Round 11: Gab Tsang vs. Nick Page

Posted in Event Coverage on June 15, 2002

By Josh Bennett

Two rounds stand between Gab Tsang and a heck of a homecoming. A mediocre constructed day left him needing to run the tables on Day 2, and he's been doing his damnedest to make it happen. Plucky young upstart Nick Page is also having a great weekend. He steamrolled a Sealed Deck grinder the day before and he steered a fully-retro Psychatog to a respectable 4-2 in a sea of red-green hate. Now he faces Tsang, whose skill as a limited player is legendary.

Benevolent Bodyguard
Tsang started with Benevolent Bodyguard. He tried to follow up with Twigwalker. Page was ready with Syncopate. He showed Tsang what a real beater looked like, creating Wild Mongrel. Tsang's Chainflinger was a poor comparison.

Page decided to get things going. Ghostly Wings sent the Mongrel airborne, and now Tsang was on a serious clock. Nimble Mongoose played cheerleader. Tsang needed something spectacular if he was going to outrace. Acorn Harvest gave him some more pressure. Page swung again, bringing Tsang to thirteen.

Tsang counterattacked with everyone. Page put the Mongoose in front of the Bodyguard. Prismatic Strands saved the Bodyguard and two points from Page's life total. He flashed back the Harvest, but it was not looking good. Three more put Tsang at seven. Aven Fisher showed up to run interference.

Thermal Blast cleared the way, and Page was at eight. Unfortunately, Page was no fool. He attacked and pitched four. When Tsang tried to strands, he pitched another to switch colors, taking the game.

Page 1 - Tsang 0

Ironshell Beetle
Tsang led with Bodyguard. Page matched with Mongoose. Tsang's next play of Ironshell Beetle (armoring up the Bodyguard for two quick damage) was outclassed by Page's Mongrel. Tsang upgraded with Arcane Teachings on the Bodyguard and sat back.

Page's two forests failed to find a friend, and he had to just hang around for a while. Twigwalker joined the team, and on the following turn forced four pitches from Page's Mongrel. The loss of the Bodyguard and Teachings was reversed by Auramancer. Page again had no play. The Auramancer earned the Teachings, and hit again.

Finally, an island for Page. Coral Net on the Auramancer gave Tsang a choice. Holding another Auramancer and a Chainflinger, he let it go. He pulled up his sixth land and played the Auramancer. This time the Teachings went on the Beetle for three more damage.

Page seemed to lose whatever fire he had. Cephalid Looter showed up just to buy time. Chainflinger added to Tsang's board control. Next up was another island and Thought Eater. Tsang plucked another Teachings, and Page almost packed it in right there. He had one tiny hope, his Battlefield Scrounger. Tsang dropped Phantom Nomad to snarl the ground until his pingers could take it. Acorn Harvest made it academic.

Page 1 - Tsang 1

Tattoo Ward
Tsang's hand for Game 3 was lackluster: Five land, Seton's Scout and Muscle Burst. He kept it, and practically slumped over in his chair when Page opened things with turn-one Mongoose, turn-two Mongrel. He got the Scout out and took two. But it was tragedy on all sides, as Page was again stranded on two forests.

Page swung. Tsang blocked. Muscle Burst looked to be amazing, but Page quashed it with Moment's Peace. Twigwalker was far from exciting. Page found an island, and held back. Tsang found Tattoo Ward, no help at all. Page's Mental Note got him a fourth land, and an Aven Fisher in play. Tsang drew land.

He continued to draw land while Page clubbed him. Lost in Thought pushed through four damage before Tattoo Ward removed it. Tsang swung for five and left Diligent Farmhand home. Page's team jumped him. The Farmhand blocked the Mongoose, but Page just pitched to get threshold, leaving Tsang at six. He fetched a land from his deck, shuffled, and drew.

Land. He held back and lost his Twigwalker, but the writing was on the wall. Cephalid Inkshrouder took things all the way to "hopeless". His last card was Auramancer, and he extended the hand.

Final Result: Nick Page defeats Gab Tsang 2-1

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