With nineteen points, Jeff Fung has run out of breathing room. He took an intentional draw with Pete Radonjic in round 9, and lost last round. His comfortable cushion to make top 8 is gone, and now it's do or die time.
His opponent, Toronto native Richard Hoaen, is no slouch in limited but has dug himself quite a hole. During deck registration for this draft, he forgot to register four of his Torment cards. The penalty? A match loss last round, and he was forced to replace the four cards with basic lands in his deck, bringing his mana count to a whopping 22. Expect no mana problems for Mr. Hoaen.
Fung came out of the gates with a quickness in Game 1, curving right up with Druid Lyrist, Nantuko Tracer
, and Phantom Tiger
Hoaen put out a Compulsion on turn 2, quite good in the 22-lander, and basically dared Fung to pop his Lyrist on it. But Fung was more into attacking with his 1/1 and let Compulsion stay.
Hoaen had spells to play, putting out an Angelic Wall and an Aven Fisher, and slapping a Kirtar's Desire on the Tiger. The Desire put a real crimp in Fung's style, so he used the Lyrist on it.
Fung kept dropping the beats, Petravark, Ember Beast, and Grizzly Fate for two. Hoaen couldn't stop the advancing hoards, and after casting Deep Analysis, packed 'em up.
Fung 1 – Hoaen 0
Hoaen's deck behaved quite normally for one with so many lands. It can only get better once he adds the other cards go back in.
Hoaen was the aggressor in Game 3 with a turn-1 Devoted Caretaker, turn-3 Skywing Aven (one of his previously missing four cards), turn-4 Aven Fogbringer, and turn-5 Wormfang Drake.
Fung had nothing to stop the flying beats, just a pair of Phantom Tigers and a Petravark. In seven short turns, Fung was at zero.
Fung: "That game was quite savage."
Fung 1 – Hoaen 1
Fung got to go first in the crucial third game an had a very aggressive hand – Tracer, Phantom Tiger, Ember Beast and Druid Lyrist all by turn four. But Hoaen was curving just as nicely – Devoted Caretaker, Aquamoeba, Militank Monk, and Wormfang Drake (removing the Caretaker).
Fung sent his team into battle, and came out a little behind in the "trades" – he lost his Tracer and his Lyrist and his Tracer, and Hoaen lost nothing. But Fung's last two cards were the dynamic duo of Sonic Seizure
and Fiery Temper
, which he used to kill the Militant Monk and the Wormfang Drake.
Fung kept trying to get damage through, but he had clearly lost the upper hand, if he ever had it at all. Hoaen's deck was coughing up the stone-cold nuts against red/green: Hallowed Healer, Shieldmage Advocate, and Mirror Wall. An Aven Fogbringer even gave him some aerial offense.
Fung had a cute Sonic Seizure/Basking Rootwalla trick ready when Hoaen attacked with the Aquamoeba, Mirror Wall, and Aven, but he couldn't have realistically expected it to accomplish much. The Devoted Caretaker countered the Seizure, with the Advocate and Hallowed Healer looking on as backup. Hoaen put out a Beloved Chaplain and an Aven Fisher. It was all over but the singing.
Final Result: Fung 1 – Hoaen 2
Jeff Fung is now eliminated from Top 8 contention. Richard Hoaen, who started this tournament 0-2, is now one win away.