London Mage and Southern Ontario mainstay Nassim Ketita is finally getting seeing his hard work pay off. His recent trip to Pro Tour Nagoya concluded with a 31st place finish, and by some accounts, a whimsical jig. with a qualification to Philadelphia in his pocket, he's set his sights on San Francisco.
His opponent is Montreal's Alexandre Savoie. A card store owner, Savoie has only just started playing competitively this year. Both are sitting at 4-1, and one win away from sweeping their draft.
Ketita had no lands in his opener and had to send it back. He kept his six, and they were off. Ketita started off with Runeclaw Bears, and then Stormfront Pegasus, immediately Doom Bladed by Savoie. Savoie untapped and lowered the boom with Smallpox. Nassim pitched Stave Off, and Savoie lost a Devouring Swarm. Ketita played a land and passed.
Savoie had a second Swarm at the ready. Ketita answered with Assault Griffin. Savoie attacked in and Ketita declined to block, instead returning fire and playing Throne of Empires. Unfortunately for him Savoie wasn't done yet. Mind Control snatched the Griffin from him.
While Ketita played Garruk's Companion, Savoie was going overhead for five damage. Without air defence, it was soon over.
Savoie 1 - Ketita 0
For Game 2, Ketita chose to put Savoie on the play. He opened with Crown of Empires, then Stormfront Pegasus, again promptly Doom Bladed. Meanwhile, Savoie was stuck on two land. After Ketita played Assault Griffin, Savoie decided he'd be better off on one, and played Smallpox.
Ketita had land in reserve, and played a second Assault Griffin. Savoie plucked an island and used it to Ponder. Ketita continued to pour on the pressure with Stampeding Rhino. A third land for Savoie enabled Devouring Swarm. Ketita tapped it with his Crown and dropped Savoie to nine. Savoie decided to keep his Swarm home, and summoned a 2/2 Vampire Outcasts.
Ketita untapped and took a moment. Eventually he chose to tap the Outcasts and attack all out. Savoie traded his Swarm for the Griffin and fell to two. Ketita played his last card: Lurking Crocodile. Savoie untapped, and scooped.
Savoie 1 - Ketita 1
Savoie chose to draw for the decisive game. Again, Ketita had to mulligan. His six were acceptable.
Savoie led off with Ponder, choosing not to shuffle. Ketita summoned Runeclaw Bears, then tried a bloodthirsted Lurking Crocodile, but Savoie had Mana Leak. Savoie untapped, played a swamp, and Smallpoxed.
Ketita was unfazed. He summoned Garruk's Companion. Savoie answered with Devouring Swarm. Ketita declined to attack, instead playing Honor of the Pure. Savoie sent his Swarm overhead and played a second one. Again Ketita refused to attack with his Companion. He played Assault Griffin and passed.
Savoie swung in for four and passed with his mana open. Ketita was happy to return fire for seven. Savoie thought better of attacking on his next turn and held back. Again, Ketita played it conservatively, attacking with just Garruk's Companion, trading for a Swarm and trampling Savoie down to 8. Five mana gave him a Peregrine Griffin and a big lead on the board.
Savoie got his Swarm back with Gravedigger and put it into play. He was unable to defend against the 3/5 first striker, however, and soon Ketita was turning his whole squad sideways. It was over shortly thereafter.
Nassim Ketita defeats Alexandre Savoie 2-1