Masters Finals: Marco Blume vs. Reiji Andou

Posted in Event Coverage on March 16, 2002

By David Price

Reiji Andou drafted a Blue/Black deck featuring some quick creatures like Organ Grinder, removal and tempo cards like Aether Burst, Churning Eddy, Chainer's Edict and Waste Away, and one bomb, Upheaval. Marco Blume drafted a Black/Red deck with Kamahl, Pit Fighter, Pardic Arsonist, two Faceless Butchers, and two Whispering Shades, although the quality of his cards dropped off dramatically afterwards. He was forced to include two Earth Rifts in the deck, presumably the last two cards to make the deck.

When asked before the match who he thought would win, Marco Blume responded that it was a fairly even match and it could go either way.

Reiji Andou won the die roll and chose to play first.

Game 1

Both players began the game by playing two Swamps on their first two turns. On Marco Blume's second turn, after playing the Swamp, he had to make a crucial decision. His hand contained both Mesmeric Fiend and Innocent Blood, as well as Whispering Shade, Earth Rift, a Swamp and two Mountains. If he played the Mesmeric Fiend and attempted to use it to gain tempo advantage, it would likely negate the usefulness of the Innocent Blood for the rest of the game. On the other hand, if he waited an additional turn or two to see if his opponent would play a creature first, he might miss out on taking advantage of a potential bad draw on his opponent's part. After a small amount of deliberation, Marco Blume cast the Mesmeric Fiend, allowing him to see the contents of Andou's hand: Swamp, Organ Grinder, Gravegouger, Churning Eddy, Ghostly Wings, and Waste Away. He chose to lock up the Organ Grinder and Andou responded on the third turn by laying a Swamp and casting the Gravegouger. Soon, Andou was attacking with a 3/3 flying Gravegouger (thanks to Ghostly Wings) and Marco was hoping to draw an answer to it, seemingly unwilling to use Innocent Blood and return the Organ Grinder to his opponent's hand.

For the rest of the game, Marco Blume failed to draw much of anything besides an inconsequential Halberdier and lands. Reiji Andou eventually got additional creatures into play which protected the 3/3 flier from Innocent Blood and Marco Blume lost the life race.

Andou 1, Blume 0

Game 2

Marco Blume chose to play first in this game. Marco's opening hand was Swamp, Swamp, Faceless Butcher, Diabolic Tutor, Earth Rift, Pardic Arsonist, and Chainflinger. He thought for a long time about whether to mulligan or not, repeatedly picking up and putting down his hand, stroking his chin, staring up into the rafters. After several minutes, he decided to keep the hand, believing that if he drew two lands in the next three or four turns, he would likely win the game.

Unfortunately for Marco Blume, the lands didn't come. On his fourth turn, still with only two Swamps in play, Marco was forced to begin discarding and he continued discarding for the next two turns. Meanwhile, Reiji Andou was attempting to capitalize on his opponent's bad fortune, casting a turn three Gravegouger, a turn four Concentrate, and a turn five Zombie Assassin. Not the quickest beatdown ever, but it did the job. By the time Marco Blume was able to cast his first spell, a Mad Dog, Reiji Andou had a Zombie Assassin, a Gravegouger enchanted with Ghostly Wings, and a second Gravegouger in play and Marco was at 10 life.

The Mad Dog didn't stick around long, dying to a Chainer's Edict, and Reiji was victorious, winning two games to zero.

Final Result: Andou 2, Blume 0

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