Quarterfinals: Ken Krouner vs Chris Chin

Posted in Event Coverage on May 2, 2003

By Zev Gurwitz

Game 1

Chin played Wooded Foothills, got a forest and cast Birds of Paradise. Krouner came back with Careful Study, pitching a Rootwalla and Wonder. Chin cast Call of the Herd, Krouner played an Aquamoeba, and flew in for one with the Rootwalla. Chin swung back with his elephant, made his thrid land drop, and played the big Ravenous Baloth. Clearly intent on the game, chatter was at a minimum. Krouner attacked and pitched Roar to his Aquamoeba, then cast Quiet Speculation, getting two more Roars and a Ray of Revelation. Chin came in with Call and Baloth, then played Glory. Krouner stayed back, not attacking, but instead bringing a Wurm up from the graveyard. Chin didn’t swing, and the game was close to a standstill.

With another Wurm coming up, both sides were strengthening, Chin had a Phantom Centaur as well as a Glory, but the number of 6/6 flyers on Krouner's side was growing. A Looter was easily the smallest monster on the table, but could help Krouner dominate the game, digging to key cards. Chin untapped, and had ample resources. A second Glory hit play, and Krounder madnesses out an Arrogant Wurm off his Looter, and plays a Wild Mongrel. No one attacked, despite the fact that there were many monsters on the table for at least five turns. Another Looter made two on Krouner’s side, and a Brushopper came down for Chin. The game did not seem to have much action, but looks can be deceiving- either player could solve the stalemate. Chin asked Krouner his life total (ten), and checked out his mana. He asked Krouner if he had anything up, (he didn’t), and Chin played Living Wish for Glory. Glory was pitched to the Brushhopper, activated for blue and green, and the game was over.

In hindsight, Chin couldn't really attack with Glory for fear of a lethal counter attack, but Krouner couldn't swing with anything because if it was big enough to kill Glory, it would go to the yard and break the stalemate. The game ended the second a Glory was in Chin's Graveyard.

Chin 1- Krouner 0

Game 2

Krouner started with Rootwalla, and Chin with a Bird. Krouner cast Stupefying Touch on the Bird, in the hope that it will stall Chin. Krouner took his third turn after Chin did nothing with his two mana, and attacked, pumped, and layed another Rootwalla. Chin had three mana on turn three and took three pain to play Brushhopper; two Brushlands and a Wooded Foothills fetched a mountain. Krouner cast Turbulent Dreams on the Brushhopper pitching another Rootwalla, and Chin phased it out, letting Glory and another Brushhopper go to the graveyard. Krouner used his two other mana to cast a Looter, and the ‘Hopper phased back in on his end step. Chin took two more damage from painlands, and played the third Brushhopper of the game, making it two in play and one in the yard keeping the Glory company. Krouner Lootered out a Roar, but Chin took it out with Reprisal. Chin was mana stunted and hadn't gotten to four mana yet, while Krouner developed with a Looted out Arrogant Wurm, and played a second Looter. Chin played Living Wish for a land, Contested Cliffs, and Krouner looked three cards deep into his deck with his Looters and draw phase, but couldn’t found anything to do except play yet another Looter.

Chin untapped and now had an active Cliffs. With two beasts in play and Glory in the yard, the card could dominate in future turns. For now, however, it seemed to have been just another land. Chin passed and Krouner started Looting, and cast Stupefying Touch on one of Chin's Brushhoppers. Chin responded with Boil (!), taking out all of Krouner's islands. Ken drew from the Touch, and played out an Aquamoeba. Chin was at six, and Krouner had out eight monsters to Chin's four. Chin has played an Elf, taking another point of damage and going to five. Krouner played more monsters, sending Arrogant Wurm out off a Looter. He also sent Roar to the graveyard and drew an Island.

Chin activated the Cliffs on end of turn, and sent an Aquamoeba to the graveyard. He made his land drop for the turn, and his mana problems seemed to have ended. He played out a Phantom Centaur, tapping his Cliffs to do so, and sent the turn to Krouner. Krouner started digging with Looters, clearly looking for Wonder. He kept a Careful Study and didn’t find it. He did find another Study, and took a point off of it. It was his last card, so Wild Mongrel and Merfolk Looter went to the yard, as Ken had nothing to discard in their place. A Reprisal took down an Arrogant Wurm, but Ken still had a potential sixteen points of damage on the table. Chin was at two and Ken at fourteen- those painlands and Chin's mana problems did almost as much damage as Ken's monsters. Ken finally drew Wonder, and once again an incarnation ended the game. Ken admitted he got a little frustrated about not having drawn Wonder that he didn't realize he could have simply attacked for the win at just about any time.

Chin- 1 Krouner- 1

Game 3

Chin shipped his hand, something you never want to have to do in the Top 8 of anything, much less a serious money tournament. Ken stayed, and apparently hadn't had to mulligan yet. Chin opened with two land and a Living Wish, while Ken used Study to pitch Logic and Rootwalla. The Living Wish went for Intrepid Hero, which came down on turn two, putting the hurt on any of Ken's Roars. Still, it couldn’t stop the beating Rootwalla and Aquameoba. Ken just played a Stupefying Touch on the Hero, and Chen could only muster a bird and an elf, going down to fifteen from beats and two sac lands. Ken served the beats, and the Rootwalla was blocked by an elf, perhaps in an attempt to stall Krouner for a turn. Ken had another land, and made a Wild Mongrel. Chen had no play, pitched Wonder to a Mongrel, attacked, and madnessed out an Arrogant wurm. Chen had Krosan Reclamation for the Wonder and a Peprisal for the Arrogant wurm, but Ken still had Mongrel, Rootwalla and Aquameoba. Chen pulled a Wild Mongrel to do battle, but had no hand left, while Ken was holding five cards. In a flash, Ken had no cards, as Turbulent Dreams returned all of Chin’s cards, putting a Rootwalla into play. Chin summoned Ravenous Baloth, but died on the next attack and Ken Krouner took the match.

Chin- 1 Krouner- 2

Chris Chin

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Ken Krouner

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