Round 12 Feature Match: Mike Pustilnik vs. Bob Maher

Posted in Event Coverage

By Wizards of the Coast

by Sideboard Staff

Round 12 started out with a feature match between brothers Bill and Bob Stead from Florida. Bill came into the round with a 9-1-1 record (it is generally believed that a 10-2-1 is good enough for Top 8) and Bob came into it with 9-2. Bob's tiebreakers were also the worst of all 9-2 players, so he could not draw. As I sat down to watch this crucial match, Bill conceded. Both players can now conceivably make Top 8 with both needing a win in their final round. They are from Florida, both having attended PT Dallas (as Juniors) and Bob having attended PT Atlanta. Since then they have taken a bit of a break.

I then moved over to watch Mike Pustilnik vs. Bob Maher, both with U/B decks. Although they are no longer in contention for the top 8, both players struggled to draft decks at a table where six of eight drafted black, and four drafted blue. The first game was already underway, both players with Slinking Serpent on the table (Mike's with Mourning on it), Mike having Vodalian Zombie and a just case Stormscape Master. Bob only had a Tower Drake. Mike soon followed with his own Tower Drake, and the stalemate was on after the two fliers traded.

After using the Master's ability for a few turns, Bob drew Tsabo's Decree and used it to take out "Wizards", killing only the Master (showing Stand/Deliver and Collective Restraint). Bob then pulled a Phyrexian Reaper which threatened to break through. Mike had an answer in Trench Wurm which immediately received the Mourning. The Reaper came over and Mike double blocked with Trench Wurm and Slinking Serpent to kill the Reaper. Bob used Recoil before damage and sent the Serpent back to Mike's hand, put damage on the stack and returned Mourning to his hand. Each player used bounce and other U/B creatures until Mike drew the key to winning, Recover. Pulling his Master out of the graveyard and replaying it, its drain ability quickly ended the game.

Game 2 was interesting. Bob kept a hand of Island, Faerie Squadron, Tidal Visionary, Annihilate, Sleeper's Robe, Recoil. Mike had nothing to capitalize on this though, playing land for the first few turns while Bob drew land to go with the good cards in his hand. Sleeper's Robe only garnered him two cards, as the creature was Recoiled. Mike's draw was so poor though that Bob's lone Faerie Squadron (played four times, two times with kicker, two times without) did lethal damage through a flurry of bounce. Mike could just not handle all the bounce in Bob's deck.

The last game was faster than the second, Bob keeping a hand with three land, Faerie Squadron, Annihilate, Stormscape Apprentice, and Sleeper's Robe. Mike's draw of Urborg Phantom, Trench Wurm, Repulse, Barrin's Unmasking, and finally a second Urborg Phantom rushed over Bob's defenses. Bob drew nothing castable at three or four mana that could help stem the bleeding. Bob did topdeck Tsabo's Decree at a crucial moment to take out "Minions" but it was not enough as Mike continued to drop threats and bounce.

Final Result: Mike Pustilnik 2 - Bob Maher 1

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