Semifinals: Chapman Sim vs. Pascal Maynard

Posted in Event Coverage on February 2, 2015

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Chapman Sim and Pascal Maynard are close friends. They tested with one another for Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze and they’re constantly checking in on the other when both in attendance at the same event.

As they shuffled up for the first game, the two players joked with one another about how terrible their deck was at Pro Tour Dragon’s Maze. Apparently, Maze’s End wasn’t the best choice.

The first game showcased one of the worst Limited matchups imaginable for Sim. Every time it seemed like Sim might have a chance to force through some damage, Maynard was one step ahead with a much stronger card.

Sim eventually found Dromoka, The Eternal, but it was quickly dealt with via Grim Contest using a massive Abzan Battle Priest.

Before too long, Maynard had Necropolis Fiend and Abomination of Gudul attacking without resistance in the air while Sim’s ground army was halted by an army of walls and Temur Sabertooth backed up by a lot of mana. Sim picked up his cards and was ready for a second game.

Sim got off to a fast start in the second game. Ainok Bond-Kin was joined by a morph and Alabaster Kirin over the first four turns.

Maynard tried to keep up with Mer-Ek Nightblade, but Dragonscale Boon gave Sim’s Ainok Bond-Kin First Strike and enough power to overtake Maynard’s four drop.

Maynard looked to be getting back into the game when Daghatar, the Adamant came down, but Sim’s Alabaster Kirin, now suited up with Temur Runemark, was attacking in the air. Maynard couldn’t find an answer in time and they were on to a third game.

The third game started without much action after Sim went down to six cards. The slower game definitely favored Maynard, whose deck was vastly superior in the long game.

Things got interesting on the sixth turn when Maynard had two morphs and Abzan Battle Priest with a +1/+1 counter to Sim’s Sultai Flayer and single morph. Sim was tapped out and only his morph was untapped. Maynard, assuming the coast was clear, attacked with all of his creatures. Sim blocked Abzan Battle Priest with his morph, revealed a Green card, and traded his Temur Charger for the much more impressive Abzan Battle Priest. Maynard quietly passed the turn without another play.

Sim was happy with the turn of events and immediately sent his Sultai Flayer into the tapped creatures on Maynard’s side of the table. Maynard tapped five lands and flipped up Pine Walker to eat Sim’s Sultai Flayer.

Sim was now out of gas and Maynard still had a full grip of cards. After a bit of thought, Sim decided to congratulate his friend on making the finals.

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