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Pro Tour-Chicago 1999
Round 12 Feature Match

Christian Lührs vs. Pat Chapin

Christian Lührs came into round 12 on the verge of his second top 8 at 10-1. Pat Chapin was 9-2 and in 5th place. Chapin's Necro deck is set up well to handle creature decks what with 4 Spinning darknesses and 4 Contagions in the main deck, but Lührs is running Counter-Sliver and none of Pat's removal works if Crystalline Sliver is on the table.

Pat was able to use Demonic Consultation to play a turn 2 Necropotence in game 1, but Lührs followed that up with a turn 2 Crystalline Sliver of his own. Pat's hand looked a lot worse after that. Pat used Unmask to remove Swords to Plowshares from Christian's hand and then Consulted for Masticore. Finally he Ritualled it out, drew some more cards, and used his Spinning Darkness on his own Masticore just to gain 3 life.

Lührs played another Sliver and then Chapin attacked with masticore. Lührs chose not to block and a race ensued. Necro can't really afford to get hit by 4 power worth of creatures every turn, but Pat fought valiantly to find a way to win. He would attack and then Corrupt thus gaining enough life to counteract Lührs' slivers for one more turn. The whole game came down to one Demonic Consultation. With twelve cards left in his library Pat needed the one remaining Dark Ritual in order to Drain Christian for enough to kill him. He went for it, but the last Ritual was in the top 6 cards and so Pat's library was gone. Lührs was then able to chump block Masticore enough times to win with his own Slivers.

Pat mulliganned before game 2, but did manage to force Necro onto the table on turn 3. He chose to Unmask Christian's Force of Will rather than Counterspell because he knew Lührs would play a Sliver on turn 2 instead of leaving up Counterspell. Pat was right (and so was Lührs, for that matter -I would have done the same thing in Lührs' seat) and Consulted for Necro so he could cast it on turn 3. Lührs committed a second sliver to the board and then chapin laid a disk. After the Disk wept the board (giving Chapin back his draw phase too), Lührs played a Hibernation sliver. That made Pat's removal less effective as well and the Dystopia in his hadn didn't help against a black/blue sliver. Pat tapped out for Masticore and then Lührs top-decked a Consult. He named Disenchant and soon Masticore was gone. That left Pat trying to race with drain Lifes when he knew Lührs still had counterspell in his hand. He tried a desperation Consult for Unmask with just one left in a 23 card library and lost it in the first six once again.

At 11-1 Christian Lührs has now clinched the Top 8. That makes him only the second German player ever with two Top 8's. The first is not Budde or Baberowski or even Konstanczer - it's Peer Kröger. Chapin's 9-3 record puts him in a must win situation with two rounds to go.

Chapin - 0
Lührs - 2

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