By Rui Oliveira
After two days of gruelling long days of round after round of Limited it all comes down to this. The proverbial last round, the time to prove your worth. So David and Daniel came to the table fighting the nerves and the pressure to play the last two (or three games of the swiss).
David is playing W/G with very good cards including the infamous Troubled Healer. Daniel is playing U/R with a Flowstone Slide and a Belbe's Amor has the highlights.
Daniel starts with a Spike Hatchling and the always annoying Kyren Sniper while Williams opened up with a Lightbringer and a Lawbringer. Daniel found a Flowstone Wall to stop the Ground Troopers while the Spike flew in but David would have none of that and promptly sacked the Lawbringer to get rid of the Wall and added a Stampeding Driver.
Daniel did get to play a Ridgeline Rager to support his battle plan but the Rager was quickly facing a very large Thresher Beast. Daniel used the mana trick to Gush and cast a Fault Riders but that wasn't nothing compared to what David did: he played a Troubled Healer. The Healer is so strong right now that it completely destroys combat phases. Daniel could never recover from the Thresher Beast with the Driver and the Healer backing it up.
A desperate Flowstone Slide could not save Daniel even if David Williams hadn't played a Mageta's Boon.
Williams came out faster and Soul Charmer and a Giant Caterpillar before Daniel could find a Flowstone Wall to stop them. Daniel blocked the Caterpillar and David tried to get rid of it with a Wild Might but Daniel had the Submerge to drive David crazy for a couple of turns. Daniel plays a Fault Rider and a Kyren Sniper while Williams drops a Voice of Truth, a Stampeding Driver and replays the Caterpillar. Daniel is heading into trouble but he finds a Belbe's Armor to help him out.
Willams sends in a couple of creatures to test the waters and Daniel blocks the Charmer with the Fault Rider and sacks a land to pump him up, but a Mageta's Boon and a Ramosian Rally later the Charmer is not only still standing but it's actually bigger. For the next turns that Charmer will gain Williams a truckload of life since Daniel was constantly struggling with his mana trying to keep up with Williams' ever-increasing pack of creatures. The second Flowstone Wall helped but when he tried to use a Rhystic Lightning on the Driver Williams had a Jolrael's Favour.
Daniel finally found a Coastal Hornclaw to block the Voice of Truth but Williams found a Lawbringer to take down a red creature and a Troubled Healer. David Williams was obviously racing to avoid a devastating Flowstone Slide and the plan seemed to be paying off since even with the added help of a Rock Badger the horde was squeezing some damage through thanks to the timely arrival of a Thresher Beast, Boa Constructor and Vintara Snapper. As it seemed that the round would end in a dull way, Daniel finally drew his eight land.
Can you say Flowstone Slide for four? It looked like the turn of the game but Williams turned his Caterpillar into a 1/1 flying token. With Daniel at two, tapped out (and therefore unable to use the Belbe's Armor), proceeded to draw his second, at last as far as I could tell, Ramosian Rally to win the game before Daniel would gain control.
As you can imagine that finish led to a lot of celebrating for the American crowd but Daniel Steinsdorfer didn't seem very upset as he and David Williams twice exchanged hearty handshakes.
David Williams 2
Daniel Steinsdorfer 0