Round 5: Eric Froehlich vs. David Humpherys

Posted in Event Coverage on February 22, 2003

By Jun-Wei Hew

It wasn’t terribly difficult for Eric to beat Humpherys’ ‘1’ on the die roll, and Eric even offered to use a D6 instead of a D20 out of sympathy. Eric formed a R-G deck out of the cards he received, while Humpherys showed U-R, a style that better resembles his play style. Humphery’s morph traded with Froehlich’s Flamewave Invoker, after which Canopy Crawler, amplified thrice came out on turn four, bringing out cries of “Some good!” from Froehlich. Humpherys tried to race through the air with a Mistform Seaswift, but it would be difficult to race both a 5/5 Canopy Crawler and a freshly played Charging Slateback. Consulting his notes on the two beasts still in Froehlich’s hand, Humpherys had to consolidate himself on a long game ahead.

Canopy Crawler
Fortunately, one of the beasts, a Krosan Tusker, was cycled, fetching Froehlich a swamp. He swung with the Crawler and Slateback, leaving open to cycle a Solar Blast should Humpherys try to take down the Crawler by double-blocking with his morph and his Mistform Seaswift. Froehlich’s army increased by a Nantuko Husk, which was easily brushed aside with a Smother. Still, the Crawler remained in play.

Keeneye Aven came into play for “Da Hump”, but Froehlich simply played two more morph creatures on his next turn. All three of Froehlich’s creatures came in for the kill, and interestingly enough, Humpherys chose to block one morph with his own Morph, while using the Keeneye Aven to chump-block the Crawler. All was revealed when, after damage was put on the stack, Humpherys morphed up his own morph, revealing Skirk Marauder, which took care of Froehlich’s remaining morph. Unfortunately, that brought Humpherys down to three life, where a Solar Blast aimed at the head took care of the job.

At least, it would’ve taken care of the job, if it weren’t for the fact that when Eric had to reveal his morph creatures upon the game’s conclusion, Humpherys then realised that the Nantuko Vigilante that was revealed way back then to amplify the Canopy Crawler, was not, in fact, a Beast. When the head judge was called over, the verdict was final- the addition of an extra point of power and toughness on the Crawler gave Froehlich a significant enough advantage to warrant Froehlich a game loss. Even the very best make technical mistakes.

Humpherys 1 – Froehlich 0

Nantuko Vigilante
Obviously peeved at the game that slipped away, Froehlich took some time to compose himself up for the second game. His first morph- the Nantuko Vigilante that cost him the last game, was Smothered by Humpherys’ on his end step, whereby Humpherys then played out his own morph. Creatures dropped onto the board from both sides- the morph met with a Wall of Mulch, which saw a Keeneye Aven, which then saw Froehlich’s second morph. Humpherys forces took to the skies, swinging with the Aven before playing a Sootfeather Flock. Frenetic Raptor came down in an attempt to race, but given the current game state, Froehlich had just four turns to come up with an answer to Humphery’s two fliers. Of course, eliminating Humpherys himself was, as always, open as an option, but realistically, that would not happen without at least some resistance.

Skirk Marauder
Humpherys chumped the incoming Raptor with his morph, and turned over Skirk Marauder to take care of Eric’s own face-down man of mystery. Fortunately, Froehlich held a Solar Blast, which he used to take down the Sootfeather Flock, reducing Humpherys’ airborne clock. Blade Sliver and Sparksmith entered play on Humpherys’ side, while all Eric could do to try and stave off the assault was his third morph creature of the game. Skirk Outrider from Humpherys brought his Sparksmith online, and when the Sparksmith attempted to take down the morph, Eric turned over his own Skirk Marauder, which took out Humphery’s Blade Sliver. All this time, the Keeneye Aven had been swinging and swinging.

Cycling a Dirge of Dread let Eric hit Humpherys for a free six points, reducing his down to just three. Froehlich was hoping that the cycle would net him some burn spell that could steal the game for him, but alas, it only revealed a third land to go with the two already in hand. One can imagine Eric kicking himself for using his Solar Blast on the Flock, but granted, it would’ve been more than just a little bit difficult to forsee this board position. In the end, though, Humpherys’ was able to put more than enough chump blockers in front of the Raptor to let his other creatures go in for the win, while Froehlich revealed his less-than-optimal hand.

Humpherys 2 – Froehlich 0

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