Round 15: Angelic Action

Posted in NEWS on February 16, 2013

By Josh Bennett

"This could easily be a PTQ." - Dave Shiels

These two players have been friends and fellow mages for years. Dave Shiels had taken a hiatus from competitive magic back in the days of the first Ravnica because of work responsibilities, but sometime around Scars of Mirrodin he decided to get his Masters Degree, and since then won Grand Prix Dallas in 2011 and finished in 2nd (behind his friend Matt Costa) at Grand Prix Baltimroe in 2012. This weekend, he's playing Blue-White-Red Flash, which has served him very well. He started the tournament out at 2-3, but has notched wins ever since to put himself within striking distance of a Top 8.

Now he has to face Day One's undefeated Melissa DeTora, whose 3-3 performance on the day has her and her Bant Control deck one win away from a virtual lock on Top 8.

Melissa DeTora and Dave Shiels, two long-time friends, face off in a match that will determine who will move on into Sunday's final matches.

Game 1

DeTora won the roll and got out to an early advantage with Farseek. Shiels played Boros Reckoner on his third turn, and DeTora drew with Think Twice. She untapped and played another Farseek, then passed it back. Shiels swung in and thought for a moment when DeTora tried Azorius Charm. She had three cards left in hand. He decided to advance his board and save his creature with Restoration Angel. DeTora untapped and cleared the board with Supreme Verdict.

Shiels was stuck on four mana. He played another Reckoner and watched as DeTora flashed back Think Twice. She untapped, played her eighth land, and cast a backbreaking Sphinx's Revelation for five. Shiels tried cycling an Azorius Charm, but his lands were hiding from him. He hit for three and passed.

DeTora tried Thragtusk, and it resolved. And end-of-turn Boros Charm put her to 17. Shiels hit for three more, played his tardy fifth land, and passed. DeTora hit back for five. Shiels took it. She added Centaur Healer to the board and passed. At end of turn, Shiels went for Snapcaster Mage. It resolved, and so did the flashed back Boros Charm. DeTora was down to 13.

Shiels untapped and thought for a moment. He played Glacial Fortress, then attacked with the Reckoner. DeTora sent it to the top of his deck with Azorius Charm. Shiels had another in hand, and played it. DeTora went for a Restoration Angel at end-of-turn, trying to flicker her Thragtusk, but a Searing Spear sent it packing. DeTora hit for 3 in the air, then played another Thragtusk.

Shiels swung in with both his creatures, signaling the Supreme Verdict to come. DeTora blocked Snapcaster Mage. Shiels went for Boros Charm to make his team indestructible, but DeTora was ready with Dissipate. He played the Verdict after combat, then let out a heavy sigh as he ended his turn. DeTora's Kessig Wolf Run and beast token put him to 3 before he got to untap.

He pinned his hopes on Boros Reckoner. DeTora attacked and he blocked. She put the Reckoner back on top of his deck with Azorius Charm and gave the beast trample with Kessig Wolf Run. Shiels's last hope was Searing Spear, but DeTora had Syncopate to sew things up.

DeTora 1, Shiels 0

Shiels brought in Jaces, Negates, Counterflux, Ghost Quarter, and Detention Sphere for two Azorius Charm, two Boros Charm, Unsummon and Searing Spear and a Sphinx's Revelation. DeTora swapped out two Centaur Healer, a Supreme Verdict and an Azorius Charm for Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, Detention Sphere, and two Negates.

Game 2

Both players built their land count up for the first two turns, no Farseek from DeTora. On his third turn, Shiels played Think Twice, then grimaced and passed. Detora cycled Azorius Charm and showed she was not similarly hobbled. Clifftop Retreat was waiting for Shiels, however, and a cycled Azorius Charm found him a fourth land, so things were underway in earnest.

DeTora tried the game's first threat, a Thragtusk, but it fell to Counterflux. After she played Farseek the following turn, Shiels tried an end-of-turn Restoration Angel. DeTora responded with one of her own. Shiels cleared a path with Mizzium Mortars and hit for three. DeTora tried Detention Sphere with four cards left in hand. Shiels Negated it. DeTora Negated back. Again the board was clear.

Shiels considered his next move. Having drawn out a counter and with DeTora only having two mana untapped, he went for the gusto with Jace, Memory Adept.

