2007-2008 Precon Championships: Nagle Division (Part 2 of 2)
Last week was the opening-round action for the 2007-08 Preconstructed Championships, and as always we began with the Nagle Division. Because of the number of byes in this season’s tournament, we only had three matches on offer. The fourth deck, Warrior’s Code from Morningtide, advanced without opposition. Today it won’t be so lucky.
Instead, it’s going to have to earn its place amongst the other contenders. Of course, the other three decks to advance- Elves from Duel Decks: Elves vs Goblins, Tenth Edition’s Arcanis’s Guile, and Evincar’s Tyrrany won’t be standing idly by as this happens. It’s down to four decks, and at the end of the day there will be only one deck standing.
As a reminder, remember again that the “Game #” refers to how the game is numbered on the bracket chart, not to how many games we’ve played so far!
Let’s head down to the arena, as the games are about to begin!
Game 17: Elves (DD: EvG) vs Arcanis’s Guile (10E)
As expected, the Elves race out to a rapid start behind an Elvish Warrior and Wellwisher, though the latter draws a Remove Soul. It proves an unwise step, though, as the Elves follow it up with a Lys Alana Huntmaster– then eventually replace the Wellwisher anyway. They also field some Moonglove Extract, putting Arcanis strongly on the defensive.
Fortunately, the Blue control deck is little stranger to that position. It lands an early Kraken’s Eye, helping it weather the rush as it looks to stabilize itself behind an Aven Fisher and Air Elemental. The latter in particular keeps the horde of weenie Elves at bay and buys it some time as it digs through its library. Counsels of the Soratami and Telling Time keep its hand topped up, and when the Elves try and Wildsize the Huntmaster to fell the Air Elemental, it simply Boomerangs the offending creature back to hand.
Still, the Elves have all the time in the world as they start breeding like Goblins. A Wellwisher in tandem with Wirewood Lodge gives them an obscene amount of life, and though Arcanis finds a Rod of Ruin to put a stop to it, it comes too little too late. Once the Elves find a Stonewood Invoker with plenty of mana to pay for its pumping ability, Arcanis loses the numbers game.
Once again the Elves push Arcanis to the brink very quickly. Llanowar Elves pave the way for a Lys Alana Huntmaster following a Wellwisher, but this time it’s the Huntmaster that gets Canceled. Still, it’s followed by a second Huntmaster for which Arcanis has no answer.
Unfortunately, Arcanis is done no favours by his library, unable to find a fat stabilizing creature. Counsel of the Soratami and Tidings help dig through, but to little avail. Meanwhile, the Elves keep chipping away at its life total. A Rod of Ruin helps even things out a little, but Arcanis is low in life by the time the stalling cards start to appear, first with a Phantom Warrior, then Air Elemental. A Sage Owl shows Arcanis that no help is on the way, and the Elves are relentless. An Allosaurus Rider is Boomeranged, then Remove Soul’ed. A Heedless One is Unsummoned, but sticks the next turn. In desperation, Arcanis punts on a Denizen of the Deep. It returns everything to hand, and the Elves go for the kill with the 1/1 Elf tokens backed by a Giant Growth. Fortunately for Arcanis, the last Island open fuels a responding Unsummon, bouncing the threat.
Replaying all its creatures next turn, Arcanis looks to have possibly stabilized, but Elves goes all in. One token gets past, and cycling a Gempalm Strider gives it the win.
Game 18: Evincar’s Tyranny (10E) vs Warrior’s Code (MOR)
This game hinges entirely on a single gamble: does Tyranny have the removal? A turn-4 Boldwyr Heavyweights is the catalyst, as Tyranny predictably fetches up Ascendant Evincar alongside its recently-summoned Severed Legion.
As luck has it, Tyranny is caught without removal, and the Heavyweights dutifully slam in for 8 next turn. Alas, what it does have is a Diabolic Tutor, and in preparation for the assault it happily fetches an Assassinate. The Heavyweights die after one swing, and Code struggles to recover.
Tyranny, meanwhile, adds a Demon’s Horn for some lifegain, then trims Code’s hand with a Mind Rot. Code seeks to stabilize behind a Cloudcrown Oak and Ambassador Oak, but a Consume Spirit on the former keeps the air lanes clear for Crovax. In the end, Code can offer no defense, and was soon overrun.
