Round 1 Feature Match: Lucas Glavin (Your Move Games) vs. Robert Koven (Game Master)

Posted in Event Coverage on July 18, 2003

By Alex Shvartsman

Lucas Galvin is the only Boston player to win a Grudge Match. He is now chasing the NEC title, and once again facing a player from New York/New Jersey area.

Game 1

Koven opened with Festering Goblin, but his draw was not very fast and he could not follow it up with a two drop. He chose not to summon Cabal Archon he was holding on turn three as his opponent had two blue mana up, yet did attempt to cast a Rotlung Reanimator on the following turn, to have it countered. Festering Goblin was doing its duty in the meantime, whittling away at Glavin’s life total. Glavin allowed the Archon to resolve on the following turn and used up a Smother, prompting Koven to activate the Cleric’s ability.

Seemingly unafraid of what his opponent might dish out, Glavin tapped out on his fourth turn to cast Deep Analysis. This play paid off as Koven had nothing – he laid Unholy Grotto and passed the turn. Glavin went down to nine life to flash back Deep Analysis. He was now holding a handful of good stuff, and even had to discard a Force Spike at the end of turn. Koven used his Grotto to bring back Rotlung Reanimator, but Glavin countered it again and used Cunning Wish at the end of his opponent’s turn to fetch Mana Short. He went on to ride the card advantage train with Concentrate and was once again in position to actually discard a card at the end of turn.

Glavin was now able to use Mana Short at the end of his opponent’s turn to tap him out, and then set off the Upheaval/Psychatog combo. Koven re-summoned a Festering Goblin and was able to chump the ‘Tog for a turn. Koven drew a card for his turn, and the judge was summoned as he was apparently holding eleven cards! Koven forgot to discard at the end of his turn after the Upheaval. Nat Fairbanks’ ruling was for Koven to discard three cards at random. Koven was also issued a warning.

Fortunately for Koven, Smother was not one of the cards he was forced to discard. He cast it on Psychatog, but Glavin was ready with a Force Spike. Glavin cycled to put another card in his graveyard and had just enough cards in hand and graveyard to attack for the win on the following turn.

Sideboard

Glavin: -3 Compulsion, +3 Engineered Plague
Koven: -4 Esnaring Bridge, -4 Mutilate, +3 Megrim, +1 Graveborn Musem, +4 Duress

Game 2

Despite a mulligan, Koven started the game by stripping his opponent’s hand of Force Spike, a pair of Smothers and Circular Logic via Duress and two Cabal Therapy. However, he was stuck on two lands and unable to summon a threat, allowing his opponent time to recover. He drew another Cabal Therapy naming Force Spike and was once again able to catch a pair of them – stripping Galvin’s hand down to just a single land.

Koven drew a timely Swamp next turn and used it to summon Withered Wretch. Perhaps the best creature in the matchup, it can not only fight, but also remove Galvin’s graveyard from the game, making it that much more difficult to win via Psychatog. Galvin went on to draw land after land, while Koven put several more creatures into play. Galvin had to concede just a couple of turns later.

Game 3

Once again, Koven started off with Cabal Therapy. He jumped the gun, naming a card before Galvin had a chance to respond. He named Counterspell, which Galvin was only holding one of. However, Galvin chose to cast it rather than give his opponent additional information about his hand. Koven’s Withered Wretch got countered but Galvin allowed him to resolve “sideboard tech” – Megrim. I take it the idea behind Megrim is to prevent an opponent from discarding a lot of cards to Psychatog. It seems like a rather faulty plan however, since Upheaval is likely to send all permanents back to their owners’ hands before Galvin would set off a ‘Tog win.

Still, Megrim would begin earning its bread right away as Galvin cast Psychatog on the following turn. Would he end up taking any damage from it, or would cards in the graveyard be sufficient to pump the ‘Tog up as he needs to? Koven got out Cabal Archon and Rotlung Reanimator. He attached with Archon forcing Galvin to remove two of his three cards in the graveyard, then sacrificed it to Drain Life for two and put a 2/2 Zombie token into play. He then sacrificed the Token to flash back Cabal Therapy, naming Circular Logic. Galvin lost two of them. Score! Megrim actually got to deal four points of damage there.

Galvin cast Engineered Plague naming Zombies and attacked with the ‘Tog. Galvin attacked back for one with a Rotlung Reanimator and tried to summon a second one. Galvin used one of the two Counterspells he was holding to stop it. He used Concentrate on the following turn to replenish his hand and kept on racing with the ‘Tog. Galvin got a second Plague out naming Zombies again. The path was clear for his Psychatog and he kept coming over for one point of damage per turn. Megrim actually did become useful – if not for it, Galvin would be able to finish his opponent off by discarding his hand – but he was at twelve life, just low enough to where he was a couple of turns away from successfully doing so.

Galvin was not in a rush though, not with two Plagues dealing with most of his opponent’s creatures. He used Chainer’s Edict to blow Cabal Archon out of the way, summoned a second Psychatog and kept on attacking. He allowed a second Megrim to resolve and just kept attacking for two points of damage per turn. Koven attempted to win via Cabal Therapy. Galvin did not have a Counterspell and his opponent had enough mana to pay for Circular Logic, so Galvin used Cunning Wish to get Mana Short first, Shorted his opponednt out and then used Circular Logic to counter the dangerous spell.

Galvin was doing the math trying to figure out if he can win that turn, as time was called. It wasn’t a problem though – he took four damage to discard one card, pumping one of his Togs then removed his graveyard from the game to deal just enough damage to win that turn. In Koven’s defense, more than half the cards he drew this game were lands. However, he might have had a better chance if there was a more efficient sideboard card in place of Megrim.

Koven defended his choice. “Psychatog and Wake hate it. It’s really good against their Compulsion also”.

Galvin 2 – Koven 1

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