Round 11: Taking it to the Red Zone

Posted in Event Coverage on July 9, 2005

By Paul Sottosanti

Geoffrey Siron has burst onto the scene recently with a Top 8 at Pro Tour-Columbus and an appearance in the team finals at the World Championships as a member of the Belgian National Team. He's currently 9-1 and would be on top of the standings if it weren't for the undefeated status of his opponent, Arnost Zidek. Zidek is a relative newcomer who put in a lot of preparation for this event on Magic Online. Before the match, his wife leaned over from the railing and gave him a kiss for good luck.

There was some discussion of her coming down into the feature match area, which prompted the following conversation:

Zidek started Pro Tour-London 10-0.

"Is she your friend?"

"She's my wife."

"Does she play?"

"No. Actually she takes photos for a Czech Magic site."

"Does she know cards?"

"No…do you have a problem with her watching?"

"No, it's okay. No problem."

In the end she decided to stay in the stands and cheer from there anyway.

After a couple more words and a mulligan from Siron, they started the match.

Game 1

So, I'm going to be trying a little experiment here. We're going to be watching this match from the perspective of the red zone. I have no idea if it'll be interesting or not, but I figure it's worth a try.

Rows in blue are attacks from Zidek and white rows are attacks from Siron.

Attacks Blocks Result SL ZL
Shapestealer None Siron takes the one. 19 20
Secretkeeper, Waxmane Baku, and Shapestealer None With his Gnarled Mass tapped by the Waxmane, Siron takes five and falls to 14. 14 20
Moonwing Moth None Siron takes two in the air. 12 20
Moonwing Moth None Siron takes another two. 10 20
Moonwing Moth None And another two. 8 20
Gnarled Mass and Feral Deceiver River Kaijin on Gnarled Mass Unchecked Growth takes down the Kaijin and deals six to Zidek. 8 14
Moonwing Moth None Yet another two in the air. 6 14
Feral Deceiver, Nezumi Ronin and Gnarled Mass Secretkeeper on Nezumi Ronin Siron concedes the game at the conclusion of the attack, as he's facing a lethal counterattack. 0 8

The missing details are a Honden of Night's Reach that emptied Zidek's hand early and kept it that way throughout the game, effectively nullifying the Secretkeeper. That is, until Zidek topdecked and played a Moonbow illusionist, which forced Siron to make the final alpha strike. He seemed frustrated with Zidek's choice of blocks, asking, "Why would you block like this?"

Siron was in a hole after Game 1.

Zidek paused and shrugged, "Because I win this way." After the attack he was left with Waxmane Baku, Moonwing Moth, and Moonbow Illusionist, which was enough to kill Siron, but only if he didn't have any blockers in his hand.

Pointing at Secretkeeper, Siron responded, "You could win with that guy."

"Could I?"

"You can pick up lands. It'd be a 4/4 flying."

Geoffrey Siron 0, Arnost Zidek 1

Game 2

Attacks Blocks Result SL ZL
Kagemaro, First to Suffer None Zidek takes five from the unblocked Maro. 20 15
Secretkeeper None Secretkeeper through the air. 16 15
Kagemaro, First to Suffer None Zidek takes another five. 16 10
Secretkeeper Gibbering Kami and Venerable Kumo double block Zidek looks surprised and shakes his head. Secretkeeper and the Kumo trade. 16 10
Island Gibbering Kami A Genju gives Zidek another flier. The creatures trade. 16 10
Kagemaro, First to Suffer River Kaijin River Kaijin chump blocks. 16 10
Island and Waxmane Baku Traproot Kami blocks Island Ninja of the Deep Hours sneaks in for Waxmane. Zidek draws. 14 10
Kagemaro, First to Suffer None Kagemaro hits for another five. 14 5
Island, Waxmane Baku, and Ninja of the Deep Hours None Siron activates Kagemaro to clear the board. 14 5
    Zidek concedes. 14 0

Zidek may still have been rattled from the end of last game, because he made a couple of mistakes this game. He forgot a counter on his Waxmane Baku early, and then later neglected to use a counter before returning it to his hand for the Ninjutsu of Ninja of the Deep Hours. He could have forced through an extra three damage, although I doubt it would have ended up mattering. Kagemaro plus Death Denied gave Siron far more card advantage than he could handle. He conceded shortly thereafter.

Geoffrey Siron 1, Arnost Zidek 1

Game 3

Attacks Blocks Result SL ZL
Waxmane Baku None Turns into Ninja of the Deep Hours. Zidek draws a card. 18 20
Ninja of the Deep Hours None Zidek draws another card. 16 20
Nezumi Cutthroat None Zidek takes two from the rat. 16 18
Ninja of the Deep Hours None Another card for Zidek. 14 18
Nezumi Cutthroat None Keeping the race even. 14 16
Nezumi Cutthroat None And it's tied. 14 14
Ninja of the Deep Hours None Veil of Secrecy ensures no blocks and puts a counter on Waxmane Baku. Zidek draws. 12 14
Nezumi Cutthroat None Two more to Zidek. 12 12
Forked-Branch Garami None Garami gets through for four. 12 8
Waxmane Baku and Kitsune Blademaster None Four damage on the counterattack. 8 8
Forked-Branch Garami None Siron activated Kagemaro before attacking and cleared the board of all but a 2/2 Garami. 8 6
Forked-Branch Garami and Gnarled Mass Shinen of Stars' Light blocks the Garami The Shinen chump blocks to keep Zidek alive. 8 3
Forked-Branch Garami and Gnarled Mass None Siron takes the game and the match. 8 0

Zidek had a turn-two Eye of Nowhere on Siron's land, but Siron threatened to come back with a turn-three Kiku, Night's Flower. When he also had Kagemaro, it went downhill quickly for the Czech player, although he managed to make it close. The final nail in the coffin was a Death Denied, recovering both Kagemaro and Kiku from Siron's graveyard. The second Kagemaro activation cleared the board again and Zidek couldn't stop the large green men that Siron had waiting in the wings.

Final Score
Geoffrey Siron 2, Arnost Zidek 1

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