By Paul Barclay
After an unlikely win in the quarterfinal, it seemed like the sickening luck of Joe Connolly would continue. However as it turned out his luck had come to an end in a matchup that was hard for him to lose, he couldn't draw anything that he needed. With both players finishing their quarters early, the match got underway long before the other semi, giving the winner the chance at a long dinner break, which could prove decisive in the final.
Having won the die roll, Copeman elected to play first, however he did not play a spell until turn 4 where he hard cast a Land Grant. Despite the amount of land that Copeman had drawn, Connolly was unable to capitalize on the slow start, even his third turn scroll rack couldn't yield results for him. Combined with Gaea's Blessing, Copeman was searching through a large portion of his deck for his Explorations, Horns, or Oath of Druids, but could not find anything to help him. When Copeman did finally draw into nonland spells, Connolly could do little as he Forced a Survival of the Fittest into play, by luring Counterspells with Tradewind Riders. From there the game was Copeman's and it was only a matter of time before the Squee Survival engine got going, and within 6 turns he had a Tradewind, a Machinist, a Mother of Runes and a Quirion Ranger. As a last ditch effort Connolly cast an Obliterate, but without his Explorations he had no chance of recovering faster than the Survival Deck and he conceded game 1.
Although the pre-game favorite, Connolly was now down one game and if he drew like he did in the first he stood no chance in the second game. Again Connolly started well with a second turn scroll rack, but despite racking he was unable to stop a turn 3 Survival of the Fittest. If he couldn't get to an Oath of Druids fast he stood little chance of winning this game, as the Squee Survival engine is just too much to handle for the Obliterate deck. With an amazing draw, Copeman was able to Survival his way into an early Tradewind Rider lock, and despite being tapped out was able to Force of Will the Horn of Greed that Copeman attempted to play on turn 4. From there all Copeman had to do was secure his Tradewind lock by getting more creatures from his deck via Squee and the game was his, and this was exactly what he did. By turn 8 Connelly was facing a hoard of creatures on the other side of the board and when he finally got his Oath it was Monk Realisted. Connolly gathered up his cards, a little disappointed, but still happy with 4th place overall and the US $1000 prize money.
Final Result: Copeman defeated Connolly. 2-0