Round 1: Gary Wise vs. Stephan Valkyser Baby Hermit vs. Baby Hermit

Posted in Feature

By Worth Wollpert

This match pitted two friends as well as playtest partners together for the first round of 18. Gary Wise and Stephan Valkyser both played the same deck, a version that Wise liked to call "Baby Hermit." Wise spent the last six days in Germany playtesting and hanging out with the German players. As an interesting aside, all of the German team members (and Wise) have agreed not to sideboard when playing against each other with this deck.

Game one was decidedly uninteresting, as Valkyser won the flip, and Wise (drawing) chose to keep a very explosive hand (containing two copies of what is likely the most important card in the mirror match, Yavimaya Elder) with a forest and a Dust Bowl as the only sources of mana. Stephan's draw was excellent, as he drew a Birds of Paradise for an Accelerator and went on to turn two Yavimaya Elder, followed by turn 4 Avalanche Rider, targeting Wise's only green source. Valkyser followed up with a Rishadan Port and Wise packed.

Things were much more interesting in game two: after a Valkyser mulligan, both players had good mana draws, but neither had any play before turn 3. Valkyser opened the action with a turn 3 Elder, after porting Wise on his second turn. Wise made the most of his mana on his fourth turn as he happily cast a Blastoderm. Valksyer passed the turn back to Wise, and after the Elder hopped in front of the angry Blastoderm, and Valkyser gets to retrieve two much needed mountains and draw a card for his troubles. Wise is unphased though, and drops another land followed by a second Blastoderm. The turn was passed to Valkyser who stood staring at two monstrous, untargettable 5/5 giants with no permanents in play other than land. Valkyser calmly played one of his new mountains (retrieved with the Elder) and began his assault on Wise's red mana, with an Avanlanche Rider. He also cast a Llanowar Elf who was ready to take one for the team next turn and hop in front of an angry 5/5, and passed the turn to Wise. When Wise tapped three mana (one red) into his pool, Valkyser knew the jig was up and prophetically placed his two creatures in the graveyard even before Wise showed the Arc Lightning. Wise attacked for 10 and said go. Valkyser stuck with the game plan again this turn, calmly destroying Wise's last red mana source with a second Rider and laid another Elf to block a fading 5/5 for a turn. After Wise's monsters ran into two chump blockers Valkyser breathed a little easier as one Wises beasts was set to fade away next turn. Valkyser continued the mana assault with a wicked Plow Under which reduced Wise to one permanent in play, a lone forest. After going to five life, Valkyser untapped and played out a Masticore which, coupled with the mana war he had waged on Wise's lands and the help of his own Blastoderm, won the game and match for him three turns later.


Final Score:


Stephan Valkyser (2-0-0)


Gary Wise (0-2-0)

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