Round 4: Kyle Rose vs. Raphael Levy Replenish vs. Replenish

Posted in Feature

Sometimes the mirror match isn't a mirror match. Even though former Pro Tour winner Kyle Rose and perennial top finisher Raphael Levy were both playing Replenish decks, there were various subtle differences in the two decks' design that seemed to favor Levy throughout the match. Neither player is a stranger to feature match play, and with a big crowd looking on, they got underway.

Blue is a popular color in the type two environment right now, and any deck can lead with Island or Rishadan Port, but after Rose and Levy both play through a few turns of this, both realize what's going on as Levy attacks first with a turn 3 Attunement and Rose answers back with a turn 4 Frantic Search, discarding Opalescence and Parallax Tide, followed by a Replenish. After losing 3 of his lands to Rose's Tide, Levy blocks the now animated Parallax Tide with his attunement and returns it to his hand, and when Rose drops another Opalescence, things look bad for Levy, but he keeps his cool and bides his time until he can build up enough land to drop a Grim Monolith and get his own Replenish off the turn before Rose's enchantments would finish what they started. Levy gets off a monster Replenish, bringing back Parallax Waves, Tides, Attunements, Opalescences, and the kicker, an Aura Fracture. The game isn't close after this, and Levy wins in short order.

Game two did not start off well for Rose, but he had some answers to early Levy threats and managed to stick around and stay alive until Raphael had run out of gas. Even as Levy was down to no cards, and top decked an Opalescence for the win, Rose found the counterspell and two turns later got his own Replenish off which included just 2 Seal of Cleansing and an Attunement, but it was enough to kill Levy's threats off and stay alive for a few more turns. Two Replenishes and 5 (used and reused) Seals of Cleansings later Rose finally finds enough ammunition to finish Levy off. Talk about getting mileage out of your cards, I think Rose used the same Seals 3 times each that game.

The third game saw more swings than the first two, as Levy started off strong, with yet another turn 3 Attunement. Rose's only play before turn 7 was a turn 3 Seal of Cleansing. Levy started with the threats quickly, dropping a turn 5 Parallax Tide, only to have it Sealed away shortly thereafter. A second Tide for Levy came down next turn and this one was countered. The first two games had taken a lot of time off the clock, and time was called on Rose's turn right around turn 8 Rose then went in to Mana Short mode, basically having his way with Levy for two turns, but Rose couldn't find a decent threat card in that time, and eventually Levy just untapped, double Frantic Searched and Replenished. Rose managed to kill off the lone Opalescence, but Levy had backup, and just Replenished it right back into play the next turn, not to mention having a Counterspell up to fight off an opposing Erase aimed at the Opalescence as well. Levy wins on the third turn in the extra period.

Final Result:

Raphael Levy (2-1-0)

defeats

Kyle Rose (1-2-0)

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