Top eight PT Tokyo competitor Phil Freneau, formerly of team Alpha-Beta-Unlimited, sat down across from GP Milwaukee winner and old dinosaur Eric Taylor.
Gerard Fabiano: “Hey Eric, you always get a round three feature match!”
Eric Taylor: “That’s because they know I won’t be around by the end of the day.”
Phil won the die roll and chose to play first. His white/red deck featuring Rorix and a ton of removal faced off against Taylor’s Red/Green deck which sported Mythic Proportions and Centaur Glade.
Eric started things off with a first turn Goblin Taskmaster, which Phillip shut down with a second turn Glory Seeker. EDT answered with a face-down Haunted Cadaver, which died quickly to an Erratic Explosion (sending Pacifism to the bottom of Phillip’s deck). He then played a Taskmaster of his very own, and traded his soldier for EDT’s self-pumped goblin.
The board didn’t stay at neutral for long. Freneau summoned Aven Soulgazer and Avarax in consecutive turns, which EDT could only answer with Taunting Elf (which chump blocked Avarax) and Centaur Glade. Taylor only played endless streams of Mountains, with only two Forests to his name. He stabilized slightly next turn by trading a centaur for Avarax, and casting Shock on the Taskmaster after it was pumped to 3/1.
Taylor seemed confident as the game progressed, even though his life total was being reduced quickly by the 3/3 flyer. He steadily employed a stream of Centaurs aided by a Skirk Commando, even in the face of a newly summoned True Believer across the table. The life totals stood at 17-4 in Phillip’s favor, as he held Wave of Indifference and a Mountain in his hand.
EDT swung for six, trading the goblin for the cleric. He summoned Leery Fogbeast and passed the turn. Freneau drew, and pondered the board. Unhappily, he was forced to hold back. EDT took advantage of this momentum to cast a game-winning Gratuitous Violence, allowing his guys to swing for infinite damage.
Eric Taylor 1 – Phil Freneau 0.
EDT: (Shaking his hands nervously) That game was close.
Phil: (Grimly nods)
Random Spectator, to EDT: So you were at four life with a 3/3 flyer on the board?
EDT: Yeah. As I said, close.
The two players quickly shuffled, with little sideboarding on either side. Phil looked wistfully away from the table, deep in thought. With a sigh, he decided to ‘try playing first again’.
What a good day for opening hands, as for the fourth straight game I’ve covered, neither player took a mulligan. Things heated up with first turn Taskmasters on both sides of the table, both of which died following Phillip’s turn two attack phase.
Freneau stared stone-faced at his hand, lips taut as he failed to play a third land. He nodded to himself solemnly, face flushed with frustration as he faced Goblin Sledder, Elvish Warrior, and a morph creature on his fifth turn. Discarding Avarax, he extended his hand on EDT’s fifth turn as the old man dropped Gratuitous Violence and smashed face.
Eric Taylor 2 – Phil Freneau 0.
GP LA Day One Sealed Deck
GP LA Day One Sealed Deck
Eric “Danger” Taylor