This early in Day 2, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. The final two undefeated players squaring off in the feature match area playing two very different decks.
Andrew Cuneo was proving Elves to be a force in the metagame, defeating even his bad matchups on his way to 11-0. He has been playing the deck for about the last year, and has adeptly demonstrated his ability with the little Green creatures.
Chas Hinkle had also racked up 11 wins, but with Sneak and Show, a deck that had recently crested in popularity. His goal was to get Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or Griselbrand in play and attacking as fast as humanly possible.
Normally we don’t like to go into detail on every single maneuver in the game down to the minutia, but I’m going to break from that to tell you every moment of this game.
“Oh wait, you’re at 18, all right!” Cuneo said. “That’s the first time that’s happened to me.”
Hinkle 1 – Cuneo 0
Hinkle, aware of the hate lofted at him out of most decks, started with a Leyline of Sanctity in play an a Show in Tell in hand. He lacked the Griselbrand or Emrakul, but now that he was protected from discard, those cards weren’t going anywhere anyway. He also had a pair of Force of Will to rely on should the need arise.
He also had a Pyroclasm, which he used to clear out a trio of elves from Cuneo’s side of the board.
And it was, but not how you would think.
Chas Hinkle seemed to have it all: fame, power, turn one 15/15 Eldrazi. Everything. Until he met a Wurm he couldn’t match.
Placing his card face down, Cuneo revealed his trump—A Worldspine Wurm that would get to attack first and could trade profitably with Emrakul. Suddenly, Hinkle’s trump looked like his downfall.
The mighty, mighty Eldrazi traded with the Worldspine Wurm, leaving behind three 5/5s for Cuneo, more than enough to win on Cuneo’s next turn.
It seemed like Cuneo had it locked up, but an Echoing Truth off the top of Hinkle’s deck stayed his sentence for several turns and left the Elf mage attacking with his motley crew in an attempt to win before Hinkle recovered.
“That was my god draw, having Worldspine Wurm in hand,” Cuneo said, grinning as they shuffled up for the final game.
Cuneo 1 – Hinkle 1
Sneak and Show giveth, as in Game 1, and Sneak and Show taketh away, as Hinkle found out as he mulled to four this game. And it wasn’t even a good four, as Hinkle found himself staring at Emrakul, Griselbrand, Force of Will and Ancient Tomb.
But that doesn’t mean things were going to be easy for Cuneo, necessarily.
However, they let Cuneo play Magic during those first few turns when Hinkle was doing nothing. True story. He used that time well, casting a few elves and firing off a small Glimpse of Nature on his third turn to get ahead. Still, it looked like Hinkle might get his opening to activate Sneak Attack.
Andrew Cuneo. You wouldn’t like him when he’s Green. (Yes you would, Andrew Cuneo is an exceptionally likeable guy. He’s just difficult to defeat.)
“I think you’re dead,” Cuneo said, doing some math in his head.
Thanks to the mana from Gaea’s Cradle and some Quirion Ranger untap shenanigans, Cuneo was able to hard cast a Craterhoof Behemoth and attack for the win—with Emrakul and Griselbrand sitting forlornly in Hinkle’s hand.