Round 3: Justin West vs. Craig Hong

Posted in Event Coverage

By Dan Gow

In a rematch of the Nationals 2000 top 4 play-off, Justin West faces off against Craig Hong. Unlike the, match 2 years ago – this is only round 3, and there are no Worlds invitations on the line. Still, a grudge match is a grudge match......

Game 1

The tables are turned this time with Justin playing the aggressive deck and Craig playing with blue & white control. From the start Justin is away flying with a Mad Dog, then a Lithatog – with Craig just managing an Angelic Wall. With nothing on the cards until 4th turn, Justin makes it that much harder removing Craig's plains from the game with a Petravark, followed by an Acorn Harvest. Craig gets his belated 4 -drop out, a Dreamwinder. Which is immediately hit with a fiery temper and followed up with a Druid Lyrist. Except for the first turn Justin has used every available mana. This is e reverse of the last time they met where Justin was the control player and Craig was playing aggro. The 5 point attack left Craig at 11 with the possibility of the Acorn Harvest being flashed next. A Treetop Sentinel helps the cause but when Justin casts a second Harvest and the attacks, Craig Knows that 6 life isn't enough to survive another 2 turns.

West 1 - Hong 0

Game 2

Justin seemed to stall at 3 land, with only a Druid Lyrist and a Lithatog. Craig has the Cards to apply the pressure this game with drops every turn in the form of Mystic Familiar, Aquamoeba, Mystic Visionary and Escape Artist. Gracelfully, Justin takes 2 each turn from the familiar and the artist with only a blazing Salvo being offered as any resistance. After careful consideration, Craig took 5 to save his small flier. On 13 life Justin Drops his 4th land and attacks with the lyrist and the 'tog, and announces Demoralize and then Rites of Initiation in response. He pitches all 5 cards in his hand, and with Craig tapped out for a Dreamwinder, sacrifices his land for the 15 point required for the win.
Apologising, to Craig, he mentions that he got 2 of each (Rites & Demoralize) as well as 2 Acorn Harvest. Is it any wonder he went 3-0 in his pod???

Final Result: In a very fast paced match, Justin West defeated Craig Hong 2-0

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