Posted in NEWS on March 30, 2014

By Pip Foweraker

Nam began with a Thoughtseize, taking Watanabe's Underworld Connections. He followed up with a Pack Rats which was promptly killed with a Devour Flesh. Watanabe tried a Duress, nabbing himself a Hero's Downfall, then followed up with a Pack Rats. Nam tried a Nightveil Spectre, but Watanabe was having none of that nonsense and offed it in short order.

Nam pushed on with the disruption with a Thoughtseize, then both players summoned Desecration Demons, who dutifully glared at each other through the skies. Watanabe started using Rat Pack tokens to tap down Nam's Desecration Demon, knocking the GP:Melbourne champion down to dangerously low life. Nam pondered his options. With a Mutavault and 3 other lands on the board, he could stave off the Demon for a turn if necessary. He attacked, knocking Watanabe to 13, then summoned a second Demon and passed.

Nam considers some triggers

Watanabe drew his card for the turn and settled in for a good consideration. He only needed to punch through for 6 damage, but Nam had a lethal amount of damage on the board and had mana open to activate a Mutavault if necessary.

Watanabe moved to combat and set the Demon triggers on the stack. Nam sacrificed his Mutavault to tap down Watanabe's Demon, and before attackers, Watanabe cast a Devour Flesh to take out one of Nam's Demons, leaving them with one apiece, Watanabe still up a Pack Rat.

Nam attacked through the air for 7, then summoned a Gray Merchant of Asphodel, putting the life totals at 15-2, his favour. Watanabe went to combat on his turn and Nam declined to do anything with Watanabe's Demon trigger, letting him crash through the air for 7 (8-2). Nam knocked the top of his library and drew an Underworld Connections, which he cast before moving to combat. Watanabe created a Pack Rat token, but fed his Mutavault to the Demon trigger, leaving him with just enough cards and mana to spawn more Pack Rats. Nam looked to the top of his deck but couldn't draw anything in time, as both players headed to their sideboards after a tense first game.

Yuuya Watanabe 1 - Sung-Wook Nam 0

Game 2

A Thoughtseize from Watanabe stripped Nam of an underworld connections, and a follow-up Duress on the second turn took another one, but Watanabe failed to play a second land. Intrigued, Nam tried a Thoughtseize of his own and Watanabe spread a hand full of Underworld Connections, a Bile Blight, and another pair of Thoughtseizes.

Packing Rats like there's no tomorrow.

Watanabe hissed out some long-held tension as he managed to draw his second and third consecutive lands, having fairly completely stripped Nam of plays in the interim. Nam threw a Nightveil Spectre onto the battlefield before Watanabe killed it with a Bile Blight. Nam had a second Spectre, which Watanabe offed with his Hero's Downfall. Nam, bemused, shook his head as he started to fall behind on lands, unusual against an opponent who had kept a 1-lander.

The players went back and forth with threats and answers for a few cycles, Watanabe relentlessly drawing ahead as he loaded up his second Underworld Connections and cast an Erebos, putting Nam on a fiendish clock. Nam couldn't keep pace, and extended his hand a turn later.

After the game, Watanabe reconstructed his opener - triple Thoughtseize, Bile Blight, Swamp, double Underworld Connections. The players back-and-forthed over whether the hand was keepable, but after confirming Watanabe was running 25 land, Nam agreed the keep was reasonable.

Yuuya Watanabe 2 - Sung-Wook Nam 0