In August this year, Cole Swannack stormed the world and professional players twice his age by placing 17th at the World Championships in Sydney. Today he faces the runner up of the Australian Championship 2001. Andrew Gordon was defeated by his teamate Rob Nadebaum in'01 but spent virtually the whole year as the top ranked composite player.
Andrew won the die roll and chooses to draw, making Cole play first. Cole played the first creature – a Wretched Anurid on turn 2 trying to put as much pressure on early. The next 2 turns see both players see top quality goblins – Gordon a Sparksmith, and Swannack a Festering Goblin. Cole is allowed to swing once with the Anurid but after seeing the young New Zealander stall at 2 land (one of which being the painful Grand Coliseum), combines a Shock with the Sparksmiths ability to bring it down.
The festering goblin is allowed to push onward with Andrew's Spitfire handler trading with Cole's Riptide Biologist. Unable to find a third land, Andrew is allowed to exchange blow for blow by counterattacking with his Sparksmith.
Turn 6 sees Cole draw his 3rd land and put a stop to the Sparksmith beatdown. 6th turn for Andrew sees Rorix Bladewing attack for 6. Bringing Cole down to 8. Cole gained a fourth land (How lucky is this guy!) and played a morph creature (killed by Sparksmith). Andrew's tempo was stalled when a Chain of Vapor effectively became a time walk, make Andrew recast the dragon. Cole had stabilised as Andrew was taking 3 a turn at this point with the Festering Goblin swinging for 1 and the Sparksmith taking down what ever Cole could muster. With a fifth land Rorix fell victim to a cruel revival.
The lack of anything else on the board forced Cole (now at only 6) to keep the Festering Goblin at home to trade with the Sparksmith. The turning point being an Oversold Cemetary played by and a Nosy Goblin put forth. Unable to trade with out giving Andrew Rorix back, it turned into a small beatdown race, with Cole's Ascending Aven being followed with a Screeching Buzzard by Andrew. Two drops by Cole (Information Dealer & Ghost Courier) gave Cole a glimmer of hope. Trading the dealer on a mere 4 life to remove the threat of the Nosy Goblin, Gordon had the Cruel Revival ready for the lone flier and Cole scooped with the imminent attack of Rorix.
Andrew Gordon leads 1-0
Swannack – No Changes
Gordon – In, Nameless One. Out, Mistform Shrieker.
Cole elects to draw but sadly this match turns into an anti-climax as he again stalls at 2 land, offering a Riptide Biologist and a Wretched Anurid up as defense against Andrew's Severed Legion and Mistform Wall. A Lavamancer's Skill on the Mistform Wall picked off the biologist but lost it's skill due dto Cole's Chain of Vapor. For the second match in a row, Rorix saw play on turn 6 – making Cole accept the inevitable immediately by scooping.
Final Result: Gordon 2 defeats Swannack 0