Quarterfinal Feature Match: Dustin Stern vs. Gary Rush

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Joe "Mouth" Kambourakis

This quarterfinal match features Dustin Stern versus Gary Rush. Dustin is one of the best limited players in the Midwest and is highly underrated. During the first draft of Day Two Darwin Kastle said "I know everyone at this table other than you" to Dustin. Dustin proceeded to 3-0 the table beating Darwin in the process. Gary is from San Diego and has had some success years ago on the tour. He says with the money he wins he will pay off speeding tickets he got in his Porsche on the way here.

Game one saw Gary keep a strong hand with Protection from Red creatures and land. Dustin mulliganed a six land plus stun hand into one with only one mountain and some strong creatures. Gary plays a second turn Galina's Knight. Dustin fails to draw a second land in two draw phases and says go. Gary serves and plays a second knight. Dustin draws his second and third Mountain to lay Viashino Grappler which is met with Prohibit. The Knights have been attacking for a few turns and Dustin needs to find an answer or he will be dead in a few turns. Gary attacks and lays Dream Thrush. Dustin untaps and Zaps the Thrush and playing a fourth Mountain that he draws off the Zap. Gary attacks again passes the turn. Ancient Kavu comes into play but is unable to block the Protection from Red Knights. Gary attacks again and plays an Attendant. At this point the game looks very dismal for Dustin who has no outs in his deck. Another attack ends the unfortunately short game.

After quick sideboarding and shuffling Game Two starts. Dustin leads with another mulligan and keeps a solid hand. Gary keeps also. Dustin turn two Nomadic Elf is met by a Galina's Knight from Gary. Dustin Harrows and lays Quirion Sentinel. The elf attacks unblocked. Gary then plays Essence Leak on the Nomadic Elf (I didn't know what it does either but it apparently gives a red or green creature an upkeep equal to its casting cost) and cast a second Galina's Knight. Dustin serves for four and is done. On the next attack from Dustin his Quirion Sentinel is blocked and Restrained. Dustin then plays a Viashino Grappler and is done. Gary again passes the turn and Dustin attacks with the elf again. Gary then plays Batman (Goham Djinn). Dustin plays an Ancient Kavu and is done. Batman swings and Dromar comes out. At this point Dustin is pretty much dead with little hope other than error on Rush's behave allowing him to win. The Dragon comes over and Dustin packs.

Both players were relatively good natured and sporting throughout the match. Dustin despite horrible draws was not particularly unhappy or angry about it. His only comment was that he should have played 13 land instead of his 16. Gary was polite and apologetic about the match.

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