Round Twelve Feature Match: Andre Mueller (GER) vs. Stewart Shinkins (IRL)

Posted in Event Coverage on September 14, 2003

By Rui Oliveira

Stewart raced in just in time for the round, since there is a football game in progresse outside. That's football, not soccer. Stop calling it soccer. It's football. They MIGHT be playing for Top 8 as the winner is still not in even it sweeps the remaining games.

Game One

There were no Goblins around for the first few turns so it clear we were in for a long one. On turn three Mueller played Astral Slide, Shinkins responded with Silver Knight.

Andre: "At least it isn't Stabilizer."
Stewart: "On the first game? That's actually a good idea."
Andre: "Yes, it is."

For a few turns Mueller kept the Knight away. Tired of this, the Irish unleashed Akroma's Vengeance. Finally the poor Kinght got to do something. He even got a sidekick, Exalted Angel. Determined to get on the creature business as well, Mueller played Eternal Dragon.

He followed it with Astral Slide and sent his Dragon in. It seemed we were in for another Slide-controlled game. Shinkins cycled Decree of Justice for four, then played a morph and unmorphed Daru Sanctifier.

Andre: "So I have no Slide."
Stewart: "Yes! Slide is goneeee!"

He followed that with Pacifism on the Eternal Dragon and sent everyone in. Mueller went down to ten.

Stewart: "You are going down."
Andre: "yes, I am."

The Irish again attacked with everyone. Muller smiled and Starstorm for five. Stewart Shinkins grinned...

Stewart(flipping the card): "You know... I have Akroma's Blessing."
Andre: "What? I should've Starstormed in my main phase."
Stewart: "It's the new technology."

Stewart 1-0 Andre.

Andre: "I got greedy and you beat me with bad cards. I got to accept that."

Game Two

Second turn Stabilizer was bad news for Andre Mueller.

Andre: "I AM going down."
Stewart: "Yes, you are my friend. Yes, you are."

While Mueller fought to build his mana, Shinkins played a morph, gave it Dragon Scales and began the beatdown. A slow one. Mueller reached six mana and played Akroma's Vengeance to get rid of the Stabilizer.

Stewart: "Thanks, I needed to cycle."

He cycled a Dragon and returned it to hand. On the following turn he played Eternal Dragon and gave it the Scales. Mueller played his own Dragon, but it wasn't big enough to stop Stewart's. At ten Andre Mueller considered his options. he played Astral Slide, which is a pretty good answer to his problem.

A unmorphed Daru Sanctifier took care of the enchantment and Mueller again had to find some answer. He played another Slide, followed by Lighting Rift.

Stewart: "Very impressive."

Shinkins attacked and Mueller let him trhough falling to four. Shinkins thought long and hard and decided to play Akroma's Vengeance. Mueller slided away his Eternal Dragon. Sensing his opportunity Andre Mueller unleashed hell: Decree of Annihilation.

All the remained was the Dragon. It roamed free for four turns. Enough to win the game.

Stewart 1-1 Andre.

Game Three

Stewart was forced to mulligan. When his second land turned out to be a Temple of the False God everyone knew he was in trouble. Mueller played Lightning Rift but like any control deck couldn't put immediate pressure on his opponent.

Slowly the Irish climbed out of his mana hole, eventually playing Stabilizer. Mueller got stuck on five lands with a hand full of defensive spells. The Irish took his chance and played Eternal Dragon.

Just in time for land number six for Mueller and Akroma's Vengeance. Down came Exalted Angel with Dragon Scales. Mueller answered with Astral Slide, keeping the Slide away. The game dragged on for a few turns until Shinkins found a Vengeance.

Andre Mueller cycled like a madman, looking for another Slide. He found it. Again, Stewart could only shrug and sent his Angel in. This time Mueller tried a different trick: Wing Shards. In came Daru Sanctifier to ice the enchantment and Dawn Elemental to put some pressure.

With the clock ticking away the pace of match picked up considerably. Andre played Eternal Dragon and Shinkins answered with his own Dragon, although this one was Scaled. The German Dragon took one for the team and Starstorm got rid of Shinkins' creatures (apart from the Elemental).

Back came the Dragon and with it the Scales. This time Mueller used Wing Shards. A SECOND Irish Dragon brought the Scales back on the same turn.

Andre: "Those Scales are killing me!"

Shinkins returned the other Dragon but instead decided to play Akroma. Mueller lost his last blocker but cycled into Akrtoma's Vengeance with a sigh of relief.

Stewart: "Nice."

The Dragons continued to dance with some advantage for Stewart Shinkins. ANOTHER Vengeance sent them away for a turn. But Shinkins had mana, and at this stage mana equals Eternal Dragons. With no easy way out Andre Mueller was forced to hardcast Decree of Annihilation.

With the clock on the last few minutes, with the pressure of the game Stewart Shinkins made a crucial mistake. A costly mistake. He partially shuffled his graveyard into his deck resolving the Decree. This obviously resulted in some judges getting called to the table.

Stewart: "That was so stupid. I'm so nervous."

It turned out to be a game loss.

Final result:
Andre 2-1 Stewart.

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