by Luke Hancock
The pair of Andrews paired up in the 9th round to decide who would make it into the top 4 of the tournament. Andrew Corney had a hard matchup with his Black Control deck, facing off Andrew MacDonald's Red LD deck.
Corney won the toss and decided to play. His opening draw gave him the first turn Duress, with which he removed a Shock. The Rishadan Ports soon followed for both players, with a short series of 'port wars' in both players' upkeeps kept some mana tapped while MacDonald managed to play a Seal of Fire while Corney on his 4th turn dropped Skittering Horror to begin his offensive. MacDonald attempted to find a blocker for the Horror in an Avalanche Rider, coincidentally killing Corney's Port. Corney managed to find a Stupor to wreck his opponent's chances of playing his Lightning Dragon in MacDonald's hand, stalling for a turn. MacDonald removed the Horror finally with a Ghitu Slinger and the Seal of Fire played earlier, but the turn after Corney played the second Horror to finish the game as his Vicious Hungers took care of MacDonald's smaller blockers.
Corney leads 1-0.
After a period of shuffling and sideboarding, Andrew MacDonald decided to break the game. Opening with a Seal on the first turn while Corney played little bar an Unmask on the 1st turn, MacDonald found his land destruction spells killing 3 of Corney's Swamps and using his Rishadan Port to good effect during Corney's upkeep step. However, MacDonald, relying on Ghitu Encampment early in the game for damage, found he could not provide the quick offensive he needed to finsh Corney off. The game progressed and as both players searched for a way to break each other's defenses, Corney's life total dropped low enough that MacDonald was able to find a Ghitu Slinger to drop Corney to 4 life, enough to kill him fairly easily. Corney scooped and began the third game.
Again Corney began the game, this time waiting until the 3rd turn to play a Skittering Horror. MacDonald was a turn too late with his Stone Rain, and as Corney began to apply with the horror, tried to get himself into a position to deal with the 3 toughness creature. However, Corney's 5th turn Persecute for his red magical spells proved too strong, removing an Avalanche Rider, a Lightning Dragon, a Pillage and a Stone Rain. MacDonald managed to topdeck a Lightning Dragon later to block the Horror a turn before death, but Corney's Eradicate let him apply the final beats with his Horror going all the way.
Corney wins 2-1.