It resolved. He knocked ten cards off DeTora's deck and passed. It would be a very short clock. DeTora shortened it further with a Sphinx's Revelation for six, leaving her tapped out. Shiels dinged her for another ten and passed. After drawing, she had just sixteen cards left in her deck.

In the face of Shiels's six open mana, DeTora had no choice but to chance a Detention Sphere. Shiels Negated. That left her with seven mana for Gisela, Blade of Goldnight. Shiels paused briefly, then cast Counterflux. He untapped and Jace did his thing again. That was good enough to send things to a third game.

DeTora 1, Shiels 1

Game 3

Both players wished each other "No Mulligans" as they shuffled for the deciding game. Unfortunately for DeTora, it didn't work, and she went to six. Shiels stood on seven.

The audience, comprised of players, guests, and current competitors who have finished their matched, gather at the side of the stage and brace themselves for the final game.

The game opened similarly to the first, with DeTora building mana with a Farseek and Shiels trying a third-turn Boros Reckoner. DeTora considered before Syncopating it. She untapped, then played her fifth land and a Thragtusk. Shiels played a fourth land and downgraded it to "beast" with Searing Spear. DeTora had a second Thragtusk in waiting. That forced out a Supreme Verdict from Shiels. He played his fifth land and passed.

DeTora drew, hit Shiels to 14, and passed. Shiels drew and passed back. DeTora tried a Sphinx's Revelation for two, and it resolved. She hit Shiels down to 11, played a land, and passed. At end of turn, Snapcaster on Searing Spear took care of the beast.

For a couple turns, they played lands and DeTora's life total fell by 2 points at a time. Shiels drew cards with Think Twice. He resolved a Boros Reckoner, and DeTora went for an end-of-turn Restoration Angel. Shiels thought for a moment, then tapped all but one of his mana for Counterflux.

That was the window DeTora needed. She untapped and went for Sphinx's Revelation for four, all but one of her mana. It resolved. She played a land and passed, leaving two mana open. Shiels attacked her down to 23 and passed. Supreme Verdict swept away his creatures. He made no play on his next turn. DeTora went for another Restoration Angel, but Snapcaster Mage on Counterflux stopped it. She cycled Azorius Charm, then untapped, drew for her turn, played a land, and passed. She had four cards in hand.

Shiels tried Boros Reckoner. DeTora was ready with Dissipate. Shiels fidgeted with the three cards in his hand, before tapping two for Negate. The Reckoner Resolved. DeTora untapped and put the Reckoner in a Detention Sphere. Time was running out on the match. Just six minutes remained. DeTora played out lands while Shiels hit with his Snapcaster. He looted away some lands with Izzet Charm.

DeTora fights on, drawing what she can in an attempt to close out the game, and the match.

DeTora tried another Sphinx's Revelation for five, leaving five mana open. Shiels responded with Snapcaster, but it was Dissipated. He let that happen, then played a Negate. DeTora spent her last two mana on her own Negate, and the Revelation resolved. Unfortunately, it didn't have enough of an immediate impact. She played out Witchbane Orb and Farseek, but nothing more. Shiels attacked for four and passed. DeTora cast and flashed back Think Twice, and cycled Azorius Charm. Shield cycled one of his own and knocked her to four.

Another Restoration Angel for DeTora. Shiels verified that she did not have Kessig Wolf Run in play, and it resolved. She untapped, drew Kessig Wolf Run, and flipped it into play. She attacked, and after Shiels declined to block, pumped her Angel for lethal.

"Exactsies? You're not giving me any credit?"

"No credit."

Restoration Angel on Snapcaster let Shiels get at Azorius Charm, and he Counterfluxed DeTora's Negate. Time was called on the match, sending it into extra turns. DeTora dropped Detention Sphere on the Snapcasters and passed.

Shiels drew, hit for 3, and passed.

DeTora drew her Angel and passed.

Shiels drew, played Think Twice, flashed it back... and then extended his hand in defeat. He had no way to stop the lethal angel that was about to descend onto the battlefield at the end of his turn.

DeTora 2, Shiels 1

Melissa DeTora's Wolf Run Bant

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Dave Shiels's UWR Flash

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