Thinnakorn Pornpisutthiwora is a highly regarded local player who found himself at 2-0 without the benefit of any byes. His opponent this round is Brad Taulbee the lone American in the tournament. Brad was in Southeast Asia for a planned trip to Malaysia and took a detour to compete in the Grand Prix despite having only one bye. He was playing the same deck he piloted to a 5-1 record at US Nationals not too long ago—Psychatog with Shadowmage Infiltrators. Thinnakorn is also playing Tog but he is not running any copies of Johnny Magic.
Brad played first and opened with a turn two Compulsion
. He followed up with a Shadowmage Infiltrator
that would not be long for the game. Thinnakorn's hand was full of removal. The only problem was that he was light on lands. He missed his third land drop but was still able to dispatch Johnny Magic with an Innocent Blood
Brad had another at the ready but Thinnakorn had to have something if he didn't have any lands. He cast Chainer's Edict and passed the turn back still without land number three. He attempted a Compulsion on the next turn but Brad cycled into a Circular Logic and countered the spell though his own copy of the enchantment.
By the time Thinnakorn found land number three Brad had already cast Deep Analysis twice and was cycling away excess land at the end of each of Thinnakorn's turns. When P finally made it to four lands he was reluctant to tap out and discarded a Deep Analysis rather than give Brad an opening to Upheaval with what was more than twice as much mana in play.
Brad continued to cycle like crazy while Thinnakorn was still in need of lands. By the time he got to six lands Brad was ready to Cunning Wish for the dreaded and soon to be departed Mana Short. After a brief Counter war, Brad tapped his opponent out.
He was able to Upheaval floating SIX mana—as much as his opponent had in play—and cast two Psychatogs with an untapped Island for Logic back-up. Thinnakorn conceded.
Brad – 1 Thinnakorn – 0
Thinnakorn did not keep his opening hand and kept the next six. He was faced with a decision on his first turn—should he lead with Swamp and Duress or should he play and Island and have a Counterspell available from turn two onward? He chose the former and he lost his Counterspell when Brad led off his turn with a Duress of his own.
Thinnakorn saw an Upheaval, Counterspell, Circular Logic and another Duress and took the Upheaval. Thinnakorn drew into another Duress and Brad used the Counterspell.
Thinnakorn attempted an early Tog that was countered and then both players laid lands and said, "Go" for awhile. Things got interesting when Thinnakorn attempted a Deep Analysis
. "Time for a rules question." Brad called a judge to find out if he could Stifle
the card draw from Deep Analysis
. He did not ask the question in a way that the judge could answer it and Brad decided to throw caution to the wind, "I will target the card draw and if it is not a legal target I will have to take it back."
Judge -- "You cannot do that."
Brad— "OK...Is that a caution or a warning?"
It turned out to be a warning and when Thinnakorn flashed back the spell next turn, Brad was very careful about asking if the flashback could in some way be Stifled. The judge explained that it could not—it is a static ability--and they got back to the game.
Brad cast a Duress which was Countered and he followed it up with Concentrate. He found a Shadowmage and played it and after hard-cast Logics on both sides of the table it resolved. Thinnakorn was holding nothing but lands after the brief counter war.
Brad's next couple of attack phases yielded him cards—including two Concentrates. A Psychatog joined the Invitationalist and Brad had the counter for the attempted Smother. When a Duress revealed nothing but two Polluted Deltas, Brad started doing the Tog math. It was enough and he was victorious.
Final Result: Brad – 2 Thinnakorn – 0