Round fifteen: Neil Reeves 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.

Sceadeau winced as I came over to cover this match. “Great, now I’ll be 0-4 in feature match coverage!” Neil shot me surprised look, “Oh and four! You’ve only covered me once!”

Sceadeau completed his block with Urza’s Destiny and built a Replenish deck that features Astral Slide and Lightning Rift. The deck creates some insane card interactions with Astral Slide protecting enchantments that are creatures thanks to Opalescence. Neil is also ‘splashing’ Onslaught block into an Alliances counter-post deck with Exalted Angel, Wall of Deceit and Akroma’s Vengeance rounding out the deck. “I started playing around Alliances and I bought two packs. One had a Thawing Glaciers and a Browse and the other had a Balduvian Hordes.” Neil understood even then that the two packs offered two directions he could travel with Magic. “I traded the Balduvian for three more Glaciers and three more Browse.” The cards he is using today.

Game one

Sceadeau opened with a Forgotten cave and Neil quipped, “I’ll play a comes-into-play-tapped land as well!” Grinning as he played his treasured Thawing Glaciers. Sceadeau played a Lightning Rift and a morph and Neil seemed content to play Thaw-Go until something alarmed him. An unmorphed Exalted Angel seemed to fit the bill and Neil promptly cast Reprisal and cast his own Angel face-up.

Sceadeau cast an Astral Slide and cycled a land to remove the attacking Angel on the next turn. Neil said thanks and cast Akroma’s Vengeance killing all of his opponent’s enchantments with his Angel out of harm’s way. Sceadeau shrugged and extracted Vengeance of his own. A flurry of morphs on both side of the table ended in a Starstorm for 5 from Sceadeau. Neil smiled as he used a Plains to activate a Thawing Glaciers during his next main phase and sac’d it when he played a Kjeldoran Outpost. He also played out a morph.

Sceadeau would have to deal with the Outpost later and Starstormed the morph away. Neil grinned as he put his Wall of Deceit into the bin. He cast Browse only to have it Vengeanced away. Neil played another morph and Sceadeau played an Opalescence. “I’m on my way… If you still had the Browse you could have swung with it. I’ll bet you never swung with Browse before!” Neil waggled his eyebrows and drawled, “That would be a lie.” He played another morph.

“Mainphase is how I do it baby,” joked Sceadeau as he attempted another Starstorm only to have it Complicated. Neil kept swinging with his morphs and Sceadeau played a Lightning Rift—a blocker! Neil Pacified the Rift—one of the most bizarre things I saw all day—and Sceadeau used Aura Extraction to liberate the Rift. When Neil reattempted the Pacify it was countered with Akroma’s Blessing. Neil was chomping at the bit to counter back but could not, “I want to counter that soooo badly but you could have Starstorm #4. I don’t think you understand the extent to which I want to counter that!”

“That was the right move,” offered Sceadeau showing him the Vengeance in his hand.

Neil - 1 Sceadeau - 0

Game two

Neil opened with the ridiculous Thawing Glaciers again and Demystified Sceadeau’s third turn Lightning Rift. Sceadeau followed up with an Opalescence and Neil grinned as he played out a 4/4 Browse. It quickly turned to a frown when Slice and Dice ‘disenchanted’ the Alliances enchantment. “He just wrathed my Browse!” Neil played out an Outpost which would give him the edge in any long game so Sceadeau began plying out Angels. One met with reprisal and the other was Pacified.

Eventually Sceadeau found a 3/3 Astral Slide to block a dude every turn and save his Angel from the Pacifism. When Neil cast Akroma’s Vengeance Sceadeau was able to save his Astral Slide with itself but he lost the Opalescence. Neil played out two Angels and when Sceadeau attempted a second Slide it was “denied in an arcane manner.”

Neil eventually overwhelmed him with little guys on the ground and giant flying women in the air.

Neil - 2 Sceadeau - 0

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