Round 11: Feature Match – Ali Aintrazi vs. Wesley Wise

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 DailyMTG.com, 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.

Wesley Wise was one of three players with a perfect Day One record. His friend, and Star City Open series regular, Ali Aintrazi was 6-1 yesterday. The two players met this round with a loss apiece and were not happy to be playing each other. Wesley had explored the possibility of an intentional draw but with three more rounds after this one it was too soon to be taking layups.

Game One

Wesley, who was playing the indomitable CawBlade opened up the "action" with a turn two Ponder. He played Preordain a turn later while the blue-black Aintrazi tapped all his mana on his third turn for Jace Beleren. He got to draw one card before Wes tucked the pesky Planeswalker away under Oblivion Ring.

Aintrazi ramped his mana with Solemn Simulacrum while Wes replenished his hand with a Squadron Hawk for a pair of wingmen.Ali drew first blood with the Solemn. His Inquisition of Kozilek saw the Hawks, Timely Reinforcements, Into the Roil, Oblivion Ring, Emeria Angel, and Consecrated Sphinx -- he took the Oblivion Ring. Wise cracked back for one and fetched the last Hawk from his deck but the next turn he was looking down the barrel of a Grave Titan from Ali -- which is why he took the Ring.

Wesley Wise

Wise attacked for two in the air and cast Timely Reinforcements to get full value out of it. The score was 22 to 17 when it resolved. Ali sent his team zoneward and netted two more tokens in the process. Wise played into the Roil on the Titan and it was Mana Leaked. He put a pair of soldiers in the way.

Wise was chumping at this point and there was a moment where the two players hovered on the brink of Ali's declare attackers step. Wesley prodded his opponent and Ali was startled into action: "Oh I was waiting on you...attack."

Wesley nodded and scooped up his cards.

Game Two

Inquisition of Kozilek from Ali revealed Sword of Feast and Famine, Spell Pierce, 3 lands, and Emeria Angel -- Ali took Spell Pierce. He played a second copy a turn later and Wise just slammed his Sword into the bin he had drawn a land since the last turn.

The game was off to a slow start. A few non-turns later Jace Beleren drew a card for Ali. Wise, who had a land heavy draw, played his sixth land and took out three of Ali's five lands with a trio of Tectonic Edges. Emeria Angel came down two turns latter and, much like all the reviewers projected upon its release, it immediately died to Doom Blade. The next one did as well but not before leaving two tokens in her wake. Ali cleaned up the angel droppings with Black Sun's Zenith for one while Jacing the whole time. Eventually Wes killed Jace with a Colonade, which left a window for Grave Titan to crawl through. Day of Judgment nuked them both back to square one.

Another Jace Beleren came down for Ali and it resolved but Solemn Simulacrum was met with Mana Leak. With the threat of Celestial Colonnade looming Ali made both players draw a card to nudge it out of range of the manland. Wes attacked it down to one and then restocked his hand with Squadron Hawks. Ali finished off his own Jace by drawing a greedy card for him alone and then played Grave Titan.

Wes needed something other than Squadron Hawk to cope with that and played Preordain into Ponder. He shuffled and drew...Preordain. Finally he found the Day of Judgement and then played Hawk onto the empty board. Next turn he used Tectonic Edge to clear away Ali's Mystifying Maze. With the coast clear he animated his Colonnade but Ali was ready with Doom Blade. That was fine for Wes, he had more man lands where that came from. Wes' next effort at animation hit Ali for five but Ali drew Tectonic Edge on his next turn.

Ali Aintrazi

Wes was on the Hawk plan and played them all out but Ali played Consume the Meek. Wes played Jace Beleren of his own post combat and Ali used two Mana Leaks to tap his opponent out even though the Jace still resolved.

"Any Creeping Tar Pits?" asked Wes as he tried to figure out if Jace was going to 2 loyalty or to 5. There were none in play. "I will draw."

Ali had Volition Reins on the next turn and also drew a card. Mental Misstep countered Ali's Inquisition. Wes attempted to Oblivion Ring the Reins but Ali had Into the Roil and Wes was forced to target his own Jace -- the only non-land permanent on the board. Ali played his own Jace and drew a card but when he tried to play Lilliana Vess a couple of turns later it was Deprived.

Ali worked the Jace for all it was worth and eventually started attacking with Solemn Simulacrum and Creeping Tar Pit and Wes eventually succumbed to what he felt was a very bad matchup coming into the round.

Final result: Wesley Wise - 0 Ali Aintrazi - 2

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