Round 9 Feature Match: Justin Gary vs. Olle Råde

Posted in Event Coverage

By Ben Ronaldson

Justin Gary vs. Olle Råde

Both players sat down at the table not feeling too impressed with their decks, despite having won their last rounds. Justin was playing a r-b deck with a couple of green cards in - a Shivan Wurm being the major feature of the deck, having won both games by itself in his round 8 match. Olle was playing (not surprisingly) a blue deck - u-w with loads of Hobbles and Pollen Remedies.

Olle Råde and Justin Gary had met twice before this match, both times in Italy. At PT Rome, Justin had won the PT Jank mirror match, both of them having made Top 8, but in GP Florence, Råde had smashed Gary's Oath deck with Stasis - the match-up being heavily in his favor.

Game 1

Olle won the toss and elected to play first, making the first play on turn 2 - a Benalish Trapper, which managed to serve once before a Viashino Grappler hit the table, shortly followed by a 4/3 Mire Kavu. The latter was Hobbled immediately but was then backed up with a Stone Kavu. Feeling the pressure, but still at 20 life, Råde made a Disciple of Kangee which traded with the Grappler, but was then dismayed to see a Shivan Wurm screech into play bouncing the Hobbled Kavu. The Tapper had been managing to hold off the Stone Kavu, but this was too much for the little dude, so Olle cast Rushing River with kicker and returned both the Stone Kavu and the Wurm to Justin's hand and made a Metathran Transport. This card was a good card to have with as much blue mana as he did, as the Swede could stop the Shivan Wurm coming into play as it could make all his opponent's creatures blue.

Gary had to start re-deploying his creatures then, which was a reasonably slow process, whilst Råde made a Tower Drake, and then gained card advantage with a Silver Drake bouncing the Tower Drake to get rid of a Mourning Gary had laid on it, and tapped out to do so.

Justin Gary

Things started to go wrong for the Scandinavian from this point. First his Transport blocked the Viashino Grappler, then the Grappler was Death Bombed to kill the Trapper, leaving him with only a Silver Drake in play. Despite the Stone Kavu on the table Olle started trying to race - attacked with the Drake then made a Lotus Guardian. Plague Spores soon dealt with this though, so Gary could swing back with the Stone Kavu and bring the life totals to an even 14. Still feeling like he had the offensive advantage Råde once again attacked with the Silver Drake and then made his Tower Drake again. Justin then cast Sinister Strength on his Kavu and served unblocked for 9 then Terminated the Silver Drake.

With the life totals at 11 - 5 to Justin, I am sure he was surprised to see the Tower Drake serving again, but this was explained by a Shoreline Raider. Gary cast Recover - took a Grappler and recast his Mire Kavu. At this stage, Råde knew he could no longer attack and held back. Justin then attacked with both Kavus. The Sinister Strengthed Stone Kavu was double blocked and the Mire Kavu reduced Olle to 1, but a Pollen remedy was cast to protect his two creatures, although I think some of the damage from the Mire Kavu could have been prevented easily as the Tower Drake could have used white mana to save some of the damage... Then the Shivan Wurm hit the table again. All Råde could do was make a Glimmering Angel as the beast swung in for the kill. Råde had a second Pollen Remedy, but prevented the damage all to the Glimmering Angel, not realizing the trample damage would kill him until it was too late. Looking at his next two cards, Olle told me after that he thinks he would have won if he had played it better - there was a Hobble and a Trapper I think.

Game 2

Olle Råde

Justin Gary sideboarded in a Star Compass. This game was weird as first Olle mulliganed down to six, then Justin went down to five. But oh boy was his hand good: Forest, Mountain, Swamp, Star Compass and Stone Kavu.

Sure enough the Stone Kavu managed to hit play on the fourth turn, while Olle stalled on 1 land for 2 turns until he finally made a Benalish Trapper on turn 4, then a Stormscape Familiar on turn 5 with still only two land in play. The Trapper was Scorched, then a Rogue Kavu was made. For a brief second, Olle might have thought that he was safe when he laid a Hobble on the Stone Kavu then an unkicked Prison Barricade to trade with the Rogue Kavu but then Shivan Wurm came into play again, returning the Hobbled Stone Kavu. The Shivan Wurm managed to do 14 damage before Rushing River was cast, but Råde was on 2 life with a Pollen Remedy in hand. When Råde was tapped out for blue mana Justin said "I don't think you can do anything about this" and cast Death Bomb, which uses life loss as opposed to damage and he won the match.

Final Result: Justin Gary won 2-0

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