Round 1 Feature Match: Grouch vs. Giant Cockroach

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Giant Cockroach is Ed Fear, Adrian Sullivan and Mike Thomas. Ed Fear hardly needs an introduction; this controversial character returned to the game after his suspension with a roar, coming in ninth at Pro Tour-Nice. Adrian Sullivan is a well known deck builder and veteran of the game. Mike Thomas on the other hand is not terribly well known, but he was the first player to break the 2000 level in limited ratings, and the number three rated Vintage player. For a team with no byes, these guys have a good shot at taking home a prize. Fear played a green/blue deck which could quickly achieve Threshold and featured two Grizzly Fates. Adrian played an aggressive red/white deck with lots of tricks and phantoms. Thomas' deck, admittedly weak, was mostly black with some green and some blue.

Grouch is a team of old schoool New Jerseyites: Feming Chan, Mike Lucarello and Andrew "PT Competitor" Longo. Even before the Pro Tour existed, these guys were making their money playing Magic in the weekly $1000 New York Magic tournaments, along with their afro-wearing friend who became the undisputed best player in the game for many years, Jon Finkel. Grouch has been playing even less than Johnny Magic these days, and it showed in this match, as they constantly grabbed their opponents' cards to read them. Lucarello played a blue/white deck which almost seemed to have more fliers than lands. Andrew piloted a red/green deck, and Feming a red/black.

The first game of each individual match was fast and furious. Longo started well with Harvester Druid and Seton's Desire, but he didn't draw much else and very quickly died to Sullivan's horde of Phantoms. Meanwhile Ed Fear kept a one land hand with Diligent Farmhand and failed to draw a second land until it was too late. Feming Chan never made it past two land, even after Thomas had Rabid Elephant attacking. All three games were over quite quickly, with the score 2-1 in favor of Giant Cockroach.

Fear started with Diligent Farmhand again in the second game, but this time actually had land to back it up. Mike responded with a Beloved Chaplain. When Ed attacked with his Farmhand, Mike reread his Chaplian and then blocked, saying "I'm not that bad!" Ed then had a Squirrel Nest, but Mike was ready with Aven Cloudchaser. More fliers quickly followed, while Fear seemed to just draw land. When Mike played Battle Screech and flashed it back, Ed knew there would be no comeback.

In the second game of the Sullivan-Longo match, creatures quickly built up to a standstill. Adrian's creatures happened to include Phantom Flock, Phantom Nomad and Pilgrim of Justice. When he cast Devastating Dreams and discarded seven cards, Longo could only frown and remove all his own permanents from the board while still facing three creatures.

Meanwhile, the third match was looking close. Chan had started by mulliganing and drawing only mountains, but was able to not get run over thanks to a Pardic Firecat with Arcane Teachings. When he drew two Swamps in a row and played Butchered a Rabid Elephant, it seemed that he had the advantage, facing just a second Rabid Elephant. But Thomas was able to hold the fort with a Krosan Archer. Feming killed the other Elephant, and Mike had Gravedigger. Then Feming decided to get tricky: Holding Morgue Theft, he attacked with his Butcher, hoping to be able to get it back and kill another creature. Unfortunately, he hadn't fully read the Butcher, and didn't realize that it is not just a Nekrataal. The mistake ended up costing him the game, as he had taken enough damage early that the Rabid Elephant killed him a turn before he could kill Thomas.

Team Giant Cockroach 2 - Team Grouch 1

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