Round 5: Gary Wise vs. Michael Gurney

Posted in Event Coverage

By Toby Wachter

Gary Wise vs. Michael Gurney

Gary Wise is one of Canada's best-known Magic players, and he is notorious for being especially talented at Limited. Michael Gurney has also had his share of success, with a Top 8 performance at Pro Tour Los Angeles. Before the match started, Gary Wise told me to quote him as saying "My deck is very good. I got passed many bombs".

Game 1

Gary played first, and Michael mulliganed his opening hand. Gurney had a first turn play in Necra Disciple, and he continued his curve with a second turn Thornscape Familiar. Meanwhile, Wise simply played three mountains. At this point, Gary complained "Whatever . . . he mulligans into first and second turn drops, and all three land types!" Gary played a fourth mountain, and an Ancient Kavu to stop Michael's attackers. Gurney then used Harrow to give him one of each basic land type except island. He attacked with both creatures again, and used Consume Strength in combat to kill off the Ancient Kavu. Wise untapped and simply played another, still stuck at four lands.

The next turn was amusing, as Gurney played a second Necra Disciple and a second Thornscape Familiar. Wise played Dwarven Patrol, and was still stuck at four mountains. The Disciple was used on the next turn to produce a blue mana, and Sunscape Apprentice was summoned with blue kicker. Root Greevil joined Gurney's side on the next turn, but his army was still being held off by the Ancient Kavu. He finally attacked with everyone, and used Consume Strength during combat in an attempt to kill the Ancient Kavu, but Wise responded with Scorching Lava, which kept his 3/3 on the table.

Wise now finally drew a forest, and played Penumbra Bobcat. Gurney answered back with Serpentine Kavu, and Wise played Amphibious Kavu. Gurney then played Fervent Charge, and sent all his creatures into the Red Zone. This brought Wise down to one, and left him with a 2/1 token and an Amphibious Kavu. Michael sent his creatures into an attack again, and Gary commented, "Stop laughing at me! Who topdecks like crazy after I come back from the mana screw from hell!" He was even more amused by Plague Spitter, which drew a "That's not nice! Son of a . . . " The Spitter was going to deal the final point of lethal damage to Wise, who promptly scooped.

Wise- 0 Gurney- 1

While shuffling, both players got a good laugh out of Gurney's amazing draw in the first game.

Game 2

Gary Wise

Gary drew his opening hand, and joked "Please don't mulligan! I can't take another draw like the first time." Indeed, Gurney did have to mulligan his opening hand again. In fact, he had to mulligan again, giving him a less than optimal start this game. Gurney played a second turn Nomadic Elf, which was immediately killed with Scorching Lava. Wise played an Ancient Kavu on turn four, while Gurney was still struggling to find a third land. He found one a few turns later, but had little to play. Meanwhile, Wise summoned Nemata, and Gurney could only answer back with Degavolver sans kicker. It was eliminated with Singe, and Gurney conceded.

Wise- 1 Gurney- 1

Game 3

Gurney played first, and did not mulligan his opening hand for the first time in the match. Play started off slowly, and no creatures were played for the first three turns on either side. Gurney used Harrow to fix his mana on Wise's end step, and summoned Thornscape Familiar followed by Mire Kavu on his turn. Wise played Zap on the Familiar during Gurney's end step, but had no creature to play on the following turn. Gurney's Mire Kavu attacked, and was joined by a Degavolver with both kickers.

At this point Wise had to stop the onslaught, and he played a Crypt Angel, which did not have any creatures to bring back. The Mire Kavu attacked for another four points of damage, and Gurney's side increased in numbers with a Grave Defiler and Nomadic Elf. Wise then untapped and drew the forest he was looking for, which allowed him to summon Spiritmonger. Wise then turned to me and said "You can write down 'Two swamps in deck. Many Forests. Angry Gary.'"

Gurney untapped and considered his options, and decided to attack with his whole team. Crypt Angel blocked the Degavolver, and Spiritmonger blocked Mire Kavu. This allowed four damage to squeeze through, bringing Wise to eight life points, but at the cost of losing a Mire Kavu. Wise then untapped and summoned Thornscape Master, commenting "All my pretty rares . . . all in a row." Gurney played Fervent Charge on his turn, followed by Diabolic Intent on Nomadic Elf. The options were Death Bomb or Serpentine Kavu, but neither was particularly amazing in this situation. After some thought, Gurney took the Serpentine Kavu.

Michael Gurney

Wise now went on the offensive, using Singe to eliminate the Grave Defiler. Spiritmonger then attacked, coming through for seven points of damage. Amphibious Kavu then joined Gary's side, and things looked bleak for Gurney. Wise tapped his deck jokingly, asking "Where's Nemata? Like I don't have enough good rares out, right?" Serpentine Kavu now showed up with kicker on Gurney's side, but it did not attack. Wise used Strafe on the Degavolver, and then targeted it with Scorching Lava with kicker, which made the Volver unable to regenerate, and it was removed from the game. This allowed Wise to attack with the Spiritmonger and Crypt Angel without fear.

Serpentine Kavu attacked, but Wise simply chump blocked it with a Familiar. Gurney followed up with Quirion Sentinel, which gave the Kavu haste to prevent mana burn. Wise used the Master on his turn to shoot the Sentinel down, and Gurney responded with Consume Strength to make his Sentinel bigger and kill off the Master. The Spiritmonger attacked, and was chump blocked by the Sentinel. At this point the board position was nearly impossible to overcome, and Gurney conceded.

Final Result: Wise- 2 Gurney- 1

Gary Wise

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Michael Gurney

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