Round 9 Feature Match – Marcelino Freeman vs. Zachariah Docsett

Posted in Event Coverage on February 15, 2014

By Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg is a writer and gamer and has been part of the Magic text coverage team since 2011. He joined Wizards as organized play’s content specialist in June 2014.

Marcelino Freeman is one of Mexico's most known current Magic players. While his win at the 2010 Mexican National Championship was an impressive finish to add to his resume, he has also gone above that when he represented his country in the 2012 World Magic Cup. His recent big finish was a Top 8 at Grand Prix Detroit.

His opponent, Zachariah Docsett, who currently lives in Colorado, recently picked up the game when Magic 2012 was released. Since then, he's been traveling around to events when able, and is a regular sight around the top tables at Grand Prix events as well as in the third-party tournament circuits.

The Decks

Freeman's deck features some big hits from what you'd expect of blue-white. While he's light on heroic creatures, he does have plenty of powerful threats, including multiple bestow creatures and Ephara's Enlightenment.

Docsett, however, has a green-white base deck featuring Fleecemane Lion with a splash for blue. The reason for the splash? Voyage's End as well as the activated effect on his Agent of Horizons. It's a lot easier to make these splashes happen when one of your lands is the Temple of Enlightenment.

The Games

Docsett led off aggressively with Swordwise Centaur on the second turn and then Agent of Horizons the turn after. The start required Freeman to cast Nimbus Naiad as a blocker, but Savage Surge saved Docsett's creature and allowed him to keep up aggression. Satyr Hedonist followed and Docsett passed with a commanding lead.

Zacharia Docsett

Nyxborn Triton from Freeman allowed him to trade with the Swordwise Centaur, but he already had fallen to 11 and was behind on the battlefield. However, 11 was enough, and when Docsett stalled on his second color, he was unable to capitalize on Freeman's empty board. Divine Verdict from Freeman took out Agent of Horizons, and suddenly when Freeman cast Horizon Scholar, he was in the driver's seat.

Chorus of the Tides followed from Freeman, and when Gods Willing saved his siren from Docsett's final attack, Docsett's fate in the first game was clear. A Plains from Docsett came way too late, and Vanquish the Foul on the Scholar was thwarted by Voyage's End from Freeman. Docsett moved to the second game in short order.

Docsett again led off fast in the second game, with Traveling Philosopher into Chronicler of Heroes. Voyage's End cleared out Freeman's Nyxborn Triton blocker and allowed him to keep attacking, but Divine Verdict shut down the Centaur on the next turn. Docsett did not let up and replaced it with Agent of Horizons, with Docsett sitting on blue to make it unblockable. While Freeman re-cast his Nyxborn Triton, Docsett had a powerful follow-up with Fleecemane Lion. Freeman deployed Coastline Chimera and braced for impact.

Docsett sent in his unblockable Agent of Horizons and his Fleecemane, which did not have enough mana for monstrosity. When Freeman went for the block, Battlewise Valor allowed Docsett to take out the Chimera. Chorus of the Tides bestowed with Nyxborn Shieldmate gave Freeman some defense, but he was sitting at 8 life, and Docsett was in control of combat when he sent in his Fleecemane Lion with all of his mana untapped. Freeman blocked with his Nyxborn Triton, then lost his Chorus to Vanquish the Foul post-combat.

Left without any answers to the Agent of Horizons at this point, and without any real pressure on his part, Freeman moved to a third game.

Marcelino Freeman

Artisan of Forms was Freeman's first play, but Docsett came out strong early on with a second-turn Fleecemane Lion. However Freeman had a solid follow-up with a bestowed Nyxborn Shieldmate, triggering the heroic effect on the Artisan, making it a Lion as well. He attacked in for 4, and Docsett was left only to race and to add Agent of Horizons to his board.

Freeman pressed on, dropping Docsett to 12 before adding Chorus of the Tides to his growing army. Docsett thought for a moment before sending in his creatures, losing Fleecemane Lion to the Chorus when Freeman went for a block. Traveling Philosopher replaced the Lion, and Docsett passed with a smaller board and down in life.

Freeman only added to his board more with Aerie Worshipper, giving him a sizable lead, especially when Docsett was unable to make any attacks. Nyxborn Triton bestowed on the Worshipper earned a concession from Docsett. "Good game," Docsett said, shaking his opponent's hand. "It's always a pleasure to play against you."

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