Round two: Rob Lawing vs. Bryon Lyons

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.

Rob Lawing, a successful trial attorney and powerful orator, is the Godfather of the Texas Magic scene. He is one of the founders of the Texas Guildmages, a group of players that gets together every week since what seems like the dawn of time. If Rob is the godfather then Bryon Lyons is one of the nephews. One of a recent crop of young Texas magic players threatening to make a name for themselves on the Pro Tour. “We’re teammates,” explained Rob tugging at the collar of his spiffy new Guildmage polo shirt, “But Bryan didn’t get the new shirt.”

Bryan’s deck is very good. He was sitting next to his future roommate Adam Bernstein during the draft and the two players handed each other the thirteen best cards in their respective packs on sliver platters. Bryan’s deck is a tight two colors while Rob is sporting the dreaded 6/6/5 mana as well as a Riftstone Portal.

Game one

Both players kept their hands and Bryan played a turn two Goblin Turncoat. Rob played a Monk Idealist and a Snorting Gahr sandwiching Bryan’s play of Skittering Skirge. Bryan got three in with the Skirge but had to play a morph and lost his 3/2 flier. Rob enchanted his Idealist with Venomous Fangs and swung in with his guys. Bryan traded his Turncoat for the enchanted monk and took three from the Gahr, which he Death Pulsed on his next turn.

Rob was out of cards he could cast with his green and white mana and he knocked on his deck for islands but the deck was not obliging. Meanwhile Bryan played cards that Rob kept spinning around to read; Keeneye Aven, “One of those new fangled cards!” and Zombie Boa. He read the Boa twice to make sure he could block it with his colorless morph and flip up his Vigilante to kill it in combat. Bryan’s unmorphed Aphetto Exterminator made the whole situation moot and Rob scooped with an Island on top of his deck.

Rob - 0 Bryan - 1

As they were shuffling up for game two, Don James passed by. Don is the madman who created all of the formats for this event and did an amazing job with Event Horizons impresario Tim Weissman to put on a heck of a show. “Ooooh, I wanted you to feature Neil Reeves this round and Lyons next round—since he’s gonna go 2-0.”

Bryan rolled his eyes and then teased Rob, “Great, I’m doomed. I think I can still do better than last game.”

“I remember when you were a humble little kid…

“Like when you were nine!”

Game two

As Rob mulliganed his hand he explained his dominance—of sorts—in this event. “I have two horse’s asses but Zandi took the title away from me last year.” The horse’s ass is an actual trophy of the posterior of a horse that is ‘awarded’ to the worst finisher in the tournament. Zandi is Jeff Zandi, Brainburst writer and another Texas Guildmage. “I have them on my mantle!”

Satisfied with his next six cards thay got the game underway with a Monk Idealist for Rob and a morph for Bryan. Neither player had a fourth turn creature and Lawing cast AK to find one and attempted a Teroh’s Faithful only to have it met with Rewind, “You got a hanful of counters?” Bryan: “Yup.”

Alright, maybe he was bluffing about counters but he had a fistful of answers. Rob played out a Pious Warrior and a Seal of Strength. The Warrior was sat on by a Faceless Butcher. Rob played a Barkhide Mauler which Bryan grabbed in a Spinal Embrace. When Rob used Seal of Strength, played a Silver Drake and then replayed the Idealist and the Seal of Strength he was crushed when Bryan had Dominate for the flier.

“Zandi! Lyons gets no cards for the constructed portion! He’s at a table with TWO teammates and Bernstein and he does the fix with Bernstein. No cards!”

Bryan knew Rob was joking but still offered an explanation, “We’re moving in together!”

Rob - 0 Bryan - 2

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