Round 13: Radoslaw Gromko vs. Maurizio Vergendo

Posted in Event Coverage

By Ben Ronaldson

Both players were playing white decks, the Italian accompanying it with blue spells such as Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor, whilst the Pole was playing green.

Game 1

Radoslaw won the toss and elected to play first, but had to mulligan down to six.

Nevertheless he managed a good turn three play in the form of a Mystic Crusader, then followed it with a Mystic Zealot. In reply Maurizio had made a Cephalid Scout and a Luminous Guardian, so the ground stalled whilst the Scout came over for a couple of turns.

Things might have looked ugly for Gromko when an Aven Flock joined the field, but he rallied with a Rabid Elephant and a Kirtar's Desire on the Flock. The Elephant managed to swing through for a turn past the Guardian who did not feel like dying to a combat trick just yet, then Gromko made a Skyshooter. Once again the Elephant served for three as the Italian searched for more cards by sacrificing his land to the Cephalid Scout.

To help his board situation out a little more, Radoslaw made a Master Apothecary, the Elephant once again swinging over unchallenged. Eventually some Patchwork Gnomes had to start blocking the big dude, forcing Vergendo to discard a couple of times - all the time searching for answers with either of his two Cephalid Scouts.

With enough mana on the table to start feeling confident about blocking the elephant, Maurizio started using his Aven Flock to defend, then made a Mystic Zealot, followed by a Mystic Visionary. The Master Apothecary in combination with the Skyshooter was annoying the Italian enough that he bounced the Skyshooter back to his opponent's hand and managed to deal some damage in the air. In the next turn Maurizio then cast a second Aether Burst after an Angelic Wall and the Skyshooter had been cast - returning them both, then he cast Shelter on his Aven Flock to get rid of the Kirtar's Desire.

The Pole had good answers though: an Auromancer brought back the Kirtar's Desire from his graveyard and it was placed on the Zealot this time. Realising that there might well be a decking problem arising, Maurizio started hurling his fliers in, but the white green deck was doing a good job of holding off the 1/1, 2/1 and 2/3 with Embolden, the Apothecary and the Skyshooter. All the time I imagine he was waiting for his Cephalid Emperor, so he could swing over for the win. Sure enough - boom! - with two cards left in his library he made the Legend and passed the turn.

Knowing he had to act fast Gromko declared his attack phase and had his most effective creatures tapped in response by all the Cephalids on his opponent's side. He thought briefly; then when 'eighteen minutes left in the round' was announced he quickly conceded, aware that his opponent's next attack phase would finish him.

Maurizio won game 1.

Game 2

Radoslaw elected to play first in the second game, but had no turn two play to show for it, making a third turn Thaumatog to face down the opposing Mystic Visionary. The Visionary bravely swung across to tempt the block and duly was, but the Pole just sacrificed a land to keep his alive, whilst the Italian cast Shelter on his.

Radoslaw then just kept laying creatures: Auromancer, Werebear, Mystic Visionary - all of which swung the next turn with the Atog. The two Visionaries faced off, but the Italian's was 'Aether Bursted' back to his hand. Gromko then made a Skyshooter.

Maurizio then drew and played a Patrol Hound, with four mana left untapped. The dog chose to block the Werebear when the Pole attacked with all his five creatures, so the bear died, but a fresh Auromancer joined the frey. This, however, was Repelled.

Vergendo then made a Mystic Zealot, Scrivener, Cephalid Scout, Cephalid Looter and re-made the Mystic Visionary he had saved from death earlier, followed by a Hallowed Healer, so the ground was well and truly stalled.

Time was called with the ground locked up, and with the Italian having two Aether Bursts in hand and a Sphere of Truth on the table. There was nothing the Pole could do and at the end of the five extra turns there was no change to the life totals.

Final Result: Maurizio won 2-0.

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