David Rood hasn't been spending too much time on serious Magic in the last couple of years, but with Nationals close to home, he couldn't resist coming out. He even tried to rope in his co-champion from Pro Tour Atlanta 2005, Gab Tsang, but it was not to be.
"Gab is set on being Magic's Jon Elway: Win a Pro Tour and then never play again."
Rood is the first to admit he's behind the curve this weekend, playing mostly for the fun of it and seeing some old friends. Contrast that with his opponent this round, Dan Lanthier, the 2008 Canadian National Champ. Lanthier's been keeping his oar in the water and has done a lot of work leading up to this weekend, looking for another title to add to his resume.
Lanthier started with the format's ubiquitous Island, Preordain opening. Rood kicked off with mountain and Goblin Guide for a quick two. Lanthier showed mountain and Spellskie, revealing his deck to be Splinter Twin. The Spellskite blocked the Guide (which showed Dispel), and Searing Blaze finished it off. Lanthier Pondered and passed with two lands open.
Rood fetched up a third mountain and considered his options. He tapped three for Chandra's Phoenix and served for four, knocking Lanthier down to 11. The Guide revealed a Ponder waiting on top of Lanthier's deck. He untapped and played it, then a second mountain, and passed. Rood played Arid Mesa and hit for another four.
Lanthier made no play on five mana. Rood Staggershocked him at end of turn, and then rebounded it, bring him down to just three life. He moved to attack, and Lanthier locked down his Phoenix with Deceiver Exarch. It blocked the incoming Guide. Rood tried Burst Lightning to finish it off, drawing out the Dispel from earlier. He tapped two more for Searing Blaze and took the first game.
Rood 1 - Lanthier 0
Rood frowned as he consulted his sideboard. "I wish I knew what to do..."
They shuffled up. Rood mulliganed to six and they began.
Lanthier Preordained, and had Mental Misstep for Rood's Goblin Guide. He untapped and Preordained again, keeping both on top. He followed up with Island and Gitaxian Probe. Rood fanned out a hand of Hero of Oxid Ridge, Burst Lightning, Staggershock, Goblin Guide, and Grim Lavamancer.
Rood untapped and tried a second Guide, still with just a single mountain. It stuck, and showed Lanthier a Splinter Twin waiting for him. Lanthier played Arid Mesa and passed. The Guide hit for another two, and Rood followed up with Grim Lavamancer. Lanthier played another land and passed,and after Rood tapped out for a second Lavamancer he flashed him the combo in his hand, prompting a quick concession.
Rood 1 - Lanthier 1
Rood opened the deciding game with an inauspicious Teetering Peeks. Lanthier Pondered and passed. Rood fetched a mountain and played Plated Geopede. Lanthier Pondered again, choosing to shuffle, then Pondered a third time, choosing to keep them.
Rood played Arid Mesa and hit for three, then played a second Geopede, setting up a big attack. Lanthier played his third land and put his head in his hands. He fretted over his options, then passed. Luckily for him, Rood had no fourth land, so his Geopedes only got in for two damage, knocking him to fourteen. Lanthier made an Exarch at end of turn, tapping down the Arid Mesa, forcing Rood to search up a mountain.
Dan Lanthier defeats David Rood 2-1