by Randy Buehler
Mike Turian and Zvi Mowshowitz went into the last round on Friday at 4-2. Zvi offered a draw that would assure both players a berth in day 2, but Mike declined. Mike knew he had a matchup advantage and both players knew that while a draw would advance them to tomorrow, they would start out at the very bottom of the standings. This was also a bit of a grudge match. At the last Pro Tour, in Los Angeles, Zvi sat on Mike's right for the first draft and switched colors halfway through the first pack of cards, thoroughly destroying Turian's draft. Turian started out 0-3 with the 3-color deck that he ended up with, but he did then beat Zvi and knock Zvi out of contention for day 2 as well. In reality, both players are nice guys who don't really hold grudges, but it's still an interesting perspective on this match.
Turian was running an aggressive Rebel deck and both players felt he should have the advantage over Zvi's Rising Waters deck. However, Zvi won the flip and Mike was forced to mulligan. Mike's 6-card draw had 4 last and 2 spells, but no creatures. He drew his first creature on turn 3 and was unable to apply any early pressure. Turian did get to use a Parallax Wave to phase out Zvi's Bouncer long enough for Turian to start recruiting Rebels, but Zvi's Rising Waters slowed that plan down. Mike killed a drake Hatchling with Ramosian Rally, but with Zvi at 17 and with an active Bouncer, Zvi slowly gained control. Zvi Gushed into a 2nd Eye of Ramos and that let him operate really well despite the Rising Waters. Mike tried to Disenchant Rising Waters, but Zvi returned an island to his hand to counter it with Daze. Turian's last gasp came when he killed Waterfront Bouncer with Rath's Edge, But Zvi played a replacement. Mike played on for a few turns, but soon concede so he'd have time to win games 2 and 3.
Mike kept a draw for game 2 with land, 3 2/2's, and Reverent mantra. Zvi kept land and permission. Turian got in some early beats, but Zvi played turn 4 Stinging Barrier, turn 5 Waterfront Bouncer, and turn 6 Stinging barrier. Mike didn't have any removal and that 2nd Barrier was a real problem. It meant Zvi could start picking off all his 2/2 creatures. Mike got Zvi down to 6 and tried to set up a Reverent Mantra win, but Zvi had a Thwart the whole time. As the turns went by Zvi killed each of Mike's creatures and bounced Lin Sivvi every turn. Mike eventually got out a Parallax Wave to deal with the Bouncer long enough for Lin Sivvi to lose summoning sickness, but it was too late. Zvi's Drake hatchling was delivering the death blows before Mike could rebuild his position.
Mowshowitz - 2
Turian - 0