Round 10: Feature Match – Shaheen Soorani vs. Ben Hayes

Posted in Event Coverage on August 6, 2011

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

This final round of Booster Draft was showdown between two popular writers. Shaheen Soorani aka Expensive Sorcery Master was hoping to get back to Standard with only two losses. His weapon of choice for the remaining rounds was ... wait for it... make sure you are sitting down? Blue-white Control.

Game One

Ben Hayes -- who made a name for himself with a Top 16 finish at Pro Tour San Juan last season -- is a Star City Open Series grinder so it is no surprise that he had Caw Blade waiting for him on the other side of this round. What was a surprise for Ben Hayes was when his opponent won the coin flip and opted to play.


"I will just play and then see what your deck is like and then maybe do something different," said Soorani who had a super aggressive blue-white beat down deck.

Ben Hayes

Ben Hayes mulliganed an opening hand that could not cast any of the cards in his hand and then did it again, hoping he could muster better than 5 lands and a Chandra's Outrage in his next five.

"Good thing I am on the draw," he grinned. But he ended up keeping a one-land hand and that was all Shaheen saw while beating down with a couple of early white creatures and Honor of the Pure.

Shaheen Soorani 1 - Ben Hayes 0

Game Two

"Hmmm. he cast Swamp in his deck....lemme see what I have for that," joked Soorani as he sifted though his sideboard. Ben, however had gathered significantly more intel and brought in Combust and Deathmark for two Zombie Goliaths

"I would like to draw again but I don't know if I want to..." mused Hayes.

"My deck is a little fast," Shaheen reminded him.

"I am going to play this time. We will see how it goes. I have my mulligans out of the way."

Shaheen Soorani

Hayes kept his hand but Soorani was not happy with seven. Hayes waited for him to send it back. Soorani shook his head. "I don't mulligan -- mulligans are for suckers."

Hayes opened on Child of Night and Soorani wasted no time Pacifying it. He played Cancel on Hayes' turn four Drifting Shade and untapped to play Phantasmal Dragon.

"Don't have anything in your red-block deck that can target it," pleaded Soorani but he knew his pleas fell on deaf ears. Hayes sent Chandra's Outrage to kill the flier and Soorani laughed as he played Honor of the Pure with none of his white creatures anywhere to be seen a turn later.

Hayes played Diabolic Tutor and drew Mana Leak from Soorani who did not know if Hayes would get something he could not counter with the conditional spell. He found Griffin Sentinel a turn later and it drew another Chandra's Outrage.

Stonehorn Dignitary came down and was followed by an Auramancer. The game stalled out for a little while with the players trading minor damage back and forth -- two a turn from the Dignitary and one a turn from Hayes' Goblin Arsonist. The game kept up that pace until Soorani found Sphinx of Uthuun to put the game out of reach.

Final result: Shaheen Soorani - 2 Ben Hayes - 0

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