Sam Gomersall, England’s one and only Pro player, pilotting a varient of Bob Majer’s WR control deck is playing on his home ground against America’s well travelled Ed Fear, playing Shvartman’s Bad Form. Both of these players need a win here to progress to day two, the loser falling into the X-2 bracket going on to need a win to have a chance at making it on tie breakers, so all is to play for.
Gomersall opens with the all important Lightning Rift, Fear could only Shock to the dome, ‘Like the kiddies do’. Fear’s Bad Form struggled for land in the opening few turns, cycling frantically to find more. Gomersall’s Rift was joined by its partner in crime, an Astral Slide and more land.
Rorix Bladewing made its appearance but was held at bay by Gomersall’s Slide. The Englishman kept pecking away at the American’s life total with cyclers. Fear dropped the double-edged Form of the Dragon and fell to five, a risky manoever considering Gomersall’s Rift and his plethora of mana.
Forced to cycle a card every turn to keep the Rorix from mauling him, Gomersall will find it difficult to find enough cyclers to finish Fear before the Form kills him.
The turn before the Form sealed his fate, Gomersall laid his eigth land and her ladyship – Akroma, Angel of Wrath, made an appearance. Fear dug with cyclers to find an answer but his mono red deck failed to give him enough burn.
Gomersall 1 – Fear 0
Things change with the sideboard. Fears gains Lay Waste, Misguided Rage and Ark of Blight to gain a huge mana advantage. Going first, he’s hoping to come out of the blocks stomping and ride the early advantage home.
It was not to be, a turn two Ark stalled the Englishman, but it was Fear’s two Lightning Rifts that would cause the real problems. An end of turn Wipe Clean dealt with one but the other still raged uncontested, knocking Gomersall to fourteen when he cycled his Eternal Dragon for some much needed land.
A second Ark forced Gomersall to regrow his Dragon, but Fear’s land destruction had ceased to be a real problem. The American smashed with a freshly summoned Rorix, but it was met with a Wing Shards. A turn later, another Rorix reared its ugly head and succeeded in doing the first Dragon-sourced damage of the match.
Akroma’s Vengeance swept the board of Fear’s Rift and Dragon, only to be replaced by a For. Another Vengeance dealt with it in turn, but only after Fear’s life total dropped to five.
Both players dug deep with cyclers, Fear coming up trumps first with a Menacing Ogre. Numbers were secretly written and revealed, Ed won having paid three life and the Ogre smashed Gomersall to three.
Gomersall finally ripped his eighth land and Akroma settle things there and then.
Gomersall 2 – Fear 0