by Sideboard Staff
I couldn't help but giggle when I saw these two were seated next to each other (Alex in seat 5, Jensen in seat 6) in the first draft pod. I knew they were to play against each other first round, and they had no clue.
Alex announced himself the "Blue Mage" right off the bat by drafting Faerie Squadron as his first pick, going on to take Distorting Wake, and when he opened a Darigaaz in his first pack, he took the Zanam Djinn instead. Alex got his hands on some nice black like 3 Recovers, Recoil (to complement his blue), and an Agonizing Demise. Alex has decided to splash for red, with Cinder Shade, Plague Spores, and a Shivan Emissary.
William Jensen snatched up the aforementioned Darigaaz, a Pyre Zombie, and a Thornscape Master. To round off this broken deck of rares, Baby Huey has an army of Kavu (Runners, Pouncers, Ancient, Serpentine, and Chameleon) and Nomadic Elves for support, with a Plague Spores, Tribal Flames, and Zap as removal. And if you think this isn't enough, he got his hands on a Fires of Yavimaya as his third pick.
Both players had Red and Black, but somehow it seemed that they weren't hating each other, as there was plenty to go around.
The two players rolled two 6 sided dice; Huey won and opted to play first. Huey didn't have any first turn drops, so he played Geothermal Crevice and said go. Alex, on the other hand played Island, Tidal Visionary. This game had gained full momentum, and to keep pace, Huey made a Yavimaya Barbarian (which has Protection from Blue). Alex wrapped his Visionary in a Sleeper's Robe and attacked for 1 point of damage. Sleeper's Robe prevented Huey from blocking with anything other than a black or artifact creature, and as an added bonus, Alex was able to draw a card when Huey couldn't block (this was an incredible card advantage tool which seemed like it might help Alex outrace Huey).
Huey played third turn Pyre Zombie, and when Alex attacked again the next turn, Huey blocked with it. The look on Alex's face showed that he didn't see the play, but overall he was not disappointed with the trade of creatures. Within the next few turns, Alex missed a few land drops (missing Mountains when he had two red cards in hand and a six casting cost creature) and Huey stuck to the strategy of turning his Barbarian sideways to deal lots of damage. When Alex cast a Faerie Squadron, Huey cast Plague Spores on it, further crippling Alex's mana situation.
This game was won when Huey baited an Exclude with an Elf, and then sacked his Crevice for enough mana to cast Serpentine Kavu and give it Haste. The next turn he attacked again, and Explosive Growthed his Barbarian for enough damage to kill Alex.
Game two flew by almost as fast, as Huey came out with second turn Nomadic Elf, third turn Fires of Yavimaya, fourth turn Slimy Kavu, but no fourth land! Alex made a Tower Drake turn three, and Dream Thrush turn four, not missing any land drops.
Alex traded the Drake for the attacking Elf, then the next turn cast Phyrexian Delver to retrieve the Drake. When Huey cast a second Nomadic Elf and attacked with it and the Slimy Kavu, Alex again blocked the Elf with the Drake, letting the Kavu through.
Alex took his turn and played Shivan Emissary with kicker, killing the poor Slimy Kavu. Alex started his own offensive by attacking with his Delver and Dream Thrush. Huey cast Kavu Runner and attacked (Fires was still on the table).
Alex took his turn, made one of his Swamps into an Island with his Dream Thrush so he would have three blue sources of mana to cast Distorting Wake on Fires of Yavimaya, Kavu Runner, and his own Shivan Emissary. Alex attacked with his Delver. Alex was at 4, Huey at 9.
Things weren't looking good for Huey, except in his hand. Huey took his turn, casting Fires of Yavimaya. Alex attacked with Delver and makes a Zanam Djinn, and said go. Huey made a Yavimaya Barbarian (which still had protection from blue, and gained Haste through Fires of Yavimaya), attacks, and then sacrificed the Fires to give the Barbarian +2/+2, which was just enough to kill Alex.
After this ridiculously fast match, Alex asked Huey if he topdecked the Barbarian. Huey had actually had it the whole game, which could be seen as he delayed slightly when he cast the second turn Nomadic Elf.