Round 2: Shoved Under the Plow

Posted in Event Coverage on August 29, 2012

By Blake Rasmussen

Blake is the content manager for, making him the one you should email if you have thoughts on the website, good or less good (or not good). He's a longtime coverage reporter and hasn't turned down a game of Magic in any format ever.

Brian Kibler and Martin Juza really couldn't have drafted decks more different if they tried. The ChannelFireball teammates had taken pretty divergent paths from the get-go, with Explore leading Kibler into a heavy-green ramp deck with a bunch of strong midrange creatures, while a second-pick Entomb had shifted Juza into Reanimator pretty quick.

Both players, however, found themselves in similar situations after losing in the first round. Juza wasn't terribly fond of his deck and lamented the fact that he hadn't tried to go after the White Weenie deck that passed right before him, while Kibler had started to go after the ramp deck early, but had been stymied by a lack of both ramp and high-end options.

"I was planning to be ramp in pack 1, but you took all the fatties," Kibler told Juza as they looked at the Show and Tell languishing in Kibler's sideboard.

Both Martin Juza and Brian Kibler are working with what they got from the Cube Draft, after their initial archetype plans went awry.

With the first round out of the way, players were now able to see full decklists for everyone, so instead of trying to decipher Kibler's notoriously squiggly handwriting, the teammates just exchanged physical copies of their decks, which gave Juza some hope for this round.

"What do you have for Reanimator?" Juza said, singling out Phyrexian Metamorph. "Not much."

And with the die roll falling in his favor, things were already going Juza's way...

Game 1

...until he was forced to mulligan on the play and keep a hand of six cards that he clearly wasn't thrilled with.

From there it just went from bad to worse for the Czech superstar.

Kibler, meanwhile, started about as well as he could, ramping Joraga Treespeaker and following up with a Llanowar Elves and an Acidic Slime for Juza's Isolated Chapel...all before Juza could even cast a spell.

Kibler came out of the gates with a blazing fast start.

The European champ responded with a Forbidden Alchemy, but he had to choose between lands, Exhume, and Vampiric Tutor. He took the tutor and, fortunately for him, drew a land off the top to enable Old Man of the Sea.

Less fortunate, however, was the Umezawa's Jitte Kibler cast and attached to his Joraga Treespeaker the following turn. The Equipment would seriously mess with Old Man of the Sea, which would otherwise have been a pretty clear trump, so Juza opted to simply trade it with the Treespeaker and Jitte counters.

Juza considered a Vampiric Tutor on his upkeep, but ultimately chose to just draw.

Ninja of the Deep Hours reset Kibler's Acidic Slime and drew him a card. When that card turned out to be Boggart Ram-Gang, Kibler simply cast it and passed the turn.

That finally forced Juza to pull the trigger on the tutor, searching up a Dark Ritual to enable the slew of six-drops stuck in his hand, including the Sphinx of Jwar Isle he eventually slapped onto the table.

Juza fights back with a shrouded Sphinx, but he's struggling to keep up.

The Sphinx stepped in the way of Boggart Ram-Gang on Kibler's next attack, picking up three counters while Jitte picked up two of its own. With nothing but lands coming, Juza opted to trade the Sphinx with the Ninja of the Deep Hours the next turn.

Meanwhile, Kibler added more creatures to his board and counters to his Jitte. Juza was stuck with two creatures in hand he couldn't cast – especially after Plow Under robbed him of the ability to do, well, anything.

Juza 0, Kibler 1

Game 2

"I'll mulligan," Juza said, clearly not happy with how his deck was performing so far. Through this point in the tournament, he had taken a mulligan more often than he had kept his starting seven.

Here, the issue was that literally every hand he saw had a Lake of the Dead and no Swamps. Three straight times. He kept on the third hand and managed to draw the Swamp off the top.

Lake of the Dead++IslandLake of the Dead++Island
Not a combo.

Kibler, however, had pretty much the best start possible: Llanowar Elves into a second turn Cold-Eyed Selkie against Juza's Islands. He even followed up with Fertile Ground and Boggart Ram-Gang.

Yeah, things had gotten bad fast.

So bad, that Umezawa's Jitte was enough to get Juza to raise the white flag. When Kibler flipped Plow Under off the top of his deck as his next card, it was readily apparent Juza would have been dead before casting any actual spells.

Juza 0, Kibler 2

Martin Juza

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Brian Kibler

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