Pro Tour-Chicago 1999
Round 5 Feature Match

Posted in Feature

By Wizards of the Coast

Justin Gary vs. Matt Vienneau

Justin Gary

Matt Vienneau

Justin Gary and Matt Vienneau both sat down for this match sporting perfect 4-0 records. They also had two of the more interesting decks of the tournament. Justin is playing a Survival/Recur deck with Fruity Pebbles built into it (people have started calling it Trix). The idea is that you take a normal Survival/Recur deck, put in a couple Academy Rectors (which you might have wanted anyway) and then put in one copy each of Enduring Renewal and Goblin Bombardment. Matt is running the Suicide Brown deck that most of Mogg Squad is playing. He and Gary Krakower got the deck from fellow Torontonian Gary Wise. Vienneau and Krakower tweaked the deck a bit by adding two main deck "hosers" that they can Tinker for against certain decks: one Phyrexian Furnace and one Jester's Cap. Going into round 5 they were 4-0 and 3-1 while the Mogg Squad members have records ranging from 3-1 to 1-3.

Justin won the roll and played a turn 1 Grassland. All Matt did on his first turn was play Ancient Tomb, Mana Vault, and Phyrexian Processor (paying 7 life). Justin played a land and a Wall of Roots on turn 2 while Matt played Island, Tinker (sacrificing the tapped Mana Vault and upgrading it to Thran Dynamo), Grim Monolith, and then made a 7/7 Minion token.

Justin then tried to play an Academy Rector, but Matt stopped it with Arcane Denial. With the clock ticking Justin made a very valiant effort to pull this game out. With one eye on matt's life total (which kept dropping due to the Ancient Tomb) and the other on his hand Justin first Survivaled for a Spike Weaver. The Weaver could potentially hold off the Minions for a while, but he knew Matt had Masticores in his deck to draw or Tinker for. I think Justin got the Weaver mostly as a bluff. Justin knew that if Matt tapped his Ancient Tomb one more time, Matt would be at four. Matt did just that when he drew and cast his main deck Survival/Recur hoser - Phyrexian Furnace. With Matt now at 4, Justin chump blocked a Minion to buy himself one last turn and then Survivaled for Ghitu Slinger. You see, Justin had randomly drawn the one Goblin Bombardment in his deck and also had a Shield Sphere. Justin untapped, reviewed his options, knew that he couldn't use the Recur in his hand since Matt had a Furnace, tapped three mana (leaving two untapped, including a Taiga), and laid Ghitu Slinger on the table. Matt thought long and hard and eventually decided to use Arcane Denial on it, thus locking up his game 1 victory. Despite Matt's amazing start, Justin might actually have won if Matt hadn't drawn 2 of his 4 permission spells.

Both players mulliganned at the start of game 2. Matt played a turn 1 Phyrexian Furnace. Justin responded with turn 2 Survival of the Fittest. Matt played a second Furnace. After taking a turn to play Wall of Roots and Survival for Uktabi Orangutan, Justin tries to summon the monkey. Matt had another of his trusty Arcane Denials. Matt then drew a fourth mana, cast a Dynamo, untapped it with Voltaic Key, and dropped Masticore onto the board. Key/Dynamo gave Matt access to a total of 9 mana every turn (and he still had three cards in his hand). Justin kept looking for a way to win the game, but all that mana made the Viashino Heretic that he sideboarded in almost worthless and those two Furnaces make it almost impossible for him to accomplish anything with the Recurring Nightmare that's in his hand.

Justin did have Worship in his hand, but the biggest creature he could cast it Wall of Roots. He knew Matt just needed to play one land and that plan would fail. After the match Justin explained that he might have lost to his last sideboarding decision. Justin was debating between Worship and City of Solitude. City of Solitude would not only stop Matt's couple of counterspells, but it would also prevent Matt from using Masticore or Phyrexian Furnace on Justin's turn. If the Worship in his hand had been a City of Solitude, the game might have gone much differently. As it was, though, Matt attacked with Masticore five times and won the match 2-0.

Matt Vienneau - 2
Justin Gary - 0

Latest Feature Articles


May 18, 2022

Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate Mechanics by, Jess Dunks

The beloved adventure of Dungeons & Dragons returns to Magic once more in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate. This set visits one of D&D's most iconic settings, introduce...

Learn More


May 17, 2022

Collecting Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate by, Max McCall

Editor's Note: We wanted to provide a clarification that the card Faceless One does not come in the foil-etched or traditional foil treatments. Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gat...

Learn More



Feature Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All