Posted in NEWS on March 2, 2014

By Pip Foweraker

Chapman is a member of Team Awesome Pirate, one of Australia's more colourful teams. Famous for boisterous behaviour and outlandish attire, Chapman let down the collective hopes of the coverage team by failing to show up in a Pope hat or dressed as an actual Pirate. Still, there's always next time.

His most estimable opponent, Hao-Shan Huang, disdains all activities of a piratical or even nautical nature. His team, MTG Mint Card, has been on a tear of late, placing members into multiple Top 8's and pioneering the successful Blue Moon deck at Pro Tour: Born of the Gods.

An early Lifebane Zombie from Chapman nabbed Huang's Courser of Kruphix. Huang summoned a Sylvan Caryatid, threatening an early Stormbreath Dragon, and followed up with a Domri Rade, who revealed another Dragon on top of his library. Chapman took to the skies with a Desecration Demon before Thoughtseizing one of the Dragons. Huang summoned the other one but couldn't attack profitably before Chapman offed it with an Ultimate Price.

Huang looked to the top of his deck for more threats, but couldn't muster anything meaningful while Chapman's Demon went to town on his life total. A few turns later, and it was all over for the first game.

Craig Chapman 1 - Hao-Shan Huang 0

Chapman offed an early Domri Rade with a Hero's Downfall, but Huang simply summoned another Planeswalker. Xenagos made a Satyr and started the assault, while Chapman's Thoughtseize took out a Mizzium Mortars, clearing the way for his mid-game creatures. A Lifebane Zombie took a Ghor-Clan Rampager out of the equation, but Huang simply summoned another one and swung with his Satyr and a Mutavault.

Chapman was happy to trade his Zombie for the Mutavault, keeping Huang from getting too adventurous with his mana. He had a Desecration Demon to clog up the red zone. Huang had a Domri Rade and a Polukranos, tipping the balance of the game somewhat back in his favour. Chapman was having none of this nonsense, offing a Satyr with a Bile Blight and holding yet more removal in hand.

Chapman looks for more buckles to swash.

In Chapmans' combat, Huang sacrificed his Rampager to slow down the Desecration Demon for a brief spell. Chapman was sandbagging an Ultimate Price. Huang activated his Domri Rade and drew into another Ghor-Clan Rampager, then settled in to run some math calculations. After a moment's reflection, he summoned the Rampager and sent Polukranos in to battle, where Chapman promptly killed it. Huang sacrificed a Mutavault to keep the Demon out of play for another turn. Chapman summoned a Lifebane Zombie and cast an Underworld Connections.

Huang fired off Xenagos' ultimate but whiffed on creatures, punching a bunch of lands into play with a frown. Domri Rade peeked and fetched him a Scavenging Ooze, who started going to town on graveyards. A freshly summoned Sylvan Caryatid tied down the Demon once more. Chapman summoned an Orzhova and blinked it out at the end of his turn.

Huang used his Domri to make his Scavenging Ooze fight the Lifebane Zombie, and then Plummeted the Desecration Demon to leave himself with enough creatures in the graveyard that Scavenging Ooze was lethal on the swing. Chapman chuckled at the play and shifted to his sideboard for the third game.

Hao-Shan Huang 1 - Craig Chapman 1

Huang started off with an early Domri Rade, which Chapman immediately Pithing Needle'd. Huang summoned a Polukranos, who paid the Ultimate Price before the dust of his arrival had had time to settle. Chapman, not done with messing with Huang's game plan, Thoughtseized a Rampager from Huang before attacking with his Mutavault.

Huang grimly observes the demolition of his board.

After a few turns without any action, Chapman resolved a Lifebane Zombie and started swinging. A second Lifebane Zombie revealed a sandbagged Plummet, but Huang was in trouble without any creatures to deal with the Zombies.

Huang eventually found a Courser of Kruphix and a Polukranos, but an Ultimate Price in response to his Monstrous activation prompted him to extend the handshake.

Craig Chapman 2 - Hao-Shan Huang 1