Round 12: Merlyn Evans vs. Gregory Romans

Posted in Event Coverage

By Danesh Jogia

Both players need to win this match to have a chance of making Top 8. They have the highest resistance of those who must win to have a chance, so it is all on the line here. The match up is B-W Braids (Greg) versus BUG Madness Abuse (Merlyn).

Game 1

Greg has the honour of playing, and starts off with a turn one Duress. This strips Circular Logic from Merlyn, leaving him with a respectable two land, Standstill, Basking Rootwalla and Wild Mongrel. On his turn, Merlyn chooses to develop his colour base by playing a tap land rather than his forest and Rootwalla. Greg continues with the selective discard theme, playing Mesmeric Fiend which takes Wild Mongrel over a just drawn Zombie Infestation, which gets played my Merlyn the next turn. Greg then issues a Duress, getting a rueful grin from Merlyn and myself. He chooses Standstill over the just drawn Aether Burst. This is enough to convince Merlyn to go agro, discarding his Rootwalla and his last land in hand to create a zombie token at the end of Greg's turn and they both come out swinging during his combat phase. That is all he has to do however and on his turn Greg makes the very devastating (in light of Merlyn's land discard) Braids, Cabal Minion and Merlyn decides to Aether Burst the Fiend to release his Wild Mongrel rather than Braids to save his permanents. In his turn he sacrifices his Rootwalla but can do nothing else except cast his just out of jail Wild Mongrel and attack with his token. Greg sacrifices a land, plays another and casts yet another Mesmeric Fiend, taking a Psychatog rather than a Wild Mongrel. He then gets down a Nantuko Shade and prepares to actually incur some loss of life. In his turn, Merlyn attempts to feed Braids with Zombie Infestation, but she doesn't like that meal and eats his zombie token instead. His second Wild Mongrel comes down after his first attacks (bringing Greg to 13) and he also plays a land, making Greg glad he took the Psychatog. Greg in his turn has yet more land to sacrifice, sending a Caves of Koilos to the graveyard, but he plays yet another keeping him at a steady four land. Merlyn sacrifices a Wild Mongrel and casts a Psychatog. However now that Greg has much black to spend on his Nantuko Shade, he passes on the attack. Greg has another uneventful land and then its back to Merlyn in the hot seat, who is forced to lose another Wild Mongrel to Braids. In his turn, Greg gets to make his move, clearing the way for his team with Chainer's Edict then attacking for seven. Merlyn draws to make his hand size two and scoops shortly. Braids has turned Greg's mana flood into a convincing win.

Greg 1, Merlyn 0

Game 2

Merlyn chooses to go first this game and is relieved when he gets to play a second turn Compost as no Duress was forthcoming from Greg in his first turn. Over the next two turns, Greg casts Spectral Lynx and Phyrexian Rager while Merlyn plays Wild Mongrel and then a rather hurtful Zombie Infestation/Standstill combo. The next few turns are spent trading two points of damage with his Lynx for two from Merlyn's Mongrel but Greg is playing no land. With Merlyn at 13 life Greg breaks the Standstill with Nantuko Shade to prevent having to discard. However it is quite predictably hit by a Circular Logic and as a result a zombie token joins his Mongrel. On the same turn, Greg casts a second Nantuko Shade which enters play. While Greg is tapped out, Merlyn strikes with 2 zombies, a Wild Mongrel and a Rootwalla, bringing Greg to eight. Greg is happy to let this through because in his turn he drops a Worship, which Merlyn has no counter for. However, he does have an Aether Burst which sends one of the three of Greg's troops back to his hand. Then in his turn, Merlyn Aether Bursts again, clearing out Greg's board for the final swoop.

Greg 1, Merlyn 1

Game 3

Greg plays this time but has no spell until fourth turn. Meanwhile, Merlyn has cast Compost and Zombie Infestation once again. Greg's fourth turn play is an Engineered Plague, which gets countered with a Circular Logic after a slight pause from Merlyn. On his own fourth turn, Merlyn attacks with his token and casts a Wild Mongrel. In his fifth turn Greg can do nothing except look at his lands that provide no white mana and pass the turn. Merlyn attacks for four then casts Call of the Herd. Greg begins his sixth turn, plays his fourth swamp and after a while decides to try for Braids. It also gets Circular Logiced and Greg can only extend the hand, dismayed at getting all the wrong colour lands in a two colour deck while Merlyn took only one damage from his painlands in a four (we saw Darigaaz Caldera) colour deck.

Final Result: Meryln Evans defeats Gregory Romans 2-1, and waits to see if he scrapes into the Top 8.

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