Quarterfinals – Nick Bonham vs. Jun Young Park

Posted in Event Coverage on May 11, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

Jun Young Park one of the many stars of team MTGMintCard that took a detour to Minneapolis before Pro Tour Journey into Nyx. With a Top 8 in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, and another in Kitakyuushuu, Park is poised to continue a strong season into next week. Winning here would be his first Grand Prix title.

Nick Bonham is better known by his voice. As the Djinn of Magic podcasting fame, the Denver native has been playing for a long time. With a few Pro Tour and Nationals appearances over the past fifteen years, Bonham's career was longer – if not quite as storied – as Park's.

Of course, careers are made by wins and losses and it was up to these players to take the next step to the Semifinals.

The early part of the first game was spent by Park sculpting his hand and mana, increasing his land count as quickly as possible. Bonham, meanwhile, emptied every bit of burn he could into Park's life total, knowing there would be few creatures to fight in the match.

Putting Park to 8 life, Bonham ran out of burn but held Spell Snare and Cryptic Command up instead as Park continued to search out land. Mana continued to pile up on both sides before Park sprung Snapcaster Mage to draw a card and bounce Bonham's Hallowed Fountain. When Park tried to repeal the Snapcaster Mage, Bonham used his Mana Leak since Park was tapped out.

Nick Bonham struggled to have the right answers at the right time.

But with only three more mana to work with on Park's turn proper meant Scapeshift could be cast safely, causing Bonham to start shuffling for Game 2.

Bonham 0 – Park 1

The second game developed like the first, with sculpting and land ramping on Park's side with a few defensive counterspells and burn thrown in from Bonham. Eidolon of Rhetoric entered the battlefield for the control player, slowing Park down. Limiting Bonham's opponents to one spell each turn meant protecting Scapeshift – or anything else – would be impossible for Park.

An end of turn Vendilion Clique put the combat race in favor of Scapeshift, and Park seemed content to keep the status quo by delaying Bonham's board development for several turns. After Bonham passed without doing anything Park broke the peace at the end of the turn with Telling Time, giving Bonham the chance to Lightning Helix the legendary Faerie.

Jun Young Park's beatdown plan was working as intended.

Batterskull was part of Park's beatdown plan as well, which Bonham didn't have an immediate answer for. Bonham put his Eidolon in the way of the powerful Germ, unlocking Park to cast Scapeshift with plenty of Islands to back it up. Park searched out two copies of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and six lands with the Mountain subtype. After confirming with the head judge, Bonham used his two copies of Tectonic Edge to destroy two of the four Mountain lands and nullify the Valakut triggers – the intervening if clause means there needs to be enough Mountain cards in play both when the trigger it put onto the stack and when the triggers try to resolve.

While he dodged death by triggers, Batterskull was still pressuring Bonham on the battlefield. Trading Celestial Colonnade forced Park to return and replay it, and when Bonham tried to block with Augur of Bolas and save it with Restoration Angel next turn, Park popped Relic of Progenitus to draw into the Remand he needed to undo Bonham's plan.

Izzet Charm countered Bonham's desperation Sphinx's Revelation, leaving the control player just 4 life and Cryptic Command to wiggle out from Batterskull. Snapcaster Mage for Remand was the final piece Park needed.

Bonham 0 – Park 2

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