by Randy Buehler
There was a lot more to this match that just the games that got played. Justin Gary was originally supposed to join up with Shawn Regnier and Tom Guevin for the Team Pro Tour in D.C. last September. However, when Mike Long asked Justin to join him on Tongo Nation, Justin accepted and since then there has been some animosity between Justin and Hammer. Add to that the fact that Hammer fed Justin for the entire draft and that both players need a 2-0-1 record from this point to make day 2. Hammer hasn't been the most consistent player on Tour over the years,but he has never missed Day 2 on "his" boat. Justin has only missed Day 2 at two pro tours in his career.
As the players shuffled up for game 1, Hammer offered a draw. He pointed out that this way they could both win their next two and make the second day. He further argued that there were no other familiar faces at the table and since they had originally both been planning to meet in the 2-0 match and draw then, they should just go ahead and draw now. Justin thought long and hard about the offer, but (as he explained to me after the match), he reasoned that Hammer wouldn't be offering the draw unless Hammer expected to lose this match. So Justin declined and they played.
Justin played a Volunteer Soldiers and a Devout Witness on turns 2 and 3 while Hammer dropped a drake hatchling, but didn't seem interested in blocking with it in fear of some fast effect. Justin tapped black and one and announced "I'll tech you" as he placed Specter's Wail on the table in front of him. hammer seemed to whisper a prayer as he shuffled his cards and Justin randomly chose Hunted Wumpus. hammer did not seem happy. Hammer did then Dehydrate the Devout Witness and play out a Rishadan Airship, but Justin answered with Rappelling Scouts and Crossbow Infantry. Hammer still had Vendetta in his hand, but he had not yet drawn his third color of mana. Hammer's Spidersilk Armor seemed to deal with the Infantry, but then Justin played a second one and thanked Hammer for the gift 10th pick. Hammer wasn't interesting in elaborating on what he took over it. Rappelling Scouts pretty much shut down Hammer's offense while the two Crossbow Infantrys prevented hammer from blocking effectively. That Wumpus would have been HUGE. Instead, Justin served with a 2/2 for 5 turns and hammer was helpless to do anything but chump block.
Hammer played a turn 2 Rushwood Dryad in game 2, but Justin once again had Crossbow Infantry ready. This time around Hammer drew all three colors of mana and thus was able to use Maggot Therapy to kill the pesky Infantry. Unfortunately for Hammer, Justin had both a second Infantry and an Undertaker. Hammer played out Coastal Piracy and attacked while the Infantry was still sick, but he only got through with one creature. One the following turn he used vendetta on the new Infantry and repeated his plan of losing one creature but dealing two damage and drawing a card. However, those couple of extra cards didn't help him and Justin killed him shortly thereafter.
After the match, Hammer complained about "the idiot on my right." Hammer explained that he was passed a pack with both Ferocity and Misstep in it, but no Nightwind Glider. Allegedly, those two cards indicate the presence of a Glider. "Knowing" that Mike Krzywicki (the "idiot" in question) was playing white, Hammer didn't go white and then in pack three, Hammer was passed numerous amazing white cards, but it was too late to switch colors and so Hammer passed them all to Justin. Hammer was thus mad at Krzywicki for first-picking a Glider and then abandoning white. However, I looked up Krzywicki's decklist and he doesn't have any Gliders in either his main deck or sideboard. he does have a Lieutenant in his board, but everyone knows that comes with Pious Warrior and Bog Witch. So either Hammer is imagining things or else he got confused by a pack that originally had a foil randomly inserted into it where a Nightwind Glider would otherwise have been.
Shawn Regnier - 0
Justin Gary - 2