Having tasted the sweet, heady heights of an Australasian Grand Prix Top 8 before, Yifan Wei (Melbourne 2014) and Luke Mulcahy (Brisbane 2011) were both looking to add another to their resume here this weekend. Mulcahy also had an Australian National Team membership on his side, but who’s counting?
Oh right, I was. Anyway, on to the match!
Wei was the aggressor early in the match, attacking Mulcahy with a Mardu Hordechief, a Mardu Woe-Reaper, and a Watcher of the Roost, the Woe-Reaper pumping Wei’s life total higher and higher as Mulcahy’s headed in the opposite direction.
Mulcahy traded creatures where he could, and had to Reach into Shadows to take down the Watcher of the Roost, before finally playing a Dromoka, the Eternal. Wei attacked with a 1/1 Warrior token and an Aven Skirmisher, leaving back a Morph and the Woe-Reaper.
X marks the Mulcahy. Here be dragons.
“Very bold...” Mulcahy mused, leaning over the table to study Wei’s board. Mulcahy shrugged and pushed the 5/5 Dragon in front of the 1/1 Skirmisher. Wei played Harsh Sustenance, allowing the Skirmisher to trade with the Dragon, and putting himself up to 29 life.
Mulcahy untapped and summoned a replacement dragon, Atarka, World Render.
Knowing he wouldn’t last long in front of Atarka, even at 29 life, Wei swung his team at Mulcahy. The Morph turned out to be a quartet of goblins in a Morph costume, but Wei couldn’t deal enough damage before Atarka rendered his face off.
Mulcahy 1 – Wei 0
Down a game, Wei made things even harder for himself with a mulligan to five.
“I don’t know that I can win on a mulligan to four,” he bemoaned with a smile, keeping a one-lander.
Mulcahy lead with a Mardu Hateblade and a Typhoid Rats, while Wei immediately found the two lands he needed on top of his deck to actually make a game of it, playing a Seeker of the Way on turn two, and an Arc Lightning on turn three.
“That’s how you win,” Mulcahy laughed.
“Just play everything off the top!” Wei replied with a grin.
Yifan Wei is playing out the best worst mulligan to five ever.
Mulcahy played an Alesha’s Vanguard, but Wei drew a fourth land attacked through it with a War Flare. Mulcahy again drew and played Dromoka and passed it back. Wei played a fifth land and attacked.
“Sooo,” Mulcahy pondered, “what have I seen so far?”
Eventually, he nudged his dragon in front of the Seeker. It was a good bluff, but a bluff none the less, and Wei was out of gas. Mulcahy added an Ainok Bond-Kin and an Orc Sureshot to his board and attacked, bolstering the Bond-Kin, and the game was over.
Wei might not have been able to win on four, but he came close with five.
Luke Mulcahy defeats Yifan Wei 2-0