Hello everybody, and welcome a special edition of the Magic Show. In these videos you’ll watch StarCityGames.com own Chris Woltereck take home the title through two thrilling matches (the last match was so thrilling they split before it happened). Ready to see a man start round 1 of Top 8 without playing a permanent? Let’s go!
Top 8 — Chris Woltereck versus Kenny Mayer
Top 4 — Chris Woltereck versus Darrell “Buddy” Cozart
Here is the text coverage, and subsequently the video script, courtesy of Reuben Bressler (last seen in the first three rounds of the $5K videos).
Kenny Mayer versus Chris Woltereck
“Well, Mana Ramp will definitely win this match.”
Indeed, the Red-Green Big Mana mirror is underway, with the parts of the mirror decks being played by Kenny Meyer and Chris Woltereck. Both players have lots of mid game thunder and powerful synergies to explore but both players have their own special tech so it will be exciting how the battle between these two will turn out.
Kenny rolls double threes, to which Chris says, “come on, it’s all random!”
Of course, he loses the die roll.
Kenny looks at his original grip and decides to keep while Chris sends his original seven back for a chance at a better six. After a long hard think about his next hand, Chris decides to keep his next 6 with a defiant, “whatever, rock and roll.”
Treetop from Kenny on the first turn, then pass to Chris… who passes the turn without a play.
“You’ll be thinking about that once you lose this match.”
Turn 2 Wall of Roots into turn 3 Garruk leads to some beastly visitors from Kenny, which is enough to put some pressure on early.
Still, no land for Chris.
Beast beats in turn 4 are soon followed by a Siege-Gang Commander.
Still, no land for Chris.
And as soon as he sees that he doesn’t have a land coming once more, he scoops up his cards and reaches for his sideboard. Simple as that.
Some friendly banter during shuffling and side boarding between the two players is quickly followed by both players keeping their original 7, meaning Chris actually has lands this time. Chris plays a first turn Search for Tomorrow while Kenny’s first play is a tapped Highland Weald. Both players develop their manabases for the first few of turns until Chris breaks the ice with a fourth turn Harmonize. He passes the turn with a full grip to Kenny, who casts Mwonvuli Acid-Moss on Chris’ Treetop Village during his next turn. This doesn’t slow Chris down one bit, as he casts Garruk Wildspeaker during his next turn, which he uses to untap two lands for an Into the North to grab his all important Black mana in Tresserhorn Sinks. Chris’ big mana deck is slightly different than many of the others, in that he is splashing for sideboard Extirpate and the anti-aggro all-star Void.
Kenny casts Garruk #2 and legend-rules Garruk #1 and then casts… a Loxodon Warhammer. During the next turn, no play from Chris leads Kenny to believe that something fishy is going on.
“That’s green-green-green-green… we know what time it is!”
Sure enough, a big ol’ Cloudthresher comes down during Kenny’s end of turn step and beats during his next turn… to which Kenny responds with a Cloudthresher of his own. Mirror match indeed.
By turn 7, both players have a ton of mana on the board. Most pertinent among these are the dueling Mouths of Ronom controlled by both players and a Treetop Village spending his time on Kenny’s side.
Chris has yet another end of turn Cloudthresher, which takes an immediate Skred to the head. Extirpate from Chris takes care of any future Skred shenanigans from Kenny and he reveals his serious holdings of Siege-Gang Commander and yet another Cloudthresher. The only nonland permanent that has stuck thus far to see any more than a rotation of turns is Kenny’s Warhammer… and who knows how long that will stick around in a match like this.
Chris plays out a Siege-Gang Commander and passes. Kenny does the same. Both players note that Big Mana mirror matches are quite absurd. Kenny equips a Hammer to a Goblin token, which gets picked off by one of Chris’ via Siege-Gang’s rather sadomasochistic ability.
Chris drops… another Siege-Gang Commander. Three Goblin tokens enter the red zone and, after some serious Siege-Gang carnage, only 3 of Chris’ 8 Gobs (all tokens) survive. Extirpate takes care of Kenny’s future Cloudthreshers while Kenny drops a second Warhammer.
Kenny picks off Chris’ last non-token goblin (the Siege-Gang) with his big Mouth… of Room and passes. Chris communes with the spirits and casts Harmonize to refill his grip, while Kenny is hellbent. A Treetop Village that was trying to pick up some Hammer action gets Mouth of Ronom’d into the bin. All the while, Chris is getting his kicks in with 1/1 vanilla Red dudes, taking Kenny progressively down to a precarious 7 life compared to Chris’ 11 (I told you, serious Siege-Gang action). Kenny scoops up his cards in the face of all the oncoming damage and they move on to the rubber match.
Chris has some tense banter with his last round opponent during the shuffle and sideboard process. Chris thought that they could draw into the Top 8. Instead, they finished 8 and 9. Hence the awkwardness.
Kenny has the play in this third and final game. The first game of this match was nothing special, but the second was epic, trading undercuts and sucker punches all game long. How will this final showdown turn out?
