Round 6:

Posted in Event Coverage on February 27, 2004

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.

Zvi Mowshowitz vs. Paul Rietzl

Paul Rietzl did not want the scrutiny of a feature match. "This match is going to be a slaughter. Zvi worked with us on the deck I am playing and then last night built a deck that only beats our deck."

Both players were with Affinity. Rietzl's was the same version that most of the YMG squad was sporting with all the usual suspects like Disciple of the Vault and Arcbound Ravager. Zvi on the other hand was playing a highly meta-gamed Affinity deck with Leonin Elder, Aether Vial, and Sculpting Steel. The only problem was that he had not yet beat an Affinity deck to this point of the tournament

Game 1

Zvi opened on an Ancient Den and an Arcbound Worker. Paul's turn saw a Great Furnace and a Chromatic Sphere.

Zvi got in for one with his Worker and played a Myr Retriever. Paul's second turn was a little more explosive. He dropped a Glimmervoid and dumped his hand on the table--Arcbound Worker, Skullclamp, and a Frogmite.

Zvi played a third land and tapped out announcing, "Sculpting Steel. Copy your Skullclamp."

Paul sat up straight in his chair, "Wow, I did not know you had that!"

Dirk Baberowski looked over at the match from the next table with a skeptical look on his face. "Three mana is a little expensive for a Skullclamp."

Zvi disagreed, "I think you will agree that is worth every penny."

Paul cast Thoughtcast twice going through a Chromatic Sphere for one of them. "I have just drawn five cards and I am still not close to winning."

Zvi was not as sure. Especially after Paul cast a third one after attacking for two with Frogmite. "How is your new hand?"

Zvi had some card drawing on his side of the table and played a Myr Enforcer. He equipped his Worker with the jerry-rigged Skullclamp. He drew another two cards at the cost of his Retriever and picked up his Worker. He finished his turn with an Arcbound Ravager.

Things had been looking up for Zvi until Paul played a Disciple of the Vault. He also played a Ravager. He equipped his Worker and drew two cards.

Aether Vial

Zvi played an actual Skullclamp and double equipped the Frogmite for four cards. "Cards are irrelevant,"
shrugged Paul. Zvi played a Leonin Elder and cast an Arcbound Worker to get back a smidgen of his life total.

Paul looked at his board and his hand an announced, "If I don't kill you this turn I am going to be embarrassed."

"You are going to be embarrassed."

Paul played another Skullclamp and Zvi almost forget to gain one from his Elder. Paul urged Zvi not to rely on his good graces to remind him of his effects. Paul drew four off of a Frogmite and found a Pyrite Spellbomb to kill the Elder. He passed the turn without killing his teammate, "All right you got me. I am embarrassed."

Zvi drew two off of his Worker and then double Clamped the Enforcer and sent him in. "I guess I'll block. I don't want to die." Zvi sacrificed the Enforcer for four cards after combat and Paul was unimpressed, "Draw cards blah, blah."

Zvi played a free Frogmite and Paul showed off his detective skills, "I have deduced something. He does not have Leonin Elder in his hand." Zvi Oxidized the Ravager and took another point. He played a Worker and an Aether Vial.

Paul drew for turn and forewarned Zvi, "I have you killed and I'm not going to slow roll you."

He showed him a ravager and a second Disciple.

"You do draw your Disciples."

"Thoughtcast is insane."

"Thoughtcast was not a factor. I was doing stuff almost as fast as you were."

"In this format, 'almost as fast" is dead."

Rietzl - 1 Mowshowitz - 0

Game 2

Paul agonized over his sideboard choices, "No one told me how to sideboard in the mirror. I need five of these cards to not be in the deck. I hope this is right."

Zvi made few changes to his deck during this time, "I figured out how to sideboard on the plane and I fixed it so I was set that way for Game 1."

Zvi led off with Aether Vial and Paul came back with an Arcbound Worker. .

Zvi used the Vial to play a free Leonin Elder. Vault of the Whispers, Aether Vial, and a Frogmite brought him to 23. On Paul's turn a land, Frogmite, Frogmite, and Skullclamp took Zvi to 28. When Paul tried to use the Clamp Zvi had the Oxidize at the ready and smoked it.

Paul attacked with a pair of Frogs after playing a Disciple. Two frogs traded and Zvi took four on the turn. He played an Arcbound Worker EOT--he was out of cards. He drew an Oxidize.

Paul played a second Disciple and attacked for two. Zvi looked pained as he used his Sculpting Steel to copy Paul's Frogmite, "This is so embarrassing"

Zvi was till at 22 thanks to the Elder and Paul played a Pyrite Spellbomb to boost him to 23. Paul drew a card with it instead of killing the elder. Frogmite traded with the poser Frogmite and Zvi took four. He played his own Disciple of the Vault and passed the turn.

Paul attacked with Worker and it was easier to take one than blocking. Paul played a third Disciple and attacked for two on the next turn. Zvi played a Myr Enforcer and attacked with Worker, Elder and Disciple. Two of the black creatures traded.

Paul shook his head when he drew an Arcbound Ravager. "I had you dead on the board if I hadn't blocked."

"You don't have me dead on the board?"

"You could have an Oxidize in hand. Although the way you played the last few turns it seems unlikely."

"Maybe I should go all in." Paul did the math and decided to merely pass the turn. Zvi had the Oxidize and used it. "I am so glad I didn't go for it--I would have just lost."

Zvi got in for four with his Enforcer but on Paul's next turn the USC student smiled. "That was rather lucky."

"Did you just draw another Ravager?"

"Yeah" Paul pushed all of his available creatures into the red zone and mumbled something about Dave Humpherys.

"What does Dave have to do with anything?

"He wouldn't have attacked here."

Zvi used Aether Vial to put a Ravager into play and blocked everything but a Disciple. "If you have another Oxidize…"

Paul kept going over the correct sequence of play much to Zvi's annoyance. "Zvi…I am going to be sacking all my permanents this turn. I don't want to screw this up."

After damage went on the stack Paul ate all of his permanents and the pair of Disciples was more than enough to kill him. Zvi's meta-Affinity deck had yet to win a match against the deck it was designed to beat.

Final result: Paul Rietzl - 2 Zvi Mowshowitz - 0

Paul asked to include a 'shout out' to his brothers in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at USC. "They will be pretty mad at me if I don't."

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