Round 5: Ben Seck vs. Mongkol Tachasukjai

Posted in Event Coverage on July 12, 2003

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

Ben Seck is easily the most well known player in attendance at this event. He was already highly regarded before he started putting up performances like at the last Pro Tour. After his Top 8 at Pro Tour Yokahama, Ben's success finally caught up with his publicity. He is playing an Enchantress deck he designed.

Ben's opponent is the number one rated player in Thailand, Mongkol Tachasukjai. Mongkol played at Pro Tour Chicago but did not fare so well. He has qualified for many Pro Tours but can rarely attend due to the expense of the travel. As Ben looked around at the crowd that was gathering to cheer the home town hero on it dawned on him that he was not the most popular player in the feature match area.

Game 1

Ben led off with a Birds of Paradise and Mongkol showed himself to be Blue-Green when he cast Careful Study and put a Rootwalla into play. Ben drew a murmur form the crowd with a Verduran Enchantress.

Solitary Confinement
Mongkol attacked for one unchecked and played a Wild Mongrel. Ben had another Enchantress and drew two cards off of Wild Growth. "How many cards?" asked Mongkol. Ben had four and the local hero discarded Wonder and attacked for six, dropping Ben to nine.

Ben drew a pair of cards off of an Enchantress's Presence but when he attempted Solitary Confinement it was countered—Ben did get to draw three cards though. Ben fell to three on the next attack step and when he played a Compulsion it dug him three cards deeper into another Confinement but that was countered just like the last one. He played a Bird of Paradise—going to one--and cast Kirtar's Desire on the Wild Mongrel. He had to discard five cards—all of them fetch lands—"No good!"

When he blocked the Rootwalla with his Bird of Paradise Ben commented on the growing crowd. "Look at this crowd, for you!"

Mongkol was skeptical, "For me?"

"I don't see any Australians."

Ben's next turn saw a Kirtar's Desire on a freshly cast Aquamoeba another Desire on the Rootwalla and an Enchantress's Presence hit play. "Fun, eh?" laughed a tightrope walking Ben.

Another Aquamoeba meant a fourth Desire. Be resolved the two must-draw Presences before the Enchantress's themselves. When he found a Solitary Confinement in the first two cards he decided not to draw the remaining two. He played the Confinement. And a Words of Wind—drawing only two each time and sent the turn back to Mongkol with a challenge, "Now it's a race for your Upheaval. Good luck!"

He played two Mirari's Wakes and a Mobilization on the next turn and was able to attack for twenty one within two turns. Without Upheaval in sight, Mongkol conceded. "Boom!"

Mongkol could only shake his head "One damage."

Ben laughed, "It's always about the one damage but that was close, you had two Logics and I needed my THIRD Confinement.

"That, Mr. Anderson, is the sound of inevitability."

Ben – 1 Mongkol – 0

Game 2

Ben mulliganed his openers and kept the next set. He opened on a Wild Growth and Mongkol had a Wild Mongrel. When Ben played the second turn Enchantress's Presence, the Thai player discarded Ray of Revelation and got in for three and killed the card drawing engine. "More where that came from!" boasted Ben.

Aquamoeba landed on Mongkol's side of the table and Ben played a Devoted Caretaker "Bet you weren't expecting that one." He also played a Bird—burning for one and falling to fourteen.

When Mongkol attacked Ben blocked with the Caretaker—he was getting two cards either way. Mongkol pitched Krosan Reclamation and Ray of Revelation. Quiet Speculation found three Deep Analysis and there was jubilation from Ben—no more Rays. Mongkol flashed back the final Ray on Wild Growth.

Ben did not have time to play any enchantments though. Mongkol was able to kill him with the Aquamoeba and the Wild Mongrel by flashing back two Deep Analysis and discarding his hand.

Ben – 1 Mongkol - 1

Game 3

Mongkol opened with an Aquamoeba. When Ben played an Enchantress's Presence, he was bale to discard Deep Analysis and flash it back. He discarded Ray of Revelation and used it on the enchantment.

Ben was unfazed and played a Verduran Enchantress but it was unsummoned. Mongkol Quiet Spec'd for two Deep Analysis and another Ray of Revelation. When Ben played a Pariah on the Aquamoeba he burnt the Ray.

He flashed back a Deep Analysis and went to twelve but took Ben down to ten with his attack. He added a Wild Mongrel, which he unsummoned when Ben attempted another Pariah.

Flashing back Deep Analysis dropped him to eight but Ben dropped to seven. The Mongrel made a reappearance only to be negated by Kirtar's Desire. That didn't stop Mongkol from countering an Enchantress through it. The Mongrel was unsummoned and replayed on the next turn.

Ben was finally drawing some lands and looked like he might get out form under the pressure. He played a Pariah on the dog and Mongkol passed the turn back with no attack. Ben followed with a Verduran and a Compulsion. Mongkol was holding a Turbulent Dreams and two lands but if used them he could only get Ben to one and he bided his time.

Ben played Holistic Wisdom and Mobilization hoping that there was no answer for the Pariah in play. An Arrogant Wurm came down EOT and Turbulent Dreams dealt with Pariah and Enchantress.

There was a huge round of applause for the local hero and Ben could only nod approvingly.

Ben – 1 Mongkol – 2

Mongkol Tachasukjai

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Ben Seck

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