Just like the last one, as it turns out: suspend Search for Tomorrow for Chris, Into the North on the second turn for Kenny. A third turn Harmonize for Mr. Mayer is a much earlier play than last round… but then again, so is Chris’ third turn Chameleon Colossus. Ignore the fact that Tivadar of Thorn can kill it on sight, the 4/4 pumpable goat ninja warrior is a real beater. Kenny plays a Mwonvuli Acid-Moss on Chris’ Tresserhorn Sinks (and only source of Black mana) and passes.
More Into the Norths and the like clog up their hands, noticeably bothering both men that they just can’t kill their opponent already!
Chris’ Colossus takes Skred damage and Kenny then plays his own. Kenny now with 5 cards in hand and Chris with 4, Mr. Woltereck tries to get a hold of the situation before it gets out of control. He casts Harmonize to try to dig up some more answers and finds one in the form of Skred, but not before it ‘got in there’ for 4 damage putting the life totals at a whopping 16-20 in favor of Kenny.
Chris searches out his other black mana with the resolving Search for Tomorrow, a basic Snow Swamp, and plays out a 4/5 Tarmogoyf onto a previously empty board.
They are promptly followed by two more.
This gets some understandably incredulous response from the crowd. Kenny flashes in a Cloudthresher on Chris’ end of turn step and plays out a Wall of Roots and a Siege-Gang Commander on his own turn. Just 2 turns ago there was not a creature to be seen, and now nine creature crowd the board. That’s Big Mana for you.
“How many cards?”
Chris is surprised to learn that, after all of that awesomeness, Kenny still has 4 cards safely in his grip. He plays out a Siege-Gang Commander of his own anyway, leaving only one lonely card in his hand. He sacks a token to kill Kenny… er, Kenny’s Commander… and passes.
Both players have 7 mana available and Kenny decided to use 5 of it to sacrifice a Mouth of Ronom to take care of the troublesome Commander facing him down.
Garruk joins the party this time. Too bad Kenny isn’t invited, and Chris sends his triple team of 4/5 Lhurgoyf into the red zone. A Cloudthresher takes one down, to which Chris decides that he should throw some goblin tokens at its face to try to send the 7/7 elemental to an early grave. After a short life total debacle, they review the life totals: Chris 18, Kenny at 6.
Kenny, recognizing the probable fate, attempts to salvage the situation with yet another Commander, leaving him six 1/1s, a Siege-Gang, and a rather pitiful 0/3 Wall of Roots.
Chris then goes in for the kill with, you guessed it, yet another Siege-Gang Commander of his own, and with that Kenny extends his hand in defeat.
Chris defeats Kenny 2-1
Incredibly, Chris’ proclamation came true: in spite of not making even so much as a land drop in game 1, Chris comes back from the brink to take down the mirror match of two of the most recognizable names and moves on to the semifinals.
Darryl “Buddy” Cozart versus Chris Woltereck
Chris and Buddy talk about how tired they are and needle each other about what deck the other is playing. After Chris’ epic comeback victory over Kenny Meyer and the long 9 rounds of Swiss, Chris is noticeable fatigued. Then again, so are all of the other competitors at this point. Chris wins the die roll and the pleasantries understandably end there.
Chris takes a gander at his opener and likes what he sees. Buddy, on the other hand, comments that he doesn’t want to keep his one-lander and mulligan.
“Better than a no lander.”
Warning, boys and girls: do NOT keep the no land hand. In the Top 8. Of the SCG 5K Open. Keep that to the professionals.
Buddy sees another one-lander but decides to keep anyway. Chris does the mana building thing that he does so well with a second turn Into the North and grapples himself a Highland Weald. Buddy joins in to the mana acceleration party, tapping his unhinged Island and Plains for a Mind Stone. It would appear as if slow and steady wins the race in this format. Slow and huge beats… And steady.
Bonded Fetch on the third turn comes down for Buddy, showing his true intentions. He is playing the popular Reveillark combo deck and is doing very well with it, undefeated on the day.
Harmonize from Chris is met with no resistance and he happily refills his hand with freshly drawn gas. Buddy draws from his hasty Homunculus and discards a Mulldrifter. Both players appear to be measuring each other up, like the first round of a heavyweight fight, before the blows really start to fly.
And with that, there came a flurry of punches. Chris attempts a Siege-Gang Commander but it is met with a Venser. The Fetch draws Buddy another card, this time discarding a Reveillark. Venser gets in there with the 2/2 beats, drawing first blood and netting Buddy an 18-20 early life total advantage. Buddy evokes a Reveillark from his hand, getting him a freshly discarded Riftwing Cloudskate (which bounces one of Chris’ Red sources) and a Mulldrifter. He passes the turn with a 4-to-0 creature advantage.
“Cards in hand?”
Indeed, Chris’ grip had grown thanks to the draw phase and the Cloudskate bouncing his Weald. Contemplating his next move for a bit, Chris decides the right play is a Siege-Gang Commander, which comes down with three little buddies to come out and play.
Buddy beats for 4 with his Mulldrifter and Cloudskate, putting Chris’ life total at 14. He decides to Fetch again, discarding another Mulldrifter. Sadly, no Mirror Entity as of yet. He decides to Wrath the board and evoke yet another Mulldrifter before passing the turn, tapped out.
