Round 4 Feature Match: (11) Reid Duke vs Tim Goldy

Posted in Event Coverage on February 22, 2015

By Josh Bennett

The early rounds of a Grand Prix can be tough. You’re still settling into your groove, and you’ve got a long road ahead of you.

The Players

Idaho’s Tim Goldy got roped into making the long drive up by his best friend. “This is my second GP, and actually my first time playing Modern.” He’s made the most of it. Playing a Mardu Midrange deck of his own design, he rattled off three wins to kick things off.

Of course, now he has to face 11th ranked Reid Duke, whose attitude of goodwill and sportsmanship conceals the heart of a killer. He’s brought a surprise choice for the weekend: Black-Green Death Cloud!

The Games

Goldy sent back his opening seven but stayed on six cards. Duke led off with Inquisition of Kozilek and saw an unorthodox spread of Lightning Helix, Dark Confidant, Lightning Bolt and three lands. It even earned a surprised “Hm.”

Goldy gave a wry smile. “I decided to play a brew, now I’m here in the Feature Match wondering why I did it.”

Duke took Lightning Helix. Goldy got his Confidant into play, but Duke was ready with Abrupt Decay. Goldy shifted gears with Lingering Souls. Duke brought out Sakura-Tribe Elder and passed. Goldy swung overhead for two and flashed back Souls. That was enough to force Maelstrom Pule from Duke to reset the board.

Still, Goldy wasn’t short of resilient threats. His next play was Sorin, Lord of Innistrad who immediately spat out a token. Duke tapped five for Primal Command, sending Sorin back to the top of Goldy’s library and tutoring up Eternal Witness. It hit the battlefield immediately, getting back the Command. Duke was happy to trade it off for the token. Goldy recast his planeswalker and made another token. Duke repeated his Primal Command, but this time got Thragtusk. Goldy stubbornly did it again. Inquisition from Duke stole Lightning Bolt from him and showed that Crackling Doom and Zealous Persecution were waiting in the wings. He animated his Treetop Village and took a swing at Sorin, leaving him at one loyalty. Goldy untapped and dropped a topdecked Dark Confidant. It looked like he was starting to pull ahead.

Duke’s next play completely flipped the script: Garruk Wildspeaker, untap Golgari Rot Farm and swamp, Death Cloud for 5. Goldy was left with just a single land and Sorin. Soon he was buried under a tide of beast tokens, accurately represented by Owen Turtenwald cards.

Duke 1 – Goldy 0

“Somehow I don’t have much of a sideboard for Death Cloud.”

“Yeah, I almost laughed when you said you’d brought a brew. Me too!”

“Yours seems spicier.”

Goldy had spice of his own, though. His turn-two Soulfire Grandmaster earned an appreciative smile from Duke and a quick death from Victim of Night. Goldy cast Inquisition of Kozilek and saw that Duke had no additional lands in hand. He stole Maelstrom Pulse, leaving behind two Death Clouds, Damnation, Primal Command and Tasigur, the Golden Fang.

Duke bricked on his draw step and sent it back to Goldy. Goldy was likewise handicapped, but had Dark Confidant to help his cause. Duke missed again. Goldy was not so unlucky. He brought out Goblin Rabblemaster and hit for three. Duke found a third land and spent Maelstrom Pulse to clear out the Rabblemaster. The Confidant continued to serve up goodies. Duress from Goldy took out Damnation before it could be a problem. Duke delved out Tasigur, but Goldy started launching burn at his head, then untapped, cleared a path with Crackling Doom, and finished Duke off with an attack and a Bolt.

Duke 1 – Goldy 1

Goldy picked apart Duke’s hand early with Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek, leaving him with only lands. Duke’s deck was kind, however, offering up Sakura-Tribe Elder and then Garruk Wildspeaker after Goldy brought out Soulfire Grand Master. Duke upped Garruk’s loyalty and passed, his Elder diving in front of the incoming Master and searching out a land. Duke made a beast and passed it back.

Unfortunately for Duke, Goldy had his fifth mana, which meant he could start rebuying single-mana spells. If you haven’t had the pleasure of the five-mana buyback Lightning Helix, I can recommend it. Duke swung in for six with his Treetop Village and beast. Goldy had no fear, falling to four. Duke made a beast and passed. Lightning Bolt took it out at end of turn, giving Goldy three life and winding up back in his hand. An attack from the Master gave him more life and took care of Garruk.

Racing clearly wasn’t an option for Duke. He tried bringing out the mighty Thrun, the Last Troll, but that fell to a buyback Crackling Doom on Goldy’s turn. Finally, Duke found his deck’s namesake at the top of his deck. Death Cloud for three left them both empty-handed, but Duke had the edge thanks to Treetop Village. Goldy drew and passed. Duke drew and saw Obstinate Baloth smiling back at him. Goldy’s draw of Goblin Rabblemaster was outclassed, and his life total was collapsing. Kitchen Finks gave Duke the extra attacker he needed to put the nail in the coffin.

Reid Duke defeats Tim Goldy 2-1

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