by Randy Buehler
Gary Wise had on of the best turn 4's all morning when he used Surge of Strength to make his Treefolk Seedlings 6/3 and then, after he was done attacking with them, he sacrificed the Seedlings to bust out a turn 4 6/3 flying, firebreathing Dracoplasm. However, Gary had trouble drawing land in games 2 and 3 and fell to 0-3.
Mike Long wrecked Zvi in game 1 by casting Steal Enchantment on Zvi's Duplicity, but Zvi came back to win the match anyway. That left Long at an uncharacteristic 1-2 while Zvi seemed quite happy about pulling off 2-1 with a deck that he felt he badly misbuilt.
Dirk Baberowski pulled off a 2-0 win against Jon Finkel but afterwards he commented that "I didn't deserve to win -- he built his deck 20 times better than I built mine, but I got better draws." Game 1 was long and interesting. Dirk got to attack with his Okk, but Jon got to Steal Dirk's Tooth and Claw. Tranquil Domain undid that damage and Jon was about top win the game, but on the last possible turn (after Jon said out loud "please don't draw Dracoplasm") Dirk drew the only card in his deck that could save him -- Dracoplasm.
Dave Price did manage to win his first game of the tournament against Nicolai Herzog, but Herzog won the match and sent price into the early lead in the race to finish last. Brian hacker soon joined him after dropping his match against Jakub Slemr. Darwin Kastle managed his first win against Steve O'Mahoney-Schwartz and thus avoided the ignominy of 0-3.
There was one matchup of undefeateds in round 3 -- Chris Pikula dueled with Dave Humpherys. Game was was stalemated for a while but eventually Chris pulled off one of the coolest plays all day. With Humpherys at 17, Chris cast Surge of Strength on his Bunch of Elephants and then dropped Dracoplasm (sacrificing the 16/16 Elephants). He then played Mark of Fury and immediately served for 17! Chris also won game 2 and was the leader in the clubhouse as the players started disappearing to go get their Block Party decks.
Pat Chapin made a habit during round 3 of raising his voice and making sure everyone knew exactly what he was doing to Kai Budde. "Activate Bog Witch (pause for everyone to laugh) ... Bunch of Elephants." "These Elephants have too many words." Having created a vanilla 8/8 creature, Chapin decided to leave them on defense and win with his trusty Swamp Mosquito, but he couldn't resist for long and eventually served with his 8/8. In game 2, Pat tried to use Conspiracy to turn all his creatures into Carnivores, thus making them unblockable by Wall of Schizophrenia, but Kai had Illumination handy to stop that craziness. The game went on for a while until Pat announced "I think I broke the format!" he proceeded to play Mutated Cockroach, Donate it to Kai, and put Never Trust a Blue mage on it. During each of Kai's turns, Pat was able to wipe out an entire color of creatures. Several turns later, Kai was decked.