Round 4 Feature Match: Mitchell Tamblyn vs. Ian Bennett

Posted in Event Coverage

By Toby Wachter

Mitchell played a blue-white control deck today, while Ian ran Fires. This matchup typically favors the permission deck heavily, and the odds were against Ian even more, since Mitchell was playing main deck Story Circles. However, Ian's version of Fires had maindeck Hull Breach, which gave him a way to deal with problem cards such as Tsabo's Web, and of course Story Circle.

Game 1

Ian won the die roll, and played first. He started off strong with Forest and Birds of Paradise, while Mitchell played island. Ian then played Port, tapping down Mitchell's Island on upkeep. Ian played a Fires, and on the following turn Mitchell played Tsabo's Web, which nullified Ian's Port. Ian then played another Bird, and destroyed the Web with Hull Breach. On his next turn, he tapped an island during the main phase, and played Chimeric Idol, which was Absorbed.

Mitchell drew, and missed his fifth land drop. Ian seemed to not have many threats in hand, and said go. At the end of the turn, Mitchell played Fact or Fiction, revealing Wrath of God, Accumulated Knowledge, Fact or Fiction and two islands. Ian put Wrath and the Knowledge in one pile, and the lands and Fact or Fiction in the other. Mitchell took the pile of three, and made his fifth land drop.

Ian then tapped down an Island in main phase, leaving Mitchell with only a Plains and an Adarkar up. Saproling Burst resolved, and would have been bad news if not for the fact that Mitchell had a Disenchant. On the next turn, Ian played Shivan Wurm, which resolved. In response, Mitchell Disenchanted the Fires. During end of turn, he played Accumulated Knowledge, drawing two cards.

On the next turn he killed off two Birds and the Wurm with Wrath of God, and played Millstone. Ian replayed the Elf that he bounced with the Wurm, and played a second as well. On the next turn, Ian tried to Hull Breach the Millstone, but it was Absorbed. Both Elves attacked for two damage, and the Millstone was activated at end of turn. Mitchell untapped and played a Fact or Fiction on his turn, revealing four lands and a Rout. They were separated into the expected 4-1 piles, and Mitchell took the Rout.

During the following turn, Ian played a Saproling Burst, which resolved. Ian made three tokens and attacked, but Mitchell had the Disenchant. Before the turn was over, Mitchell played Accumulated Knowledge for three, gaining massive card advantage. A Skizzik resolved on the next turn, but was handled with Rout as an Instant.

A Story Circle came out a few turns later, making a good situation for Mitchell even better. Ian played a Flametongue Kavu on the next turn, shooting down a Burst token. It attacked on the next turn, and was sent to the graveyard thanks to Rout with kicker. At this point, Mitchell was hiding comfortably behind his Millstone and Story Circle, and a hand filled with cards. A second Story Circle was played on Red, and Ian conceded.

Tamblyn 1 - Bennett 0

Game 2

Ian played first, but did not have a first turn mana producing creature. He did, however, have a Port, which he used to tap down Mitchell's land early. A Fires of Yavimaya resolved on the next turn, but Ian was stuck at three lands. Mitchell seemed to not have any problems with his draw, as he played two Accumulated Knowledge. This was definitely bad news for Ian, as this matchup is usually not in his favor to begin with. Without a fast start, it is almost impossible for Fires to break through the overwhelming card advantage that the blue-white deck can generate.

Ian finally did draw a fourth land, and played a Blastoderm, which resolved. Sure enough, Mitchell had all the answers as he Disenchanted Fires on end step, and Wrathed away Blastoderm. A second Blastoderm resolved on the next turn, and Mitchell answered with Story Circle. Soon a Millstone was added to Mitchell's side of the table, and the clock had started. Ian played a Dust Bowl, which would have done a substantial amount of damage to Mitchell's lands, but Mitchell played Sacred Ground on the next turn to protect his mana resources. Ian untapped and Dust Bowled away one of Mitchell's lands, not knowing that it would come back.

Thanks to the Story Circle, Mitchell only had to worry about countering Hull Breach and Ghitu Fire. He was at nineteen life points, so Urza's Rage could not get the job done. Even Obliterate wouldn't work, because of Mitchell's Sacred Ground. However, a Hull Breach did manage to resolve after a few turns, taking out Millstone and Story Circle. This didn't mean much, as Mitchell played Wrath of God, taking out two Blastoderms, Shivan Wurm, and some mana producing creatures. Another Story Circle was played shortly after.

Kavu Chameleon hit the table on the following turn, and Mitchell played Hibernation to send it back to Ian's hand since he was tapped out. The fifth mana source Ian used to play the Chameleon was a Port that had been nullified by Tsabo's Web, which left Ian waiting a few turns to draw a land so that he could replay the Chameleon. He played a Bird instead, and when the Chameleon finally came out, it was Hibernated again along with the Bird.

Once the Chameleon hit the table, Mitchell was prepared with Wrath of God. A second Chameleon appeared on the next turn, and another Wrath followed, as did Millstone. The consecutive turn saw a third straight Chameleon played, and it soon started turned black to get through the Story Circle, dealing four damage. On the next turn, the Chameleon attacked, and it was changed to black. Mitchell tried to prevent the damage in response to the color change, which generated some confusion until a judge informed them that it did not work. A fourth Chameleon soon followed, and the game was Ian's.

Tamblyn 1 - Bennett 1

Game 3

At this point, there were only four minutes left on the clock, which meant that Mitchell's slower deck could not win in time.

Ian did not have a speedy start, playing his first card, Fires of Yavimaya, on turn three. It was promptly destroyed with Disenchant, and a Tsabo's Web was played. Blastoderm followed on the next turn, and was answered by a Counterspell. Mitchell then played a Sacred Ground, which was somewhat unamazing considering that there were only two minutes left on the clock. Time was soon called, resulting in a draw.

Final Result: Draw, 1-1.

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