Round 8 Feature Match: Matthew Zbrog vs. Ralph Trapas

Posted in Event Coverage

By Sideboard Staff

Both players were 6-1, and a loss would mean being eliminated from Top 8 contention. Zbrog played CounterRebel, and Trapas played OppoFishin'.

Game 1

Both competitors played Islands for the first few turns, not wanting to cast anything in fear of a counterspell. Matthew missed his third land drop, which was key. Ralph played Lord of Atlantis, and as Matthew attempted to counter it, Ralph was waiting with his own Counterspell. Matthew finally drew a fourth land, and played Meddling Mage, which was Thwarted by alternate casting cost. Ralph played a Rootwater Thief, and Matthew got a Meddling Mage to resolve, naming Static Orb.

The Thief now went on the beatdown path, but its special ability was not activated. Instead, Ralph played another Thief, which was Absorbed. However, Ralph still had two mana open, and used it to play Coral Merfolk. Matthew played Lin Sivvi, but the game soon ended because all of Ralph's creatures were walking over Matt's Islands.

Zbrog 0 - Trapas 1

Game 2

Matthew got a good start this game, playing a second turn Sergeant off his first turn Costal Tower. Ralph answered back with a Rootwater Thief. Matthew then went one turn ahead in the chain by playing Defiant Falcon. Ralph played a Static Orb, but Matt had the Disenchant to eliminate it. Ralph then attacked with the Thief, and it was double blocked by the Sergeant and Lieutenant. Ralph noticed immediately that this was a bad play. He Opted, and played an Opposition, which was countered with Gainsay. Matthew then searched out a Falcon, but was still stuck at three lands.

Ralph attempted to gain back some time advantage with Wash Out, which resolved. The Sergeant came back down, and a Meddling Mage followed, but was Thwarted. Matthew was still stuck at three lands, attacked with a Sergeant, and played another. Ralph then played a Static Orb. Matthew finally drew a fourth land, but things were going to be rough thanks to the Orb. The plan switched from Rebel searching to Sergeant beatdown, with the two 1/1 Rebels untapping and serving for a few turns. Ralph then played Gush, and summoned Rootwater Thief.

Matthew played a Meddling Mage, which was Foiled, discarding two lands. The Foil was targeted by Gainsay, which was responded to with Gush. Ralph could not find a counterspell, and the Mage resolved, naming Opposition. Ralph now untapped and played Wash Out on white, attacked with Rootwater Thief, and played Merfolk of the Pearl Trident. Meddling Mage came back out, and was still naming Opposition. Matthew also played Last Breath on the Rootwater Thief, and replayed his Sergeant.

Matt's plan once again returned to weenie beatdown, but it was halted by Coral Merfolk. Things looked crowded on the ground, so Matthew played a Defiant Falcon. On the next turn, the Falcon and two Rebels attacked, and were unblocked. This allowed Ralph to swing back with his Merfolk, and play a backup Static Orb. At this point, Matthew was clearly winning the race.

Ralph eventually blocked a Sergeant with his Merfolk of the Pearl Trident. Matthew played Meddling Mage, which resulted in a counter war that was won by Ralph. Matthew's Rebels continued their attack, and eventually dealt enough damage to win the game.

Zbrog 1 - Trapas 1

Game 3

Ralph played a Coral Merfolk, and started the beatdown since Matthew had not played a creature yet. At the end of the turn, Matthew cast Brainstorm. Lin Sivvi was cast but countered, and Ralph played a Static Orb. It was Disenchanted, but a spare was available. This one was Disenchanted as well, and Ralph Opted in response but could not find countermagic. Matt then played a Sergeant. However, Matthew was untapped, which gave Ralph a window. He played Lord of Atlantis and Rootwater Thief, making his team unblockable. Matthew played Lash Breath on Ralph's next attack step, but it was Misdirected to the Sergeant. This allowed Ralph to win.

Final Result: Zbrog 1 - Trapas 2

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