Both of these players are well-known within their own country, but have little experience on the Pro Tour. Indeed, Will Turner doesn’t have a lifetime Pro Tour point to his name, and Mike Major has only played at two Tours. Regardless, they managed to pilot their way to the top eight. Mike got off to a very strong start on day one, and never looked in danger of missing the cut. In contrast Will had to manage a 5-1 record on the draft day to make it to Monday’s games. Mike is a member of Team Leeds, a group of players who had four players in Pod One as day two’s drafts got underway. Unfortunately they are much better known for being strong Constructed players than Limited ones, and Mike was the only one to get through. Will Turner lives in Essex.
The best-of-five-matchup sees Mike Major’s Opposition deck against Will Turner’s Blue-green madness deck.
Mike won the die roll and went first, with Will making a turn one Basking Rootwalla and a turn 2 Wild Mongrel. The Wild Mongrel was Smothered and it rapidly became obvious that both players draws were less than stellar. The Leeds player was stuck at only two lands in play, neither of which produced green mana. Turner hard cast a Wonder and then an Arrogant Wurm on the fourth and fifth turns. Major did manage to find a third land, but all he could play with two Islands and an Underground River was a Static Orb. This only prevented the inevitable for a single turn. “My hand had a lot of gas, and I figured my chances of drawing a Forest were reasonably good, so I had to keep,” explained Mike.
Will Turner 1 – Mike Major 0
Once again Mike went first and this time both players managed to find the correct color of mana. They also both found a Wild Mongrel. Will swung with his on his turn three, dropping an Arrogant Wurm into play and a Roar of the Wurm into the graveyard. Major just played a Birds of Paradise and a Wild Mongrel. Turner wanted to force through damage and so he discarded two cards to Turbulent Dreams the pair of Hounds. Unfortunately for him Mike Major had an Envelop. Regardless he swung anyway with his Mongrel and Wurm, dropping Major to 8. He flashbacked a Deep Analysis to regain the card advantage lost to the Dreams.
Major dropped an Opposition which allowed him to tap any potential attackers on the net turn. Will’s draw was looking pretty good though since he had Quiet Speculation to fetch two Ray of Revelations and a Roar of the Wurm. Once the Opposition had gone Mike was in deep trouble again. Will had a second Turbulent Dreams in his hand. All Mike could do was once again play a Static Orb to slow the game, not so great without Opposition in play. Turner was easily able to force through the remaining eight points of damage with his Arrogant Wurm – Major had to leave his Mongrels tapped to Smother the opposing Mongrel, and then had them returned to his hand with the Dreams.
“I don’t think a fourth turn Bird of Paradise is really the acceleration I was looking for,” said Mike.
Will Turner 2 – Mike Major 0
As Will’s shuffling Mike’s deck for the third game, he accidentally reveals a Forest. The penalty is only a warning. “Well at least I know there are Forests in this deck.” Major’s opening hand contained no land, so he had to go down to six. Will’s draw of no blue sources, two Turbulent Dreams and no Madness outlet was also unusable. His second draw had only a Forest, and although it had an Aquamoeba and a Careful Study so that the hand would be perfectly good with a topped Island. In the end he had to keep a single Forest five card hand.
Mike made a first turn Llanowar Elf this game for the first time in the match. This allowed him to make a third turn Opposition which was soon followed up by a fourth turn Squirrel Nest. Turner had to draw a Ray of Revelation fairly quickly. Mike wasn’t on low enough life to worry too much about tapping all of Will’s creatures. He tapped down all of Will’s blue sources each turn instead meaning that Will wasa unable to use the Quiet Speculation in his hand to fetch Ray of Revelation. Will did manage to just draw a Ray of Revelation, but as Major already had eight squirrels in play it was one turn to late – as this game Will didn’t have any Wonder to make them unblockable. The 1/1 horde ended this one in two swings.
Will Turner 2 – Mike Major 1
Will had a difficult decision in this game. He had a one Island, Careful Study hand with a Ray of Revelation in it and elected to keep. It looked like a good decision as the Study gave him a Forest and a Wild Mongrel. Mike played an Elf, a Bird and a Wild Mongrel. The Study had also allowed Will to discard a Wonder. His hand had now become pretty special, since as well as having Ray of Revelation for the first Opposition, he drew a Quiet Speculation to fetch two more Rays as well as a Deep Analysis.
Without an Opposition, Mike had to try and race. He swung for three with the Mongrel and Elf, dropping Will to 17. The race seemed pretty far in Will’s favor as he attacked with his Arrogant Wurm and Mongrel, discarding another Wurm. Mike was on nine facing three flying creatures so it was good that he had another Opposition. It looked at that point that he might be able to squeeze out the race by tapping once then swinging back with everyone.
Will once again had the correct answer to the problem – Turbulent Dreams. He used that to bounce all of Mike’s creatures and Ray of Revelationed the Opposition. Mike had to admit defeat.
Will Turner defeats Mike Major 3 – 1