Round 4 Feature Match - Mike Long vs. Jason Opalka

Posted in Feature

By Wizards of the Coast

It has often been said that US Nationals is Mike Long's tournament. If his match with Jason Opalka is any indication, 'they' are probably right. Coming into the second draft with a 2-1 record, Long drafted a three color deck as Opalka passed to him, but it didn't matter in this match as, despite the mediocrity of Long's deck, it couldn't have been worse than Jason's.

Long's mana problems in game one made the contest close. With Jason, playing first starting things off with a third turn Lightbringer and a fourth turn Viceling, Long, who had been unable to cast spells up until this point, started taking a little more damage than he was comfortable with. Playing a fourth turn Fen Stalker before having a Silverglade Elemental Thwarted, Mike was taken to five by the Viceling and a Coastal Hornclaw. Fortunately for long, he finally drew his third color land, a Mountain and was able to stabilize by killing the Hornclaw with a Rhystic Lightning. Soon, large Green creatures dominated the table and Opalka was forced to concede.

Game two wasn't as close. With a first turn Seal of Strength and second turn Vine Trellis, Mike was on his way, and after Jason Thwarted Mike's Unmask, Mike's fat started hitting the table, first a Thresher Beast, then a Nettling Wurm. Jason started playing Mine bearers in droves (he had 4), but it didn't matter as Mike cast an Ancient Hydra with 7 mana in play, destroying Opalka's hopes of a fourth round win.

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