The name "Tsang" looms large in the annals of Canadian Magic. Gab Tsang is one of the all-time most revered players in the country, up there with old-time greats Eric Tam, Paul McCabe, and Terry Borer. Gab has made the Canadian team twice, and those two teams finished first and second in the Worlds Team Championships. Only Jon Finkel and Mike Long can claim better results. The other Tsang, Terry (unrelated), is certainly no slouch either. He has a PT Top 8 to his name, and was the winner of this very tournament a year ago.
Both Tsangs are reeling at the moment, however. With identical 4-3 records, neither can afford a loss. And now they must face off, to see which Tsang will continue on the road to the Top 8, and which will be playing for rating points.
Gab drafted a bomb-filled black/red deck, and Terry has a 15-land blue/black concoction packed with Mental Notes and Obsessive Searches.
Gab started the action with a turn-2 Mesmeric Fiend, revealing Chainer's Edict, Mental Note, Frightcrawler, Organ Grinder, and three land. Gab chose the Edict. Mental Note netted Terry a Toxic Stench, and he put out his Frightcrawler.
Gab played a Dwarven Recruiter and debated whether or not to fetch another Dwarf. Terry reminded him that the searching was mandatory, so Gab fished through his library and decided to "find" his second Recruiter.
Terry put out his Organ Gringer, but Gab burned up his team with a Swelter.
Terry: "Yeah, that's about right."
Gab put out his second Dwarf (Terry then made him shuffle), and Terry answered with an Aquamoeba. It looked as if Gab then hit a pocket of land, as he did nothing for a few turns, and Terry started going to town – another Mental Note, a Flash of Insight for three, a Wormfang Crab, flash back the Insight, Cephalid Looter, Aven Fogbringer, and Thought Eater.
Gab found a Barbarian Bully that was mildly threatening, but Terry got to threshold an killed it with Toxic Stench. After that, Gab had nothing, and the Crab and the fliers killed him.
Terry 1 – Gab 0
Gab drew his Sengir Vampire and his Shambling Swarm in his opening hand for Game 2, but frowned when he realized there was only a lone Swamp for land. He had to throw it back. He kept the six carder.
It was Terry that had the turn-2 Mesmeric Fiend in this game, robbing Gab of his Barbarian Bully, leaving him with Cabal Torturer, Grotesque Hybrid, Lightning Surge, and a land. Gab drew and played a Dwarven Recruiter, which Terry killed with Chainer's Edict.
Terry: "It's going to get him anyway, am I right?"
Terry played out some beaters – Fright Crawler and Thought Eater – potentially setting up the Sadistic Hypnotist
in his hand. Gab found a second Swamp and put out his Torturer, but that was all the action he was going to get from that hand. Terry dropped the Hypnotist and sacrificed the Mesmeric Fiend and the Hypnotist itself, forcing Gab to discard Lightning Surge, Grotesque Hybrid, and Barbarian Bully. Gab was left with an empty grip, five land, a Cabal Torturer, facing down a 3/3 Frightcrawler and a Thought Eater. The best card Gab drew was Mad Dog
, and Terry added a Hydromorph Guardian
and an Organ Grinder to his side.
As Terry attacked in the last turn, Gab scooped up his cards. "I can't win," he said.
"Wait," said Terry. "I've seen your deck. It's insane, and I don't think I can win next round." Gab looked confused. Terry continued, "It doesn't do us any good to knock us both out of contention." Gab handed Terry his deck and he leafed through it, marveling at all the good cards. "I'll scoop," said Terry.
In a crazy act of kindness, Terry Tsang conceded the match to Gab Tsang with the hopes that Gab will go 4-0 over the rest of the tournament and make the top 8.
Terry is now out of contention, and Gab should have to play the winner of the Evans/Raymond match to see who wins the table.
Final Result: Gab Tsang over Terry Tsang via concession.