Round 9 Feature Match - Donnie Gallitz vs. Mike Flores

Posted in Feature

By Wizards of the Coast

by Adrian Sullivan

Flores and Gallitz wowed the crowd with their antics even before the matchup began. Both players were playing Black Control based on Vampiric Tutors and main-deck sideboard cards. "I played Trinity two times in a row. Seven minutes," Mike bragged as he and Gallitz laughed about their easy wins. This match would be hard, and the subtle differences in their decks would definitely come up. Gallitz was using Masticore, Snuff Out, and Powder Keg to control the table, while Flores used Vicious Hunger and more sideboard cards in his main deck.

Game 1

Flores starts strong with Ritual/Negator, and Gallitz's first turn Duress can only nab a Vicious Hunger. Flores follows up with a Duress of his own. "This is all garbage!" he exclaims as he looks through the cards.

Gallitz's hand included an Unmask, a Stupor, Masticore, and Skittering Skirge. "You must want to keep something," says Gallitz, after Flores takes the Unmask and serves with the Negator.

Gallitz drops the Skirge to defend himself from the Negator and on the next turn Rituals out a Persecute, and Flores uses Vampiric Tutor to fetch a Vicious Hunger in response. The Persecute nabs a Massacre and a Yawgmoth's Will, and Flores comes back in again with the Negator after Hungering the Skirge.

Gallitz keeps up the defense, dropping a Masticore ("That card is HORRIBLE!" yells Flores), using it to ping away at the Negator (Flores sacrifices it immediately), and come in twice before Flores kills it with an Eradicate he Vampiric Tutored for. A stupor in the following turn leaves them both with no real surprises or threats, but Gallitz drops a Skittering Skirge to start something. Once again, Flores uses Vampiric Tutor.

"So many toys in here it's like Christmas!" exclaims Mike as he looks through his graveyard. He uses a Ritual to cast Vicious Hunger on the new Skirge and to Vampiric Tutor for a Negator. Gallitz draws nothing, so Flores' Negator starts coming in before yet another Skirge come in for the defense.

For as loud as Mike has been the entire match, Gallitz also joins the fun, yelling loudly in exhultation with his draw. Fellow Feature Match competitor Mike Long leaves his match to see the action. "That doesn't look good," says Long as Donnie continues to do a little dance of joy.

In the end, the Yawgmoth's Will Donnie drew didn't end up being very exciting. With Gallitz at 5 life, all that the Will can do is lay one of the many Skittering creatures in his grave. He settles on laying a Skittering Horror and says go.

Flores casts a Horror of his own before attacking. Gallitz blocks and goes to 3, and Flores makes a critical error as sacrifices his Negator and 3 swamps, leaving him with a Port and a Horror. When Gallitz drops a new Skittering Horror on the next turn, Flores now has to block because of his own low life total. Gallitz then drops a Stromgald Cabal and uses it to kill the former Cabal Rogue member.

Gallitz 1 - Flores 0

Game 2

Mike starts this game with a pair of Spawning Pools, and Duresses a Vampiric Tutor from Gallitz. Gallitz's draw was risky, he had no other land, but he did have multiple Dark Ritual, a Masticore, and a Skirge. He topdecks the necessary Swamp and contemplates whether to Ritual out both creatures or just one. He settles on the Masticore, and starts attacking, tapping out to drop a Keg in the process.

Flores lays his 4th Swamp, Rituals out a Vicious Hunger and a Yawgmoth's Will, Hungers the Masticore the second time from the grave to kill it, and casts Duress, stealing a Ritual from Gallitz. "Nice turn," says Gallitz.

Gallitz starts building up his Keg, and on the next turn Flores lays a Negator. Gallitz lays a Horror to block, and Flores seems content to simply let the Negator and Horror stare at each other as he builds up land. Donnie is ahead in life and attacks, but Flores uses his Spawning Pool to block. Donnie blows the Keg at 3, killing both creatures, and lays a Skittering Skirge to try to build some kind of offense. Flores simply lays another Negator on the next turn and Hungers the Skirge.

Gallitz drops another Horror for blocking, and Flores declines to block, instead building up land for his plan: Tutoring for Phyrexian Processor and having ample mana to use it. A few turns later the Processor tokens have won it.

"I'm just gonna side these Negators back out," quips Flores. "I'm a Negator, I'm scared." Flores' joke about his Negator that never attacked draws a few laughs, and both players start to sideboard for the third game.

Gallitz 1 - Flores 1

Game 3

"I'll have you know that officially this match is 2-0 Flores," says Flores as he cuts Gallitz. "I shouldn't have lost that first one."

Gallitz starts with a Keg, and Flores Duresses an Unmask from Gallitz. Building up the Keg, Gallitz sits a few turns until he Stupors Flores while Flores builds up to a Dustbowl knocking Gallitz back to 2 land.

Gallitz draws into a Swamp and casts Ticking Gnome which gets blocked by Flores' Spawning Pool. Gallitz lays a Port prompting use of the Dustbowl on Flores' next turn, and the Ticking Gnome sneaks by the tapped Pool. Flores Vampiric for a Will, and tries to make something happen. From his graveyard, Flores plays a Swamp, Duresses Gallitz for a Ritual, and Vampirics again.

When Gallitzs follows up with a Persecute for Black, Flores' plan with his Vampiric Tutor from the earlier Will is foiled: he is forced to discard his Yawgmoth's Will and Dark Ritual.

A Masticore from Gallitz ends the game a few turns later. With only one card in his hand, he is locked into keeping it, but Flores can't keep up enough defense, though he tried chump-blocking with Skittering Skirges for a few turns.

Gallitz 2 - Flores 1

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