It was deja vu all over again as these two sat down to battle. It was an encore of their Brawl for It All at Canadian Nationals 2009. That time, it was Elarar who emerged victorious, the first of his back-to-back Canadian Championships.
Boutin won the roll and chose to play, quickly keeping his opener. Elarar looked at his seven for a full minute for deciding to keep them. Both started out with four lands, a mix of islands and swamps for each.
"This format's really fast, Jay," said Boutin.
"That's what I've heard."
Elarar tapped his four for Amphin Cutthroat. Boutin bounced it with Aether Adept and passed. Elarar replayed his Cutthroat. Boutin passed on six mana. Elarar looked at him. "Is this real?"
Elarar hit for two with Amphin Cutthroat, bloodthirsting up a Duskhunter Bat. Boutin swung in with Aether Adept, Elarar ambushed it with Wring Flesh and his Bat. Boutin upgraded to Sengir Vampire. Elarar turned the card around for a better look.
Boutin was incredulous. "Really? You have to read SENGIR VAMPIRE??"
"I didn't recognise the picture!!"
Onyx Mage for Elarar let his Bat and Cutthroat attack through the Vampire. He tapped the rest of his mana after combat for Zombie Goliath. Boutin hit for four in the air, enabling a 4/2 Bloodrage Vampire. He passed back.
Elarar swung in with the whole team. The Bloodrage Vampire traded with Zombie Goliath, and Boutin fell to 8. He Cancelled a Devouring Swarm from Elarar, but had to let in Child of Night. Boutin untapped, hit for four in the air, then got back Aether Adept with Gravedigger. He bounced the Cutthroat and passed it back.
Elarar drew, and paused. The Bat went overhead to leave Boutin at six. Elarar played his last two cards: The bounced Cutthroat and a drawn Blood Seeker.
Actually, the card on top for Elarar was Doom Blade, binning the Chasm Drake. Elarar turned all his guys sideways. Boutin made the only blocks he could, losing Coral Merfolk, Gravedigger and Aether Adept to stay alive at one. Elarar was left with the Bat, Blood Seeker, and Cutthroat. It was more than enough.
Elarar 1 - Boutin 0
It was another blistering start in Game 2. This time, Boutin started things off with an unthirsted Duskhunter Bat on turn two. It plinked away for two turns. Elarar made a Coral Merfolk on turn four, and Boutin made one of his own on turn five. Elarar forced his through with the help of Frost Breath to bloodthirst his Duskhunter Bat, but Boutin had Sorin's Thirst. Then both players played Amphin Cutthroats. It was riveting.
Boutin swung for one in the air, then passed the turn. Elarar punished his use of Sorin's Thirst by playing an Azure Mage, threatening to run away with the glacially paced game. Boutin thought he had the trump with Mind Control, but Elarar had Mana Leak ready.
Elarar played his eighth land, drew an extra card, and passed. Boutin gamely tried to summon Sengir Vampire in the face of Elarar's untapped mana, and was surprised when it succeeded. Elarar loaded up on cards, but couldn't find an answer. He fell to nine, then to four.
Shaking his head he kept peeling cards with Azure Mage, coming up blank. He Doom Bladed Boutin's Amphin Cutthroat to push through an attack, aiming to gain life off Child of Night, but Boutin had the Unsummon to take the game.
Elarar 1 - Boutin 1
Finally, a game with some opening action. Elarar got on the board quickly with Onyx Mage, killed Boutin's Duskhunter Bat with Wring Flesh, then Mana Leaked Aether Adept. He attacked again and added Warpath Ghoul to his squad. Boutin played a Manalith and passed the turn.
Elarar's attack took him to eleven, then Elarar summoned Amphin Cutthroat. All Boutin could manage was an unimproved Bloodrage Vampire. Elarar tapped three for Adaptive Automaton (choosing "Salamander") and swung in. The Vampire traded for Warpath Ghoul, and Sorin's Thirst took out Onyx Mage. Elarar bluffed a Mana Leak in hand, pausing before letting it resolve.
Now Boutin started to swing haymakers. First was Sengir Vampire, heedless of Elarar's bluff. With Elarar unable to profitably attack, the next piece of the puzzle was Jace, Memory Adept. "Wow," was all Elarar could manage.
"Better lucky than good, they say," said Boutin
"They do say that."
Boutin milled Elarar for ten and passed the turn. Elarar cast a Skywinder Drake and passed. Boutin wasn't done with his ridiculous yet. He milled another ten (including Elarar's Mind Control) then tapped six for Grave Titan.
"Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezus," exclaimed Elarar. He quickly packed up his cards.
Jon Boutin defeats Jay Elarar 2-1