Round 13 Feature Match: Ryan Fuller vs. Bryan Hubble

Posted in Event Coverage

By Randy Buehler

Going into round 13, Ryan Fuller had already tied the all-time Pro Tour record by posting a perfect 12-0 record (Kyle Rose did the same at L.A. '98 before losing round 13). His opponent, Bryan Hubble, wanted to take a draw to ensure his own spot in the Top 8, but Fuller had visions of perfection dancing in his head, and didn't particularly want Hubble's deck in the Top 8 anyway. Hubble was disappointed that Fuller refused to draw, but had no choice but to stop complaining and focus on the match.

Fuller has been on quite a hot streak (only 1 loss in his last 38 sanctioned matches) and will wake up Sunday morning with the possibility of winning $50,000 between the Pro Tour and the Masters Series. Fuller and his AlphaBetaUnlimited.com teammates Chris Benafel and Noah Boeken won the Gateway preceding the Masters and haven't stopped losing yet. They meet the Japanese team Panzer Hunters in the finals. Benafel and another member of their playtest circle for this Pro Tour - Philip Freneau - were also in Top 8 contention and playing in Round 13 Feature Matches. That team has definitely burst onto the PT scene with authority over the course of the last year. They have dominated the Grand Prix circuit and now they seemed to have turned their attention to the Pro Tour itself.

Fuller and Hubble are each running aggressive red/green decks with the biggest difference being that Hubble included Overabundance in his main deck as an anti-control card whereas Fuller has them in the board and has a few extra 2-drops in his main deck. Hubble used he extra sideboard space to make room for four copies of Shivan Wurm - the 7/7 gater is spectacular in the mirror match and they should give him an edge after sideboarding against Fuller.

Game one was quick. Hubble used Urza's Rage and Thornscape Battlemage to kill Fuller's first few creatures, but he had no answers for a kicked Kavu Titan and Fuller's kicked Skizzik got in one hit before Hubble for Ghitu Fire it away. The damage flew fast and Fuller use his own Ghitu Fire to finish a bloodied Hubble off before Hubble could even draw a 5th land.

Hubble had two of his Shivan Wurms in his hand during game 2, but he couldn't keep any creatures in play long enough to gate them. Fuller started with a Blurred Mongoose, they the players traded Thornscape Battlemages (two each with Fuller's winding up in play). Hubble then played a 5/5 Kavu Titan, but Fuller had the land and the Fire he needed to clear it out of the way and keep attacking. Hubble tried playing a Skizzek and leaving it back on defense, but Fuller had a rage for that too and suddenly the record was his: 13-0. Hubble sulked away knowing he was going to have to earn it next round if he wanted to finally make his first PT Top 8.

In other ABU news, Phil Freneau won to clinch his first PT Top 8 and Chris Benafel won the right to play for the Top 8 in the final round.

Final Result: Fuller 2 - Hubble 0

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