Round 2 Feature Match - Mike Turian vs. Mike Pustilnik

Posted in Feature

By Wizards of the Coast

by Adrian Sullivan

As the round began, Mark Rosewater stopped by to make a prediction on the winner: "I think a Mike will win." Mark's prediction isn't actually as much of a joke as you might think. With both players have very strong decks and a large history of Pro-Tour experience, it would be hard to chose a winner. Turian's White/Black deck had a lot of cards that would let him swing a game, and Pustilnik's Green/White deck could come in for an aggressive early game, yet it still had cards that would let it finish in the late, late game.

Game 1

Turian won the flip and chose to play first. It takes him three turns to lay his first creature, a Rathi Intimidator, but by this time Pustilnik already had a Vintara Snapper and a Seal of Strength in play. Pustilnik quickly followed his little turtle up with a Rib Cage Spider and a Thrive, coming in mercilessly.

Turian uses his Mercenary search to get out a Cateran Persuader and casts a Chimeric Idol, but Pustilnik continues to attack, laying another Seal of Strength. Attempting to stabilize, Turian begins to chump block the creatures, making Pustilnik use his Seals. Turian kept bringing in blockers, laying a Scandalmonger and a Bog Glider.

Together, the Scandalmonger and the Cateran Persuader kill the Snapper, forcing Pustilnik to use the Seal of Strength to kill both blockers in Return. After the combat, the Intimidator recruits an Agent of Shauku out of Turian's deck, and with his 7 land, bringing Pustilnik's offensive to a halt. Things weren't comfortable for Turian though, as he only had 8 life remaining.

Pustilnik began rebuilding his army with another Rib Cage Spider and a Vintara Elephant, but it wasn't enough to get through. His attack with the Elephant killed a few land as Agent of Shauku helped the Bog Glider with the combat. Laying a Greel, Mind Raker, Turian finally stopped the attack, but he was now at a low 3 life.

A few turns later, Pustilnik cast Wishmonger.

While Turian would draw into a Parallax Wave, it only delayed the inevitable. Using four wave tokens to fade out the Wishmonger, Turian only had a few turns to draw a new answer or otherwise kill Pustilnik. When nothing arrived, he conceded after Pustilnik began to activate Wishmonger on his own creatures, ensuring that Turian couldn't block an impending attack.

Turian 0 - Pustilnik 1

Game 2

This game started a bit more slowly with a third turn Glittering Lion followed by fourth turn Scandalmonger from Turian charging in unchallenged at Pustilnik's life. Without any spell to cast, Pustilnik could only use the Scandalmongers ability to force a few discards few a few turns. After dropping to 6 life from the Turian offense, Pustilnik's lone Thresher Beast was soon joined by a few other blockers, while Turian had added a Persuader to the mix. Only the Kor Haven kept Turian from attacking. With Scandalmonger keeping both player's hands empty, both players were playing off the top of their deck, with no real action for many turns.

It didn't stay that way for long, though. Turian dropped a few more creatures, and Pustilnik couldn't find anything to get in their way.

Turian 1 - Pustilnik 1

Game 3

Pustilnik opened up the game with a pair of Seals of Strength, followed by a Rib Cage Spider and a Vintara Snapper, while Turian brought up an Alabaster Wall and Glittering Lion for the defense. Continuing to attack, Pustilnik traded one of his Seals to kill the blocking Glittering Lion. Turian removed the other Seal with an Aura Fracture, and the game began to move into a stall.

Rathi Fiend would soon bring an end to the stall, summoning out an Intimidator that could not be answered by Pustilnik's creatures. Turian built up a quick swarm of creatures, and after casting Parralax Wave came through for the kill.

Turian 2 - Pustilnik 1

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