Round 9: Steve O'Mahoney-Schwartz vs. Jakub Slemr U/W vs. U/R/B

Posted in Feature

By Trey Van Cleave

Both of these players who need no introduction came into this match with 6-2 records. OMS has a blue white agro control deck with triple Defender en Vec, Withdraw, Coastal Hornclaw, Gliders and a generally well-rounded deck. Slemr opted to play 3 colors splashing black for Seal of Doom and Snuff Out. His deck is full of very solid cards with double Stinging Barrier, double Coastal Hornclaw, Rhystic Lightning, Crusher, Fault Riders, Spur Grapplers. This match lined up to be a good match of wits between crafty Pro Tour veterans with interesting decks.

Game 1 sees both players open up with solid hands. Both keep two land hands. They each drop and island then Slemr drops a swamp and casts accumulated knowledge which he had two of because of very few 2 drops and 3 colors with so many quality cards. OMS drops a plains and a Spiketail Hatchling. Slemr drops a mountain which he drew into after the Knowledge and drops Spur Grappler which surprisingly enough OMS elects not to sink with his Hatchling despite holding no more lands in hand. OMS says "tough but fair" as he draws no more land and Slemr draws into a couple more land and continues to drop threats including a Blaster Mage, Flowstone Crusher and a Coastal Hornclaw as the cherry on top as OMS never draws a third land.

Neither player sides in any cards as they move into game 2. Both players open up solid hands with 3 land and a good mana curve of creatures and spells. Slemr's hand contains no mountains but is otherwise quite good. Both open with islands and Slemr drops a Trickster Mage followed with an attack and a Seal of Fire while OMS casts his first spell on turn 3 in the form of a Thermal Glider which is a very important card in this match-up with Slemr's deck containing so many fast red creatures. Slemr lays land and drops Spur Grappler and opts to not attack with the Trickster Mage. OMS drops land and Defender en Vec. Slemr follows up with Fault Riders. OMS drops Charm Peddler and oddly Slemr chooses to Seal of Fire it at the end of turn in order to burn a token off the Defender en Vec. Slemr drops a swamp and Foils OMS's next turn Defender en Vec. Slemr dumps a land from his hand to tap the Defender and he uses Rhystic Lightning to kill the Charm Peddler. That was a questionable play but he figured with a mediocre draw that he had to go on the offensive quickly. Slemr attacks for 6 and burns for 1 to burst the Spur Grapplers. The next turn was devastating for Slemr when OMS drops Noble Purpose and serves for 4 bringing his life total to 17 and Slemr's down to 9. On Slemr's next turn, he attacks for 7 and plays Ridgeline Rager and burns for 1 leaving himself at 8 and OMS at 10. OMS puts fading on the stack and decides to Withdraw his own Defender en Vec and Slemr's Trickster Mage. He tries to replay his Defender en Vec, which is Dazed by Slemr in his final stand before drawing two land and succumbing to a Coastal Hornclaw and another Defender en Vec. Life is tough for red when your opponent successfully casts 3 Defender en Vecs.

Game 3 saw Slemr drop island Trickster Mage and attack the following turn while OMS drops a Spiketail Hatchling on his second turn with a plains and an island. Slemr attacks into the Hatchling which OMS blocks and uses Orim's cure on. He sinks the Wandering Eye played by Slemr and proceeds to drop a 3 turn Thermal Glider the following turn. Slemr misses a land drop on the following turn with only a swamp and 2 islands in play and has no answer for the Defender en Vec OMS drops the next turn. OMS attacks with the Glider for 2 bringing the life totals to 18 and 19 respectively. Slemr draws the much needed mountain on the following turn and opts not to play his Grunt in favor of using Foil on a quality spell the following turn which is just what happened. He is able to Foil OMS Troubled Healer the following turn. Slemr draws an island off the top and drops a big fat Coastal Hornclaw. OMS attacks with the Glider and the Defender en Vec the following turn bringing Slemr down to 14. He also drops another Defender that turn. Slemr does not draw into land but is able to play the second Coastal Hornclaw in his hand which meant he had two fat bodies in front of his opponent's fading army. OMS one-upped him the following turn with a Noble Purpose followed by an attack that was double blocked costing OMS 2 Defender counters but succeeding in raising his life total to 25 and lowering Slemr's to 8. Slemr drops a Spur Grapplers the next turn and due to his low life total passes the turn on to OMS. OMS attacks with his counterless Defenders and Glider while Slemr opts to make the Hornclaw flying and block the Glider dropping to 6 and pushing OMS to 31. He drops the Breaker in his hand which can do 3 points unblockable damage killing Slemr in just 2 turns. Slemr wins the game with the Rhystic Lightning on the Breaker on his turn and OMS only had one land. OMS's fading army supported by no quality draws in the next few turns allowed Slemr to kill him with his Hornclaws, Grappler, and Grunt while playing Stinging Barrier and several other big cards like Snuff Out and Seal of Doom to kill a Defender en Vec which kept just escaping death due to Withdraw. OMS, however was unable to do so as he was killed just 3 turns later despite controlling the early match and being at 31 life! After the match OMS second guessed his play of the Breaker first thinking that the wiser play knowing that Slemr's deck contained red removal was to play the Defender en Vec in his hand first to protect the Breaker and more surely set up to win 3 turns later. With the swamps OMS knew that he had some black removal so he made the right decision knowing that Slemr could just as easily draw or already have some black removal in his hand.

Jakub Slemr defeats Steven OMS 2-1

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