by Craig Jones
Round five saw local boy Tom van de Logt play Mike Pustilnik from the States. Van de Logt reached the top 8 of Worlds last year but hasn't been able to attend recent Pro Tours or Grand Prix's because of schoolwork. In contrast Pustilnik has been a regular on the European Grand Prix scene, reaching the top 8 in Grand Prix Porto last year. He also made top 8 in Pro Tour Chicago.
Both chose to play predominantly green/white decks. Van de Logt had added all his removal spells from red and black while Pustilnik had opted for the more traditional blue. Pustilnik won the dice roll and opted to play first.
To start with it seemed as though the game wouldn't last very long as Pustilnik failed to drop a land on turns three and four. He was still able to make a small elf scouting force of a Llanowar Knight and Nomadic Elf. Van de Logt came out very fast with a turn two Quirion Elf and followed it with a Sentinel from the same region and a Sparring Golem. A series of skirmishes followed as van de Logt picked off Pustilnik's new recruits with his red and black removal. Skirmishes boiled over into all out civil war between the elves and when the dust settled Pustilnik was left with a Serpentine Kavu and van de Logt a Benalish Trapper to deal with it. Another cold war followed as both players turned to the heavens for support. A Glimmering Angel joined Pustilnik's side and an Angel of Mercy came to van de Logt's aid. When a Treefolk Healer rumbled out of the woods on Pustilnik's side the game appeared to have reached a stalemate. When van de Logt was able to bring forth a mighty Sulam Djinn it seemed as though he had the edge as the 6/6 Trampler smashed through Pustilnik's defenses. Pustilnik threw away an Obsidian Acolyte to reduce the damage, but the valiant sacrifice was not in vain. In doing so he evened up the number of green and white permanents and when the Djinn came in next turn the Healer and a Tower Drake teamed up to slay the threat. The game had swung once more into the hands of fate as neither could get past the defenses of the other. Plague Spores on the Serpentine Kavu reduced the pressure on van de Logt but then Pustilnik used Ordered Migration to summon a flock of three Birds to the attack. The Angel of Mercy would not be able to stop them all. Molimo a few turns later was just overkill.
Van de Logt chose to go first and with the mana acceleration provided by a Fertile Ground summoned an Urborg Shambler on turn three. "A pretty good draw," he commented on the next turn as an Angel of Mercy joined his forces. Pustilnik was again having problems with his land but had a Dream Thrush to give him a forest and bring a Nomadic Elf in play. The Angel was shackled and Pustilnik started to attack through the air with a Razorfoot Griffin. Finally van de Logt sent the Shambler over and Pustilnik thought about whether to block it with a pumped up Nomadic Elf. He suspected a trick and was proved right when the Elf met an Agonizing Demise. Working tirelessly the Thrush continued to fix Pustilnik's mana and he summoned a Llanowar Knight to his weenie swarm. Once he made a Rainbow Crow Pustilnik started to attack more positively. Van de Logt still only had the Shambler and Pustilnik was confident of winning the race, especially when he added a Glimmering Angel to his air force. An Obsidian Acolyte sealed victory as van de Logt saw too much land for a second time.
Final Result: Mike Pustilnik beat Tom van de Logt 2-0.