With both players sitting on 30 points, it was likely that this match was going to put someone into the top 8. 2-time Australian national team member, Lenny Collins, who had drafted a very aggressive red/green deck, was now facing Pro Tour veteran Itaru Ishida with a menacing black/green deck.
Ishida plays and begins with a Scythe of the Wretched
followed by a Krark-Clan Grunt
- Collins responding with an Elf Replica
. Ishida wasted no time swinging with the Goblin for 4 a turn in first 2 turns.
A Nuisance Engine on Ishida's side of the table proved to be a... nuisance for Collins as the Krark Grunt had infinite first strike. The first of what could be 4 Nim Shriekers was met with a Grab the Reins from Collins, who was more than happy to trade his Elf Replica.
The following turn another Nim Shrieker came out, and with Lenny having already taken 12 from the Scythed Goblin (whose Scythe was Deconstructed by Lenny), and facing a 5/1 flier who was only going to get larger (Nuisance Engine), Collins headed to game 2 in a very timely fashion.
Collins 0 - Ishida 1
Lenny plays and opens with a Slith Firewalker
, for a 2 early hits, putting Ishida on 17. Ishida's situation looks grim with no 3rd turn drop, taking another 3 from the dervish-like slith, and also allowing Collins to play a rearguard Tel-Jilad Exile
. It's not often they go for 4 in a row unchecked, by Ishida's Nim Shrieker
has to be replace with a second due to Collins' Electrostatic Bolt
Now on 8 and needing to keep his Shrieker alive to equip next turn, Ishida take one more hit of 7 (a 5/5 slith and the Tel-Jilad Exile) proved to be his down fall as Collins showed the Battlegrowth that sealed the game.
Collins 1 - Ishida 1
With lightning fast games like this it was no wonder Ishida elected to play, allowing Collins to mulligan to 6 cards. Ishida, opening with a turn #3 Nuisance and a turn #4 Shrieker was always going to put Collins on the back foot, especially coming off a mulligan. But Lenny wouldn't be denied tempo with a Goblin Striker and a Vulshok Berserker, which gave him the early lead in life scores.
No attack came from Ishida as he was willing to trade his Nim Shrieker
with the Berserker. A Predator's Strike
prevented that however, dropping Ishida to a precarious 8.
With another Shrieker, which could not commit as a block Lenny put him on 5 the next turn and followed with an ever resilient Duskworker.
Nothing on the 7th turn for Ishida, who had drawn a ridiculous amount of land was always going to spell the end - even letting Collins burn for 3 as he Deconstructed the Nuisance Engine.
Collins 2 defeats Ishida 1.
Pod #1, Draft #2
Pod #1, Draft #2