Round nine: Trent Boneau vs. Don “The Governor” Paul

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.

Trent is perhaps the best kept secret in Texas. Unheralded for his skills outside of Texas, this deliberate player (btw: whenever a feature match reporter says ‘deliberate’ they actually mean ‘painfully slow to cover’) has qualified for every individual Limited Pro Tour and the last three team events. He can’t always attend and has yet to make an appearance on Day 2 but no one at this event looks forward to playing against the man the call the Dave Humphries of Texas.

Not surprisingly, Trent had the highest score on the MQ test and is 2 and 0 with a deck full of first picks. His opponent, the immensely popular Governor is 1 and 1 after losing two games to Sterling Savage casting Biorhythm. “He cast it in three games though,” exclaimed the Governor trying to salvage something from the loss.

Game one

Don got out to an early lead courtesy of a Dusk Imp suited up in Improvised Armor. Trent was unruffled and played a Snarling Undurak followed by a Ridgetop Raptor. Don tried to kill the Raptor by blocking with a Serpent Warrior—he fell to 10 to cast it—and Trent used the ability of the Undurak to pump the Raptor and kill the serpent with First strike. “Oh, he’s a beast! I forgot about that.”

Don tried to fortify with a Daunting Defender and figured he could let the Raptor through for a turn but Trent had a Muscle Burst and was able to cast it to double strike the governor out.

Trent -1 Don - 0

Game two

Don played a Starlight Invoker and Venerable Monk on the first three turns while Trent made a morph. Don used Innocent Blood and gave up his monk for the face down Undurak. Phantom Cenatur loomed large on Trent’s next turn and it took down to 17 a turn later. Don played a Swooping Talon and used it to prokoke the Centaur into a more manageable power and toughness and added a Screeching Buzzard to his airforce. Barkhide Mauler came down and Don only attacked with his Buzzard. He enchanted his Talon with Shade’s Form and passed the turn back. Trent saw that Don was eight mana and would soon be gaining five a turn with the infuriating Invoker and cast Overrun. Don had to block to stay alive. He pumped his Talon twicew to minimize the trample damage—he was forced to sac an Abandoned Outpost to do so but he had another land in hand and started gainign five a turn while his fliers finished Trent off.

Trent - 1 Don - 1

Game three

This game was all Trent as he curved out over Don’s creatures with Chatter of the Squirrel on the first two turns, a Morph on each the next few including a Snarling Undurak. Muscle Burst and Firebolt finished off a couple of guys and then Barkhide Mauler and Blanchwood Armor were too much for Don to handle even with a Shade’s Formed Swooping Talon.

Trent - 2 Don -1

Trent went 3 and 0 but did not emerge as the MQ format winner. Aaron Rzepka won with fewer game losses—Trent was 6-2, Aaron did not drop a game. Trent did manage to end the day in 6th place after an inauspicious two losses in each of the first two formats.

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