Magic Online World Championships Day Two

Posted in Event Coverage on December 11, 2010

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

Something new and exciting awaited the competitors in the Magic Online World Championships on day two, something as yet untouched by members of the public: Masters Edition IV. The Masters Edition series has been a great way to get some of the more memorable cards predating Invasion block into Magic Online, and has been a popular format to draft, not only for the chance to pick up some Force of Wills or dual lands, but also for the unique drafting environment it provides.

As the draft approached, the December Dozen could be seen scouring the list of cards included in ME4, as if cramming for a final exam. The twelve players were split into two pods of six, and would be using the same points structure as the day before, designed to reward players for dominating a format rather than merely being consistent across all three. Leading pod one were Brad Nelson and Shintaro Ishimura, both on 17 points and both behind points leader Akira Asahara on 25, who was over in pod two and closely followed by Logan Nettles, also on 17 points.

The excitement kicked off in pod one, as Nelson excitedly picked up an Armageddon to go with his Serra Angel, reliving the days of olde, while Ishimura seemed to be actively drafting Urza's Lands for his mono blue deck. Nelson quickly chalked up a win against Reid Duke on the back of his classic combo, while Ishimura struggled to close the deal when faced with Bing Luke's small, white and red beaters, despite assembling UrzaTron on turn three, and casting both Braingeyser for 7 and Dragon Engine on turn five. In pod two, Asahara preserved his overall lead by beating Oliver Oks in three, while, like Ishimura, Nettles also fell behind, dropping his match against Christopher O'Bryant.

A second win for Nelson over Jakguy Subcharoen while Asahara finally lost a match to O'Bryant suddenly closed the gap between the leaders, Nelson emphatically thumping the table each time he sealed the deal with his Armageddon. However, after a disappointing 1-3 on day one in the Magic Online World Champs, Mongkol Techarattanaprasert was racing up the inside, and was also 2-0 in pod one with his aggressive blue-black Hasran Ogress deck. A timely Dakmor Plague from Techarattanaprasert in game three of round three left Nelson grasping at straws, as Techarattanaprasert's pair of Drowned's Drowndedes Drowned (man, that is not a card that reads well in plural) took down the American.

Going into the last round, O'Bryant was the only 2-0 in pod two, an outcome possible in pods this small, and was paired against 2002 Magic World Champion Carlos Ramão. In the end, Ramão emerged victorious, meaning nobody in pod two would come away with the maximum possible points for the day.

There was only one match left to finish, and the crowds began to gather to see what was taking Nettles and Asahara so long to find a result. They were in Game 3, and it looked like Asahara was hanging on by the skin of his teeth. Nettles had filled his side of the table with large green and red beaters, but was unable to cast any more red spells from under Asahara's Conversion. Asahara had a lone Wild Griffin, but his 6 life to Nettles' 18 left him with somewhat an ambitious task. Answer: Island Sanctuary.

Asahara was down to two cards in hand, and was now skipping his draw steps. The Griffin was getting started on the long, uphill journey home, but it was still far from a done deal. Sure enough, Nettles found a Primal Clay. Answer: Serra Bestiary. The Griffin attacked again, Asahara now down to one card in hand and Nettles' life total now approaching single figures. Nettles pointed a Bee Sting at the Griffin. If he could make this stick, and the last card in Asahara's hand was not a replacement flier, his opponent would be practically locked out of the game by his own Island Sanctuary. Answer?

Serra Bestiary

... Healing Salve. Asahara could now only hope his Griffin could go the distance. He continued to pay the upkeeps on his Conversion and Bestiary before attacking, fingers crossed that Nettles could not draw into yet another answer. A handful of agonizing turns later, Nettles had right-clicked and conceded the game to give Asahara the match and allow him to retain his lead in the Magic Online World Championships.

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