Round 5 Feature Match: Stephan Valkyser vs. Noah Boeken

Posted in Event Coverage

By Mark Wraith

Noah won the die roll, but forced Stephan to play first. Both players kept their opening hands, Noah joking that he had already won this game after looking at his draw.

Game 1

Stephan played a second-turn Hate Weaver, which was Lighting Darted. Valkyser then missed a land drop, allowing Noah to play an Ancient Kavu. The German used his Terminal Moraine to fetch an Island, and cast Repulse on the Kavu to buy him both more time and more cards. It was immediately replayed on Noah's next turn.

Without a fourth land, Stephan decided to sacrifice his Sulfur Vent to play Smoldering Tar, to kill the 3/3 creature. This was a dubious play since he was short on land as it was, but he immediately top-decked a Mountain to cast Terminate on Boeken's 6/6 Vodalian Serpent.

Noah then played a Ravenous Rat, and Repulsed Stephan's Firescreamer, as he had both Exclude and Bog Down. Interestingly he did not cast the Bog Down, leaving Exclude mana open on his next turn, instead deciding to Probe, and play a Hate Weaver. Stephan remarked "First blood", as the Ravenous Rat swung over and reduced him to 19.

The Firescreamer made a reappearance, just in time as Valkyser's remaining hand was stripped by a Bog Down with kicker. Noah also played a Lava Zombie, returning Ravenous Rats to his hand. With plenty of creatures and his Exclude still in hand, it was difficult to see how Stephan could get out of this situation, especially as Noah removed the lone Firescreamer with a Magma Burst.

When Stephan attempted to cast a Hunting Drake and Noah played an Exclude, Valkyser decided it was time to concede.

Amazed by the quality of spells, which Boeken had cast in the first game, he decided to ask for a deck check before the second game started. Unfortunately for the German, nothing was wrong with the Noah's decklist - it was just a good deck.

Game 2

Noah was made to plat first in the second game - drawing first is a popular option in this format. Noah's draw was good, but Stephan had to mulligan. Noah could really make the mulligan tell as he had Bog Down and Probe, but instead of the Bog Down, decided to cast a Caldera Kavu.

The Kavu was removed by Scorching Lava, and Stephan played a Kavu Scout. Now Noah decided to cast Bog Down, and after Stephan did nothing but play a land, Boeken cast Probe as well. This completely removed the German's hand, and left Noah with a full hand.

Of course, Noah still had to deal with the Kavu Scout, and the Volcano Imp, which Stephan had just drawn. He played a Cinder Shade, which could at least trade with the Kavu Scout, but Stephan top-decked a Terminate, and attacked to bring Noah to eight.

It seemed almost inconceivable that Noah could be in a poor position after gaining so much card advantage, but when he tried to play another blocker for the Kavu Scout, this time an Ancient Kavu - Stephan topdecked again with a Repulse, and attacked to bring Noah to three.

Next turn he had no way of removing the Kavu, so Stephan merely attacked with the Volcano Imp, and summoned a Hate Weaver - Noah was at one at this point. Boeken needed to play two blockers, and he managed this with a Stormscape Familiar and a Slimy Kavu. However, Stephan drew what must be the only removal left in his deck at this point, a Smoldering Tar and attacked for the win.

Noah looked at the top card of his deck in frustration - it was a Magma Burst which would have killed both the Scout and the Volcano Imp at any point in the last four turns.

Noah looked pretty unhappy, but there was nothing he could do and they moved onto the third duel, with Stephan going first.

Game 3

Noah played the first creature - a Ravenous Rat forcing Valkyser to discard an Island, but nothing on the third turn after Stephan played a Hooded Kavu.

Stephan replaced the Kavu with a Lava Zombie on his fourth turn, but it was returned to his hand immediately via a Repulse. Noah then attacked with his Ravenous Rats and played a 4/3 Mire Kavu. As in the first game Stephan decided to Repulse it to game some time - and the Repulse also gave him his fourth land which he had been missing until that point.

The Mire Kavu made a reappearance, but this time Stephan had some more permanent removal with a Tribal Flames and he replayed a creature as well - the Hooded Kavu which had been returned to his hand by the Lava Zombie.

Noah played a Cinder Shade, making sure to leave three mana open for his Exclude in case the German played a threatening creature. Stephan did not play a creature though, merely casting Terminate on the Cinder Shade, and attacking.

Boeken played a Caldera Kavu, but looked like he would never get chance to use his Exclude, as Stephan played a Hypnotic Cloud with kicker, and Noah decided to keep Probe as the only card in his hand. This left Noah with Slimy Kavu, and Zap, and Stephan with a Lava Zombie.

Stephan attacked, then summoned the Lava Zombie and replayed the Hooded Kavu. Noah played a Slimy Kavu and put his Zap to good effect by blocking the Kavu with his Ravenous Rats (after Stephan had used it's ability to mean that only black creatures could block) and then cast Zap to kill it.

Noah attacked with the Caldera Kavu, to bring Stephan to 10, but Stephan attacked back and brought Noah to eight, and next turn Noah was forced to trade his Caldera Kavu with the Lava Zombie.

Since Noah did not draw a creature on his next turn, and Stephan played a Hate Weaver, Boeken had to chump block with his Slimy Kavu. Finally Noah drew a blue or black creature on his next turn, a Vodalian Zombie, which he played then replayed with a Cavern Harpy returning it to his hand in between. Noah also played an Ancient Kavu.

Stephan made what was a serious mistake on his next turn - drawing a Hunting Drake, he played it without thinking of the Ancient Kavu's ability. Noah made it become colorless, and forced Stephan to return Mire Kavu to the top of his library !

This now meant that Noah could go on the offensive, and killed Stephan in two turns, since his Hate Weaver could pump up his Cavern Harpy or his Ancient Kavu.

Final Result: Noah Boeken defeats Stephan Valkyser 2 - 1

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