In the first all-Canadian feature match-up of day two, "former limited specialist" Gary Wise sat down against fellow Canadian Matt Vienneau. There is no love lost in this match-up, although both guys played to the crowd quite a bit, as Wise especially wants to do. After getting started a few minutes late, we finally got underway with Vienneau winning the flip and electing to play first.
Vienneau led with two islands, Wise followed suit with two mountains, and the game's first creature hit play on Vienneau's third turn when a mountain came down followed by a Drake Hatchling. Wise drew and played Forest and said go. Vienneau untapped, attacked and laid another Drake Hatchling. Wise laid a Deepwood Drummer only to watch Vienneau untap and continue the assault with a Cloudskate and more importantly, Kris Mage. Neither player had a fourth land at this point, but Vienneau was doing six in the air every turn, and Wise was stuck with a lone Deepwood Drummer. Wise made a mental error when he untapped and then used his drummer to make itself a 3/3 then used it to Rupture, using 3 cards to kill a Kris Mage and do 3 damage to everyone. He would admit later it was a mistake, but in reality, there was nothing he could do at that point and conceded shortly thereafter.
Game two was more interesting. After a few lands on Wise's side, Vienneau again struck first, playing out a Rootwater Thief on turn two. Wise followed with a strong early creature, Spur Grappler. Vienneau had an answer for the grappler in the form of a Balloon Peddler, but Wise untapped and, perhaps a little ambitiously, cleared the way for his Grappler with a Rhystic Lightning on the Peddler. Vienneau followed up with a Dehydration on the little Grappler which was a good play, saving him a lot of damage over the course of the rest of the game. Wise kept the pressure up with a Giant Caterpillar, but Vienneau again found an answer, this time a great one, in the form of Stinging Barrier. The key play of the match came on Wise's next turn, after an attack with the Caterpillar in which Vienneau blocked with his wall, Wise attempted to cast an Ancient Hydra with one mana left open for the last point of damage needed to kill the (still inactive) Barrier. Vienneau had the answer once again, as he alternate cast Daze (he was tapped out) forcing Wise to tap his last mana to resolve the Hydra and letting the Barrier go active and kill the 5/1 Hydra before it could hurt his precious wall. The ability of Rootwater Thief started coming into play shortly thereafter as good card after good card came sailing out of Wise's library into the out of game pile. After Vienneau dropped a Henge Guardian to hold off the Caterpillar, Wise found another Spur Grappler and a Seal of Strength. The war was on again. Doing a few tricky things to keep his Grappler alive facing the Barrier, eventually Wise just ran out of gas when his Grappler hit a newly Flaming Sworded Rootwater Thief. After that things looked bad for Wise, as he was losing the best remaining card in his library to the Thief every turn and taking 2 to boot. Wise managed to find a couple more random 3/3 type creatures, but after he had to trade his Flowstone Crusher for the Henge Guardian, things started deteriorating too quickly and Vienneau finished him off with the 2/2 Rootwater Thief and Barrier damage.
Matt Vienneau (2-0-0)
Gary Wise (0-2-0)