Round twelve: Aaron Rzepka vs. Adam Bernstein

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.

The auction portion of this event was tricky business. A number of players wanted to win Adam Bernstein’s Rules set but accidentally won others when they tried to drive the price up. Adam, on the other hand, had no plans to win this one but somehow got for the lowest possible price of 8 cards and 25 life. His rules set allows him to “impulse” for three cards with any spell in his deck by paying it’s casting cost. Zero casting cost artifacts had not occurred to Adam but his eyes opened when it was suggested to him. He is playing a combo deck that cycles into threshold and Cabal Rituals out a hasty Phage on the opening turns of the game.

He was undefeated in this portion of the event to this point. Somehow he managed to hand Neil Reeves only his second loss of the event last round. Neil’s instants cost one less and his deck features 12 turn one counterspells!

He is undefeated in the format thus far and is not expecting much resistance from Aaron Rzepka who is playing a rules set which allows you to skip a draw to search your library for a land and put it into play. Additionally his creatures all have morph and can be unmorphed for their casting cost minus 2. He built the deck into an explosive version of Trinity.

Game one

Aaron opened with a Forest, which was quite underwhelming in the face of Adam’s first turn, which saw him filter though an Ornithopter, Shifting Wall, Spellbook, Spellbook and another Ornithopter to find a Mox Diamond and Duress away Aaron’s Winter’s Grasp.

Aaron skipped his next draw and put a forest into play and played another Forest and a Priest of Titania. Adam’s decks other ability is to draw from the bottom of his deck—handy when you are Impulsing—and he used that to draw an Infernal Contract, which he cast off of Cabal Ritual. He then filtered through a couple of artifacts and then cast another Cabal Ritual and then another. He used Cabal Therapy on himself naming Anger and played Phage with the rest of his mana. Aaron scooped after a few turns of chump blocking dried up.

Adam - 1 Aaron - 0

Game two

Aaron “exploded” out of the gate with elves—Llanowar, Roffellos, Priest and Lyrist on the first three turns. He had chumpblockers aplenty this game but Adam filtered into the combo and had Dirge of Dread for the kill.

Adam - 2 Aaron - 0

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