Round 13 Feature Match:

Posted in Event Coverage on December 7, 2003

By Rui Oliveira

The lone American on the second day against an up-and-coming Dutch player. Calling Antonino an American isn't really fair. He is also Italian. The combination makes him quite loud. Not only is he a very competent player but he is also normally very entertaining as a Magic player.

Ruud would probably be more successful if he didn't live in the Netherlands since all the competition is bound to keep good players from attending as many Pro Tours as they would like. On the other hand they wouldn't be so good if they didn't have such tough opponents in every single draft or tournament. As it is Ruud Warmehoven is a well-respected player.

Game 1

Ruud opened with Bonesplitter and Neurok Familiar while Antonino played Aether Spellbomb and a talisman. Electrostatic Bolt iced the Familiar and Antonino played Hematite Golem. Ruud played Slagwurm Armor and Skyhunter Cub, getting ready to build a huge flyer.

Neurok Familiar

The Golem stepped into the Red Zone and Antonino added Krark-Clan Grunt. The Cub grabbed the Bonesplitter and soared through the skies for Ruud's first damage. The Aether Spellbomb bounced it out of the table and Antonino sent his crew in. The Dutch played another Neurok Familiar and when Antonino played Wizard Replica sat back to rethink his options.

Antonino: "We are not chatting much, are we? This isn't very exciting for the reader."

The Familiar grabbed the axe and attacked. Ruud played a third Familiar, and for the third time failed to reveal an artifact.

Antonino: "You are not very good with those."

With that he sent his crew in before playing a second Wizard Replica. Still stuck at three mana Ruud played Nim Replica and traded a Familiar for a Replica (with a little help from a Bonesplitter). The remaining Familiar grabbed two Bonesplitters. Although Ruud had only one creature, it was scary enough to hold Antonino's five creatures back. His defensive wall improved with a third Bonesplitter and Skyhunter Cub. Antonino rearranged his permanents a couple of times and stepped into his think tank.

Antonino: "I'm going to take a few more minutes because this is really tough."

He started muttering in Italian and counting his cards. Finally,

Antonino: "I think I have it!"

He announced his attackers and Ruud conceded.

Antonino 1 - Ruud 0

Game 2

Again Ruud played a turn two Neurok Familiar and once again he failed. Again he missed his turn three land drop.

Antonino: "Please play a land."
Ruud: " Nope."
Antonino: "I feel really bad. Because my hand is insane."

With that, Antonino played a first turn Aether Spellbomb, a second turn Myr, a third turn Frogmite, Loxodon Warhammer - indeed insane. As Ruud struggled to get out of his mana problems Antonino De Rosa was setting up his table. The Dutch tried an Alpha Myr but Antonino had Annul. The Spellbomb bounced the Neurok Familiar and the Frogmite grabbed the warhammer. Things were about to get really ugly. Along for the ride came Vulshok Berserker. Ruud was at twelve and Antonino at twenty-two. In came Auriok Steelshaper and Leonin Den-Guard grabbed Bonesplitter. Antonino took a hit and fell back to seventeen. Still unfazed he sent in his Frogmite. Steelshaper took one for the team and Ruud fell to nine. Again the equipped Den-Guard worked to undo what the Loxodon Warhammer had done.

Antonino: "I don't remember if you have Regress or not."
Ruud: "I probably do. Or I'm trying to bluff my way around your Warhammer."


Either way, the Italian decided his best options was playing his fifth creature and sit back. Ruud did have Regress and he used on Hemanite Golem.

Antonino: "Is your deck mocking you? I hate that."
Ruud: "Yes."

He was still having mana problems, now with only three lands but was still alive. Antonino gave his Berserker the warhammer and brought Ruud down to four before replaying Hematite Golem. Ruud played Skyhunter Cub and gave it the Bonesplitter. While impressive that was nothing when compared with Hematite Golem wielding a Loxodon Warhammer.

Antonino 2 - Ruud 0

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