2011-2012 Precon Championships: Turian Division (Part 2 of 2)
As of today, three will be settled, and only one shall remain.
We’re approaching the finish line of the 2011-2012 Preconstructed Championships, and it is shaping up to be a very intriguing contest. Over in the Rosewater Conference, Hold the Line and Spectral Legions are treating their wounds, preparing for the final showdown between the two that will see one of them to the finals, and the other join the other fourteen decks that won’t even rate a footnote.
Meanwhile, the Turian Division has been whittled down to only four. On the one hand, we have Illusionary Might, the Magic 2012 Event Deck, taking on the last of the Commander decks, Heavenly Inferno. The other four went down in flames, and this is their final chance at glory. On the other hand, Koth’s deck is set to go up against another Event Deck, Spiraling Doom. Today’s winner will be the first of two decks to vie for Forsythe Conference honours, and the right to battle for the ultimate prize.
Time for battle!
Game 21: Illusionary Might (M12) vs Heavenly Inferno (COM)
Unsurprisingly, it’s Might that gets off to the faster start, chaining a Phantasmal Bear before a pair of Spined Thopters, using Phyrexian mana on the Thopters to squeeze in some Preordains along the way. Inferno manages to stabilize after fixing its mana with an Armillary Sphere, sticking a Lightkeeper of Emeria with Lightning Greaves to stall Might’s weenies. It then cauterizes the wound with a Voice of All, giving it protection from Blue.
A Precursor Golem sidesteps the problem neatly, and Inferno’s troubles are compounded next turn after an all-in attack, when Might uses an Æther Adept to bounce the Precursor Golem. Its hand forced, Inferno buys a turn with an Akroma’s Vengeance, but can’t stop the next generation of Golems.
Another fast start from the brutally fast Might sees it open with Porcelain Legionnaire followed by a pair of Spined Thopters. This time, however, Inferno doesn’t take it lying down, developing a perfect manabase alongside a Sol Ring to bring out Kaalia of the Vast. Danger!
Might buys a turn with an Æther Adept, bouncing Kaalia to hand as the beats continue, then kills her next turn with a Phantasmal Image legend-ruling her. After that, Inferno can’t really recover as Might continues to flood the board, replacing a Soul Snared Legionnaire with another one without pause. Despite the scare, the game is firmly Might’s to win.
WINNER: Illusionary Might
Game 22: Koth (DD: VvK) vs Spiraling Doom (DKA)
Koth has the early advantage and puts Doom on the back-foot, leading with a Wayfarer’s Bauble that helps bring out a Stone Giant followed by a Geyser Glider, while Doom’s only managed a Viridian Emissary (which Koth’s Giant obligingly kills) and a Birthing Pod.
But oh what a difference a Pod can make! Doom first Doom Blades the Glider, then summons a Strangleroot Geist to attack for 2 before sacrificing it with the last of its mana (and 2 life) to Pod up a Wakedancer and accompanying 2/2 Zombie token. From nothing comes an instant army!
Koth sees its opponent back in the fight, but lines up a kill with a Fiery Hellhound and loads of open mana (plus the Giant to give it flying). It’s thwarted, however, when Doom Pods up a Skinrender off of the Wakedancer to kill it. Koth then resets Pod’s creature chain with a Bloodfire Kavu, popping it to Pyroclasm the board. This leaves only the Giant and a pair of undying Young Wolves left after the smoke clears.
Doom then Pods one into a Strangleroot Geist. Koth plays Vulshok Battlegear, equipping to the Giant to attack for 6. That forces Doom to offer up a Young Wolf, who finally knows the slumber of the Blessed Sleep. That paves the way for Doom, however, to cast the Viridian Corrupter that had been languishing in hand, smashing the artifact. Doom then feeds the Corrupter to the Pod, fetching up a Skinrender off of it to nerf the ¾ Giant into a 0/1. The Skinrender’s almost immediately neutralized with a Seismic Strike by Koth, cutting off Doom from Podding to the higher echelons of its ladder.
Koth gets off to a much more impactful start, leading with Wayfarer’s Baubles backing up a Plated Geopede, with the support of a Pilgrim’s Eye. Doom isn’t far behind, though, with its Young Wolf and double-Viridian Emissaries.
