Round 2 Feature Match: Kush Patel (TJ Collectibles) vs. Jordan McKible (Hammer’s Comics)

Posted in Event Coverage on July 18, 2003

By Alex Shvartsman

Kush Patel is the winner of last year’s NEC. To prove his win was far from a fluke, he used the same Psychatog deck to make top 4 at the Junior Super Series Championship in Florida just a couple of weeks later. His opponent’s top tournament finish, in his own words, is winning the qualifier for this event. The newcomer is hardly an underdog however. While Patel is back with his Psychatog strategy, McKible is sporting an aggressive red-green deck – ‘Tog’s nightmare matchup.

Game 1

McKible started out with a Llanowar Elf. Patel yanked a Violent Eruption out of his hand with Duress. Unphased, McKible summoned Basking Rootwalla and Grim Lavamancer. Kush slowed down the beatings as he Smothered a Basking Rootwalla and took out another Eruption with Duress, leaving his opponent with a scary hand of Blistering Firecat, Firebolt and Volcanic Hammer.

Despite having not drawn a third land still, McKimble was able to put considerable pressure on his opponent. He brought Patel down to ten life points by attacking with his 1/1 creatures and casting Firebolts, and lower still by acdtivating Grim Lavamancer. Patel was forced to deal even more damage to himself by using two Polluted Delta. Patel countered a Volcanic Hammer, taking a point of damage from his Underground River and going down to five life. McKible had his Grim Lavamancer untapped. Once he used it, Patel tapped out to Smother the Lavamabner and McKimble finished the game with yet another Hammer in hand to be used on the following turn.

Sideboard

McKimble: +1 Phantom Centaur, -1 Firebolt
Patel: +2 Engineered Plague, +4 Ghastly Demise, +2 Persuasion, -2 Upheaval, -3 Compulsion, -3 Duress

Game 2

McKimble was off to a slow start this time. He summoned a first turn Rootwalla, but his best turn two play was to pump it up, and Patel won some precious time by casting Smother. McKible cast Volcanic Hammer next turn, then tapped his last land to summon Grim Lavamancer. Patel did not use the Force Spike he was holding, allowing it to resolve.

Patel was able to stave off a lot of damage when he Smothered a Wild Mongrel and used that Force Spike he saved to counter a Violent Eruption. Patel finally Smothered a Grim Lavamancer, but McKimble cast another one on the following turn. Patel countered Elephant Guide and took a point from an attacking Llanowar Elf. Engineered Plague on Wizards took out the Lavamancer, but McKimble took this opportunity to cast the last card in his hand – Phantom Centauir. McKimble drew and cast a second Phantom Centaur off the top, basically sealing the coffin on Patel’s chances to win this game. Patel used Concentrate to find an Innocent Blood, but had no way to deal with the second Centaur and McKimble was able to attack for the win on the following turn.

McKimble 2 – Patel 0

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