech. Pikula has so much respect for Humpherys' deck-building ability (and so little tech of his own), that Chris offered to fly Humpherys to next year's Invitational if Dave would be completely honest about his Type 1 and Standard decks this year and those decks allowed Chris to win this year's event. The one caveat is that if Chris really does win and fly Dave to next year's event, Dave has to hook him up with decks next year too! Humpherys decided to accept the offer and so Chris played a near-identical copy of Humpherys' Type 1 Necro-Donate deck this morning.
Price knew that 4 of his 6 possible opponents were playing Necro-Donate so he decided to put Duresses into his main deck. Humpherys won the die roll and cast a first turn Duress of his own. He picked up the Mishra's Workshop from Price's hand and commented "How embarrassing is it that I have to read your cards?" Humpherys took away one of Price's two copies of Force of Will. Dave couldn't find a Mox or a second land to cast his Juggernaut and then Humpherys cast Dark Ritual-Necropotence with Force of Will and a blue card as the last two cards out of his hand. The rest of the game looked pretty ordinary to anyone who's been watching Extended in recent months. Humpherys Necroed up an Illusions of Grandeur and a Donate while defending himself with Force or Will and Duress.
While Humpherys was finishing him off, both players laughed when Zvi exclaimed from a nearby table "Who discards 3 Squees to Bazaar of Baghdad?" Koichiro Maki does, apparently. The lone Japanese player in the field showed up with an ultra-cool Type 1 Replenish deck.
Price got off to a much better start in game 2. He played first turn Mishra's Workshop, Sol Ring, and Juggernaut. Humpherys answered by ritualling out a first turn Hypnotic Specter (in from the board), but Price wasn't done. On his second turn he played both Black Vise and Su-Chi! Humpherys was forced to leave his Specter back to join with Gorilla Shaman to double-block and kill that Juggernaut. Meanwhile Su-Chi dealt too much fast damage and Humpherys was unable to Necro for many cards.
Price's start in game 3 was similarly fast and bloody. He played a turn 1 Juggernaut (thanks to a Workshop and a Mox) with Force of Will and a blue card in his hand. Humpherys Consulted for Necro and had a Pyroblast ready to defend it, but his only red mana was a Badlands that he had to use for black mana to cast his Necro. When Price Force of Willed Humpherys had to just say "OK" and put Necro into his graveyard. Then Juggernaut started coming over to deliver some beatings.
Elsewhere Chris Pikula pulled out a close 3-game match against Humpherys' roommate and teammate Darwin Kastle. Kastle probably wasn't ecstatic about Humpherys' deal with Pikula after that round since it basically knocked Darwin out of contention. To be fair, though, Darwin did sanction the deal since he'd love to see his friend get a free trip to next year's event.
Price - 2
Humpherys - 1