Casey McCarrel (USA) vs. Zvi Mowshowitz (USA)
- Kim Eikefet
Zvi Mowshowitz, the winner of the swiss, wasn't too happy about meeting Casey McCarrel in the semifinals. He especially feared the two Meltdowns McCarrel had in his sideboard. But in the first duel, he didn't have to worry about them. Mowshowitz started by playing a Remote Isle and a turn two Fluctuator, and then started cycling to find his combo.
Meanwhile, McCarrel had a pretty bad draw. He cast a turn one Voltaic Key and a turn three Ring of Gix, but by that time, Mowshowitz had played a Thran Turbine, and during his turn, he Frantic Searched twice, cast a Grim Monolith, Stroke of Geniused himself for seven, cycled twice and cast another Thran Turbine.
McCarrel only played a land during his turn four, as he had to pay the echo cost of the Ring, and even though he tapped Mowshowitz' Tolarian Academy during his upkeep, it didn't prevent Mowshowitz from going off.
Zvi cast an Opportunity in reponse to McCarrel tapping the Academy, getting four cards. He then cycled like mad, cast a lot of artifacts, cast Yawgmoth's Will to re-play most of the cards in his graveyard, cycled even more, and eventually, he had enough artifacts in play to show McCarrel the Palinchron and a Stroke of Genius.
McCarrel 0 - Mowshowitz 1
In came McCarrel's strong sideboard cards. He got to play first, and his opening hand was really amazing - it held both his two Meltdowns and a Rack and Ruin.
Mowshowitz got to play the first Tolarian Academy, though, while McCarrel cast a Temporal Aperture - and when Mowshowitz then cast two Voltaic Keys during turn two, McCarrel felt it was time to use one of his two Meltdowns.
He then proceeded by Tinkering for a Phyrexian Colossus, and, being put on the clock, Mowshowitz cycled some lands to see if he could find his combo cards. He got a Fluctuator, played it, and then he cast another Fluctuator to power up his Tolarian Academy. But the two Fluctuators were Rack and Ruined, and McCarrel's Phyrexian Colossus went in for the kill.
McCarrel 1 - Mowshowitz 1
After shuffling and drawing for game three, Mowshowitz had to mulligan for the first time in the tournament. His opening hand was really bad, he had drawn a two Tolarian Academies, no other lands, and no cheap artifacts. He kept his second draw, though, and as McCarrel also had to mulligan, it didn't matter that much.
Mowshowitz cast a turn two Grim Monolith, Voltaic Key, while McCarrel played two lands and nothing more. He then stalled on two lands for a turn, a pity, as his first land was a Tolarian Academy, so in fact, he only had one mana available.
Mowshowitz cycled a bit, and when McCarrel attempted to cast a Grim Monolith, he had a Miscalculation for it, and continued cycling for his combo. McCarrel finally got a third mana in the sixth turn, cast a Meltdown for two, but after this, he didn't play a single card.
Mowshowitz didn't have a speed start, but as McCarrel's draw was extremely poor, he finally got what he needed by cycling and by playing an Opportunity. He Rescinded McCarrel's Tolarian Academy, waited a few more turns, and finally, during turn twelve, he went off.
First, he cast Opportunity during McCarrel's discard phase, then he played a Fluctuator and a Grim monolith, and after cycling a lot, he cast another Fluctuator and two Frantic Searches, gaining quite some mana. A Voltaic Key further charged his Tolarian Academy, and a Yawgmoth's Will gave him everything he neede to win, and when he showed McCarell the Palinchron and a Stroke, McCarrel conceded.
McCarrel 1 - Mowshowitz 2
Mowshowitz had to mulligan again in game four, and he kept a pretty weak hand. McCarrel cast a turn one Voltaic Key and attempted to cast a turn three Worn Powerstone, but Mowshowitz Power Sinked it, gaining some time.
McCarrel didn't play anything during his fourth turn, but luckily for him, Mowshowitz didn't have a perfect draw either, so he just cycled a few cards. And in turn five, McCarrel finally drew another land, and it couldn't have been a better one than the Tolarian Academy.
The Academy mana made it possible for him to cast a Grim Monolith, a Voltaic Key, then he Tinkered for a Phyrexian Colossus, and as if that wasn't enough, McCarrel also cast a Morphling - and Mowshowitz was in trouble.
To survive, he had to play a Grim Monolith, a Yawgmoth's Will and then Rescind the Phyrexian Colossus. But McCarrel could still attack with the Morphling, and one turn later, the Colossus was back.
Mowshowitz was unable to draw anything useful even though he cycled a lot of cards, and, at eleven life with a Morphling and a Colossus on the other side of the table, he had to use his other Yawgmoth's Will. He Frantic Searched, cast some artifacts and cycled as much as he could, but in the end, he had to Rescind the Colossus again.
At this point, McCarrel had total control, and to make things even worse for Mowshowitz, he Tinkered for a Worn Powerstone and cast Meltdown for two, wiping out all of his opponent's artifacts - and two hits from the Morpling secured him the victory.
McCarrel 2 - Mowshowitz 2
Game five didn't take very long. Mowshowitz played a turn one Tolarian Academy, but he didn't have any artifacts. McCarrel, on the other hand, cast a turn one Voltaic Key, a turn two Grim Monolith, Worn Powerstone, and during turn three, he wasted an Academy, put six more mana into his pool and cast Wildfire. Many people were surprised that he wasted the Academy, but as it turned out, Mowshowitz actually had a Power Sink in his hand, and he would have countered the Wildfire if McCarrel hadn't put the extra mana in his pool.
McCarrel didn't have any problems using those extra mana, though. He Tinkered for a Phyrexian Colossus, and as Mowshowitz only played land for the next turns, the Colossus went all the way.
McCarrel 3 - Mowshowitz 2