Semifinals: Rich Douglas vs. Kush Patel

Posted in Event Coverage on June 12, 2002

By Alex Shvartsman

Gainsay
Patel has an advantage in this Psychatog mirror matchup because he is essentially pre-sideboarded for it. His main deck features Gainsay and Deep Analysis

Game 1

After taking a mulligan, Patel missed a third land drop and got two of his Nightscape Familiars countered. Douglas took full advantage of his opponent's misfortune, summoning a Nightscape Familiar and casting Fact or Fiction main phase.

Patel held up fairly well over the many turns during which he was stuck at two mana. As he was manascrewed, Douglas was mana-flooded, and could not muster many threats. Over the next few turns, Patel managed to stabilize the board, finally draw some lands, counter the game-winning Upheaval, and get Psychatog into play. His opponent summoned a second Familiar and was able to punch through for one point of damage per turn, by attacking with his two regenerators.

Although he took an early beating, Patel was beginning to recover. He cast more card economy spells and was looking like he was going to pull this one out – but Douglas managed to win a counter war over a Repulse at the end of Patel's turn, leaving the path free for his Psychatog. He had more than enough cards in hand and graveyard to pump it up, Patel's early mana problems earning Douglas the win.

Sideboard

Patel
Out: Deep Analysis, Nightscape Familiar, 2 Repulse, 2 Circular Logic
In: 4 Lobotomy, 2 Mana Short

Douglas
Out: 4 Force Spike, Memory Lapse, Psychatog, Probe, 2 Upheaval
In: 4 Duress, 3 Deep Analysis, 2 Cabal Torturer

Game 2

Lobotomy
Once again, Douglas managed to out-mana his opponent. It was not nearly as drastic as game 1 – Patel did lay lands for the first four turns of the game. However, not missing any land drops is really important in this matchup, and Patel had four when Douglas had seven out.

Douglas drew four extra cards thanks to Deep Analysis, but Patel had a Nightscape Familiar attacking every turn. When Patel tried to cast Fact or Fiction, Douglas Repulsed the creature and countered it. However, it left him tapped out and allowed Patel to Lobotomize his Familiars. A second Lobotomy did not catch anything really important – Patel took out his opponent's Repulses.

The game took about thirty minutes total, but was not very exciting. Players battled over card economy, casting Deep Analysis, Probes, and Facts – but it was those Lobotomies earlier in the game that helped push the game in Patel's favor.

Sideboard

Patel
In: Memory Lapse
Out: Deep Analysis

Douglas
In: 2 Upheaval
Out: 2 Memory Lapse

Game 3

Douglas started off with a Duress, taking Mana Short but leaving his opponent with a pair of Lobotomies. Patel topdecked and cast a Nightscape Familiar. He topdecked a Gainsay and cast Lobotomy next turn, but he did not even need it – Douglas did not have any permission spells, and lost his three Psychatogs. Knowing that the second Lobotomy is imminent, Douglas cast Probe to discard his Upheaval and Circular Logic. He still ended up losing his Fact or Fictions to Lobotomy next turn.

Douglas was able to cast more Deep Analysis to draw extra cards, but with seven crucial cards removed from his deck, he was drawing a lot of mana. Patel, on the other hand, drew and cast his countermagic, winning one crucial bout after another. Eventually Douglas was fighting just to get a Cabal Torturer into play as a chump blocker against an opposing Psychatog. Even though he managed to get it into play, Patel drew the seventh land he needed to cast Chainer's Edict out of the graveyard and win the match that turn.

Final Result: Patel 2 – Douglas 1

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