“I’m going to go 0-3 with two Slice and Dice”, bemoaned Ken Krouner right after the draft at his table. It might have been true-the table consisted of so many good cards that many players ended up with block constructed decks. His prediction came not true, as he and Trevor Blackwell sat down to game.
Ken started off the festivities by cycling Choking Tethers, which led him to a not quite strong turn three play of Goblin Sledder. Meanwhile, Trevor simply played swamp after swamp. On the fourth turn, Blackwell faced down Ascending Aven and the goblin, but his nearly mono-black deck Swatted away the Sledder.
Trevor’s deck contained a ton of removal, highlighted by Cruel Revival, Death Pulse, Crown of Suspicion, Feeding Frenzy, double Infest, and quadruple Swat (give or take the Solar Blast in his red). He faced immediate problems with popular internet writer Krouner dropped Charging Slateback, as his hand consisted of multiple Swat. He cycled one away, and used a third to kill a face-down Skittish Valesk.
Blackwell looked to stop the bleeding by playing Aphetto Vulture on the sixth turn. Ken turned his fellows straight into the flyer, exchanging the Slateback for the flyer. Trevor knew the rules well, and wisely chose to put the Vulture back on top of his library (since it could trigger its effect off of its own demise). Ken played Graxiplon on his next turn, after trading Ascending Aven for the Vulture. The 3/4 unblockable creature went all the way as Trevor drew no answers to deal.
Ken Krouner 1 - Trevor Blackwell 0
“Schwats are no good here”, joked Krouner.
“Swats and a bunch of land, you mean”, laughed Blackwell.
“I was looking at a hand full of morph creatures and I was like I’ll just play the goblin, thanks”, replied Ken.
Trevor decided to play first, as both players kept their hands. Ken’s hand consisted of multiple Islands and a bunch of red cards, which Trevor came out strong with a hand full of fast zombie beats. Blackwell went straight to the offense with Wretched Anurid and Severed Legion, and it looked bad for the bleached blonde Krouner.
Fortunately for him, Ken finally drew a Mountain on his third turn, and was able to drop Thoughtbound Primoc onto the board. Unfortunately for him, Trevor had one of his several Swats in hand to clear the flyer off of the table. Even more unfortunate, his fourth turn play consisted of Ascending Aven.
Trevor: “That guy can only block flyers, right?”
Ken: “Unfortunately, yes.”
Willing to race, Trevor cast Crown of Suspicion on his 2/2 fear creature to make it a 4/1 monster. His attack knocked KK down to a precarious five life. Ken, on his turn, cycled Slice and Dice to kill the Legion, but lost his own Aven to Feeding Frenzy. This left the board at Wretched Anurid to a newly cast Goblin Sledder, with the life totals at 13-5 in Blackwell’s favor.
On the next turn, Ken chump blocked, and Trevor passed the turn. Ken cast Flamestick Courier to knock Trevor down another life (via the Anurid) to bring the totals to 12-5. He once again chumped, but finally got a sixth mana to cast Graxiplon, 11-5.
Trevor thought for a mine, and then decided to cast Infest follow by Swat, killing the now 1/2 blue creature and allowing him to come through for one. Ken simply untapped and played Mistform Mutant, his second in a crusade of huge six casting cost blue critters. This finally stalled the game, with Trevor’s response only being a morph guy, while Ken summoned Mistform Dreamer and Cloned his own Mutant, giving him two 3/4 creatures and a 2/1 flyer to Trevor’s 3/3 zombie and mystery morpher, with the life totals now a much more even 7-4.
Trevor decided he’d had enough, and swung with both of his guys. Ken sat long and hard deciding how to block, since he was aware of Trevor’s second Swat. He couldn’t afford to let any damage through (since Trevor might have Solar Blast), and he was afraid that Trevor’s last card in hand might be the second Infest. Wisely, he chose to block the 3/3 with one of his Mutants and the morph creature with his flyer. Trevor indeed had Infest number two, but it only killed one of the large and in charge blue guys.
Ken, facing an empty board against an opponent with an empty hand, had no hard times winning with his remaining Mutant combined with a freshly drawn Charging Slateback.
Ken Krouner 2 - Trevor Blackwell 0
GP LA First Rochester Draft
GP LA First Rochester Draft