Round 2: Matt Stone vs. Brad Baker

Posted in Event Coverage on June 12, 2002

By Alex Shvartsman

Yavimaya Barbarian
Matt Stone build an aggressive red-blue-green madness variant with Yavimaya Barbarians, Arrogant Wurms, and plenty of burn. But it's his opponent's deck that makes this a Feature Match. At a whopping 244 cards, Matt Stone is the only player in this tournament representing the Battle of Wits archetype. Having the biggest deck of the tournament did not help him win the first round though, as he fell to Goblin Trenches. He will now have another uphill battle, facing a deck that can both put early pressure on him and prevent turn 5 auto-wins with countermagic.

Game 1

Neither player had a particularly fast start. Baker was dealing damage with Yavimaya Barbarian while both competitors put down plenty of lands. They traded Fact or Fictions and Baker countered a second one with Circular Logic. Baker summoned a Merfolk Looter and used his second Circular Logic to protect it from Prophetic Bolt. A second Prophetic Bolt resolved, but Stone was at a too-low life total to survive the next attack, conceding this very uneventful game.

Game 2

Marble Diamond
Baker kept a precarious one-land hand on the strength of Marble Diamond and a pair of Chromatic Spheres. The gamble did not pay off, as he cycled through one of the Spheres on turn two without playing a land, but was able to channel black mana through his second Sphere on turn 2 and Edict away Stone's Wild Mongrel. Yavimaya Barbarian was up next, allowing Stone to keep on the pressure.

Missing a second land drop, Baker chose to cast Opt rather than Marble Diamond. Once again, a calculated risk did not pay off as he failed to find a land among the top two cards of his library. He did find Sky Diamond and tapped out to cast it on the following turn, giving Stone free reign to cast Fact or Fiction, picking up Creeping Mold and Wild Mongrel.

Stone attacked with both creatures, pumped up Wild Mongrel with Violent Eruption, and cast it paying the madness cost. Baker tried to counter Violent Eruption only to have Stone Gainsay. Fire resolved, taking out Yavimaya Barbarian – but Baker was now down to nine life points, time to "go off" rapidly running out – and he knew that Stone still had that Creeping Mold in hand. That was taken out of the equation when Stone cast it targeting the Sky Diamond. Baker countered with Spite, and Stone used a second Gainsay, knocking his opponent back down to three mana sources.

Wild Mongrel got pumped with Fiery Temper leaving Baker at four life points, and Stone emptied out his hand to cast Yavimaya Barbarian. Still at three mana and unable to forestall his doom, Baker conceded the game.

Final Result: Stone 2 – Baker 0

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