Round 12 Feature Match – Hironobu Sugaya vs Shamsul Bahrin Zainuddin

Posted in Event Coverage on January 25, 2014

By Pip Foweraker

Zainuddin looked extraordinarily hesitant about his decision to keep his opening hand. In the end, he knocked thrice on his library and kept, and was presumably rewarded with a land when he breathed a huge sigh of relief, and summoned Vaporkin, and followed it with an Ordeal of Nylea. Sugaya had a Phalanx Leader and a Crackling Triton to keep pace.

Sugaya, under pressure from the increasingly enormous flier, cast a Cavalry Pegasus and used a Voyage's End on the Vaporkin to both stem the beatings and stop Zainuddin from getting too far ahead on lands. Zainuddin had a Nylea's Disciple to clog the ground, then bestowed a Nimbus Naiad on it and attacked. Sugaya took the damage for a turn before casting a Gift of Immortality on his Pegasus, drawing a wry look from Zainuddin as he pondered how to get past the now-recursive blocker.

Zainuddin re-cast his Vaporkin and found a pair of Fleetfeather Sandals, while Sugaya summoned a Wingsteed Rider, Silent Artisan and a Traveling Philosopher. Both players were slowed to a crawl by relatively weak offences and relatively strong defence on both sides of the board. An Aqueous Form for Zainuddin resolved the stalemate and let him take the first game in short order.

Shamsul Bahrin Zainuddin 1 - Hironobu Sugaya 0

Both players summoned out cheap creatures but couldn't find any profitable attacks, Zainuddin with a Vaporkin and a Nessian Courser, Sugaya with a Cavalry Pegasus, Lagonna-Band Elder and a Wingsteed Pegasus. Zainuddin bestowed a Leafcrown Dryad on his Vaporkin, making an imposing flier and crashing it in at Sugaya.

Sugaya visibly considered attacking back with his team, prompting Zainuddin to throw his hands up in the air to try and dissuade him. Sugaya, smiling, reconsidered and just sent his fliers over, leaing his Elder back to slow down the Courser if necessary. Sugaya summoned a Soldier of the Pantheon, while Zainuddin went for a Prophet of Kruphix, which was promptly Voyage's Ended.

Sugaya tried a Gift of Immortality on his Wingsteed Rider, building it to a 4/4 before attacking with his Rider, Pegasus and Soldier of the Pantheon. Zainuddin flashed in a bestowed Nimbus Naiad, creating a tremendous blocker for both the Soldier and the Pegasus. Sugaya shook his head in frustration and flashed a God's Willing that he had been holding in anticipation of, well, anything but a surprise 5/5 flying blocker. Regardless of his choices, Sugaya could get Zainuddin to 1 - not enough to stop him from swinging back for lethal the next turn.

Shamsul Bahrin Zainuddin 2 - Hironobu Sugaya 0

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