Round 3: Mike Turian vs. Nicholas Labarre

Posted in Event Coverage

By Aaron Forsythe

Mike Turian vs. Nicholas Labarre

Read about Turian's draft.

These two competitors have already proven their skills in the Odyssey Rochester draft format, as each won a Grand Prix this season. Turian took the top prize in Montreal, and Labarre was the champion in Biarritz. They met in round 3 with identical 1-1 records.

I didn't even have to look at their decklists, as they volunteered each others' information. "He's red/green," said Turian. "He's red/white splashing Patriarch," said Labarre of Turian, which is false, as the Cabal Patriarch is in Turian's sideboard. His black splash was for a single Ghastly Demise.

Labarre started out with a mulligan - a bad sign when you are playing first. He had no plays until a turn-4 Reckless Charged Cartographer swung past Turian's Hallowed Healer.

Turian played a turn-4 Pardic Firecat, and was obviously content being the control player for the time being, as he left the haste creature back even though Labarre had no blockers. Labarre summoned a Wild Mongrel on his turn.

Turian made an odd play on his next turn, tapping his Hallowed Healer in his main phase to shield itself. His plan became clear when he cast Volcanic Spray and then flashed it back, killing Labarre's Cartographer and forcing him to pitch a card to his Mongrel. Turian then followed it up with a Firebolt to the Mongrel, daring Labarre to discard his last two cards to save it. The Frenchman declined, and Turian swung with his Firecat.

Nicholas Labarre

Turian added an Ember Beast to his side, and Labarre tried to stem the assault with Elephant Ambush and Mad Dog, but Turian's Healer and an Embolden made it impossible for Labarre to get favorable trades in combat. Reckless Charge helped end it quickly.

Turian 1 - Labarre 0

Labarre only had two lands to start the second game, and no two-drops. Turian had the dynamic duo of Mad Dog and Ember Beast, and was prepared to pound on Labarre when the Frenchman drew a third land a played a Krosan Avenger.

Turian's teammate Andrew Johnson was playing on the other side of the Feature Match table, and Turian made it a point to tell him that he had just drawn Engulfing Flames off the top of his deck to kill Labarre's Avenger. Labarre chuckled in disbelief.

Turian kept up the beats, and Labarre tried to stabilize at six life with his Mongrel and a Pardic Firecat holding down the ground. But Turian is a true beatdown player, and he sent his own Firecat, Ember Beast, and Mystic Visionary into the fray, losing the two smaller ones, but bringing Labarre to 3.

Labarre started to rally once Turian's team was reduced to a lone Ember Beast, attacking Turian twice down to 12. Turian deployed a Halberdier, which would allow him to block, but Labarre had now become the aggressor, Reckless Charging his Mongrel and sending it in. Turian checked his life total, and decided not to block - a bad move considering both of Labarre's remaining cards were Muscle Bursts. Turian took 12 and died.

Turian 1 - Labarre 1

Labarre had to mulligan again. "I should learn to shuffle," he lamented.

Game 3 started off slowly as well - the only spell cast in the first three turns was Turian's Hallowed Healer, which he followed with an Ember Beast. Labarre did nothing on turn 4, and Turian correctly predicted Elephant Ambush, so he left his Healer and Ember Beast back, summoning a Barbarian Lunatic and saying go.

Mike Turian

Labarre made his Elephant token on Turian's turn and summoned a Pardic Firecat on his own.

Turian attacked with his Lunatic and Ember Beast - Labarre blocked the former with his Elephant. Turian put damage on the stack, and sacrificed the Lunatic to do two to the Firecat... Labarre knew what was up and was dismayed when Turian used Volcanic Spray to kill both of Labarre's men.

Turian kept attacking and even drew his Bog Wreckage, which allowed him to Ghastly Demise Labarre's flashbacked Ambush.

A twice-cast Moment's Peace bought Labarre two turns, but in the end it was not enough, and all he drew was land, land, and more land.

Final Result: Turian 2 - Labarre 1

Nicolas Labarre

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Mike Turian

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