Eric and Eugene sat down for the last round of the first draft in a very comfortable position. Both were undefeated and had a great chance to make the top 8. They made some small talk about their respective limited ratings, at which point Eric offered a draw, which Eugene declined. Resigned that there would be no lunch break today, the competitors started the match.
Eugene Harvey vs. Eric FroehlichEugene won the die roll and chose to play first. To his dismay, Eric had to mulligan, and didn't seem very pleased to keep his second hand. Both players established their colors early by playing parallel lands (a mountain and a forest each). Eugene led with a turn two Wild Mongrel, followed by turn three Reckless Charged Diligent Farmhand. Although Eric removed the smaller creature the following turn with a Firebolt, Eugene simply flashed back the Charge and attacked for another 5.
Already at nine life by turn four, Eric looked to stabilize the game with a Springing Tiger. It was followed the next turn by a Frenetic Ogre, which was capable of dealing a possible 14 points of damage the following turn based on Eric's board position and hand size. This was not to be, as Eugene brought a 4/4 Beast into play via Beast Attack at the end of Eric's turn, and proceeded to remove the Tiger with a Firebolt plus Engulfing Flames. After being attacked by the token and the Mongrel, Eric realized that he could not survive the following turn (due to the three flashback spells in his opponent's graveyard), and conceded.
Game Count: Eugene 1, Eric 0.
Eugene HarveyBetween games, Eric once again offered the draw, which Eugene politely declined. Eric countered by pointing out that a Red/Green deck would beat a Red/Green deck 100% of the time, so they should draw because it was inevitable there was only a 50% chance of either player winning. Not daunted by this spurious logic, Eugene politely smiled and shuffled up for game 2, not changing a card in his deck. Eric removed a Barbarian Ring, two Ravaged Highlands, and a Bomb Squad from his deck, and brought in a Forest, two Mountains, and a Chatter of the Squirrels.
"Cats and Dogs" was the theme of this game, as Eric led with a turn two Mad Dog, followed by a turn two Wild Mongrel from Eugene. The red dog traded for a card in Eugene's hand after blocking. Eric wanted to see the Wild Mongrel dead however, and cast a Firebolt targeting the remaining canine. Eugene thought for a minute, and finally decided that keeping the Mongrel around was not worth discarding two additional cards from his hand.
Eric FroehlichOn turn four, Eric summoned a rather large feline in the form of Springing Tiger. Eugene matched it with a Halberdier, and which the target of a Blazing Salvo the following turn. In this game, Eric was asking the questions and making Eugene have to come up with the answers. The answer in this case was to pay five life and keep the first striker on the board to hold back the Tiger.
The board position came to a stalemate for a couple of turns, with each player adding a Beast Attack token to their side. It looked as though superior numbers might be on the side of Eric, but Eugene thought otherwise and swung with his team. Eric decided to block the Halberdier with his Beast token, but was dismayed when the Beast was Engulfing Flamed, causing it to be first struck to death.
From there, things just kept going in Eugene's favor. He added a second Beast to his team, then Firebolted Eric directly, following that play with a double Reckless Charge (one Charge, one Flashback). Facing an enormous amount of damage, Eric conceded the game, having had no answers in hand.
Match Score: Eugene 2, Eric 0.
After the match, I had an opportunity to speak with Eric about his deck. Although he had gone a very respectable 2-1 with his cards, he wasn't happy with his own deck construction. "I misbuilt my deck," he said. "I had too many flashback and Threshold cards, and they didn't work well together."