Round 2: Alexander Kiracofe (RUG) vs Vu Phan (UW Stoneblade)

Game 1

Vu won the die roll and chose to go first, opening up with just a Tundra. Alex began with a much stronger start. Fetching a Volcanic Island, he cast a Delver of Secrets, to which Vu responded with a Brainstorm. A second Tundra entered the battlefield due to a Scalding Tarn on Vu’s turn, and he cast a Stoneforge Mystic, which was Dazed by Alex. The Delver of Secrets became an Insectile Aberration as Alex flipped a Ponder during his upkeep, which he cast after swinging with the Innistrad powerhouse. The next turn, the Insect swung onto an empty battlefield once again but Vu cast Repeal on the Insect. The Repeal set Alex back a turn as he played a Wasteland and cast Delver again, hoping for another lucky transformation. Vu attempted to resolve Jace on his turn, but a Force of Will pitching Stifle stopped the blue planeswalker from entering the battlefield.

The Delver once again became an Aberration as Alex flipped a Stifle. The Insect attacked Vu for 3, then was joined by a Grim Lavamancer. Vu attempted to regain control of the game with a second Stoneforge Mystic that did resolve and fetched out a Batterskull. Dismember took care of the Mystic as Vu’s Brainstorm yielded no way to stop it. The Insect and Grim Lavamancer swung onto the open battlefield yet again, taking Vu to a low 8 life.

When Alex swung again the next turn, Vu flashed in a Snapcaster Mage. Alex countered it with a Spell Snare, but Vu forced it through with a Counterspell. Unfortunately since he tapped out to resolve Tiago, Tiago simply traded with the Lavamancer. Vu cast the second Mind Sculptor of the game to bounce the Insect to force an empty board on Alex’s side this time, but a Lightning Bolt on Jace emptied out the field completely.

Finally playing his third land of the game, Alex cast what he had been so desperately looking for – green cards. His Flooded Strand got out a Tropical Island as he cast a Tarmogoyf, but that met a Spell Snare. An end of turn Vendilion Clique from Vu revealed even more – 2 more Tarmogoyfs, a Delver, and a Stifle. Vu sent the Delver to the bottom of the library and swung in for 3 damage.

Alex cast his second Tarmogoyf but, much like his friend, met another Spell Snare.  Alex cast another Delver of Secrets, but Vu swung the tide toward his favor again with a Counterspell. The next turn, Alex’s next Tarmogoyf was Force of Willed, taking Vu down to 4 life. Desperately trying to deal with the Clique which was slowly chipping down Alex’s life total, he cast a Brainstorm, which found a Lavamancer  and a Wasteland to take Vu down to 4 land. Unfortunately for Alex, Vu topdecked a Wasteland to play what he had been holding onto since what seems like the beginning of the game at this point – the Batterskull. Alex was prepared, however, as a Stifle prevented the Batterskull from being an immediate threat. Alex Wastelanded one of Vu’s lands to prevent him from equipping the Batterskull to Clique, then eliminated the Clique with one shot from the Lavamancer. At a mere 3 life, Vu returned the Batterskull to his hand at the end of Alex’s turn. However, with no way to remove the Lavamancer, the Lavamancer dealt 2 to Vu at the end of Vu’s turn, then finished Vu off on Alex’s next turn.

Alex 1, Vu 0

Game 2

Choosing to go first after narrowing losing the first game of the match, Vu kept his opening grip of seven while Alex shipped his back for a new set of six cards. The first couple turns of this game two was uneventful, with each player laying lands and passing the turn without any action. However, Alex missed his third land drop. Sensing an opening, Vu pushed forward with an end-of-turn Vendilion Clique. It resolved, and the Clique’s triggered ability targeted Alex, revealing 2 Lightning Bolts, 2 Force of Wills, 2 Tarmogoyfs, and a Stifle. Alex kept the cards and Vu took his turn. When he attacked with his Vendilion Clique, Alex attempted to Lightning Bolt the Clique, but Vu countered with a Spellstutter Sprite. Alex responded by tapping out to Stifle the Spellstutter Sprite’s trigger. The Clique went to the graveyard, but a Wasteland played by Vu took out Alex’s Tropical Island.

Alex ended his turn without making a land drop, and when Vu attempted a Stoneforge Mystic on his next turn, Alex used a Force of Will, pitching his second Force of Will to stop the Kor Artificer. However, things were still looking grim for Alex. Missing yet another land drop, Vu played a Riptide Laboratory which was certain to cause problems in combination with Spellstutter Sprite. The Spellstutter Sprite chipped away at Alex’s life total as Alex continued to end his turns with no more land drops. Vu tried to apply more pressure with an end of turn Snapcaster, but a Red Elemental Blast from Alex put a stop to that plan. Vu upped the damage count by sending a Mutavault in addition to the Sprite into the red zone, taking Alex down to 14. The next turn, a Lightning Bolt from Alex tried to kill the Mutavault when Vu sent it to combat again, but Riptide Laboratory saved it, earning a slight chuckle from Alex. Soon, another Stoneforge entered the battlefield for Vu. It was met with a Spell Snare this time around, but Vu was ready with a Spell Pierce. The third Force of Will drawn by Alex was used, but a timely Dispel ensured that the Mystic resolved. Still stuck on one land, Alex scooped up his cards.

Alex 1, Vu 1

Game 3

With only 2 minutes left in the round as they were shuffling up their cards for the third game, Alex and Vu agreed to take a draw for the match.

Alex 1, Vu 1