Feature Match Top 4: Christian Pfeiffer (Suncaller Haruh) vs. Dariusz Szczembara (Rekwa Proudhorn)

Es geht weiter mit dem Halbfinale, in dem sich nun Christian und Dariusz begegnen. Erneut verfasse ich das Feature Match in Englisch, um ein etwas internationaleres Publikum anzuziehen.

Darisuz won the die roll and opted to go first. He wanted to get revenge for his loss in the Draft yesterday and his Rekwa Proudhorn deck seemed like the best choice to beast Christian’s Suncaller Haruh. Then again, stranger things have happened in this game and we might still see a German player advancing to the finals.

Christian Pfeiffer was facing his worst match-up: Rekwa Proudhorn!The odds were certainly in Dariusz Szczembara's favor!

Dariusz's opening 7 after the mulligan!Dariusz took the mulligan while Christian kept. He made good use of the time, focusing and thinking about the best plays in this unfavorable match-up. Dariusz then kicked things off with Twilight Citadel and he passed his turn.

Sava’gin the Reckless caused the first swing in damage totals, but that was all Christian could master up on his very first turn.

Back to Dariusz, who drew into Gravitational Pull – a card he would have preferred to see on his first turn. He added a second face-down resource and activated Twilight Citadel.

Gear up!Christian found Aurastone Hammer and passed.

Dariusz placed a third resource, attacked with the token and followed it up with Rock Furrow Boots – the Paladin didn’t quite feel like running around naked.

Play was back to Christian, who had to find some sort of offense. He stashed an Heirloom equipment and played Parexia, Herald of the Shadows, which cost Dariusz Timriv the Enforcer and Polished Breastplate of Valor.

The Dragonkin ally took another shot at Christian’s heart, The Horseman’s Horrific Helm came down and it was back to Christian.

He considered his move for a bit and stashed Sava’gin, which got rid of the Dragonkin token. One activation of Aurastone Hammer and 2 exhausted resources later, Edwin VanCleef joined the party and Christian passed with 2 open resources. „Cheap!“, Hans commented. There was no way to match that comment in terms of irony…

Edwin staring down a fully equipped Paladin!The Paladin geared up with Gravitational Pull and Reclaimed Ashkandi. One card remaining in Dariusz’s hand and he declared an attack into one of Edwin’s tokens. Power Word: Barrier foiled that plan and it was back to Christian.

Parexia attacked directly, but Rock Furrow Boots prevented the damage. Edwin followed and The Hoseman’s Horrific Helm was exhausted. No laugh from Dariusz, so Christian complained. A not really amused „Haha“ followed, which caused Hans to leave the table – „not even the laugh is exciting in this match, so I guess I should just feature the other table…“
Vanessa VanCleef came down, dealing 4 to Rekwa Proudhorn, which left the Paladin with 7 damage on it. 2 open resources and Christian passed.

Etched Dragonbone Girdle was just was Dariusz needed – he played it, activated Twilight Citadel and then followed it up with Vindicator’s Shock. An attack into Vanessa followed, but Christian had a second Power Word: Barrier! Rock Furrow Boots prevented 3, which meant the Paladin went to 8.

Christians hands were quicker than light!Once again, Christian had to consider his next move for a little longer. It simply wasn’t that easy with so much equipment in play. Vanessa attacked and dealt 2 as Gravitational Pull was exhausted to prevent the other 2 damage. Parexia followed, dealing 3. Devout Aurostone Hammer and 4 exhausted resources later, Cairne hit the field and that concluded the turn.

It didn’t quite seem like Dariusz was already holding onto Timriv the Enforcer. With Twilight Citadel and Etched Dragonbone Girdle, that could change in a heartbeat, though. He did just that, but the 2 new cards still did not feature Timriv – good for us readers as the game would continue to be exhiting for another turn!

Rekwa attacked into Cairne, which meant that Power Word: Barrier left the field. Dariusz had to read the ongoing ability again as he didn’t really expect that. Either he was playing Christian or he really made a huge mistake, which might actually decide the game! Horseman’s Horrific Helm prevented the damage, but now Dariusz was wide open for the attacks on Christian’s following turn.

I heard Dariusz say „KURWA!!!“ (Polish for „SHIT!“). Alright, so no bluff. He had Lava Spine to deal with Devout Aurastone Hammer and passed.

Christian's army was ready to blow out the Paladin!After the obvious attacks, the Paladin was on 26 damage! With „only“ 4 resources, Christian didn’t have access to Mazu’kon and his hesitation seemed to indicate that he also did not hold onto Shadowfang Keep. 2 cards in his hand and he thought long and hard before placing another resource. He played Sava’gin the Reckless, he had 2 open resources and passed.

Dariusz drew, Twilight Citadel followed and his huge sigh made it extremely obvious he did NOT draw into Timriv. Could it be possible that Christian really turned his least favorable match-up around?! Cairne, Polished Breastplate of Valor, Rock Furrow Boots, Vindicator’s Blast and Etched Dragonbone Girdle were the cards in Dariusz’s hand. He used 3 resources to add Polished Breastplate of Valor to his already impressive set of armor. He then assigned his armor like „blockers“ to Christian’s attackers.

Blockers assigned! - Magic: the Gathering anyone?

Another resource for Dariusz. He considered attacking and activating Vindicator’s Shock, but eventually decided to shuffle up his cards.

