Round 10 Feature Match: Dirk Roth vs. Christian Lührs

Posted in Event Coverage on September 2, 2015

By by Kim Eikefet

In the tenth round, Christian Lührs faced Dirk Roth from Saarbrücken. While Christian is a well-known Pro Tour player, Dirk is more unknown, although he has been to three or four Pro Tours. The two players were both at 21 points, needing to win two matches out of the last three in order to make the final playoff.

Game 1

Christian won the die roll and chose to play first. His opening hand held three islands, two Counterspells, an Opposition and a Glacial Wall, and Christian kept. Dirk opened with three lands and some assorted creatures, and he kept as well.

Christian played islands while Dirk played two Ports and a Karplusan Forest. He used the Karplusan Forest to get a Llanowar Elves into play while tapping down an island during Christian's upkeep. But Christian still got out a turn four Glacial Wall, and Dirk started pondering on how to get past the huge wall of ice.

One way to do it is to make multiple creatures, and so he chose to play a Saproling Burst. Christian cast a Spiketail Hatchling and passed priority, and during his end of turn step, Dirk made two Saproling tokens that attacked during his following turn. Christian blocked one of them and went to sixteen. Dirk then Urza's Raged the Wall to get rid of it.

Christian needed some way to defend himself against the angry Saprolings. Still, he held two Counterspells in his hand, and he thought for a while before finally playing an Opposition, leaving only one mana untapped. Dirk took the opportunity to play Thunderscape Battlemage with kicker, destroying the Opposition. Christian tapped one token in response, but went down to 12 after being attacked by the other token and the Elves.

During his turn, Christian cast a Thieving Magpie. Dirk didn't like it, so he attempted to play a Flametongue Kavu - but Christian had a Counterspell ready for it. He then double-blocked the Battlemage to kill it, and went down to eight from the two Saprolings.

Looking for answers, Christian attacked with his Magpie to draw an extra card. He also Opted, finding a Static Orb which he cast. "Und du," he smiled, and Dirk looked far from pleased. Eventually, he chose to untap two lands, leaving his now 1/1 Saprolings untapped. He tried to play a Blastoderm, but Christian used his last card in hand, the second Counterspell, to stop it.

The Magpie gave Christian two cards a turn, and he drew a land and a Glacial Wall that he played. Dirk tapped out to play another Saproling Burst, and the one card in Christian's hand was not a Counterspell. During the following turn he drew another Glacial Wall though, and facing two huge walls, Dirk decided to make one token only. He then attacked just to see the token bonk its head into the wall.

The Magpie took Dirk down to twelve life, and then Christian drew a Temporal Adept that he cast. Dirk cast a Birds of Paradise and a Llanowar Elves, but couldn't do much else. So Christian got to untap two lands and play another one, which meant that he had enough mana to activate the Adept.

Dirk sent one 2/2 token and two Llanowar Elves over for an attack, and one of them got through, putting Christian at seven life. Then, Christian bounced his Static Orb to untap all his permanents. He recast it as well, and then he played a Merfolk Looter before ending his turn. Dirk couldn't do much during his turn, and then Christian started working Dirk's permanents by bouncing his Birds of Paradise to his hand. During his own turn, he attacked, looted and then he let Dirk play the Birds of Paradise again.

With a Port in play as well, Christian could tap down Dirk's land during his end of turn step. He also tried to bounce his Static Orb, but Dirk stopped him. In response, he tapped three mana into his pool and Raged the Thieving Magpie. All Christian needed though was an Opposition to lock down the game, and finally he drew one. With double Thwart backup, Dirk scooped.

Roth 0 - Lührs 1

Game 2

In order to deal with Christian's effective weenies and the key spells, Dirk sideboarded in two cheap spells: Hull Breach and Simoon. He chose to play first, drawing a hand with three lands and some speed mana. He started by playing a turn one Llanowar Elves, then he got out a Rishadan Port and started Porting Christian's lands during his upkeep. He also got out a turn three Blastoderm.

Christian stalled on two lands though, and his Merfolk Looter didn't feel like jumping in front of a big Blastoderm, and so Christian soon found himself at fourteen life. Unable to draw any lands, he took a last look at his hand before conceding and preparing for game three.

Roth 1 - Lührs 1

Game 3

Christian played first in the last game. His opening hand held three lands and three Glacial Walls, and he kept it. Meanwhile, Dirk got a hand with one land only, a Rishadan Port, and he chose to mulligan. His second hand was far better, he drew two lands and some quick spells, and he kept that hand.

Christian got out a turn two Merfolk Looter while Dirk, who had played a first turn Birds of Paradise, played a turn two Urza's Rage to kill the Looter. Then it was time for the Glacial Walls. Christian played one during turn three, while Dirk played a Fires of Yavimaya and a Llanowar Elves that bounced into the wall. Christian then got out a Spiketail Hatchling, keeping two mana open.

Dirk still went for the Blastoderm, and looked pretty surprised when it went through. But the Blastoderm couldn't do much when another Glacial Wall came into play. In order to kill one of the walls it bounced into one though, and then Dirk tried to Flametongue Kavu it to kill it. After some thinking, Christian figured that the Wall was worth a Thwart and returned three islands to his hand. He then started replaying the lands while attacking with his Hatchling.

Dirk attacked with two Elves and the Blastoderm, getting one damage through. Then the third Glacial Wall came into play. Needing more creatures, Dirk attempted to play a Saproling Burst - and it got through the barrier. Then, he attacked with two 5/5 tokens and a Blastoderm, pumping one of the Tokens with his Fires to kill one of the annoying walls.

However, with four mana in play at last, Christian tapped out to play Opposition. But in response, Dirk cast Simoon, killing the Spiketail Hatchling. During his own turn, he attacked with two tokens and two Elves, and two damage slipped through. Still, Christian used his two walls to tap down Dirk's two Birds of Paradise during his end of turn step, and then he played Static Orb.

With the Static Orb in play, Christian had the game pretty much locked down. Dirk chose to untap the two Birds again during his untap step, but Christian tapped them again and played a Merfolk Looter. During Dirk's upkeep, he tapped the two Birds again, and then after Dirk had played yet another Bird, he tapped his own Static Orb to get to untap. A Magpie came into play, ad Dirk's permanents kept being tapped during his untap step. In addition, Christian drew extra cards from the Magpie.

Dirk chose to Rage the Magpie, but all his permanents were tapped and they kept getting tapped. Christian was in total control, but he needed a way to win, and so the tapping and untapping continued for a good while until Dirk simply conceded, knowing there was no way he could win.

Final Result: Roth 1 - Lührs 2

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