by Matthew Vienneau
In a battle of the young and good-looking, wily Canadian National Champion Ryan Fuller attempted to burn Bob "Not quite ready for the NBA" Maher's Outpost/Humility deck. Ryan didn't bring a BYOB deck to the Invitational but the always good-natured Chris Pikula loaned him a Tempest, Legacy and Alliances red land-destruction deck, while Bob used Tempest, Visions and Alliances.
As the two players shuffled Bob declared that "Ryan will win game one" but he was pretty sure that he would take the next two. Ryan tried to prove Bob wrong as he took a mulligan leaving him with two Stone Rains, two Parch, Avalanche Riders and Ancient Tomb. With no red mana sources, Ryan looked to be in a tight situation, but showing the skill that carried him to the top in Canada, Ryan pulled a Mountain off the top of the deck as his first draw.
Two Stone Rains later, Bob drew his only Wasteland to remove the Ancient Tomb, but Ryan again drew exactly what he needed as he played a third Mountain and a third Stone Rain to destroy Bob's last land. Ryan held back an Avalanche Riders waiting for Bob to play a land as Bob discarded a Kjeldoran Outpost. Ironically, Bob was holding two more Outposts in hand - putting him in a situation where he's discarding despite having three lands in his hand?
Ryan continued to play permanents and Bob declared, "As soon as I get a permanent I'm going to concede so you don't get a flawless victory". True to his word Bob finally played an Island and conceded.
As Ryan went through his sideboard he excitedly pointed out the four Boils he had in the battle against Bob. What he didn't realize is that Bob put in four Chill and three Circle of Protection: Red as well as four more land!
Ryan's mana curve was working overtime as he played Mogg Fanatic, Fireslinger and Stone Rain on turns one, two and three. Bob's curve was working well too as he played a turn two Scroll Rack and a turn three Orim's Prayer. Having stopped the creature damage, Bob then slapped down a COP: Red and things were looking bad for Ryan. But Ryan used a Wasteland on Bob's Wasteland and Stone Rain on an Island leaving Bob with one Plains to activate the Circle.
Ryan began selectively using his Fireslinger to do a point of damage every time Bob tapped out. Eventually he drew into a Stalking Stones, as Bob seems unable to draw more land than Ryan has land destruction. Despite being distracted by his girlfriend Jamie "Babe-O-Rama" Lynn and missing an opportunity to deal a point, Ryan still managed to defeat Bob before Bob could draw enough of his 30 land and a Tithe to stop the threats. Apparently, Bob was holding both a Chill and a Disenchant for the Stalking Stones, but was never able to get either two mana or a white source.
As Bob conceded he announced, "I'm hoping that if I can win one match in each format I won't be in last place!" At 2-4, Bob is tied for second-last place so he may have to do better than that if Kai recovers from his fairly slow 0-6 start.
Ryan Fuller 2
Bob Maher 0