Round eleven: Dave Williams 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 DailyMTG.com, 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.

Dave won the rules set that gives all instants and sorceries Flashback and Buyback—although you can’t buyback spells that are flashed back because THAT would be broken, right? Dave knew this was the rules set he wanted coming into the auction and managed to win it with a bid of 7 cards and 25 life. When he was bidding it was with a certain deck in mind that he and Bob Maher Jr. had discussed before the event. They had talked about a prison deck that used Sapphire Medallions to cast spells like Exhaustion and Mana Short over and over again but Bob stumbled across the idea of switching to an MBC deck that abused cards like Vampiric Tutor, Duress, Innocent Blood, and Mutilate with Jet Medallions. The deck even has an infinite mana combo. With threshold and a Jet medallion out you can use a Cabal Ritual—which would cost only 3B to play with buyback—to make BBBBB or one extra mana every time you buy it back.

Sceadeau is playing a wacky deck that makes mana provide any color he wants from his mana pool. Additionally, all of his creatures are slivers. “I have never gotten to cast Duress and Meddling Mage on the same turn,” he offered in way of an explanation as to why he chose this deck over a powerful Tinker deck that had been tossed around by some of the other players. He was starting with 8 cards and 25 life.

Game one

Dave opened with a Swamp which he used to Vampiric Tutor in response to Sceadeau’s Duress. Sceadeau had played a City of Traitors so he was also able to play a Llanowar Elf that turn. “That is ridiculous,” Dave exclaimed. “A 1/1 Bird of Paradise!” Dave lost one of two Tainted Pacts to the Duress and played a Jet Medallion—his Tutor target—on the next turn. Sceadeau played a Meddling Mage naming Mutilate, a Rishadan Port, and Duress taking the other Tainted Pact.

Dave played a Cabal Coffers which kept Sceadeau’s Port occupied for several turns while he flew over with Meddling Mage, Winged Sliver and Muscle Sliver. Dave used his Coffers on his upkeep to Diabolic Edict with buyback and took out an elf and a Winged Sliver over the course of two turns. Eventually he had enough mana to Corrupt the Meddling Mage. “I’ll miss him,” came Sceadeau’s trademark replay. Dave was at seven but finally able to Mutilate the board but he was hanging on by a thread. Two Shocks dropped him to three and he was not able to use his Coffers except for instants thanks to two Ports and a City of Traitors. Dave was building up his mana and was able to flash his Tainted pacts back and he found another Jet Medallion, which gave him the mana to flashback Corrupt and get to a relatively safe 12. Now he had a Tainted Pact with buyback going and he was able to find any card he wanted—including Corrupt with buyback.

Dave - 1 Sceadeau - 0

Game two

Both players were still getting used to their unique rules sets as well as their hand sizes and life totals. Sceadeau was looking at his hand of seven when he remembered, “I have to draw one more card…and we’re both at 25. How weird!”

Wasteland powered up a Duress—which seemed much weirder to me—and took an Unmask from Dave who merely played a Swamp on his turn. City of Traitors powered out a Llanowar Elf and a True Believer. Dave played the dangerous Jet Medallion—a card he absolutely could not find until moments before the tournament when Michael Musser generously offered to zip home and bring back an armful of unusual cards for players flailing about to complete their decks.

Crystalline Sliver promised to make things interesting. Dave could not target Michael—True Believer—or any of his creatures—Crystalline Sliver. “What the eff is going on here?” Dave had a plan though. He was able to cast Innocent Blood with buy back starting on turn three and the True Believer was the first man down.

Sceadeau was not without options either and he Living Wished for Hibernation Sliver and was able to return both of his slivers when Dave blooded again. He took out the Innocent Bloods with Duresses but Dave bought some time by flashing them back. Eventually Dave found a Mutilate and started casting that with buyback and Sceadeau kept returning his slivers.

Finally Dave was able to Tutor for Cabal Ritual. He used it to cast Mutilate and Edict and achieved Threshold. He then Death Wished for another Cabal Ritual and made infinite mana and then proceeded to cast Corrupt with buyback infinite times.

Dave - 2 Sceadeau - 0

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