Round 11 Feature Match: Antoine Ruel vs. Tomihiro Maruyama

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Toby Wachter

Game 1

Ruel won the die roll, and chose to play first. Unfortunately, luck was not on his side and he was forced to double mulligan. He played an Island, and Maruyama started off with a Geothermal Crevice. Ruel then played a Mountain, and Maruyama started his curve with a Nomadic Elf. Ruel drew, and was stuck at two land. Maruyama had a threat heavy draw that could take advantage of Ruel's mana stall. An Ancient Kavu and a Kavu Climber later, and Ruel conceded.

Maruyama- 1 Ruel- 0

Game 2

Ruel chose to play first, and got to keep all seven cards this time. He started with an Island, and Maruyama played a first turn Thornscape Apprentice. Ruel then played a Swamp, while Maruyama accelerated his mana with a Fertile Ground. Ruel played a Swamp, and his first creature in Sparring Golem. Maruyama continued to make full use of his mana by playing a turn three Charging Troll. Ruel's Golem got through for two damage, and he played another Swamp and a Trench Wurm. It was obvious at this point that Ruel desperately needed a Mountain.

Maruyama's Charging Troll got through for three damage, and he played another creature in Nomadic Elf. On Ruel's turn, the difference in language created a strange situation. Ruel had a Trench Wurm and a Sparring Golem, and declared his attack step. Maruyama responded by tapping the Wurm. Ruel then went back into his main phase, and played Sleeper's Robe on the Golem. He attacked, and got to draw a card and deal two damage.

This may have been due to a lack of communication, since normally a player will tap an opposing creature during the declaration of attackers step. This results in the attacking player being unable to play any non-Instant spells before proceeding with the attack. In this case, Ruel was able to go back to the main phase and play Sleeper's Robe, and then attack.

Maruyama attacked with the Troll and Elf, and increased his army with Kavu Climber. Ruel finally drew a Mountain, and was able to kill off the Charging Troll with Exotic Curse. Maruyama held the Robed Golem back with the Thornscape Apprentice. On his turn, he attacked with the Climber, which was blocked by Trench Wurm. He filtered a Red mana with Nomadic Elf, and activated the Apprentice to give his Climber first strike. This killed off the Wurm, and allowed the Climber to survive. He then followed up with Ancient Kavu.

Ruel tried to stabilize, bringing out a Vodalian Zombie and a second Trench Wurm. However, Maruyama had the answer, and Lightning Darted the Zombie. A visibly frustrated Ruel commented "Can't you draw lands like everyone else?" Maruyama's Ancient and Climbing Kavus easily came through for six damage. On Ruel's turn, things obviously became desperate, and he cast two Opts. He played a Cinder Shade, and sent the turn over. Maruyama tapped the Shade on his turn, and Ruel responded by pumping it twice. The Climber, Ancient Kavu and Elf all attacked, and Ruel sacrificed the 3/3 Shade to deal three damage to the Ancient Kavu. Maruyama once again had the answer, and used Orim's Cure to keep the Kavu alive and win the match.

Final Result: Maruyama-2 Ruel- 0

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