The Feature Match table is not foreign territory for Raphael Levy, who has been a staple of the Pro Tour for years now. On the other hand, this is Malaysian Champion Sim Han How's first Pro Tour. Despite the inexperience factor, he's currently 5-0, and in prime position to make a run at Top 8. Levy is also 5-0, and the winner will enter tomorrow without a loss in the tournament.
Both players opened with forests, but only Levy had a one-drop in Nimble Mongoose. He followed with a Werebear, while Han How cast Squirrel Nest. Levy played his third forest in a row, and was obviously in desperate need of a blue source of mana. Han How's draw was fine, and Phantom Centaur hit the table. Levy answered back with a less-than-impressive Seton's Scout, while Fire took out the Scout and Werebear. Han How dominated the board even more with Wild Mongrel, and Nimble Mongoose chump blocked the Centaur before Levy decided to concede.
Levy- 0 Han How- 1
Levy was so despondent about his first draw that he asked a judge to shuffle his deck.
Han How- You know, that judge is from Malaysia.
Levy- Oh, really? Judge!
Levy opened with Careful Study
, discarding Wonder
and an island. Han How summoned a first turn Birds of Paradise
, while Levy had Nimble Mongoose
. Han How noticed "That's pretty slow" and Levy agreed. Han How summoned Llanowar Elves
, and was stuck at one land. Levy increased the pressure with a second Mongoose, while Han How brought out Mongrel and another Bird, to give him four mana sources despite only having one land. Levy had an explosive follow-up turn, summoing Werebear
and casting Breakthrough
for one to get threshold. A pair of flying Mongooses attacked for six, and Han How's lone Mongrel attacked, and was pumped twice as Roar of the Wurm
and Ray of Revelation
were discarded. Han How flashed back the Roar, but Levy increased his side of the board with a second 4/4 Werebear
. Han How began to draw his card and wondered "Miracle?" while Levy shot down that idea with a blunt "Perhaps not."
Levy- 1 Han How- 1
Levy shuffled up for Game 3, and Han How joked that he really wanted to shuffle Levy's deck so that he would be mana screwed like in Game 1. This resulted in some friendly banter:
Levy- "You're not touching my deck again! I'll call a judge and ask him to shuffle."
Han How- "Fine! Call a judge! I'm going to make you work for it!"
Han How accelerated his mana quite a bit, and had two Llanowar Elves
and Birds of Paradise
in play by his second turn. Levy simply cast Werebear
. Phantom Centaur
gave Han How a serious threat, while Levy summoned two Wild Mongrel
s. The Centaur came through for five damage, and Flametongue Kavu
killed a Mongrel. Levy's Mental Note
into the graveyard, and brought the Frenchman much closer to threshold. The Werebear
and Mongrel attacked and were not blocked, so Levy discarded Wonder
, Ray of Revelation
and a land to get threshold and deal nine damage. This was followed by another Mongrel, and Levy was left with one card in hand. Han How still did not have a second land, but his Elves and Birds were doing their best to keep him in the game.
Han How's Flametongue and Centaur attacked, and the Flametongue traded with the Mongrel. Han How played a second Centaur, and the race was on. Levy's Mongrel and Werebear attacked for six, and a second Mongrel held back the fort. It chump blocked a Centaur, while the other 5/3 monster and two Elves came through for seven damage. Han How then cast another Bird to give him chump blockers if needed. At that point, Han How had all the fat, and took the match.
Final Result: Levy- 1 Han How- 2
2002 Worlds (Type 2): Squirrel Opposition
Sim Han How
2002 Worlds (Type 2): UG Threshold