Round 12: Duncan McGregor vs. Jason Simard

Posted in Event Coverage

By Toby Wachter

Both players are shooting for a Top 8 in this match with similar decks. Probe-Go and Crosis-Go are ultimately very similar versions of the same deck: Blue/Black Nether-Go, though they each choose a very different support color. The Crosis-Go deck has the strength of Urza's Rage, while Probe-Go gets life gain from Absorb and Dromar's Charm.

Game 1

The control matchup between these two relatively inexperienced players started out slow, with McGregor being the first to stumble, missing his third land draw. This forced him to cast the first of the Accumulated Knowledges as he searched for a land. This matchup is often decided by such plays, with subsequent Accumulated Knowledges being devastating.

Simard took advantage of the play by Accumulating for three, and discarding a Nether Spirit. With both players beginning to lay their land drops, the only difference was Simard's Nether Spirit. The Nether Spirit came in relentlessly, eventually pulling a single Wrath of God out of McGregor in an attempt to gain some time. McGregor's attempt to Cremate the Nether Spirit failed, but the window allowed him a chance to get his own Nether Spirit into the mix.

A war over a Recoil on Duncan's Nether Spirit bought some time, when Duncan Absorbed it, but a second Recoil cleared the way for another turn. A third Recoil was also Absorbed, but things looked grim when Simard resolved another Accumulated Knowledge. On his own turn, a Void dropped a Dismantling Blow and Absorb from Duncan's hand, and another land brought him one turn closer to Urza's Rage with kicker. After another turn, the Rage came out for the win.

Simard brought in 4 Gainsay from his sideboard, while McGregor brought in a Cremate, Millstones, Disrupt, and Gainsay.

Game 2

Both players had relatively reasonable opening hands with a good mix of land and countermagic. McGregor again repeated the first game play of an early Accumulated Knowledge, followed by a second Accumulate. This is incredibly risky, for without a quick dominance, those initial Accumulates can make the opponent's card much more devastating when resolving.

The early card advantage may have paid off, with McGregor pushing a quick Millstone past countermagic. Simard came back with a Fact or Fiction, taking a Misdirection and Salt Marsh in the process. Simard tried to put up some kind of pressure with a Nether Spirit, and the Millstone knocked another Nether Spirit in the graveyard to give the other some company. A counterspell war over Dromar's Charm to kill the living Nether Spirit then ensued, with Simard eventually dodging the war with a Recoil on his own Nether Spirit. Mostly tapped out, Simard couldn't save the Nether Spirit in the grave from a Cremate. (A few turns later, Duncan said that this Cremate play was probably an error).

Once again, Nether Spirit raced Millstone, but soon Duncan dropped his own for defense. Things became quite rough a few turns later when a Fact or Fiction from Simard revealed a pair of Accumulated Knowledges. Simard took the two Accumulated Knowledge worth an incredible total of seven cards. This would potentially be dangerous, because a Millstone was still hitting Simard, but the awesome card advantage provided Simard with a pair of Urza's Rage and enough land to threaten towards twelve mana.

With a few more turns of Milling, Simard finally went for a Void to kill the Millstone and show a hand of Recoil and Dismantling blows from McGregor. One of the Recoil took a Salt Marsh back to Simard's hand (he dropped an Accumulated Knowledge with only 8 cards remaining in his library).

On the next turn, it was disaster for Simard. A Desolation Angel hit play, and though it was killed by an Urza's Rage and Keldon Necropolis, the damage was done. Using another Urza's Rage to kill the Nether Spirit on McGregor's side, McGregor was left without defenses. Over the next few turns Simard laid some lands and another Nether Spirit, and with his very last turn and an empty library, Simard came across for the win.

Final Result: Simard 2 - McGregor 0

Jason Simard

Download Arena Decklist

Duncan McGregor

Download Arena Decklist

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