by Mark Wraith
In this match, two Norwegians faced up to each other - with the loser probably being unable to make top eight, but the winner still firmly in contention. Sturla had a black/red deck, and Eivind had a black/red/blue deck.
Sturla started in game one, and Eivind was forced to mulligan. A turn two Ravenous Rat from Sturla prompted Eivind to comment that he was being forced to mulligan again - discarding Plague Spores. Still he looked to be doing well when he played first an Urborg Skeleton, and then a Stalking Assassin - especially as Sturla did not have any removal for it in his hand. This card made Sturla unwilling to cast any creatures from his hand, and Eivind passed the next few turns by first tapping and then destroying a Hooded Kavu Bingen had made. That was the last thing the Assassin got to destroy, though, as Sturla had drawn a Scorching Lava. Both players then proceeded to lay out creatures on the next few turns - Eivind made a Tower Drake and a Phyrexian Slayer, while Sturla played a Duskwalker with kicker. Of course, with an Urborg Skeleton in play, Nitter could handle the Duskwalker. Sturla tried to stem the flying attackers with a Mourning, but Eivind Repulsed the Tower Drake in response. The Drake attacked Sturla down to 14 before it got destroyed by a Spite. Two of Sturla's Kavu got a Reckless Spite, which emptied the board completely except for a Mourned Phyrexian Slayer, and an Urborg Skeleton. Eivind drew exactly the right card for this situation, though, a Firescreamer ! Sturla went down to eight in two turns of attacking before he could remove it with a Scorching Lava, but Nitter had a second Firescreamer. Over the next two turns, Eivind used a Tribal Flames to kill a Phyrexian Slayer, and a Void to kill a Duskwalker. This brought Sturla down to two, and although he cast Tsabo's Decree to kill the Screamer, he was unable to deal with the Sapphire Leech that was played next turn.
Eivind went first in game two, and Sturla made a very unusual play on his turn one, playing a Duskwalker without kicker. This basically signaled to Nitter that Sturla was light on land, although Sturla did draw a third land on turn three to play a Hooded Kavu. Sturla was doing well, despite not having a fourth land - he had an Assault for Eivind's Tower Drake, and a Scorching Lava for a Firescreamer. This allowed Sturla to bring Nitter down to 12. Exotic Curse killed the Hooded Kavu though, and Sturla did not have a removal spell for a Sapphire Leech, although he was able to put Mourning in it. It was fortuitous that he did not have a removal for the Leech, because Eivind played a Tek next turn, for which Sturla top-decked an Exotic Curse. Removal continued to deal with creatures - another Firescreamer being Mourned, and then Breath of Darigaaz dealt with the Firescreamer and a Duskwalker. This left the table empty, with Sturla on 16 and Eivind on 8. Eivind played a Firescreamer, and a Shivan Zombie. Now it was Eivind's turn to have insane amounts of removal - Tribal Flaming a Duskwalker and attacking for four, then Soul Burning a second Duskwalker (the third of the game) and attacking for five. By now Sturla had run out of creatures, and he could only chump for one turn with a Ravenous Rats before the Firescreamer and Shivan Zombie killed him.
Final Result: Eivind Nitter wins 2-0 over Sturla Bingen