Round 12: Feature Match – Luis Scott-Vargas vs. David Tidd

Posted in Event Coverage on August 6, 2011

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

You know, it's always nice to see people you've known for a long time doing well at Magic. I have been watching Kid Tidd play Magic here in Indiana since he was like twelve (you write the feature match, you get to refer to people by their very old nicknames). That's over a decade. Now I get to see him sitting around the top of the standings at US Nationals, within striking distance of making the team. His opponent, I've known for a considerably lesser time, but has definitely contributed some awesome moments to my Magic experience. Luis Scott-Vargas should need no introduction to those of you familiar with tournament Magic. For those of you who aren't, let's just say he's good. Really good.

Game One

LSV started things off with a mulligan, ending on six cards. Tidd's second-turn Lotus Cobra got to effectively hit LSV for four damage, as it was crushed with a Dismember before it even saw an untap step. The Sea Gate Oracle he followed with stuck around a bit longer and started to attack in for one. After getting his beat on, Tidd made a second Lotus Cobra, this one managing to stick around.

LSV went to the skies on his turn, using a Squadron Hawk to fill his hand up with Birds. Tidd once again attacked for one before using his Lotus Cobra and paying some life to make a Birthing Pod. LSV thought for a minute before accepting. The Pod went straight to work, turning the Oracle into a Solemn [autocard]Simulacrum[/autocard]. For his part, LSV swung in for one himself before adding an Emeria Angel to his team, leaving a single land available. Not to be outdone, Tidd made a huge flier of his own, taking advantage of his overabundance of mana to kick a Sphinx of Lost Truths. He also kept heading up the Birthing Pod chain, turning his Simulacrum into an Acidic Slime, eating LSV's Celestial Colonnade.

LSV settled in, playing another land and passing the turn. When Tidd went for a Phyrexian Metamorph on the ensuing turn, LSV stopped it with a pair of Mana Leaks. Tidd simply passed the turn. LSV ate one of Tidd's lands with a Tectonic Edge before making an Inkmoth Nexus, adding yet another flier to his team. Tidd used the Pod to turn the Slime into a Frost Titan, which he used to lock down a land, before passing the turn.

It was time for LSV to try to swarm over. He sent all of his creatures but a single Bird at Tidd. The Sphinx took the Angel out, but Tidd took a seven-point blow in the attack. One more of those and he was a goner. At the end of LSV's turn, he flashed in a Deceiver Exarch, tapping down one of LSV's lands, leaving him on two. After untapping, he dropped a Splinter Twin onto it, running the alternate victory path to snatch victory out of defeat.

Luis Scott-Vargas 0 – David Tidd 1

Luis Scott-Vargas

Game Two

The first contribution to the board was a Lotus Cobra that Tidd stuck on the third turn. It met a similar fate to the first one he played in the previous game, going straight to the graveyard thanks to Dismember. Just as in last game, Tidd made a Sea Gate Oracle to follow his Cobra, and LSV made his first Squadron Hawk. This time, the Solemn Simulacrum that his play for Tidd came from his hand instead of a Birthing Pod, putting him up to six lands in play. LSV swung for one and searched out his last Squadron Hawk after adding a second to his team.

With his massive land advantage, Tidd tried to cast an Acidic Slime, but LSV had a Flashfreeze for it. With Tidd tapped out, LSV was able to land and equip a Sword of Feast and Famine, allowing him to untap his lands and cast an Emeria Angel as well. He used the last of his mana to drop Tidd to five lands with a Tectonic Edge. Stopped on five lands, Tidd had to cast his Sphinx of Lost Truths without kicker this game, trying to find a solution to stop the Sword.

LSV activated his Celestial Colonnade and sent his entire team. Before blockers were declared, he used his Colonnade to pay for a Dismember, clearing the Sphinx out of the way. Tidd dropped to two. After untapping and finding nothing to help him, Tidd conceded.

Luis Scott-Vargas 1 – David Tidd 1

David Tidd

Game Three

Both players reached for their sideboards to exchange a couple of cards now that the roles had reversed.

"Was Sunblast Angel your first pick," LSV asked, referring to Tidd's first discard to the Sword of Feast and Famine. When Tidd just looked at him confused, he just laughed and said, "In Draft." Tidd had to laugh.

This time around, LSV had the Squadron Hawk, but Tidd didn't have a Lotus Cobra. Instead, he resolved a Birthing Pod with no creatures in play before resolving a blind Memoricide off of a sneaky Swamp. He named Dismember and instead saw a hand with Sword of Feast and Famine, Squadron Hawk, Into the Roil, Flashfreeze and a trio of lands. Though he didn't get the discard, three Dismembers made their way out of LSV's deck, and Tidd got a good look at what else LSV had in store for him later in the game.

Solemn Simulacrum made its way onto the table for Tidd, and LSV responded by kicking an Into the Roil at his Birthing Pod. Metal Jens hit play, pushing Tidd to six lands, but now he couldn't Pod out an Acidic Slime. That was good for LSV, since he held a Sword of Feast and Famine, which made its way onto the Squadron Hawk for a second consecutive game. A second Squadron Hawk hit play after combat, and LSV passed the turn with mana up for the Flashfreeze he was holding. He made sure to immediately use it when Tidd tried to replay the Birthing Pod on his turn. With that out of the way, a second Pod came down, immediately turning the Simulacrum into an Acidic Slime to kill the Sword.

Fortunately, Tidd had dealt with the Sword. Unfortunately, he was at five life. All LSV had to do was activate his Celestial Colonnade and swing for the win.

Luis Scott-Vargas 2 – David Tidd 1

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