The seventh round is the first hurdle for an undefeated player. Victory means locking up Day 2. Defeat means frustration, stress, and visions of impending doom.
Oregon’s Timothy Muller joined his playgroup in their long-weekend trek up to the GP. Originally having settled on Hall of Famer Raph Levy’s Loam-Pox deck, its performance in Friday trials left Muller dissatisfied. He made an audible to Abzan, and is sitting at a comfortable 6-0.
Channel Fireball’s own Paul “PAUL” Cheon has been on a rollercoaster lately. He went from the dizzying high of taking home the trophy at Grand Prix San Jose with his Pork Bun Oath teammates Eric Froehlich and Luis Scott-Vargas, which had the added benefit of qualifying him for Pro Tour Fate Reforged as a Silver Pro Club Member, to the gut-churning drop of a dismal result there. Now he’s back to his winning ways, and looking to repeat the efforts that made him the 2008 Grand Prix Vancouver champion.
Cheon couldn’t keep his opening seven, but his six were acceptable. Muller kicked things off with Noble Hierarch and Scavenging Ooze while Cheon smoothed his draw with Serum Visions. Cheon added Grim Lavamancer to his board and passed. Muller hit for three and brought out Tarmogoyf. Cheon went for another Serum Visions, and Abrupt Decay sent the Lavamancer packing before it would have enough fuel. Cheon had a replacement, but he didn’t have a third land.
Muller wasn’t going to give him much chance to recover. He brought out Gavony Township and boosted his squad, hitting for seven. Cheon took one more turn and then decided to move on to the next game.
Muller 1 – Cheon 0
The second game kept a more sedate pace. An early Inquisition of Kozilek for Muller took out Remand, and then he fed a Tarmogoyf into Cheon’s Flame Slash. That let him delve out the mighty Tasigur, the Golden Fang. However, Cheon had drawn a nice one. He tapped four and brought out Sower of Temptation, stealing the legend.
Muller had no immediate answer and so brought out a Siege Rhino. Cheon tapped three and lowered the boom – Blood Moon. That knocked Muller back to just a single source of green. He threw out a Tarmogoyf as a speedbump but with no way to get back his Tasigur his fate was sealed. Soon he was shuffling up for game three.
Muller 1 – Cheon 1
Muller opened with Tarmogoyf and attacked with it as an anemic 1/2. Cheon was happy to trade a Snapcaster for it before it could get out of hand. He untapped and again brought down Blood Moon. Muller was able to fetch out a forest to go with his basic plains, but had no source of black mana. He was locked out of his hand of Siege Rhinos and Tasigur.
Paul Cheon defeats Timothy Muller 2-1