by Anthony Alongi
Gerardo Godinez recently came in third place at the Latin American Championship, and received a tap on the shoulder for this past year's Invitational. He has placed in the Top 4 three times at the Mexican Nationals, including one championship. He played a 61-card deck, a Blue Skies variant with strong bounce including Wash Out, Boomerang, and (in his sideboard) Submerge.
Scott was the first person to achieve three consecutive Pro Tour Top 8's (only Jon Finkel has done it since). He was Top 8 at Pro Tours #2 and #3, as well as Worlds for 1996 (when he was also at the Invitational) and 1998. He's among the better-looking two-thirds of Team Potato Nation that won Pro Tour NY, and he won Pro Tour Dallas (Type I). He also edits some web site called "Mindripper.com," but this reporter wouldn't know much about that. He was playing a strict red-green Fires of Yavimaya deck.
Gerardo chooses to play first; he kept his initial hand while Scott mulliganed. The opening rounds of this game saw a Llanowar Elf and Spiketail Hatchling trade damage for a little while. An early Wash Out (green) by Gerardo gave a taste of things to come.
As the Spiketail Hatchling ticked away life, Scott posed six consecutive threats, with Fires of Yavimaya on the board, in turns five through ten. Here they are, with the results:
Turn five Battery: Foiled (hard cast)
Turn six Battery: Foiled (hard cast) )
Turn seven Jade Leech: Thwarted (alternate casting cost) )
Turn eight Saproling Burst: makes it, but when four hasted 3/3 tokens attempt to attack, the Burst is Boomeranged)
Turn nine Saproling Burst: see turn eight. )
Turn ten Saproling Burst: Foiled (hard cast) )
During this time, a Rishadan Airship joined the Spiketail Hatchling, and a Wash Out (green) on turn 11 cleared the air of chump blockers so lethal damage was possible. Scott, taking what must have been a frustrating game with charm and humor, conceded before Gerardo's combat phase.
Scott chose to play first; both players kept their opening hands. The first five turns looked good for Mindripper's editor-in-chief as he laid out a Chimeric Idol, Blastoderm, and Fires of Yavimaya. But Gerardo stabilized the situation with a Wash Out (no points for guessing the color correctly) and Troublesome Spirit. Blastoderm was Foiled on the second entry, and Gerardo's position improved further when he summoned a second Troublesome Spirit to join the first one.
A seventh-turn Two-Headed Dragon appeared to save the day for Scott; but a second Wash Out (red) confounded hopes for a turnaround. The re-entry for the Dragon was Thwarted, and at one life from Spirit and pain land damage, Scott conceded.
Neither sideboard for either player (four Submerges for Gerardo, replacing an eclectic mix of mana and spells; three Kavu Chameleons and two Tangles for Scott, replacing three Leeches, one Earthquake, and one Burst) showed up that second game.
Final Result: Gerardo Godinez wins, 2-0