Round Eight Feature Match: Jonathan Sonne vs. Michael Musser

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"I have been in a feature match before, but I didn't do very well," Michael commented. Michael is from Houston, TX, and was featured previously in Pro Tour: Venice in round 14. Jon hails from New Jersey, and is part of that venerable TOGIT crew that everyone loves so much. Well, except for Osyp.

(just kidding, we love you too, Osyp!)

Game One

Michael opted to draw after winning the die roll. "I'm going first?" Jon asked. He led with a mountain, and Michael played a Forest and a Pyrite Spellbomb. Jon's first creature was a Gold Myr, played on his second turn. Michael countered with an Iron Myr of his own. Jon attacked with his Myr, and Michael opted not to block, going to 19. Jon then rounded out his turn with the day's most popular creature, Spikeshot Goblin.

Michael played a Mountain and sacrificed his Spellbomb to kill Jon's Goblin, then attacked to bring Jon to 18. Jon played another land, then tapped out to cast a Pewter Golem. Michael's third color (white) showed up, and he asked, "You have no land untapped?" as he cast a Deconstruct on Jon's Golem. Michael then played a Clockwork Condor and swung with his Myr again. Jon's next play was a VulshokGauntlets, and he then passed the turn after equipping his Myr with the Gauntlets. Michael played a Copper Myr on his turn and then attacked with his Clockwork Condor. Jon's next play was another Hematite Golem, looking kind of sad at his lack of creatures. Michael played a Blinding Beam with entwine at Jon's end step, tapping both Jon's creatures and leaving them tapped for Jon's next turn.

Michael attacked and then played a Loxodon Punisher. His side of the board looked mighty impressive next to Jon's, which contained only two creatures. Michael next played a Lightning Greaves and attempted to equip his Punisher with the Greaves, but Jon had the Terror in response. Michael instead casually moved the Greaves over to his Iron Myr.

Jon switched his own Gauntlets over to his Pewter Golem, then played a Lightning Greaves of his own. He played the last card out of his hand (a Swamp) and passed the turn with a hugely equipped Golem. Michael answered with a Crystal Shard on his own turn and passed back without attacking. Jon drew and stared at his deck for a moment, then surveyed the board. He attacked with his Golem, and Michael blocked with his Clockwork Condor, which he then returned to his hand via Crystal Shard. Jon played another Gauntlets and switched the old ones over to his Gold Myr, along with the Greaves. Suddenly, Myr creatures seemed quite impressive and not nearly as harmless. Such are the benefits of equipment.

Michael played the Condor again and equipped his Lightning Greaves, attacking with the Condor to bring Jon down to 6. Michael then played a Spikeshot Goblin and equipped it with the Lightning Greaves. What an excellent combo! Jon drew and again, spent some time thinking about what to do. He eventually decided on equipping his Golem with the other Gauntlets and attacked. Michael blocked with his Iron Myr and took some damage, but not enough for Jon's tastes.

Jon drew his card and shook his head at his deck. "That's game," he said.

Jonathan Sonne 0 - Michael Musser 1

Game Two

Gerard Fabiano stopped by to share some stories about his match, as Jon chose to play in this game too. Jon led with a swamp, and played a Leaden Myr on his second turn after tapping his swamps and thinking about the play. Michael's first play was a Lightning Greaves, lonely on the board without a creature to equip. Jon played a Gold Myr and a Lightning Greaves of his own, then equipped the new Myr and attacking Michael. Michael shuffled his cards around, looking for another color, as he'd played nothing but plains thus far. He passed the turn without playing anything else.

Jon played a mountain (his second color) and tapped out to play a Nim Shrieker. After equipping it with the Greaves, Jon attacked and then played a Vulshok Gauntlets. Michael countered with an end-step Blinding Beam to stop , and Deconstructed the Gauntlets on his turn after finding a forest. After playing a Loxodon Punisher, Michael equipped it with the Greaves and attacked for four.

Jon played a Spikeshot Goblin on his next turn, and equipped it with the Lightning Greaves so he could attack Michael. Michael, completely unfazed, untapped and attacked with his Punisher. He then played a Tel-Jilad Exile to round out his offense. What looked like an easy win for Jon quickly turned into a difficult battle.

Jon cast Promise of Power to draw five cards, and went to seven life. He threw down another Mountain and counted his cards in hand and lands in play to himself. Jon played another Gold Myr, then atatcked with his Nim Shrieker to deal four damage to Michael. He frowned as he moved his Greaves over to his Gold Myr and passed the turn.

Michael drew, and attacked with both his creatures after he declined to play a land. After much deliberation, Jon blocked the Punisher with his Spikeshot Goblin, and allowed the damage from the Exile. Michael rounded out his turn with an Arrest on Jon's Nim Shrieker, and passed back to Jon.

Jon tapped all six of his lands and played a Mirror Golem, removing Spikeshot Goblin. "Protection from creatures," Michael verified as Jon determined attackers. He decided to send the Leaden and Gold Myrs. Michael retaliated with an all-out offensive, attacking with both his creatures again. Jon was forced to block or suffer the consequences of death, and chose to block the Exile with the Mirror Golem and the Punisher with his Gold Myr. Michael acknowledged damage, then played a Clockwork Condor on his turn and equipped it with his own Lightning Greaves.

Jon played another Mountain on his turn and thought. He then picked up three lands (one mountain, two swamps) and thought some more. He eventually decided to equip his Leaden Myr with Vulshok Gauntlets, and thought once again. He decided to attack with all his creatures, trying to bring Michael low enough to finish him off before the Condor killed him. Michael blocked Jon's lonesome Gold Myr with his Condor, and went to a 'myr' two life. Jon played another Spikeshot Goblin, and passed the turn back to Michael.

Michael played a Predator's Strike on his Loxodon Punisher, and sent both his creatures into the Red Zone. "Good game," Michael said as he and Jon shook hands. This game, and indeed this entire match, was characterized by technically perfect play on both sides.

Jonathan Sonne 0 - Michael Musser 2

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