Although things didn’t work out well the first time with the Heavyweights, this time around Code has little choice but to try and outrace after some poor draws. Down again come the Heavyweights, and out again comes Ascendant Evincar. This time, though, Tyranny is caught without a jot of removal, and the Heavyweights smash through alongside earlier plays of Bramblewood Paragon and Mudbutton Clanger.
Down to 3 life and on the brink, Tyranny topdecks an Assassinate and pivots the game on its axis. The Heavyweights die, joining the Paragon which checked out from a Consume Spirit. Although it attempts to rebuild behind an Elvish Warrior and Winnower Patrol, the seals are broken and Black creatures flood the board. Drudge Skeletons, Dross Crocodile, even a Looming Shade. Code just can’t keep up, and again sees its position overrun.
WINNER: Evincar’s Tyranny
NAGLE DIVISION FINAL: Elves (DD: EvG) vs Evincar’s Tyrrany (10E)
A Wren’s Run Vanquisher is the Elves’ opening play, and she’s quickly followed by the assembled host of Llanowar Elves, Wirewood Symbiote, and Wirewood Herald as the Elves seek to stitch things up quickly. Tyranny, meanwhile, has little to show for itself outwith a Demon’s Horn and Bottle Gnomes, though it tries its best to congest the red zone a bit with a Dross Crocodile.
Tyranny then uses its fifth turn to Diabolic Tutor for a Swamp, letting it hit six lands next turn. Elves knows what’s coming, and sends in everything, including an added Lys Alana Huntmaster. After cycling a Gempalm Strider, it looks like victory for the Elves, dealing 13 damage to an opponent at 13 life.
“Wait,” says Tyranny, “the Symbiote is an Insect, not an Elf! Aha!” This leaves Tyranny at 2 life, and when it summons Ascendant Evincar it nearly wipes the Elves’ board. From there, the Elves never recover as Tyranny climbs out of Moonglove Extract range with a series of Black spells. It Assassinates and Cruel Edicts its way to board superiority, then plays a massive Mortivore. It’s the latter that does it, as the Elves’ chump options are Consume Spirited and Essence Drained away, leaving a clear path for the massive Lhurgofy to seal the unlikeliest of comebacks!
Once again the Demon’s Horn proves to be a thorn in the side of the Elves, as they race in for an early slate of damage only to see the mono-Black deck claw its way back from the abyss. They begin with Llanowar Elves followed by an Elvish Warrior, and Tyranny lashes out with a fast Cruel Edict that claims the mana dork. An Imperious Perfect draws a Terror, while a Dross Crocodile trades out with a Wren’s Run Vanquisher. Finally, a Wellwisher gets crushed by an Essence Drain.
Soon the board is in a comfortable state of stall, with Tyranny being defended by a Gravedigger (with an Unholy Strength), a Looming Shade, and a Severed Legion (the Shade already having once died in defense of the Swamp, being brought back by the Gravedigger for a second tour of duty). The Elves, meanwhile, mass behind twin Elvish Warriors, a Wren’s Run Vanquisher, and Wirewood Herald. Indeed it’s the Herald that puts the most pressure on, with the Elves swinging every turn with it and Tyranny unwilling to block it.
The play of the game comes when Elves summons a Sylvan Messenger. Of the four cards it reveals, only one is an Elf, but it’s a game-changing Voice of the Woods. Elves can’t immediately play it, and passes turn- only to see its two-card hand obliterated by a timely Mind Rot.
By now Tyranny has added a second Severed Legion, and they attack through the board stall turn after turn. The Elves play an Elvish Harbinger to find another card capable of closing out the game, coming up with an Ambush Commander for the top of their library. At 9 life, though, they’re vulnerable, and after the pair of Legions slip through for 4 Tyranny clinches the upset with a game-winning Consume Spirit to the face. A second victory gives us…
That’s it! The Nagle is decided, and we’re now one-quarter through to the Grand Final. We’ll be back on Wednesday with an updated leaderboard and call for the next round of predictions. Thanks for joining us for an action-packed evening of preconstructed action!