Round 5 features two friends competing against each other: Matt Nass is battling with an interesting take on Caw-Blade, with Vengevines and Fauna Shamans to increase the deck’s aggressiveness. Standish Choi’s (a.k.a. “Dish”) Boros deck was certainly familiar with being aggressive, and he was happy to keep his 7 on the play. Dish got onto the board quickly with Steppe Lynx and Plated Geopede to Nass’s Fauna Shaman. When Dish added a hasty Goblin Guide to his team, Nass had to offer up his valuable [card Survival of the Fittest]Survival[/card]-on-a-stick as a speed bump. More landfall creatures hit the board, but unfortunately for Dish, not more lands. When Nass used the reprieve to find a Stoneforge with Preordain, his situation seemed to be improving. “Did you draw a fetchland or something?” inquired Nass. When Dish simply showed him the Scalding Tarn that would generate the relatively unfair trade of 1 life for 6 damage, Nass scooped up his cards.
Matthew Nass 0, Standish Choi 1Choi got in for an early 4 with his turn 1 Steppe Lynx, while Nass’s Fauna Shaman threatened to eventually clog the board with Zombie Vengevines. Dish was having none of this, and used Arc Trail to dispatch the Elf Shaman before it could get started. An Oust from Nass and another Fauna Shaman seemed to put him in good position, but Dish’s Arc Trail evened up the board again. Nass was unwavering, however, and added Squadron Hawk and Lotus Cobra to his side of the table. “Come on Arc Trail!” remarked Dish, which elicited only an eye roll from Nass. Squadron Hawks were all he actually had to offer in the cruel place we call reality, and as if to make the point, Nass untapped and slammed a Gideon Jura which he hoped would provide enough stopping power to take control of the game. Stoneforge Mystic fetched up Sword of F-, wait, Mortarpod for Nass, one of the many unorthodox inclusions in Nass’s deck. Dish offered a decidedly more impressive turn with a Hero of Oxid Ridge, which combined with it’s battle cry ability was able to knock Gideon Jura down to a puny single loyalty counter. However, Oust from Nass cemented his position, and Dish was left hoping for answers in his draw step. Lightning Bolt solved the Gideon Jura problem, allowing him to once again get to work on Nass’s life total. Another Hero of Oxid Ridge off the top gave Dish new hope- after trading away with a Lotus Cobra and dropping Nass to 7, the board stood at a pair of Hawks for each player and a Mortarpod for Nass.
Nass triumphantly slammed a Fauna Shaman, which Dish calmly ripped a Lightning Bolt for. Nass drew Oust, and after a few moments of thought, used it to target his own Stoneforge Mystic, offering him a few precious life and a chance to eventually find more equipment and break the stall. Basilisk Collar was the chosen target, and combined with Mortarpod could allow Nass to stabilize. When Nass drew a [card Jace, the Mind Sculptor]Jace[/card] off the top, things were sliding rapidly downhill for Choi. When Nass showed him a Sylvok Lifestaff, Choi packed in his cards.
Matthew Nass 1, Standish Choi 1Dish decided that his opener packed the necessary offensive punch while Nass decided that his seven lacked the necessary defensive… well, defense. Plated Geopede started Nass’s life total on a precipitous descent, and a Lightning Bolt on his Fauna Shaman drew a sigh. To make matters worse, his Squadron Hawk was made to look a little silly by Dish’s Spikeshot Elder. Nass hoped that Obstinate Baloth would rectify his troubles with a life boost, but Dish’s trumps continued with Sword of Feast and Famine. “Yeah that’s a 1-of…” remarked Nass, while Dish hesitated to equip the devastating Sword. “I don’t want you to discard another Baloth.” He overcame his fear quickly enough, and a Sword trigger revealed that Matt Nass did not, in fact, have another Baloth. Spikeshot Elder now found itself wearing the Sword, and the combination of machine-gunning Nass’s team while battling with Geopede to untap for more Spikeshot fun meant that Nass had precious little time to find a way out. When his draw step proved unsatisfactory, Nass offered his hand in defeat.