By Rui Oliveira
I couldn't possibly ask for a better feature round to cover. Bob Maher is a great player and a very friendly person. Bruno Ferreira is an up and coming Portuguese player who has been taking the game more seriously lately and constantly improves his results as well as his skill.
Bob has a very good red and black deck while Bruno has a more radical approach to playing Limited. He has a fourteen land Stompy deck. Yes, you heard it right. According to him he drafted heavy on Green early in the draft and as the green dried up later he had to take what he could get since it was too late and too difficult to find another colour. So, instead he went for pure speed and played only with fourteen-land and a deck packed full of small creatures and pumpers.
Bruno starts strong with a Mossdog and a Rushwood Dryad but Maher finds a good creature to stop the beatdown: a Deepwood Ghoul. Bruno kept charging in, losing a creature every turn but taking two life from Bob every turn. He found a Seal of Strength a Flint Golem and a Spore Frog to keep the flow. But then Bob's removal came out to play. He used a Rhystic Lightning and a Vicious Hunger to take out the Golem (which was protected by a Seal of Strength). Bob then played a Flowstone Wall and Bruno dropped a Rib Cage Spider. That Spider blocked the Ghoul and got Lunged out.
Then Bob dropped a Bomb: Scandalmonger. With a good line of defence and the Monger Bob could get rid of all the pumpers and nasty surprises in Bruno's hand. As Bruno ran out of cards and blockers the big bruisers on Bob's side came in to put a big and bloody final end to the game.
Bruno came out of the gates flying with a Marsh Boa. Bob dropped a swamp to play an Agent of Shauku. Bruno played a Mossdog and a Vine Trellis. Bob dropped a Death Charmer and a Bogg Smuggler. Things are looking grim for Bruno but he found a Thresher Beast, a Seal of Strength and the Marsh Boa kept going in. Bob dropped a Flowstone Wall and a Cateran Brute but the game was at a standstill with only the Boa slipping by the huge defences. Bob was holding a Lunge waiting for Bruno to get greedy and sack the Seal to kill him but Bruno held on and tried to take him out a point at the time. At least that was what it looked like until Bruno decided to sack the Seal. Maher Lunged the creature but Bruno used a Wild Might to save the Boa since Maher only had one mana open.
The last and deciding game. You would expect a very thrilling battle with an amazing end, but that was not what we had. Bruno again came out strong but Bob seemed to be the latest victim of the dreaded mana screw, he could only find black mana. Bruno's early Mossdog, Pygmy Razorback where looking good until Bob dropped a Death Charmer and used it to block the Pygmy. Bruno had a well-timed Wild Might got five damage through and saved the Pygmy. Maher still locked at three swamps finds a Bog Smuggler to block at it's too late to stop the bleeding even with a Vicious Hunger on the Pygmy. Bruno had way too many creatures and all of Bob's answers were locked in his hand while he craved for a mountain.
Bob Maher Jr. 0
Bruno Ferreira 2