by Randy Buehler
The 16 Invitational competitors chose to play 12 different decks in the Block Party format. 8 players are playing Rath cycle decks (with 5 different archetypes represented). There are also 5 different Urza's block decks getting played. meanwhile 2 players are running Mirage block's Ertog and Dave Price is running Al-Ice Necro.
Jon Finkel had been planning to run a bargain deck, but Dave price beat him so convincingly in playtesting last night that Finkel audibled to Living Death. Ironically, the two got matched up in round 4. And the consensus was that Deaths should crush Necro. However, if the past 5 years of magic have taught us anything it's "never underestimate the power of the skull."
When Finkel flipped a Malaysian coin before the round he didn't ask "heads or tails" but rather "50 or weird object?" No one knows which side is supposed to be "heads!" Finkel played out a turn 2 Survival of the Fittest and then went for Hermit Druid. Dave answered with turn 3 Necro. Dave then proceeded to cast Contagion, Icequake, and Mind Warp, destroying Finkel's hand and board position. While Finkel hoped to draw another creature, Dave cast Abyssal Specter, Knight of Stromgald, and Soul Burn. Price soon ended the game with 3 more Icequakes, leaving Finkel without enough mana to do much of anything while Dave finished him off.
Price took a long time figuring out how to sideboard before game 2. He chomped away on his Nicorette gum and it was obvious that he really really wanted to continue his streak of dominance over Finkel and especially to end his oh-fer streak in the tournament. Jon played 2 Mox Diamonds and a Survival on his first turn in game 2. Dave had to decide whether to Ritual out Necropotence or Dystopia. After much analysis he confirmed that he had to cast Necropotence because he didn't have any more land in his hand. Finkel was able to Survival for a Hermit Druid and cast it, but Price Contagioned it away and played out Dystopia to kill the Survival. Finkel came up with another Survival, but Price busted out a quick Ihsan Shade thanks to Lake of the Dead and the pressure was on. Jon was able to Lobotomy away Dave's Soul Burns, but Dave Mind Warped all the rest of Finkel's hand. Jon did managed to Carrionette away the Ihsan, but not before he was down to 5 and within easy range of one lake of the Dead fueled Knight of Stromgald.
Price - 2 (Now 1-3)
Finkel - 0 (Now 2-2)