Round 3: Sigurd Eskeland vs. Warren Marsh Accelerated Blue vs. Replenish

Posted in Feature

By Craig Jones

Round 3 saw a rematch of this year's Pro Tour New York final as the UK's Warren Marsh played Norway's Sigurd Eskeland. Both are Pro Tour regulars but NY is so far their only top 8 finish. Last time Eskeland came out best but Marsh felt confident. "First time in a sanctioned match I beat you", he joked, referring to the match they were about to play. Eskeland got out a little army of Buddha figurines and prepared them for assault. The matchup was Replenish (Marsh) against Accelerated Blue (Eskeland). In this match the Replenish player looks to wear down the blue control player by casting so many strong enchantments blue eventually runs out of counters. Marsh felt Replenish would win game 1, lose game 2 and then game 3 would come down to who had the most sideboard cards or how much time remained.

Game 1 saw a patient start. An early Monolith for Eskeland was dazed and both players were content to keep laying land. Marsh tutored for an attunement, which was annulled and then Eskeland decided to go on the offensive by casting a Morphling with 3 islands left untapped. Marsh cast Parallax Wave and Eskeland neglected to make his morphling untargettable in response. He realized his mistake when the wave hit the table and a large stack of effects was generated as Marsh flung counters off the wave in order to fade out the morphling. In the midst of the chaos Marsh cast 2 Frantic Search. Once the dust settled the morphling was temporarily elsewhere and Eskeland was tapped out, allowing Marsh to cast Replenish and bring another Wave, Attunement and Opalescence into play. However Eskeland did have a keg with 4 counters on it. This took care of one wave and a Treachery on the other forced Marsh to send it off to the nether regions of the removed from game pile, never to return. The game remained poised with Marsh possessing an animated Attunement and Eskeland a morphling. A quick counter battle prevented a second Replenish, but a third got through 2 turns later when Eskeland was closing for the kill with Masticore and Morphling. This brought the wave back but only temporarily as another treachery caused it to leave the game and the Morphling and Masticore were enough to finish Marsh off.

Eskeland mulliganed in game 2 but it was Marsh who had the shaky start by missing early land drops. Eskeland didn't have the early monolith to take advantage but was able to cripple Marsh's source of White by porting his only plain. Finally he was able to make a morphling and begin serving. Marsh meanwhile had 3 Replenish, 2 Wrath of god (from the sideboard) and no means to cast them. Drawing successive plains allowed him to attempt a first Replenish (thwarted) and then wrath the morphling away. Eskeland had a second morphling but couldn't stop a second Replenish bringing double opalescence and other enchantments into play. Marsh was only on 5 life though and another hit over the top would be enough. At this point time was called and Marsh decided to think carefully in order not to make a mistake. He had to deal with the morphling but couldn't cast Wrath because he then wouldn't be able to kill Eskeland in the time remaining. During this time Eskeland brought out a batch of toy farmyard animals to entertain the crowd. They weren't intimidating enough and he had no counter to prevent Warren from casting Replenish and bringing another 2 wave into play to deal with morphling and draw the match.

Warren Marsh 1 (now 2-0-1)

Sigurd Eskeland 1 (now 2-0-1)

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