Quarterfinals: Joe Snyder (JD’z Game Supplies) vs. Brian McKimble (Hammer’s Comics)

Posted in Event Coverage on July 18, 2003

By Alex Shvartsman

Game 1

Snyder mulliganned down to six cards while playing first. He cast a turn two Nantuko Shade. McKimble, who started with a Llanowar Elves, cast a turn two Call of the Herd. A third turn Withered Wretch removed Call from the graveyard to prevent McKimble from generating an extra 3/3 token. The game looked reasonably even until Phantom Centaur showed up. Snyder’s mono-black deck is less than thrilled at seeing that.

Mutilate cleared the board, and McKimble summoned Wild Mongrel and Grim Lavamancer. Snyder Mutilated again, gaining further card economy. Snyder cast out another Lavamancer and immediately enchanted it with Elephant Guide to prevent further removal mishaps. Snyder summoned a Shade and when McKimble attacked, he blocked and pumped the Shade to trade with the 4/4 creature. McKimble was ready with Violent Eruption, removing the Shade and keeping his own guy. Snyder used another Mutilate, downgrading the creature to a 3/3 via Elephant Guide.

Down to five life, Snyder used Withered Wretch to chump block for a turn and his excess mana to remove three cards from his opponent’s graveyard. He then cast Graveborn Muse – a dangerous play at eight life, but better than taking three damage from an Elephant token. McKimble chose not to attack. Instead, he used Firebolt with and without flashback to bring Snyder down to four.

Despite drawing two cards per turn, Snyder failed to find a sixth land in order to cast Corrupt and regain some life points. Down to two life, he had his opponent at seven. It seemed as though drawing a land would win him the game next turn, while drawing anything else would mean a loss. However, McKimble was able to avoid giving Snyder those two more draws – he drew and cast a Blistering Firecat, ending the game.

Sideboard

Snyder: -2 Duress, -2 Cabal Therapy, +1 Corrupt, +1 Visara, +1 Gempalm Polluter, +1 Chainer’s Edict
McKimble: -4 Elephant Guide, +3 Compost, +1 Phantom Centaur

Game 2

Snyder Edicted away a Llanowar Elf, and summoned a Withered Wretch to match his opponent’s Wild Mongrel. McKimble cast Compost and attacked. Inexplicably, Snyder chose to block with Withered Wretch. Not only did McKimble not lose a card – he pitched a Basking Rootwalla to pump a Mongrel – he got to draw one off Compost, too.

Things did not get better from there. McKimble used a Volcanic Hammer to take out a Nantuko Shade and draw yet another card, then put a second Rootwalla into play when attacking with his creatures. Snyder had no play when he laid down his fifth land. The best defense Snyder could master next turn was a Rotlung Reanimator, and that did not deal well with a Blistering Firecat and the rest of attacking creatures. Snyder was forced to chump block the Wild Mongrel, and conceded on the following turn.

McKible 2 – Snyder 0

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