While Doom can’t find a Birthing Pod, it finds a ton of land to even out its plays as it soon starts to outrace Koth. A Skinrender sorts out the Geopede once and for all, just as a Journeyer’s Kite enters the battlefield. From there, Koth draws little of consequence, able to kill the Skinrender with a Seismic Strike but also finding a laughably ineffective Pygmy Pyrosaur. Doom lands a Solemn Simulacrum, Strangleroot Geist, and Brutalizer Exarch to tutor up a Myr Battlesphere, but it’s academic. Koth stalls with a Vulshok Sorcerer, but in the end is simply overrun as Doom lives up to its name.
WINNER: Spiraling Doom
Turian Division Finals: Illusionary Might (M12) vs Spiraling Doom (DKA)
Doom stumbles out of the gate, mulling to six and keeping a two-Forest start that has a Birthing Pod. Might, on the other hand, is wasting no time with an opening Preordain and an Æther Adept bouncing back a Strangleroot Geist. That does give an opening to drop the Birthing Pod, giving Doom some hope.
Might piles on the pressure, though, with a Grand Architect and Phantasmal Dragon. The Dragon is sorted out by offering up a last-turn Wakedancer to get a Skinrender for the targeted kill, but a Porcelain Legionnaire takes its place and a Mind Control steals the Skinrender. Meanwhile, Doom tries to weather the storm with another Geist and the 2/2 Zombie token from the Wakedancer.
Might plays a second Grand Architect, while Doom desperately goes fishing for a Swamp, needing to pop the Geist to the Pod for a Phyrexian Rager to finally get it. It comes too late, though, as Might keeps up the attacks each round. It alpha strikes to wipe Doom’s board in desperate cling-to-life defense, and Doom scoops after its next draw.
Might has answers for everything as Doom finds itself on the ropes. It leads with an early Porcelain Legionnaire after Preordaining, which blunts the utility of Doom’s Strangleroot Geist. Might follows with an Æther Adept, Phantasmal Bear, and Grand Architect, and when the Lord of the Unreal touches down it’s able to sit pat.
Doom, meanwhile, has much the same problem- anything it sends over isn’t going to get through, and it has little evasion. An Acidic Slime kills one Legionnaire, but it’s soon replaced by two more. A Morkrut Banshee eats a Grand Architect, but it too is replaced. A Skinrender gets double-Mana Leaked to save the Lord of the Unreal, while a Steel Hellkite is crushed by an incoming Stingerfling Spider. The Banshee is Mind Controlled, then runs into the Slime for a trade. An arriving Hex Parasite means that the undying creatures can become almost immortal chump-blockers. And throughout it all, no Birthing Pod, no breakthrough Illusion.
For a few turns it’s draw-go as both sides desperately dig for an answer. Might finds a Phantasmal Dragon just as Doom grabs a Birthing Pod off of a Diabolic Tutor after Doom Blading the Lord of the Unreal. Still, Doom’s in terrible shape as it tries to solve the Dragon, since it only has one and two drops to Pod with, outwith the five-drop Spider.
At 8 life, Doom rolls the dice and Pods up a Phyrexian Rager, getting a hit as it draws a Skinrender! This lets it kill the Dragon, and like the breaking of a dam the deck turns a corner. Doom Pods its way to a torrent of plays. It Pods up its last Skinrender to headhunt the Architect. It pops a Perilous Myr to kill a Spined Thopter to demolish the last of Might’s air force. A Wakedancer adds more bodies to the fray, and it slowly finds a critical mass of creatures to alpha strike for the comeback win. It’s going to three!
With its back against the wall, Doom comes out swinging. Young Wolves, a Hex Parasite, and Strangleroot Geist all drop down right out of the chute while a Viridian Emissary and Solemn Simulacrum ramp the manabase… but are met with an equally rapid buildup on the other side of the table as Might deploys the hated Porcelain Legionnaire, a trio of Spined Thopters, and a Grand Architect. It’s looking very much like a race that Might can win in the air.
Still, Doom finds some lucky draws to even the odds as it picks off the Architect with a Skinrender and Doom Blades the Legionnaire, letting it swarm in with virtually everything even as it bluffs a hand with only land in it. What’s hampered Doom in the previous matches was the deep consistency of Might’s threats. Kill one Architect, another appears. Not this time. A couple of swings later, with the Hex Parasite out to keep the undying creatures up, Might suffers dreadful attrition, and has no chance of getting back in the game. From that point, winning is inevitable, and Spiraling Doom has done it in commanding fashion! We close today proud to present…
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