by Chad Ellis
Feature Match Round Ten - Dan OMS vs. Dave Humpherys
Dave is playing a W/G/B deck that should be strong against R/B decks like Dan's. He has two Llanowar Knights and Armadillo Cloak plus Strength of Unity to put on them, Obsidian Acolyte, some Black fat and three Benalish Emissaries which can blow up lands as well as holding off Kavu. Dan's deck is very fast however, with some bombs like Ghitu Fire. A Shivan Emissary gives him a good answer to a Cloaked Knight, and his Blue splash of two Repulse is particularly strong vs. Dave's creature enchantments.
Dave wins the roll and chooses to play first. He starts off well with a turn one Sunscape Apprentice, while Dan has no play on turns one or two. Dave plays a second Plains on turn two, but on turn three he can only attack Dan down to 18 and say go, having missed his third turn land drop. Dan lays a turn three Aggressor, and Dave plays a Swamp and Exotic Curses it on turn four, attacking Dan down to 17.
Dan starts to take control from there, playing Urborg Shambler on turn four. Dave draws a Forest and plays a Knight to hold it off, but Dan kills it with a kicked Shivan Emissary and knocks Dave down to 16. Dave lays a Benalish Lancer without kicker, keeping his Forest untapped. When Dan attacks, Dave blocks with his 2/2 and pumps it with his Apprentice. The creatures trade and Dan comments that his Shambler was beginning to be a bit of a pain as he plays a Shivan Zombie and a Phyrexian Slayer, both of which would be just 1/1 with the Shambler in play.
Dave's mana issues make it nearly impossible to blunt Dan's attack. He lays Thornscape Apprentices on each of the next two turns while Dan adds a Slimy Kavu to his army and sends his whole team each turn. Dave finally has to cast the Benalish Emissary that was in his opening hand, without the kicker that would have destroyed Dan's lone Mountain and after his next attack Dan finishes Dave off with the Ghitu Fire that was in his opening hand.
Dan OMS leads 1-0
Dave chooses to play again, and gets off to a better start than in game one, with turn one Thornscape Apprentice and turn two Obsidian Acolyte. Dan kills the deadly Acolyte with Ghitu Fire on his turn two, which Dave can hardly feel badly about. Both players lay Swamps on turn three but cast no creatures. On Dave's fourth turn Dan attempts to kill his attacking Apprentice with Defiling Tears, but Dave casts Aggressive Urge in response. The +1/+1 of Urge and +1/-1 of the Tears combine to make a pretty beefy Apprentice and Dan goes down to 15. On his fourth turn, however, Dan lays the even beefier Urborg Shambler. This time Dave has his mana, and he plays an Emissary with kicker, blowing up one of Dan's two Swamps. Dan attacks with the Shambler, and uses Cursed Flesh to kill the Apprentice. Dave hits back with his Emissary and plays a Phyrexian Reaper. Dan attacks and plays Hooded Kavu. Dave Annihilates the Kavu and hits for three, putting the life totals at 12-11 in Dave's favor, but with Dan hitting for four a turn to Dave's three. Dan swings and plays a Phyrexian Slayer. Dave plays Strength of Unity on his Reaper, making it a 5/5 and attacks. Dan considers chump-blocking with his Slayer, but decides to go down to five, at which point Dave puts Mourning on the Shambler. Dan sends the Shambler, knocking Dave down to 6 and chumps the Reaper on the following turn. Dave adds a Llanowar Knight to his team, and two turns later Dan scoops, having found no answers to Dave's beatdown.
Dan plays in game three and plays the first spell on turn three, a Kavu Aggressor. Dave doesn't miss land drops, but his only basic lands are Swamps, so the Exotic Curse in his hand won't kill the Aggressor. Dave sensibly passes the turn so that he can save the Curse for a Black creature and kill the Aggressor with the Demise in his hand, but this puts him behind on tempo. This is a common sight in Invasion draft, where the players trade spells while the one who put out the first threat continues to apply damage.
On turn four Dan attacks and plays a Phyrexian Slayer. Dave plays a third Swamp and Demises the Aggressor on his turn so that Dan can't save it with bounce. Dan misses his fifth land drop but adds a Slimy Kavu to his team, knocking Dave down to 15 with the Slayer. Dave kills the Slayer with Exotic Curse on his turn, having finally drawn a non-Swamp land, but it's a Forest instead of the Plains he needs. Dan makes his fifth land drop on turn six and plays a Duskwalker with kicker. Dave passes the turn. When Dan casts Hypnotic Cloud with kicker on turn seven, no one is surprised to see Dave discard some good White cards - an Obsidian Acolyte, a Llanowar Knight and a Benalish Emissary. All Dave can do on his turn is cast Mourning on the Duskwalker, and Dan finishes Dave off with an all-out attack backed up with Ghitu Fire. Dave dies with another Llanowar Knight, an Armadillo Cloak and a Strength of Unity in his hand, but it is quite possible that Dan would have won even if Dave drew early Plains as Dan had his Shivan Emissary in hand to deal with one Knight and could have killed the other (even if enchanted) with Ghitu Fire. Congratulations to Dan and hugs for the Hump.