2010-11 Precon Championships: Turian Division (Part 2 of 2)
Welcome back sports fans and thrill-seekers of all ages! Today we have some exciting Turian Division action as we cut the field from four decks to one. The action promises to be hot and heavy as we have some of the field’s strongest contenders readying to do battle with one another for the right to represent the Division in the Conference Finals. Our first battle today is between two decks from New Phyrexia, but there the similarity ends. One of them- the favourite- is an Event Deck, Rot from Within, which put up one of the most dominating performances to date when it obliterated Archenemy’s Trample Civilization Underfoot in the first round. Aiming for an upset is Life for Death, the Phyrexian mana-fuelled Intro Pack deck.
Our other preliminary matchup features an Archenemy deck that did break out of the first round, the reanimating Bring About the Undead Apocalypse. It has its work cut out for it as it squares off with another premium product, the Tezzeret deck from Duel Decks: Elspeth vs Tezzeret. Once both games have been decided, the winners will then be pitted against one another with the Turian Division going to the winner.
We go now to the battlefield, for our opening matchup. Both decks stand ready to contend… but in the end, only one will survive.
Rot from Within (NPH-e) vs Life for Death (NPH)
Life for Death tries hard, bringing out a Golem’s Heart, a Slash Panther, and a Shattered Angel, but it can’t hold up to a turn-1 Glistener Elf (backed by a Mutagenic Growth), Ichorclaw Myr, and Viridian Corrupter. At 8 poison counters, it looks to hold out by Shattering the Myr, but a charging Putrefax closes it out.
No mercy for the weak! is the battlecry of Rot, attacking on turn 2 with a Glistener Elf backed by two Groundswells, for a total of 9 poison counters. Life buys a turn by Act of Aggressioning the Elf, but when Rot then plays a Blight Mamba, it has no way to stop both and takes its tenth counter.
WINNER: Rot from Within
Bring About the Undead Apocalypse (ARC) vs Tezzeret (DD)
Tezzeret gets out his usual array of early-game stalls- the Trip Noose, the Assembly-Worker, even the Runed Servitor– but Apocalypse has other, more sinister plans. It throws away a Swamp and a Kaervek the Merciless to deploy a turn-3 Avatar of Discord. Next turn it Zombifies Kaervek, and Tezzeret can only slow its quite inevitable dismantling.
Tezzeret pushes back in game two. With a solid early deployment of an Energy Chamber and an Arcbound Worker, the artifacts are off to a very promising start. With a one-land hand (plus a Rakdos Signet), Apocalypse keeps a questionable opener. Its Festering Goblin and Reassembling Skeleton buy it some time, but that time becomes less when a Clockwork Hydra touches down. Apocalypse Terminates the Worker at five counters (thanks to that Chamber), adding a huge bump to the Hydra but making it a touch easier to chump against- one threat, as opposed to two.
Apocalypse holds on and builds its manabase while Tezzeret presses his advantage. Tezz adds a Steel Wall, and with the aid of a pair of artifact lands it cheats Qumulox into play for a bargain. Meanwhile, Apocalypse has stalled long enough to bring out an Infectious Horror followed by an Avatar of Woe. With Apocalypse down to single-digit life, the Avatar smites the Qumulox, but then gets bounced with an Æther Spellbomb. Still, Apocalypse then hardcasts the Artisan of Kozilek (with, alas, no creatures in the graveyard), and begins to take over the game. The Artisan’s relentless attacks annihilate Tezzeret’s manabase, and the re-cast Avatar’s shadow looms large over any creatures. Finally, with Tezzeret’s defenses down, Apocalypse swings for 20 with the Artisan, Avatar, and an Infectious Horror.
WINNER: Bring About the Undead Apocalypse
Turian Division Final: Rot from Within (NPH-e) vs Bring About the Undead Apocalypse (ARC)
Rot gets a hoped-for blitzing start behind a Glistener Elf and an Ichorclaw Myr, with a Mutagenic Growth added on the first attack. Apocalypse tries to stabilise with a Cemetery Reaper, but it dies agter chumping a Putrefax powered out by a pair of Overgrown Battlements. It Signs in Blood, draws nothing, and scoops.
Rot opens with an Ichorclaw Myr, then follows with a Glistener Elf and Carrion Call to add even more infect vectors. Apocalypse holds its ground, though, countering the initial surge with a well-timed Terminate to kill an onrushing Rot Wolf in response to an attempt to Groundswell it. It evokes a Shriekmaw to kill another Rot Wolf, and sets up a blocking picket with an Infectious Horror and Festering Goblin. When Putrefax lands via a Green Sun’s Zenith, Apocalypse Makeshift Mannequins back the Shriekmaw to kill it, then lands its best play yet- Kaervek the Merciless.
It follows with an Extractor Demon after Rot nibbles with an Inkmoth Nexus. A second Putrefax charges in, trading with the Demon and trampling though with some extra poison counters thanks to a Groundswell. But Apocalypse has held the line- just barely- and Rot is spent. Apocalypse delivers a lethal alpha strike the next turn, and Rot suffers its first defeat of the tournament!
If Apocalypse can hold off Rot’s early beats (and survive the pump-spell fury), it has a chance and that’s all it can ask. A Glistener Elf hits hard with a Groundswell to kick things off, but then Apocalypse starts a defensive push headed by an Urborg Syphon-Mage. A Corpse Connoisseur– discarded early after Apocalypse played a Rakdos Carnarium with eight cards in hand- is returned with a Zombify. The Connoisseur comes into play, allowing Apocalypse to fetch the all-star Kaervek the Merciless and pitch him directly from library to graveyard. Apocalypse solidifies its manabase to the extent that it opts to cycle a pair of Barren Moors, and it’s looking like it has a chance. The board grows into a standoff between a pair of Rot Wolves and two Twisted Abominations– a state that favours Apocalypse.
This lets Apocalypse go on the offensive, replacing the attacking Abomination with a Dregscape Zombie to hold the line, but its Apocalypse’s removal that makes the difference. A Green Sun’s Zenith’d Putrefax draws a Terminate, and a Rakdos Guildmage converts extra lands to kills. Soon Rot is back on its heels, and falls before a horde of undead. Bring About the Undead Apocalypse has pulled it off!
WINNER: Bring About the Undead Apocalypse
With Rot from Within’s brutal showing, it wasn’t at all certain that a slower, more deliberative deck like Bring About the Undead Apocalypse would be able to triumph. But Apocalypse has firmly declared itself a force to be reckoned with, having the gnawed bodies of two different Event Decks under its bootheel. It will now turn its attention to the our final rounds of preliminary action, waiting to see who will emerge to challenge it and claim the Forsythe Conference title.
It won’t have long to wait.