Team Finals Jon Finkel (USA) vs. Ryan Fuller (Canada)

Posted in Feature

By Collin Jackson

Finkel won the die roll and chose to play first. Fuller started out aggressively, attacking with a 3/3 Rancored Vine Dryad on his first turn. Meanwhile, Finkel set himself up a Saprazzan Skerry on the first turn, Island and Metalworker on the second. Then, his deck exploded. He activated the Metalworker and revealed his entire hand: Voltaic Key, Grim Monolith, Phyrexian Colossus, Phyrexian Processor, and Tangle Wire. He used the two mana to play the Key and untap the Metalworker, then revealed the four remaining artifacts. With sixteen mana in his pool, he cast everything in his hand, paid 5 life to the Processor, and made a token.

Despite the Tangle Wire, Fuller managed to play Pouncing Jaguar and took out the Colossus with an Orangutan. But without an answer to Finkel's 5/5 Minions, he was soon overwhelmed.

Finkel started the second game with another first-turn Skerry and second turn Metalworker. Fuller played River Boa and followed up with a third-turn Tangle Wire. The Wire slowed down Finkel for a turn, but he could still play Island and Voltaic Key. On the next turn, Finkel used the Key in combination with the Metalworker to produce eleven mana. Fuller looked on, astonished, as Finkel cast Grim Monolith, Crumbling Sanctuary, and Phyrexian Processor, paid seven life, and made a token.

The Sanctuary thwarted Fuller's plans to quickly knock out Finkel, but he Rancored up the Boa, played a second Boa enchanted with Treetop Bracers, and tried to race through Finkel's deck.

Finkel was at seven life and he knew that an Orangutan could end the game quickly. If the Sanctuary ever left play, Fuller had seven points of islandwalking Boa damage on the table. His Minion tokens removed three monkeys from the top of Fuller's deck, but Fuller could draw the fourth at any time.

Finkel finally played Masticore and pinged away the Rancored Boa, leaving four mana available to deal with the other one. Fuller drew and played the long-awaited Orangutan, destroying the Sanctuary. His only untapped land was a Gaea's Cradle, which he tapped for two.

Fuller had three ways to spend his mana but only two mana to spend. He wanted to Rancor and Giant Growth the 3/2 Boa and also regenerate from the Masticore's pings. Eventually he decided to cast Rancor on the Boa and then Giant Growth afterwards. But Finkel used the Masticore to shoot down the Boa in response to the Growth, crushing Fuller's hopes to sneak the final seven damage through. The 7/7 Minion tokens went the distance, and Finkel won the match 2-0.

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