Christian wins the first game!

„I will start again!“, Dariusz announced right away. Despite his misplays in the first game (it would have been better to either use his hero’s flip to work around Power Word: Barrier or at least attacking into the hero when it was lying on the field to not „waste“ any armor), he was feeling ready to turn this match around and advance to the finals!

No Gravitational Pull and, more importantly, almost no armor in Dariusz’s opening hand seemed to indicate good luck on Christian’s end once again! Cairne was stashed which got Dariusz a token and he passed.

Christian had Miniature Voodoo Mask, declaring Etched Dragonbone Girdle and Shadowfang Keep

The Dragonkin took a first bite out of the Tauren’s health. Twilight Citadel was placed in Dariusz’s resource row and one activation later, he now sported 2 tokens.

No plays on Christian’s turn 2.

Both tokens attacked, Dariusz placed The Grimtotem Weapon and he used it to find The Horseman’s Horrific Helm. I should note that Obsidian Drudge was sent to the bottom of his deck! Suncaller Haruh was flipped so Christian’s hero now sported a rather more impressive 32 health.

Priest gearing up?! WTF???!!!Discerning Eye of the Beast was an unconventional play and certainly not what Christian wanted to see. Did the Priest consider „heavy equip mode“?! I hope not…

Finally, Christian found Cairne. He stashed it, sacked the token for Shadowfang Keep and Parexia, Herald of the Shadows joined his party. Righteous Cleanse and Vindicator’s Shock got discarded.

Slowly but steadily, Dariusz developed his field. He added Polished Breastplate of Valor, played Shalug’doom, the Axe of Unmaking, tributing both tokens (after they attacked obviously) and placed Etched Dragonbone Girdle as a resource! He played Seal of Wrath for his last 2 resources, which caused a headshake from the reigning world champion – Christian also had to read the card. An attack followed and Suncaller Haruh took another 4 (11 damage in total).

Christian played Devout Aurastone Hammer, stashed another copy, opted to not attack with Parexia and passed.

Horseman’s Horrific Helm was placed as a resource, Dariusz attacked, dealing 4 damage and with Timriv the Enforcer in his hand, he passed his turn with 6 open resources, not using Twilight Citadel. Christian returned Discerning Eye of the Beast to his hand to draw into a fresh card.

More Priests = less cards for you!!!Discerning Eye of the Beast drew Christian another card for 5 resources. He then stashed it to add another counter to Devout Aurastone Hammer, used Dispell Magi to get rid of Seal of Wrath and passed. Dariusz flipped before entering his following turn.

He found another Seal of Wrath, attacked, activated Twilight Citadel and that concluded his turn.

The Ichor of Undeath would give Christian even more gas for the following turns, but at the moment, his biggest issue was staying alive. He played Gnash, destroying the token, but couldn’t quite follow it up.

Rekwa attacked directly. 23 damage on the Priest. Twilight Citadel was activated and Dariusz passed.

Parexia was sent into the token. Christian thought for a short time, declared it was „Hammer time!“, he then added Al’akir the Windlord and Edwin VanCleef to the field and he passed with 2 cards remaining. Suddenly, the game didn’t seem so one-sided any longer! Dariusz added a counter to Polished Breastplate of Valor before the end of turn.

The German juggernaut featured a bag full of wind and let the Lord of out the bag!Dariusz checked his face-down resources before drawing for his turn. He got another Timriv the Enforcer, attacked directly with his hero and put 2 damage on Gnash. Timriv came down and dealt with Parexia and Gnash, an activation of Twilight Citadel followed and Dariusz passed.

With Shadowfang Keep and Devout Aurastone Hammer in play, it didn’t seem too unlikely that Christian could have actually finished the Paladin in one turn if it weren’t for Timriv. He now had to come up with a good alternative and considered his play. Edwin was sent into Rekwa, but Polished Breastplate of Valor prevented the damage. Al’akir followed and The Horseman’s Horrific Helm made short use of that as well. Mazu’kon was next, dealing the first 6 damage.
Shadowfang Keep was then used and the token dealt another 6. Christian followed it up with Vanessa VanCleef, which got rid of Timriv the Enforcer. Both Edwin tokens attacked and suddenly, the Paladin was on 14!

Quite the field if you ask me!Dariusz seemed a little puzzled, staring at the opposition that appeared out of nowhere the last turn. He shook his head and declared an attack with his Dragonkin token, but that wasn’t meant to be thanks to Al’akir’s effect that allowed the Wind Elemental to exhaust the Dragonkin. Rekwa attacked into Al’akir, with The Horseman’s Horrific Helm preventing the damage. Another Timriv and that meant that the huge Lord went down! Polished Breastplate of Valor slightly buffed Shalug’doom and that concluded the turn.

Edwin VanCleef attacked directly, dealing 5. Attacks with both tokens, Vanessa VanCleef and the Mazu’kon token followed, Dariusz used Polished Breastplate of Valor on the largest attacker which left his hero with 27 damage. The Ichor of Undeath followed, returning Mazu’kon to Christian’s hand. He played it for 3 after an Devout Aurastone Hammer activation and attacked. Dariusz only had Righteous Cleanse, which didn’t quite help…

Christian Pfeiffer advances to the finals!

Wow, what a match! Prior to the match, it seemed rather obvious that Dariusz would make it to the finals.

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