Round 11 Feature Match - Pat Cox vs. Brian Kibler

Posted in Event Coverage on January 19, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

Neither Hall of Famer Brian Kibler nor Pat Cox were enthusiastic about their chances of winning any matches with their decks from the first Theros Booster Draft of the day.

The Decks

Pat Cox fell into a trap in the first pack of his draft, taking Daxos of Meletis and being unable to get out of those colors. "By the end of Pack One I thought I should be green," Cox said. "But then, in Pack Two I opened Celestial Archon, and trapped myself again."

Kibler's draft did not go well either, as he was forced to cobble together a playable blue-white deck out of the cards available to him. "Pack One was relatively weak overall," Kibler noted.

The Games

Cox led with Omenspeaker, leaving one card on top. It was joined by Opaline Unicorn after an attack for one on the next turn. Pheres-Band Centaurs came on the fourth turn, a little early thanks to the Unicorn. Kibler's response was his first play of the game: Coastline Chimera.

The Centaurs got an upgrade thanks to a bestowed Leafcrown Dryad, dropping Kibler to 14. Kibler passed with five mana up on the next turn, signaling a slew of potential tricks. Cox, wary of losing his Centaurs to a Divine Verdict, sent only his Omenspeaker and Opaline Unicorn, cracking in for a point when Kibler blocked one of them. Traveler's Amulet to find a Plains was his only follow-up after that, and Kibler aimed a Voyage's End at the Centaurs. Anvilwrought Raptor entered the battlefield for Kibler on the next turn, giving him a reasonable blocker against Cox's now very small creatures.

Pat Cox

Cox sent in the team anyway, and when Kibler went for a block on Leafcrown Dryad with Anvilwrought Raptor, Cox had Triton Tactics to keep his team around. Battlewise Valor from Kibler was aimed at his Anvilwrought Raptor, keeping it around. The Pheres-Band Centaurs came down post combat, and was bestowed with Nylea's Emissary before an attack on the next turn, trumping Kibler's freshly cast Leonin Snarecaster. This prompted Divine Verdict from Kibler, once again leaving Cox with only smaller creatures.

Aqueous Form came down on the Snarecaster after that, as Kibler began his not-so-fast ten turn clock. As Cox received his beatdowns, two damage at a time, he couldn't help but say it. "Our decks are so bad," he muttered, inciting a laugh from Kibler who agreed.

A bestowed Nimbus Naiad on Anvilwrought Raptor earned a Griptide from Cox. Attacks from Cox's creatures on the next turn left his Nylea's Emissary dead, Kibler's Nimbus Naiad destroyed, and a post-combat Setessan Griffin from Cox post-combat looked to secure the game for him.

Kibler, who drew his Anvilwrought Raptor yet again, was helpless to the onslaught of Cox's army, ultimately succumbing to the likes of Omenspeaker beatings et all.

"Play or draw?" Cox asked. "I think I'll go second," Kibler said. "I've no idea if that's right," Cox said. "Me neither," Kibler responded.

Hall of Famer Brian Kibler

Cox had a much better creature early in the second game, with Daxos of Meletis coming down following his second-turn Omenspeaker. Soldier of the Pantheon on the third turn to block Daxos earned a slump in the seat from Cox, who attacked in with Daxos and Omenspeaker on the fourth turn. When the Soldier blocked Daxos, Divine Verdict took the one-mana creature out. Unfortunately for Cox, when you and your opponent's decks are full of small creatures, Daxos becomes a lot easier to block, as Kibler proved with the 2/1 Anvilwrought Raptor.

An attack with four open mana caused Kibler to halt on blocking with his freshly played Anvilwrought Raptor. Cox got in for 4 damage, and Daxos exiled and netted Cox a free Chosen by Heliod, which he promptly cast on his Daxos. No plays from Kibler halted Daxos's attacks, Cox wary of losing his legendary creature. He instead attacked for 1 with Omenspeaker and cast Coastline Chimera. It was joined by Pheras-Band Centaurs after attacks on the next turn. Kibler, who was stuck on four lands for too long, ultimately had to play out his Nimbus Naiad in the face of the 3/7.

Eventually, Kibler got to enough mana to cast Benthic Giant, but by that point, Cox's board had five creatures. Attacks left Cox trading off cards with Kibler, but the Hall of Famer's life was sitting at 7, and he was down against a massive board. While Kibler was able to suit up his Benthic Giant with nimbus Naiad to give him a blocker in the air, it was not enough, and the Hall of Famer offered the handshake a few turns later.

Cox 2 – Kibler 0

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