Round 6: Feature Match - Lee Purslow vs. Daniel Royde

Posted in Event Coverage on August 19, 2011

By Rich Hagon

Rich Hagon combines a deep knowledge of the players of the Pro Tour with a passionate love of the game. He's a regular commentator for Pro Tour and Grand Prix live video coverage, and is the official Pro Tour Statistician. He has been covering Magic events since 2006.

Lee Purslow hails from Portsmouth. He's been playing since 4th Edition, with a break in the middle, before returning for M10. Royde, meanwhile, is a Grand Prix Champion from earlier this year. Both players begin the round undefeated, with Purslow having a draw to spoil his perfect record.

Forests on either side opened the match, with Goblin Piker the first action from Royde. Armored Warhorse arrived on turn three from Purslow, with Royde offering an apparent trade. 'Apparent', because Titanic Growth ensured the Piker would live, and the Warhorse would die. The following turn, Goblin Piker actually did trade, this time for Sacred Wolf.

This is not the D.Royde you're looking for.

Royde had Garruk's Companion which met with Pacifism, before Royde had a Sacred Wolf of his own. Griffin Sentinel arrived for Purslow, and still the life totals were 20 apiece. Llanowar Elves threatened acceleration for Royde, while Purslow ramped up his Griffin Sentinel with Honor of the PurePlummet took down the Sentinel, and following his attack Royde was able to cast Blood Ogre with Bloodthirst.

Purslow began anew with Peregrine Griffin, which looked like a substantial roadblock. Until, that is, Arachnus Web rendered it irrelevant. Royde piled in, dropping Purslow to ten, who replied with an even bigger roadblock in the form of Vastwood Gorger. Royde, though, had a plan, and it was a plan that had been good for players for many years. It cost five mana, and had the name Overrun...

Still, he waited to pull the trigger, casting Arachnus Web on the Gorger before dropping a second Sacred Wolf. Now Purslow was down to just four, which put him well within range. Overrun did the dirty deed, and Royde was one up.

Lee Purslow 0 - Daniel Royde 1

With Purslow playing green-white, Royde knew that he was in good shape to make his Overrun count. Purslow needed to avoid a stall, and had to hope he could take to the air against the green-red of Royde.

Royde had Goblin Fireslinger at the first attempt, while Purslow replicated Game 1 with an early Armored Warhorse. Turn three saw Royde shoot Purslow with Goblin Fireslinger, enabling Bloodthirst for Blood Ogre. Purslow had Arachnus Web for the Bloodthirst 3/3, and attacked once more with his Armored Warhorse. Royde repeated the Bloodthirst trick, laying another Blood Ogre, and the board was starting to clog up.

This is the D.Royde you're looking for.

Purslow next offered Auramancer, and when Royde attacked he double blocked, forgetting the First Strike on the Blood Ogre. Royde added Sacred Wolf, now strongly ahead. Purslow dropped Jade Mage, thankful that Goblin Fireslinger could only hit players rather than creatures. 
Royde dropped Arachnus Web onto the Jade Mage, but Purslow had Stave Off to send the Arachnus Web packing. Jade Mage created two tokens, and now blocking became potentially profitable. Sacred Wolf and token traded, token sucked up the damage from Blood Ogre, and Purslow was back in the game. Royde completed the turn with Giant Spider.

Titanic Growth on Blood Ogre freed the Ogre from Arachnus Web, allowing Royde to pile in for 6, dropping Purslow to 8. With Goblin Fireslinger continuing to ping away at end of turn, Purslow was under the gun, despite his token generator.

What did he have? Overrun!!!

In came the team, with Royde at fourteen and looking to soak up some serious damage. Barely, just barely, he survived, at 1 life. But both his Giant Spider and Goblin Fireslinger were gone. Griffin Sentinel completed an excellent turn for Purslow, and Royde couldn't find a winning answer.

Lee Purslow 1 - Daniel Royde 1

Now the dynamic of the match had chnaged once more. Both players knew about the Overrun the other had available. The edge was probably now with Purslow, who could use flyers in a way that Royde essentially couldn't. If it came to a stall, then it might well be all about the first Overrun.

Royde had Overrun in his opening hand. Not enough land, though, and he took six. He had Overrun in his opening hand again. Again, he only had one land. Now he looked at five. He kept, but without an Overrun
Runeclaw Bear was his turn two, while Pride Guardian was turn one from Purslow. Now that was a beating against a depleted Royde. Armored Warhorse arrived for Purslow, followed by Honor of the Pure, then Alabaster Mage. Although Royde had plenty of land, he was sitting with just a Runeclaw Bear in play, which met Arachnus WebAlabaster Mage and the Warhorse piled in, with Jade Mage surely just rubbing salt into the wounds.

Royde swept up his permanents, and congratulated his opponent.

Lee Purslow 2 - 1 Daniel Royde

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