Round eight: Adam Bernstein vs. Sceadeau D’Tela

Posted in Event Coverage on June 7, 2003

By Brian David-Marshall

Brian David-Marshall is a New York–based game designer who has been involved with Magic since 1994, when he started organizing tournaments and ran a Manhattan game store. Since then, he has been a judge, a player, and one of the longest-tenured columnists on, as he enters his second decade writing for the site. He is also the Pro Tour Historian and one of the commentators for the Pro Tour.

“This is the format I get a feature match!!!!???” Adam Bernstein was not happy with his scores on the MQ test. “I was picking 7th or 8th the entire time—including the categories “Luck” and “Subjective”. I had maybe three first picks the whole time—although one of those was Rorix!” Ironically, Adam got that first pick just after finishing dead last in the luck department.

Game one

Sceadeau was drawing and that was good for him since he did not keep his opening draw. Adam led off with a Deftblade Elite but he chose not to provoke Sceadeau’s first play of Wirewood Herald. When the Herald blocked he saved both guys with the Elite’s ability. Sceadeau played a third turn morph and Adam played an Essence Sliver, which died blocking the morph thanks to Sylvan Might.

Adam played his first pick Rorix and swung in for six. Sceadeau had seemingly randomly flashed back Sylvan Might the turn before and the reason became apparent when he played Gorilla Titan with an empty bin. Apparent to everyone but Adam it seems. Adam used Acceptable Losses on the gorilla and was startled when it didn’t die, “No cards in yard, damn!” To make matters worse he could have salvaged the play by attacking with his Deftblade into the Herald and killing it and, consequently, the gorilla. Sceadeau was able to get in for eight points on the next turn but Rorix won out despite the errors.

Adam - 1 Sceadeau - 0

Game two

Adam made a turn two White Knight to start things off and Sceadeau came back with a morph. Adam made his own mystery man and Sceadeau played a Chainflinger but the White Knight was pecking away. He got Adam down to 16 and played a Herald but Adam sprang back to 18 cycling a Renewed Faith. Sceadeau fell to 12 and his Herald found him a Wirewood Channeler. Adam added a Ghitu Fire Eater to his team.

An unmorphed Snapping Thragg jumped a morphed Gravel Slinger but Sceadeau’s life was trickling away under the constant assault of the White Knight. Adam played a Barbarian Lunatic and used it to kill the Chainflinger and then played a Deftblade Elite and a Sunstrike Legionnaire on the next turn.

It started to look like the Snapping Thragg was turning the tide in this game as it took down a chump-blocking Legionnaire—eventually it would get the White Knight. Adam attacked with a morph and Sceadeau chumped with his Wirewood Channeler. The morph turned out to be a Bloodstoke Howler and Sceadeau used the Channeler to cycle Sunfire Balm.

The Snapping Thragg took down the 3/ 4 on the next turn with the help of a Solar Blast and Sceadeau found a Plains to play his Mystic Enforcer. Adam was out of plays and could only look on as the Thragg picked off his White Knight. Adam had some game left though and mainphase cycled a Forgotten Cave to get another card in his yard for Ancestor’s Chosen and shot right back up to 19 life.

Sceadeau attacked into the 4/4 a few turns later with his Gorilla Titan—cards in yard this time—and Adam blocked with it. Adam offered to put damage on the stack, “First strike damage?” Sceadeau looked read the Chosen and smacked himself on the forehead, “Who reads cards? Not me.”

The game was still not in the bag for either player and Adam played a morph and Sceadeau a Silklash Spider. Sceadeau tapped his mana and announced four damage to each flier—killing his own Major Teroh in the process--with his Spider. When the Ancestor’s Chosen remained on the table Sceadeau asked, “That guy doesn’t fly?” He then attacked with his Mystic Enforcer and was sad when it got Second Thoughts, “I’ll miss him.”

A Floating Shield on the Ancestor’s Chosen was what Adam needed to break through the groundstall and eventually he found it for the win.

Adam - 2 Sceadeau - 0

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