Round 11 Feature Match - Mark Lovin vs. Seth Manfield

Posted in Event Coverage on December 1, 2013

By Josh Bennett

The Story

The lightning-strike amateur Mark Lovin with defensive Blue-White against the journeyman pro Seth Manfield playing red-black aggro.

Lovin was a competitive amateur back in the early 2000s, but heeded the call of Grad School in 2006. His last event was Grand Prix Toronto in that year, his first Grand Prix Day 2 that lead to a Top 4 finish. He's made his second Day 2, and is looking to make this a repeat performance.

Mark Lovin

Seth Manfield already has a pair of Grand Prix titles to his name. Last weekend at Albuquerque he got the PT point he needed to hit Silver Status, guaranteeing him a Pro Tour invite. Right now his eyes are on a Top 8 here in Toronto, which would qualify him for Pro Tour Born of the Gods in Valencia, and allow him to keep his Silver invitation for the following Pro Tour.

The Match

Game one was quick and brutal. Lovin kept a two-land hand on the draw with no early plays. A turn-two Akroan Crusader followed by Scourgemark gave Manfield the early pressure he needed. Lovin hit his third land and decided to play out Spear of Heliod, accepting an extra turn of pain. Manfield dropped him to thirteen and played out Purphoros's Emissary. Lagonna-Band Elder got the life back, but was dispatched by Lightning Strike and Manfield's creatures crashed in. Lovin was stuck on three lands and couldn't add enough to the board to stem the tide.

Manfield 1 - Lovin 0

Game two looked like it was more in Lovin's favor, despite a mulligan to six. He played out a wall of Yoked Ox, Omenspeaker and Travelling Philosophers, forcing Manfield's army of 2/1's to stay home. Next came a bestowed Nimbus Naiad on the Philosophers, giving Lovin a flying 4/4 to take chunks out of Manfield's life total. Insatiable Harpy from Manfield was met by a Coastline Chimera, and now it seemed that Manfield's only route to victory was his Tymaret, the Murder King.

Seth Manfield

Manfield added Purphoros's Emissary to his board, stuck on just four land. Lovin decided to go for the throat. He flew in with both Philosophers and Chimera for five, then dispatched the Murder King with Last Breath. Unfortunately for him, that all played right into Manfield's hands. Lightning Strike removed the Omenspeaker, leaving Lovin with just the 0/4 Ox on defence. Manfield sent the whole team, dealing 8 damage and losing nothing. Lovin was down to ten. Then came the final nail: A second Tymaret!

Now Lovin had to hold back, but Manfield had inevitability on his side. Between attacks and sacrificed creatures, he made short work of Lovin.

The Aftermath

The two players talked briefly about the match before wishing each other good luck with the rest of the day. The shared a laugh about the outrageous second Tymaret.

"When you Last Breathed I was so happy because I already had the other one in hand," said Manfield

"Yeah, I felt like I had to though-" began Lovin, but Manfield cut him off, saying "Oh no you absolutely had to, it was just super lucky for me."

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