Round 9 Feature Match: James Hollister vs. Chris Pregent

Posted in Event Coverage

By Toby Wachter

Game 1

Chris won the die roll and went first, but mulliganed his opening hand. He played a Forest and a Mountain, and did not play any threats until turn three when he played an unkicked Thunderscape Battlemage. James had out Coastal Tower and Underground River, and played Accumulated Knowledge at the end of the turn. Chris then attacked with the Battlemage, and played an Elf, followed by a second unkicked Battlemage, which was Absorbed. Chris continued to play threats with Shivan Wurm, which was Counterspelled.

All the while, the Battlemage was slowly dealing two points of damage every turn. Saproling Burst was played, and Foiled. Wrath of God was played, killing off a Battlemage, an Elf and a Bird. Chris played a Port, and had only one card left in his hand. James then cast Fact or Fiction, and the piles were separated into Accumulated Knowledge/Tsabo's Web and Counterspell/Last Breath/Underground River. After some thought, James took the pile of two. Tsabo's Web came down soon after, nullifying James' Port. At the end of the turn, another Accumulated Knowledge was played, giving James even more card advantage over his opponent.

Speaking of card advantage, Probe with kicker was then played on his turn, and in response Chris cast Urza's Rage- the only card in his hand. James discarded Nether Spirit and Tsabo's Web. The Spirit came back on the following turn, giving James a clock to work with. He then cast another Probe with kicker, forcing Chris to lose a Flametongue Kavu. James discarded Dromar's Cavern and Underground River.

At this point, Chris' resources were next to none, and James had a hand filled with answers to any potential threat. James shrugged aside all of Chris' attempts to take control of the game, and Nether Spirit went all the way.

Hollister 1 - Pregent 0

Game 2

Chris started off the next game strong with a first turn Llanowar Elf, followed up by a turn two Chimeric Idol. He played a Fires of Yavimaya on the following turn, which was counterd with Foil, discarding Nether Spirit. The Idol then activated, and attacked. Nether Spirit returned on James' upkeep, giving him a blocker for the Idol. Another Idol showed up on Chris' side, but it was Absorbed. At this point Chris started breaking out the major threats, and summoned a Blastoderm, which was also Absorbed.

A few turns passed with neither player doing anything beyond drawing a card and ending their turn. Chris broke the monotony by playing a Fires, and attacking with both Elves and his Idol. The Elf was blocked and killed by Nether Spirit. At the end of the turn, Chris played two consecutive Accumulated Knowledge. Chis attempted Ghitu Fire for two on the Nether Spirit, and it was Misdirected to the Elf. Play slowed down again, with the Spirit and Idol staring at each other. A second Idol was soon played, and it resolved. Both attacked, and one was blocked, allowing three damage to get through.

Chris continued to apply pressure with Blastoderm, which was countered with Dromar's Charm. Both Idols attacked again, dealing another three points of damage. Blood Oath was played a turn later, and James responded by targeting an Idol with a kicked Dismantling Blow. The Blood Oath resolved on instants, dealing six points of damage. A Fact or Fiction and Accumulated Knowledge were cast a few turns later, gaining James a significant amount of card advantage.

However, Chris had out Idol, Elf and Fires, and James was at a dangerously low life total. He was forced to play a second Nether Spirit, and they both blocked on the following attack phase. The fires was sacrificed to pump the Elf, and both Nether Spirits stayed in the graveyard, clearing the way for Chris' next attack.

Game 3

Chris opened with a turn one Bird, and played a turn two Fires while James played Accumulated Knowledge. The next turn saw Chris explode with his mana production, playing a Bird, an Elf and an Idol (which was Dismantled away). A Blastoderm on the following turn was Absorbed. Chris did not play any threats on the following turn, so James played Fact or Fiction once it ended. Chris responded by playing Ghitu Fire as an Instant, dealing four damage to James. The piles presented off Fact or Fiction were Plains/Island/Nether Spirit/Wrath of God and Accumulated Knowledge. James took the pile of four. He had to discard during his end step, and pitched Nether Spirit.

This was a huge mistake by Chris. His reasoning was to force James to take the pile of one if he desired to put Nether Spirit in the graveyard, but he neglected to realize that four cards meant that James would have to discard at the end of his turn. This allowed him to put Nether Spirit in the graveyard, and gave him three other cards to boot. This provided enough card advantage for James to take control of the game. Chris played Obliterate, but it didn't matter much as the Nether Spirit came right back. Time was called, and James discarded a second Nether Spirit for enough damage to win.

Final Result: Hollister 2 - Pregent 1

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