Semifinal Feature Match: Jay Elarar vs. Zvi Mowshowitz

Posted in Event Coverage

By Josh Bennett

Zvi Mowshowitz

This match was billed as The Duel of the Metagame Masters. Zvi Mowshowitz took Pro Tour-Tokyo with "The Solution", a deck designed to punish a field of red. Jay Elarar anticipated the environment of Pro Tour Chicago, and took his Blue Skies deck to the Top 8. For the Masters, Mowshowitz chose to play Domain, a popular choice among the competitors. Elarar decided on green-red, a color combination he shared only with Satoshi Nakamura. However, Elarar forsaw the amount of countermagic that would be played, and chose to run maindeck Kavu Chameleons.

Elarar's mascot, a small stuffed duck, sat on the table with a copy of the Torah open in front of him. It was 9:11 of Ecclesiastes, the passage reading "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."

Elarar dealt out his opening hand, looked at it, and put it back down, thinking for all to see. He picked it up again and chose to keep. Mowshowitz decided to stay with his hand in a flash.

Mowshowitz played a Chromatic Sphere and passed the turn. Elarar made a Thornscape Familiar. Mowshowitz played a Swamp and enchanted it with Fertile Ground, cycling his Chromatic Sphere. Elarar dropped a second Shivan Oasis and ended his turn. Without early pressure, things were looking good for Mowshowitz, though his only business spell was Allied Strategies.

Zvi Mowshowitz vs. Jay Elarar

He untapped and Harrowed into an island and a mountain, putting a second Fertile Ground on the Island. Elarar kicked up a Skizzik, knocking Mowshowitz to 11. Mowshowitz drew a non-card and had no choice but to tap out for the Strategies and play the hoping defense. Maybe Elarar wouldn't kill him.

Maybe.

The Strategies yielded the Collective Restraint, but the card was of dubious quality, considering Elarar's impending healthectomy. Mowshowitz passed the turn.

Elarar dropped Raging Kavu and manufactured trauma. He finished the job with Urza's Rage.

Mowshowitz knew his chances were slim and accepted his fate with a smile, saying "Restraint or no, that's all this is." punctuated by a machinegun burst of his trademark laugh.

Boarding for Game 2, he swapped two Global Ruin, two Fact or Fiction and one Allied Strategies for two Rith, the Awakeners and three Heroes' Reunion. Elarar took out his expensive spells for more burn, Thunderscape Battlemages and Overabundance.

Mowshowitz's seven card hand had no land. This drew a whoop from the Elarar Fan Club that had taken up residence in the gallery. Their cries increased when he went back for seconds. He kept his five card hand, containing island, mountain, Collective Restraint, Restock and Allied Strategies.

Elarar managed to decode the correct play of his hand. He led with Thornscape Familiar and Blurred Mongoose. Mowshowitz played Worldly Counsel to find his third land, a forest. Elarar made a second Mongoose and chose to turn sideways.

Jay Elarar

With Restraint in hand, Mowshowitz only needed to draw a land to lock out Elarar's creatures and get on the Path to Victory. He drew Chromatic Sphere instead, staying firmly on the Path to "Get Bent".

He cycled the Sphere and put a Fertile Ground on his swamp. Elarar hit him with Scorching Lava at end of turn. He untapped and swung for six. A Ghitu Fire left Mowshowitz at 3.

Mowshowitz played out the Restraint, but saw the end coming. Elarar flashed Urza's Rage.

Final Results: Elarar defeats Mowshowitz 2-0

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