Round 12: Dane Coltman vs. Shun Jiang

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This is a match between the local lad Jiang (Kangar within Team Heaven) and the near-north invader, Dane from Canberra. It would be a close match-up between BW beats and RG (elves and goblins), with the loser being knocked out of contention for the top 8.

Game 1

Dane won the coin toss and chose to play. The early game was about each player hoping to not missing land drops. Unfortunately for Jiang, Dane ripped a swamp off the top for a morph to follow-up his second turn Glory Seeker. Jiang cast a morph and they traded creatures, but Dane continued the pressure with a second morph, Gustcloak Skirmisher, Gluttonous Zombie and Wretched Anurid.

A Wellwisher from Jiang only gained him a single life until Swat finished the wishing.

The evasion abilities of Gustcloak Skirmisher and Gluttonous Zombie finished Jiang off in quick time, with Sparksmith making only a quick cameo appearance as a blocker.

Dane wins game 1.

Jiang swaps a Naturalize for a different Naturalize from his sideboard in an effort to improve is odds of drawing one . . . an aside here – as there were many Centaur Glade and other troublesome enchantments opened at the draft tables, many players main decked enchantment removal. Dane had no sideboard changes.

Game 2

Jiang chose to play and both players developed early mana, cycling away land to draw (better) cards. Dane's early morph was thwarted by a Nosy Goblin, but his next play of Gravel Slinger was looking good against an army of elves and goblins. Jiang had the answer – Embermage Goblin, fetching a second to be a partner in crime. Daunting Defender and Daru Lancer were looking good, until Jiang cast the second Embermage, fetching a third! Three Embermage did bad things to Dane's creatures, especially when combined with Solar Blast for more removal.

Dane seemed to be very aware of his life total (still 17 at this stage) so he played a Nantuko Husk first, followed by a Wretched Anurid – the husk was poked by two Embermages in response, forcing Dane to sacrifice his Gravel Slinger, just to save a point of life.

From this point it was simply a matter of Jiang casting chump blockers for the attacking Daunting Defender – the combination of Dane's own Wretched Anurid and the three Embermage ended things quickly.

Jiang wins – 1 game all.

Jiang added his second Naturalize for Explosive Vegetation; Dane makes no changes.

Game 3

Dane takes a mulligan, and both players cycle cards – Jiang a Tranquil Thicket and Dane an Akroma's Blessing to improve their hands once again. Dane opens strongly with Glory Seeker and Wretched Anurid to apply early pressure. Wellwisher and Sparksmith hold things steady for Jiang, however the beats continue from Dane, who ripped Pacifism off the top for a Wirewood Elf enchanted by Cloak of Vigor that held things a bay for a turn. Jiang went as low as 8 life before more elves arrived to counteract the beating he was taking.

A Krosan Tusker off the top looked bad for Dane, and he simply said done in his own turn, allowing Jiang to force some creature damage through. Sadly for the Tusker, Dane had a combat trick – a second Akroma's Blessing allowing his group block to survive, and the Tusker went away. Sparksmith came and went without being of any use except blocking and Jiang went down to 5 life.

Then things turned.

Wellwisher #2 arrived, followed by #3 the next turn - however #3 was met by a Crown of Suspicion to stop things being completely silly. Thanks to the two Wellwisher, Jiang's life steadily rose even with the beating he was taking, and once he ripped his first Embermage Goblin, it was simply a matter of having enough mana to cast them quickly. Dane's life total, which was already at 9 life from Wretched Anurid disappeared in three quick pokes from the goblins.

Final Result: Jiang 2 - Coltman 1

Jiang wins and breathes a sigh of relief after looking bad early, with congratulations coming from his fellow team mates.

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