by Liam Coltman
With only one spot left in the Australian team the two competitors sat down and began to shuffle their decks. A large crowed gathered as the decks were cut and their opening hands were drawn.
After choosing to play first Hong was forced to mulligan down to 6, before opening up with a Forest and a Wild Dog. He followed up with a port on turn 2 and when he tried to tap West's land he was presented with a Brainstorm. Keeping with his speed green decks theme, Hong summoned another Wild Dog and a Tangle Wire to try and lock down West. In an attempt to stop the bleeding West is forced to try and Snap his way out of trouble, but when the River Boa hits there is little he can do as it islandwalks its way to Hong's first win.
West 0 Hong 1
Staring down the face of elimination West tells his deck to "Come on" and draws his opening hand. Craig mulligans again, but he brings out another first turn Dogs. He gets a little tight on land when West starts bringing out the Cutpurses and the Footpads, as he elects to sacrifice his lands instead of his creatures. This proves costly as he gets locked down under a Tangle Wire, while a Cutpurse, Faerie Conclave and a Footpad beat him upside the head. A well-timed Hibernation stops any chance that Hong has of counter-striking and the match heads off to a third and deciding game.
West 1 Hong 1
Before the third game West slaps his deck and says, "Come on Magical Cards" in the hope of drawing a hand that can deal with the green onslaught. For the third game straight Hong starts with a first turn Wild Dog, but this game it was not preceded by a mulligan. On the second turn when he casts a River Boa, things are already looking grim. Even a lapsed Lyrist didn't slow down Hong, as he tapped down his Wests only blue mana with a port, rancored his River Boa and went in for the kill.
West 1 Hong 2