Round 11 Feature Match: Trey Van Cleave vs. Jim Herold

Posted in Event Coverage

By Mark Wraith

This match started off with both players getting deck-checked, so the players wandered away to see how their friends were getting on. Of course, both Trey and Jim were doing rather well as well - playing on table two with nine wins and a loss, with only Antoine Ruel having more points than them. The deck-check took a long time, and almost twelve minutes elapsed before the judges brought them back. There were no problems with the deck, except a marked sleeve, which was soon fixed.

Game 1

Finally they began with a thirteen minute time extension, with Trey starting. He played a Stormscape Familiar, while Jim played a Thunderscape Familiar. They traded damage once, but when Jim tried to play a Lava Zombie, van Cleave was ready with an Agonizing Demise for the Familiar, forcing the German to return his gating creature.

Herold played a Caldera Kavu instead on his next turn, and got attacked by the Familiar and a Rainbow Crow. Trey wasn't worried about the Kavu at all, since he summoned a Galina's Knight and cast Lashknife Barrier.

Jim's Phyrexian Battleflies made a brief appearance but were immediately replaced by the Lava Zombie. Both of Herold's creatures were red, so he couldn't block when Trey attacked with everything, and went down to ten. Van Cleave Hobbled the Lava Zombie so that he wouldn't take much damage in return.

Indeed, the Caldera Kavu did only two damage, as Jim was more concerned with summoning his Duskwalker, holding off the Galina's Knight, but doing little about the flyers who reduced him to seven life. The Dane continued to apply the pressure with a Glimmering Angel, which Herold was unable to deal with - he had recast the Battleflies but didn't have black mana open since he chose to cast a Mire Kavu as well.

Trey considered for a while what to attack with, despite being on seventeen lives, Jim's Caldera and Mire Kavus, and Duskwalker could be a significant threat. In the end all of his flyers were sent across, just a Galina's Knight holding back, and Jim was sent to two. After this attack van Cleave summoned a Crypt Angel as well, and Herold conceded after drawing his card.

Game 2

Jim decided to start, hoping for a faster start, perhaps with his Lava Zombie actually resolving. Indeed his start looked quick on the first turn, as he played a Phyrexian Battleflies.

Without a second Swamp, only a Mountain, they only attacked for one before Trey played a Dream Thrush. Nevertheless, the Flies attacked again but dealt no damage, Jim preferring to summon a Hooded Kavu.

The Hooded Kavu wasn't exactly going to attack any time soon as Trey Hobbled it. Jim didn't have a second Swamp, so van Cleave used his Dream Thrush to turn the Swamp into a Mountain - Jim pumping his Battleflies in response. Jim did draw another Swamp that turn, but it appeared he had nothing to do with the mana, except pump his Battleflies again, bringing Trey to 17.

Van Cleave summoned a Rainbow Crow, and Herold a Duskwalker with kicker. Trey didn't have a Swamp of his own, and was forced to use his Dream Thrush to cast the Phyrexian Slayer in his hand.

Jim attacked and brought Trey to twelve before playing a second Battleflies. Van Cleave retaliated with his Phyrexian Slayer, Rainbow Crow and Dream Thrush, bringing Herold to twelve. The Dane summoned a Metathran Transport - big enough to block and kill any Battleflies that might attack, but not when Jim enchanted one of them with Maniacal Rage, attacking with it and the Duskwalker, and bringing Trey to five.

Trey had a way to remove the Fly with his Agonizing Demise, since he could use his Metathran Transport to make it blue first, but strangely chose to cast a Lashknife Barrier and held back with three of his flyers - attacking with just the Rainbow Crow to put Jim on ten. This meant that he would now need to sacrifice his Ancient Spring to do the Agonizing Demise trick, as he was one mana short. Perhaps he hadn't seen it, as he just played a Crimson Acolyte and passed the turn.

Jim attacked once more with his Duskwalker and enchanted Battleflies. Trey got confused, making the Duskwalker blue, and then attempting to double-block it with his Acolyte and Slayer - of course this wasn't legal as Duskwalker can't be blocked by white creatures irrespective of whether or not it is black itself. Instead he merely blocked the Battleflies - took three from the Duskwalker down to two, and got Soul Burned out

Game 3

The players have only ten minutes left for the third game, but they started out at a pace. Trey began and played a Galina's Knight on his second turn, attacking with it for two. Jim's second turn Battleflies also attacked for two, but Trey missed his third land drop twice in a row.

Jim also played a Caldera Kavu, but at least it couldn't get past the Galina's Knight. Herold then followed this up with a Slingshot Goblin and put Maniacal Rage on his Battleflies, bringing Trey down to thirteen. Trey had finally found another land and used it to cast Hobble on the Flies, steadying the board.

This was only for one half-turn though - his Galina's Knight was Soul Burned and the two red creatures knocked him down to nine. Trey managed to deal with the Caldera Kavu by giving it a Shackles, going down to seven from the Goblin while Herold played a Duskwalker as well.

Van Cleave finally played a creature - a Crypt Angel returning the Galina's Knight. However, this was terminated, and he went down to four. Trey didn't have any real answer, being forced to use Rushing River with kicker to stay alive for one further turn. He had enough mana so that when the Duskwalker made a re-appearance he was able to exclude it, and now Jim didn't have any creatures capable of attacking on the table, and Trey played a Lashknife Barrier and a Galina's Knight.

Jim didn't feel like recasting the Slingshot Goblin as he had drawn a second Duskwalker. All Trey had for this was a potential chump-blocker with a Phyrexian Slayer, but Jim stunned it and attacked for the win.

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