Round 4 Feature Match - Donald Lim vs. Darwin Kastle

Posted in Feature

By Wizards of the Coast

by Adrian Sullivan

Darwin Kastle, this year's leader in the Player of the Year race, needs little introduction. Kastle was playing a Black/Green/Red deck, and seemed none too happy about it. Using Mercenary search and a typical Green/Red mix of creatures and elimination. Neutral Grounder Donald Lim is well known in New York City and recently has achieved more notoriety because of Replenish, a deck he's widely crediting with getting noticed. His deck was a Black/Blue Mercenary deck with Blue fliers and tricks.

Game 1

Kastle wins the coin flip and starts out with Rushwood Dryad, followed quickly by Rathi Intimidator. Once the Intimidator is out, Lim uses Steal Strength to kill the Intimidator, and on his own turn lays a Deepwood Ghoul to block the Dryad.

On the fourth turn, Castle lays a Mountain, to join his Swamps and Forests, and Lim breathes a little "oh" in understanding of Darwin's dislike of his deck. Darwin taps out to lay a Silt Crawler and Lim kills a Swamp with a Rishadan Footpad. After a few more turns, Darwin adds a Rathi Fiend and Laccolith Grunt to the attackers, but turns to the defensive after Lim uses Sever Soul to get ahead in the life race, and comes in with all of his creatures. Darwin sacrifices a Dryad in a block to the Death Charmer, trading creatures and paying for the Dryad.

Lim continues to play aggressively, attacking with his Ghoul to bring Kastle to 11. After the combat, Lim Dehydrates the untapped Rathi Fiend to discourage Darwin from beginning to search for additional Mercenaries. Kastle returns with the Grunt and lays a Rebel Informer.

Lim continues in with the Ghoul, but Darwin blocks with the Fiend and searches for Bog Smugglers. Lim lays a Rackling, but Kastle drops Seal of Doom and another Dryad to hold the table. With the Bog Smugglers coming in, Lim fails to find an answer before he dies.

Lim 0 - Kastle -1

Game 2

Lim starts out the game with a Cateran Summons for Cateran Kidnappers, and follows up with a Noxious Field and the Kidnappers before Darwin lays a single creature. Darwin's Rathi Fiend starts up the defense, But an Enslaved Horror joins Lim's team as well.

After a slight delay, the Horror comes in, blocked by the Fiend, which searches for a Bog Smuggler. Lim continues to play out his hand, laying a Flowstone Armor. Lim's Noxious Field remains untapped.

On Darwin's next turn, he plays Devastation on the Noxious Field. Not thinking about the 1 damage that his own Kidnappers have taken, he taps the field to kill the Smuggler. The Horror continues to come in, but is soon held off by a Phyrexian Prowler and Horned Troll. A Deepwood Ghoul and a Death Charmer join Lim's side on the defense.

Again, Darwin plays a Devastation. Lim takes the damage, but fails to set up a regeneration shield for the Ghoul, and after consulting with the judges agrees with Kastle that he must lose the Ghoul.

Lim lays out a Fen Stalker and begins to attack, while Kastle starts to take defend with a Wild Jhovall, Fen Stalker and a Latulla. Coming in with all his creatures he drops Kastle to 5 life, with Fen Stalkers killing each out, and Flowstone Armor finishing off failing to kill a blocking Horned Troll that helped Jhovall kill Enslaved Horror. Kastle is only left with a Horned Troll and Latulla. He doesn't get much time to use it though, as Lim Severs the Soul of Latulla, who burns a Death Charmer.

The table is left mostly clear, with only a Horned Troll left to cause any damage. With Kastle at a low life, a Spineless Thug keeps the Troll home, and Kastle's new Rushwood Herbalist takes over the job as official beatdown counter.

It is Steal Strength combined with Flowstone Armor that finally kill the Troll and put Darwin back on the defensive. When Lim lays a Ribbon Snake, it is just slightly too much for him to deal with, and Darwin concedes.

Lim 1 - Kastle 1

Game 3

This game ends quickly and brutally.

Kastle again gets a fairly unanswered start, with a Laccolith Grunt, and a Rathi Intimidator starting to attack before Ribbon Snake gets into play to defend for Lim. Kastle add a Rathi Fiend and Phyrexian Prowler to the mix, and though Lim

Lim breaks out a Horror to block, and then starts attacking with it, leaving the Ribbon Snake home to defend against the weaker creatures. A Vendetta drops Kastle to 10, but leaves Lim open, and he drops to 6.

Without another creature to drop, Lim concedes.

Lim 1 - Kastle 2

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