Chris looks overjoyed by this opportunity to play spells without a troublesome blue mage to stop him. Chris takes a moment to review Reveillark’s text box before deciding on a Wall of Roots followed by another Siege-Gang Commander before passing the turn. I wonder how many times I will say “Chris plays a Siege-Gang Commander” before this tournament is complete.
Buddy lays a land and sacrifices his Mind Stone for a chance at some new hotness of the top of his deck but finds only lands. Buddy plays his second land of the turn, which of course is illegal. He picks it back up, but not before Chris notes that buddy has an “Island” in his hand. Buddy is not through, however, as he throws a Body Double masquerading as a Reveillark onto the playing field. He also casts Merrow Witsniper, the all important win condition in the deck, and targets himself, undoubtedly looking for a Mirror Entity to get the infinite combo. Sadly, no such Mutant Cleric Hydra is to be found.
After a short discussion on how Reveillark works with Body Double (which is pretty neat, if I do say so myself), Chris demands his Goblin tokens and their fearless Commander enter the red zone and fight for their honor. The 2/2 and one of the tokens hit the bin and two damage sneaks through. Yet another Commander joins the party, and this time he brought the friendly neighborhood Tarmogoyf along for the ride.
Buddy has 8 untapped mana (including the Island Chris dutifully noted earlier) and decides to play a second Mind Stone. He has a Body Double copying Reveillark, facing down an army of angry red and green men at Chris’ beck and call. However, he has some gas left in the tank. He evokes a Reveillark and brings back a Venser and a Mulldrifter.
Chris is having none of that. He attacks (careful to avoid dealing the Fake-Reveillark the 3 damage necessary to kill it) with lots of 1/1s and a few 2/2s. After the little red men are done doing their deeds, the life totals stand at 14-12 in favor of Chris.
Buddy does nothing of consequence other than digging for some answers to the oncoming army. And boy, does the army come during the next turn: 7 (count ’em) Goblin tokens, a Siege-Gang Commander, and a Treetop Village enter combat. The Village gets Condemned to the bottom of Chris’ library. Not all he has to deal with is the octet of Goblins coming his direction. An active Forbidding Watchtower and a Reveillark take care of one of the tokens and a Siege-Gang, respectively. Chris throws a Goblin token for 2 at the dome, incinerates for 3, and deals 6 damage from combat damage. Add to that the pain taken from his Adarkar wastes and it’s exactly lethal.
Quite a different story from Chris’ most recent first game battle. He got to play lands!
Buddy takes the play and suspends a Cloudskate on turn 2. Chris takes a trip Into the North on his second turn. Mirror Entity on the third turn for Buddy turns into three damage worth of beats on the fourth turn after Chris casts a Harmonize on his main phase.
Cloudskate comes in and bounces a Red mana source, which Chris attempts to Skred… but that is met with a Momentary Blink which bounces yet another Red land.
Cloudskate gets in for two, putting Chris on 15 life for the time being. Siege-Gang comes down and joins the party once more for Chris.
The players are informed that the round has to be timed because of building requirements. Buddy does what he can, getting in for Riftwing Cloudskate beats before Wrathing the board.
The most popular green creature on the planet joins the party. Unfortunately for Chris, so does Teferi’s Moat set to Green. Unfortunately for Chris, Tarmogoyf and Treetop Village can’t swim. Mutavault can though, and gets in for 2.
Buddy drops an Aven Riftwatcher and passes. Chris gladly refills his hand with a Harmonize and then suspends a Search for Tomorrow. He discards down to the mandatory 7 and passes.
Buddy beats Chris down to 13 with the Riftwatcher and does nothing more. During Chris’ next turn, the judge’s stop watch sounds. Chris passes the turn, bummed out that this may end before it is supposed to.
Aven beats get in there once more (and for the last time, as it has only 1 time counter on it now) and passes back to Chris.
Chris begins turn 0 of turns with an Into the North followed by a quick pass of the turn.
Turn 1 begins with a Mouth of Ronom targeting an Aven Riftwatcher that was attempting to Blink itself into a new life. Buddy, dismayed, passes.
Turn 2 has Chris casting Void for 5. This doesn’t kill the Teferi’s Moat mind you (that would be completely broken), but it does allow Chris to Peek into what buddy’s up to.
Turn 3, on buddy’s turn, is a simple draw go.
Same with turn 4 for Chris.
Turn 5 is equally anticlimactic, and Chris takes down both a strange and exciting semifinal.
Chris Woltereck wins 1-0.
Congrats to Chris Woltereck and Morgan Pettengill for their strong finishes through nine rounds of grueling Swiss and the single elimination Top 8!
A special thanks to Reuben Bressler for writing up the coverage on these matches, and James Norris for conducting interviews. A big hand for Craig Stevenson as well, considering he burnt the midnight oil (and the afternoon oil, then the midnight oil again) helping me get these up on Saturday. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.
Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Written at 1:45AM, after four hours of recording and editing to get these done. I love this game.