QUARTERFINAL 1 - DANIEL FOURNIER VS. MORGAN CHANG

Posted in NEWS on March 16, 2014

By Josh Bennett

The Decks

Morgan Chang is playing a Green-Blue deck packed with mana-ramp and haymakers. Daniel Fournier has a textbook Blue-Black control built around amassing card advantage and grinding the opponent out.

The Match

Despite the stakes, both players were relaxed and in good spirits. Fournier had to mulligan to six, and then to five, but still refused to be perturbed. Spectators could be forgiven for assuming that this one was over before it began, but if they did, they were mistaken. Even when Chang dropped Kiora, the Crashing Wave against Fournier's board of four lands, the game was far from over.

Fournier added Omenspeaker, forcing Kiora to go on the defensive. Chang hit six land and went big with Shipbreaker Kraken. Fournier was ready with Hero's Downfall, getting a laugh from Chang.


Morgan Chang

 

"So we're just playing mono-rares, right?"

 

An Oracle's Insight for the Omenspeaker looked like it would help Fournier's cause, but Chang had Eternity Snare. Fournier needed another rip but missed. Finally it seemed like that hammer would come down, and in spectacular fashion: Chang tapped all his lands and summoned the mighty Colossus of Akros. He was visibly shocked when Fournier tapped four and put Gild on the table.

"WHAAAAAT??"

"I thoguht we agreed we were playing mono-rares."

Unfortunately that was the last of Fournier's fireworks. Chang played out some more pedestrian threats in Vulpine Goliath and Snake of the Golden Grove and they were up to the task of bringing Fournier to zero.

Chang 1 - Fournier 0

Chang's deck hit the ground running in the second game, with a crucial turn-two Voyaging Satyr powering out Pheres-Band Tromper. Fournier was trying to hold the ground with Returned Phalanx and Aerie Worshippers, but Voyage's End let the Tromper attack safely, meaning it would grow to an unwieldy 4/4. The bad news kept coming for Fournier. Chang Nullified his attempt at an Omenspeaker, and after Returned Phalanx came back, suited up his Tromper with Thassa's Emissary, swinging in for seven damage and a card.

Fournier was tenacious. He brought out Wavecrash Triton and threw his Phalanx in the way of the big Tromper. Chang could only add Sedge Scorpion, giving Fournier a window to gain some ground. He did exactly that, with Oracle's Insight on the Wavecrash, giving him a steady stream of cards and locking the deadly attacker for a turn.

Chang's deck gave him Fated Infatuation off the top to make a second Tromper. Still only the Scorpion and the big Tromper could get in, and the Insight was letting Fournier churn through his deck and making his chump blocks less of an issue. He also had his splashed Scholar of Athreos, meaning his excess mana could help buoy his life total. Thassa's Bounty gave Chang a burst of cards and milled Fournier's Gild, causing him to excitedly shout "Colossus is live!"


Daniel Fournier

 

Of course, he still needed to draw it, and the Bounty had only given him a second Scorpion as an attacker. Hero's Downfall took care of the mighty Tromper and suddenly Chang was only doing two a turn, while Fournier could Scholar for three. Chang's life total was still in the teens, however, and now his deck was serving up nothing but blanks while Fournier sat behind his wall of blockers. Fournier almost couldn't believe it when he successfully drained the last of Chang's life.

Chang 1 - Fournier 1

 

Chang scored a big victory early in the deciding game, when Fournier tried to summon his Scholar of Athreos early and ran smack dab into Nullify. Chang's draw was a little clunky, however, and couldn't muster pressure. Fournier hid behind Gray Merchant of Asphodel and then gave it Oracle's Insight, beginning the process of finding what he called the few of his cards that did things.

Chang played his seventh land and showed that he wasn't entirely without offense. He summoned Kraken of the Straits. With Hero's Downfall already in the grave it looked like it could go all the way. Fournier would need to get lucky with his draws. Chang ripped Time to Feed, and inexplicably chose to kill the Returned Phalanx. That gave Fournier extra draws, and combined with Bident of Thassa he quickly worked all the way through his deck to get the Gild that was his only remaining solution to the mighty Kraken. Bident also meant that Chang couldn't amass small threats, they were constantly forced to run into Fournier's barricade of blockers.

Fournier's library had dwindled considerably, but thankfully for him Bident's draw is entirely optional. Chang politely asked him to reconsider drawing four of the last six or seven cards in his library, but Fournier insisted on standing pat. Victory followed shortly after.

Daniel Fournier defeats Morgan Chang 2-1