Despite the fact that he is coming off back to back Top 16 finishes at PT Houston and GP Reims Ruud was a little nervous coming into this round of 16. In fact, he tried to organize a 16 way split of $500 per player but it never came together. His opponent Mike Pustilnik has won just about every major tournament there is to win with the exception of an Invitational so I guess Ruud's jitters were understandable.
As they shuffled up before the game, Andrew Stokinger asked from the next table if anyone had a die. Mikey P whipped out a container of dies that he carries for just such an emergency and randomization broke out across all eight matches as Mike's dice were handed out like party favors. "Mike, if you were a token I would attack with you!" said Andy. We're still not quite sure what it meant but it sure sounded funny at the time.
Both players kept their initial draws and Ruud came out fast with Bird and a turn two Call of the Herd. Too fast for Mike's tastes and he countered it after much deliberation. Ruud cast Deep Analysis on turn three and Mike tapped out to do the same on turn four. Ruud took advantage of his opponent's lack o f untapped mana top cast Squirrel's nest on one of his own lands. Mike seemed unconcerned.
Mike tapped out again on turn five to cast Future Sight and showed ruud a Predict on top of his library. Ruud flashed the Analysis back and punished Mike for tapping out with Opposition. Mike still seemed unconcerned at this point and cast Predict during his upkeep. Predict and Future Sight is a nifty little combo because you get to see what your next card is before you name it. Mike drew two cards off of the Predict and and then drew a Smother with Edict on top of his library. One of the cards he drew off of the Predict was Engineered Plague and he cast it naming Squirrels. Once again Mike found himself tapped out and Ruud punished him this time with Static Orb.
Now Mike seemed concerned. He was never able to take advantage of the power of Future Sight because he never had more than two or three mana a turn while Ruud could tap his Static Orb and untap and make multiple Call of the Herd tokens. Eventually Mike succumbed and they moved onto the next game.
Mike - 0 Ruud - 1
Mike started the game with six cards and took a card away from Ruud as well when he Duress
ed an Opposition
. He also saw a Merfolk Looter
, Bird of Paradise and 2 Deep Analysis
. Ruud played the Bird and then the Looter on the first two turns with a Llanowar Elf thrown in for good measure. The Looter was Smother
ed before he came online but Mike had to tap out again on his turn four to cast Deep Analysis
and when he did Ruud played a Squirrel
's Nest. Ruud's Deep Analysis
x2 found him plenty of card including Logic
s for Mike's key spells--a Tog and an Upheaval
--and he was able to play both an Opposition
and a Static Orb
on turn seven. Mike conceded.
"If you draw two or more Deep Analysis in this match up Tog has a really hard time keeping up," explained a seemingly surprised Ruud.
Mike scolded the younger player for trying to arrange the split, " If your deck is that good you shouldn't be offering splits."
"I know how good a player I am though..."
Final Result: Mike - 0 Ruud - 2
PT Chicago Masters Gateway 2003: Squirrel Opposition
PT Chicago Masters Gateway 2003: Psychatog