by Elliot Fertik
This matchup involves two teams that have two of the most interesting - perhaps two of the best - team names in the tournament. Team Car Acrobatic Team is a witty reference to the '70s classic Speed Racer, while Team Being Zvi Mowshowitz really doesn't need any explanation. Indeed, many team Pro Tour veterans are calling Team Being Zvi Mowshowitz the best name ever for a Magic team.
Team Car Acrobat is made up of Andrew Johnson, Aaron Forsythe, and Andrew Cuneo. They are all from Pittsburgh, as they met at CMU, one the best universities to play Magic at in the country. Aaron was a member of the 2000 U.S. National Team, and Andrew is the inventor of the famous mono blue deck "draw-go," also known as "Cuneo Blue." Team Being Zvi Mowshowitz is composed of Eric Phillips, Matt Linde and Brock Parker. Eric was formerly ranked number one in the DCI Composite ratings, and Matt was the 1998 U.S. National Champion, when he defeated Mike Long in one of the most dramatic matches in Magic history.
The matchups went as follows:
Eric Phillips vs. Andrew Johnson: Eric was playing a classic red/green deck, with a good amount of green fat, including Darba, and good red removal and creatures, including Seal of Fire, Rupture, and a Kris Mage. Andrew Johnson was playing a white/black deck that had an impressive rebel chain, anchored by a Ramosian Commander, and a surprising amount of fat for a white/black deck, including Silkenfist Order and Henge Guardian. In the first game, Andrew put out some smaller white creatures such as Fresh Troops, Trenching Steed, and Defender En-Vec. Eric's first green fatty, a Darba, was Snuffed Out by Andrew, but he was able to put out some more fat, including a Darba and a Nesting Wurm. Andrew played a Defiant Falcon, and used it to summon a Nightwind Glider. Eric attacked on the ground a few times, but was unable to get through Andrew's wall of white creatures. Meanwhile, the Glider kept on attacking, and eventually knocked Eric down to zero life. In the second game, Andrew put out an amazing amount of fat in a short period of time, including the Ramosian Commander, Silkenfist Order and a Henge Guardian. Eric played a Horned Troll and a Gerrard's Irregulars. Eric made a play that seemingly could have won him the game by Rupturing the Irregulars and so killing Andrew's Commander, Guardian, and Percher, but Andrew played a Soul Strings to get back the Guardian and the Ramosian Commander. The Commander summoned up some more rebels, and Andrew's insurrectionaries overwhelmed Eric.
Matt Linde vs. Aaron Forsythe. This was a nightmare matchup for Aaron. He was running another red/green deck, with the usual green fat and red creatures and removal, but Matt was playing a white/blue that featured three protection from red creatures (two Thermal Gliders, one Oraxid), two Cho-Manno's blessings, bounce, and a Stinging Barrier. In their first game, Matt played a quick Wandering Eye so that both players played the rest of the game with their hands face up. Aaron played some green fat, including a Giant Caterpillar, a Saproling Burst, and a Thresher Beast. The Thresher Beast was troublesome for Matt, as it could kill any creature that blocked it and took out a land each time it is blocked. Finally, Matt Dehydrated the Thresher Beast, but he was somewhat low on life. Matt counterattacked with his flyers (the Wandering Eye and a Saprazzan Legate), but Aaron stopped the attack with a Spidersilk Armor. A big creature stall developed, but Matt cast a Stinging Barrier. The Barrier eventually proved to be the deciding factor game, as neither player managed to find a way to break through the creature stalemate. In the second game, a creature stall quickly developed on the ground again, as Matt's creatures and bounce once again held off Aaron's fat. It looked for a moment that Aaron might have found a way to break through the stalemate when he put a Treetop Bracers on a Laccolith Grunt, but unfortunately Matt had an Angelic favor to block and kill the Grunts. Eventually, Aaron gave up, as he knew that he had no way to avoid being pinged to death by Matt's Stinging Barrier.
Brock Parker vs. Andrew Cuneo. Brock was playing a red/black deck with lots of removal and good creatures, as well as a Haunted Crossroads. Andrew was playing a blue/black deck that featured flyers like Wandering Eye, Belbe's Percher and Coastal Hornclaw as well as two blue bombs, Alexi, Zypher Mage and Coastal Piracy. In the first game, Brock quickly got out a great combo when he played his Haunted Crossroads followed by some Shock Troops! However, Andrew calmly played his own bomb, Coastal Piracy, and a Coastal Hornclaw. Brock got out some more good creatures (Fen Stalker and Fault Riders), and attacked with them, but Andrew managed to play a Rhystic Syphon to stay in the game, and then played a Sapprazan Rigger to stop Brock's offense in its tracks. Andrew played some more flyers, and then played a Scandalmonger. Although Brock is able to use the Scandalmonger to knock a Murderous Betrayal out of Brock's hand (which isn't very useful because most of Brock's creatures were black anyway), the card advantage from the Coastal Piracy eventually allows Andrew to overwhelm Brock with flyers. In the second game, Brock again played a Haunted Crossroads, followed by a Belbe's Percher. Andrew got a fast start with a Cateran Persuader. A Drake Hatchling was Lunged by Brock after blocking the Percher, but Andrew then plays a Highway Robber followed by Alexi, Zypher Mage. Brock seemed to be unable to play another creature, and when Andrew cast Coastal Piracy again, followed by a Rhystic Syphon, Brock conceded.
Final Result: Team Car Acrobatic Team 2, Team Being Zvi Mowshowitz 1