Vintage Finals – Paul Mastriano vs. Mark Hornung

Posted in Event Coverage on August 5, 2011

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

Game One

Hornung started the first game off with a Serum Powder, followed by a mulligan to six…then five, all in search of a Bazaar of Baghdad. He found it, and they were off. Both players made a show of the early turns of the game. Hornung used his Bazaar to start his dredge engine, building up a massive graveyard on the second turn. Mastriano played a Mox and a Black Lotus in addition to his land to put him up to five mana before letting Hornung do his worst.

Well, his worst seemed to be pretty good. Dredging a significant portion of his library into his graveyard on his turn, he played a land to bring back a couple of Bloodghasts, which he used to cast a pair of Cabal Therapies, stripping the Force of Will from Mastriano's hand. Mastriano was stuck facing a formidable army of Bridge from Below Zombies before untapping for his second turn. When he did, he simply made a Trygon Predator and passed the turn with a Mox Sapphire up. Undeterred, Hornung did what his deck does, milling his deck, getting back Narcomoebas (which he remembered this time), sacrificing them for various things, and vomiting Zombies of various shapes and sizes onto the table. Combined with his Flame-kin Zealot, the hasty and large army of Zombies smashed in for way more than lethal. Mastriano chump blocked one of the Zombies with his Trygon, while the rest of the Zombies dropped him to approximately negative brazillion.

Paul Mastriano 0 – Mark Hornung 1

Game Two

Stephen Menendian, who was playing 73 of the same cards as Mastriano, admitted after the first game that Mastriano only had about a 5% chance of winning the first game. Things get significantly better when he gets to put the large amount of sideboard hate that has limited the sideboard space of every deck in Vintage since the word Dredge was first printed on a card. One of those cards is Leyline of the Void, which Mastriano managed to find after a mulligan to six. Putting the hate-filled enchantment into play on his side, Mastriano played a Pithing Needle as well, naming Bazaar of Baghdad. With those two cards in play, Hornung was virtually dead. When a second Leyline hit play, the game was absolutely sealed. Hornung wasn't able to find the absurd number of [autocard]Nature's Claim[autocard]s he needed to be able to use his cards before Mastriano was able to drop [autocard]Voltaic Key[autocard] and [autocard]Time Vault[autocard], assembling the Time Machine, and take as many turns as necessary to win the game.

Paul Mastriano 1 – Mark Hornung 1

Well, that was certainly a different game than the first. This time around, rather than being the whipping boy as Dredge ran rampant on him, Mastriano was able to completely exert his will on Hornung, completely locking him out of the game, much as Hornung had done to him.

The second game started out in similar fashion, much to the dismay of Hornung. Mastriano started with a Leyline of the Void before drawing into a Pithing Needle. The trio of Moxen in his hand allowed Mastriano to get a massive advantage, as well as locking Hornung's deck strategy up. Hornung used his Bazaar one time before it got locked off, trading his three worst cards for an opportunity to draw into a Nature's Claim…or two. He did manage to find one, which immediately ate the Leyline of the Void. Trying to end things before Hornung could get back into the game, Mastriano used a Vampiric Tutor to snag a Tinker, allowing him to get a Blightsteel Colossus. For his draw step, Hornung went yard, ripping a Chain of Vapor to send the Colossus packing. In addition, he had another Nature's Claim to free his Bazaar from the Pithing Needle! Welcome to Vintage, where you can be guaranteed victory one moment and have your back against the wall in the next.

But, like had been happening all game, Mastriano had the perfect card to keep things under control. He used a Yawgmoth's Will to return the Pithing Needle to play, once again locking the Bazaar out. And once again, Hornung had the Nature's Claim to deal with it. Mastriano had made a small mistake with his Will, forgetting to reuse a Mystical Tutor in his graveyard, something that would come back to haunt him as Hornung went crazy on him, making a slew of Zombies, which got to take care of business free of a Chain of Vapor. The Zombies turned sideways, and handed a sweet looking Time Walk to Mark Hornung, the 2011 Vintage Champion!

Mark Hornung, 2011 Vintage Champion

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