Round 12 Feature Match

Posted in GRAND PRIX TAIPEI 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on July 27, 2014

By Chapman Sim

Team MTG Mint Card's Huang Hao-Shan has four Grand Prix Top 8s, twice in Singapore and twice in Australia, but never in his home country. Also, it is rare for Huang to be paired against anyone with more Grand Prix Top 8s as him, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

At an identical 9-2-1 record, Tobey Tamber's had five lifetime Grand Prix Top 8s (Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur 2002: 7th,Grand Prix Kaohsiung 2000: 1st, Grand Prix Kyoto 2000: 8th, Grand Prix Taipei 2000: 8th, Grand Prix Taipei 1999: 3rd), one of them even achieved during the last century. Three of them were in Taiwan and his Champion title comes from defeating Kuo Tzu Ching more than 10 years ago at Grand Prix Kaohsiung.

Both players are 2-0 for Draft 1 and looking for the clean-sweep that would keep the hopes of a Top 8 berth alive. Huang Hao-Shan has put together a Black Red aggro deck with cheap creatures and removal, while Tobey Tamber has decided to take to the skies with his quadruple Welkin Terns, double Dauntless River Marshal and Avacyn, Guardian Angel.

Game 1

Huang was forced to mulligan his initial seven but he was able to cough up Black Cat and Xathrid Slyblade on turns 2 and 3. Sadly, they won't be able to the block triple Welkin Tern presented by Tamber.

"Don't do that. Don't do that all nonblack creatures get -1/-1 thing," prayed Tamber. He was visibly pleased to see Scrapyard Mongrel instead of the Festergloom he was fearing.

The backbreaker came in the next turn, when Huang presented Burning Anger. Usually, a bounce spell would do the trick but not this time. Huang smartly chose to place it onto Xathrid Slyblade, which conveniently has hexproof.

When Huang tried to shoot down one of the three Welkin Terns, Tamber used Peel from Reality to return his own Welkin Tern and Huang's Scrapyard Mongrel, while pushing 4 damage from the other two Welkin Terns. He redeployed the bounced copy and Huang was reduced to just 10 life.

When Paragon of Gathering Mists entered the battlefield, it boosted the trio of Welkin Terns to 3/2s. With Selfless Cathar as a backup, Tamber could effectively save his Welkin Tern for yet another turn. Huang could only shoot down one and drop to 4 life.

"Cone of Flame?", asked Tamber.

"Nope, next game."

Tamber wins Game 1 with 3 Welkin Tern and Paragon of Gathering Mists.


Game 2


Huang was forced go mulligan again but his draw seemed to be much better than his opponent's. Huang managed to flood the board with Typhoid Rats, Child of Night and Carrion Crow but all Tamber could manage was Selfless Cathar and Amphin Pathmage.

Now that he was on the receiving end of beatdown, he decided to trade in his Amphin Pathmage with Child of Night and restocked with Nimbus of the Isles. That was a perfect blocker for Necrogen Scudder.

Avacyn, Guardian Angel made a brief appearance, before falling to Flesh to Dust. Tamber took 6 damage that turn, going down to 8. Tamber laughed at the Ephemeral Shields he drew on the next turn, a card that would have kept Avacyn alive. It wasn't a totally useless card though, and he used it to give Huang's Scrapyard Mongrel indestructible, so that he could cast Illusory Angel to stem the beats.

With Jace's Ingenuity in his hand and Huang down to no cards, Tamber was hoping that Huang would draw a land. Instead, Huang ripped Inferno Fist and stuck it on Typhoid Rats. Tamber decided to block

Carrion Crow flew in for two damage, and then two more. Tamber was down to just two life and he managed to topdeck Welkin Tern to maybe survive. Huang showed him Ulcerate and they were on to the third game.

Huang uses cheap creatures backed up with removal to clinch Game 2.


Tobey Tamber 1 – Huang Hao-Shan 1


Game 3

After two mulligans from Huang, it was Tamber's turn this time round. He managed to enlist Dauntless River Marshal but being stuck on three land didn't help at all. His hand included Illusory Angel, Razorfoot Griffin, Avacyn, Guardian Angel, Jace's Ingenuity and Paragon of Gathering Mists, all of which cannot be deployed.

Dauntless River Marshal traded with Bronze Sable, and Tamber was ready with another. But he scooped up his cards when Huang assembled the combo of Xathrid Slyblade and Burning Anger once again.

Tobey Tamber 1 – Huang Hao-Shan 2

Huang Hao-Shan wins 2-1 and keeps his dreams of making his 5th Top 8 alive.