Round 3: Rob Dougherty vs. Jon Finkel Replenish vs. Tinker

Posted in Feature

By Randy Buehler

US National champion Jon Finkel and team Pro Tour winner Rob Dougherty sat down to play each other with 2-0 records and full knowledge of what their opponent was playing. By round 3, all the top teams had had time to scout each other and each knew that Your Move Games (including Dougherty) showed up with Replenish decks, Mogg Squad is running "Son of Hermit" (an Angry Hermit variant that replaces Skyshroud Poacher and Deranged Hermit with Earthquake and Blastoderm), and Finkel's crowd is running Tinker decks. Tinker needs a good draw in game 1 in order to beat Replenish, but Finkel's version is rumored to be amazing after sideboarding so his basic plan is to concede game 1 quickly if he doesn't get an amazing draw so he'll have time to win two sideboarded games.

Finkel cast Brainstorm at the end of Dougherty's first turn, studied his cards for a few seconds, and then called for a judge. He forgot to de-sideboard after his second round match! Finkel muttered "good job Jon", knowing he'd committed a game loss offense. The real bad news, though, was that he had to play game 2 without sideboarding. That made it almost impossible for Finkel to come back and win two straight.

Finkel mulliganed, looking for the perfect game 2 draw, and came up with Voltaic Key, Grim Monolith, and Metalworker. He needed to cast Brainstorm on his second turn to find a second land so the Monolith waited for turn 3, and by then Dougherty was able to stop it with Counterspell. When Dougherty then played Attunement, Finkel knew he was in trouble. Finkel cast a second Monolith and a Metalworker, but Dougherty answered with Parallax Wave, waving away the Metalworker. Finkel tried running Dougherty out of Wave counters by Tinkering for Colossus and casting a Masticore, but Dougherty played Parallax Wave number two. With Opalescence in play and the Waves clearing a path through Finkel's blockers, it didn't take Dougherty long to clean up game 2 and deliver the second loss to the US National team.

Dougherty 2 (now 3-0)

Finkel 0 (now 2-1)

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