by Adrian Sullivan
Casey McCarrel's storybook rise to Nationals has been the talk of the tournament, but his opponent Ped Bun is no stranger to Magic circles. Designer of the Oath of Druids deck that Maher took to Top 8 in GP Kansas City and victories in GP Seattle and Pro-Tour Chicago 3, Bun's deckbuilding skills have always been innovative and interesting. McCarrel had drafted an aggressive White/Red deck with Latulla, while Ped's deck was a Green/Blue creature attack deck with several combat tricks.
Ped's opening was less than exciting. On turn 6, he summoned his first creature, a Venomous Dragonfly. While the Dragonfly was certainly annoying, it was facing a Blinding Angel, a Chimeric Idol, and a Blaster Mage. McCarrel attacked with everything, bringing Ped to 7. Things looked pretty grim for Ped.
But they would get worse.
Ped tried to stabilize the table with a Deadly Insect, but McCarrel would have none of it. Latulla hit the table and two turns later, ended the game with a pair of burst of flame.
McCarrel 1 - Bun 0
Ped's early Silt Crawler faced off from an early Steadfast Guard. McCarrel continued on with Rackling and Soulcharmer, while Ped laid Seal of Strength and Verdant Bloom, but no more creatures.
After the initial stall, McCarrel reasserted himself with an all-out-attack and Ped blocked the Steadfast Guard. McCarrel's Ramosian Rally forced Ped to use his Seal of Strength (the Verdant Bloom was tapped from when it was cast). With Ped at 12 life, McCarrel pressed on with a Wild Jhovall.
Ped starts to stabilize with Rib Cage Spider, Oraxid and Dragonfly, and eventually turns the tide with Blastoderm. Beginning to serve, the Blastoderm eats a Jhovall and McCarrel's newly summoned Blaster Mage before being dying from the block. Things looked grim for McCarrel, but he had a healthy life total of 17 to play with.
Then, again with the Latulla.
With 3 Cards in his hand, McCarrel had more than enough mana to kill Ped before the attacks could kill him. Once again, Latulla won the game almost immediately after being played.
McCarrel 2 - Bun 0