Final - Greg Ogreenc vs. Ari Lax

Posted in Event Coverage on December 1, 2013

By Josh Bennett

The Story

Despite three previous Grand Prix Top 8's this season, Ari Lax has never taken home the title. This is his chance to shake the monkey off his back. Ogreenc is a longtime player from Milwaukee looking to make a name for himself after Top 8'ing Grand Prix Kansas City earlier this year.

Ogreenc is playing a blue-green deck that tries to win with evasive enchanted creatures. Lax's deck is black-green, and looks like the Island of Misfit Toys. The crown jewel is Loathsome Catoblepas. While they shuffled up for the match he and the crowd shared a laugh over his deck's idiosyncracies.

The Match

Lax had to send back his opening seven, and as he shuffled up a new six he said wistfully "Take me home, Bronze Sable." Ogreenc got on the board first with Sedge Scorpion and Agent of Horizons. Lax played out Nessian Courser but declined to block when Ogreenc attacked with both his creatures. Ogreenc made it six damage with Feral Invocation, leaving Lax at twelve.

Ari Lax

Lax hit back for three with his Courser and played Cavern Lampad. Time to Feed cleared it out of the way, and Lax was suddenly at six. Lax attacked again and pinned his hopes to Erebos's Emissary. Ogreenc showed him the Voyage's End to take the first game.

Ogreenc 1 - Lax 0

"Listen. If I win this, I want us both to know that I did not deserve it." - Ari Lax

Now it was Ogreenc's turn to start with six cards. Lax opened with Tormented Hero and it got in for four damage while the two played lands. Ogreenc summoned Opaline Unicorn, but Lax was ready with Artisan's Sorrow. Ogreenc played his fourth land but still made no play. Tentatively, Lax put out his Nessian Asp, and it resolved.

Greg Ogreenc

Ogreenc just couldn't muster much of a defence. He played out a 2/2 Reverent Hunter and gave it Fate Foretold. Lax's Asp dropped him to just eight life, and was joined by a very scary Vulpine Goliath. Ogreenc played his six land and thought hard. Lax did his best not to get impatient. When Ogreenc shipped the turn back without a play, Lax shrugged and tapped six for Sip of Hemlock. It resolved, and he turned his creatures sideways. Ogreenc scooped up his cards.

Ogreenc 1 - Lax 1

Ogreenc had a slow start again in the final game. Lax was first on the board with Bronze Sable, and after Ogreenc played Opaline Unicorn, Lax hit for two and summoned Nessian Courser. Ogreenc attacked with his Unicorn and after Lax refused to block, played the expected Feral Invocation. Lax showed no fear of the single untapped island, attacking right back with both his creatures. Ogreenc did not have the Triton Tactics. Lax added Cavern Lampad to his board and passed.

Now Ogreenc went deep into the tank. He decided his best line was to tap out for Vulpine Goliath. Lax hit again with Nessian Courser and Cavern Lampad, but Ogreenc couldn't risk running into a trick. He fell to 8. Lax tapped out For Nessian Asp. Nylea's Disciple gave Ogreenc back some life, and he sent in his Goliath. After it went unblocked, Time to Feed killed the Asp and put Ogreenc back up to sixteen. Lax fired back with Lampad and Courser. Now Ogreenc was ready to block. Savage Surge traded for his Disciple, and then Lax showed his own Time to Feed, getting the Vulpine Goliath off the board. It was a 3-for-2, but the Goliath had to go. The life totals were 14 all.

There was a brief judge call over a confusion in the life totals. Ogreenc was sure that Lax had missed his life gain trigger on Time to Feed, but the table judge assured him that he had verbally confirmed the life change. After a brief consult with the Head Judge, the match proceeded. And Lax couldn't wait, because the time had finally come. After Ogreenc hit played Aqueous Form and hit for three, Lax was free to tap six and slam the Loathsome Catoblepas with a yell of triumph. Everyone laughed, even Ogreenc. He knew the writing was on the wall. Two attacks later, Lax was the champion.

Congratulations to Ari Lax, Grand Prix Toronto 2013 Champion!

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