Given the size and scope of an 1855 player tournament, and in order to ensure that the tournament finishes in a reasonable amount of time, Grand Prix Sacramento was split into two different sides. Jacob Van Lunen is bringing you some key bubble matches from the blue tables of the event.
However, the Green Side featured four very interesting match-ups. How did some of the game's known players do?
Alex Gerlock vs. Neal Oliver
While the match started out strong for Grand Prix Las Vegas 2013 Champion Neal Oliver in his match against SoCal native Alex Gerlock, things quickly went south for the winner of Magic's largest Grand Prix. His blue-black deck struggled against Gerlock's onslaught of green-red bombs, including the likes of Arbor Colossus and Bow of Nylea. The Bow was key in their third and final game, earning Gerlock the win against Oliver 2-1.
Gregory Puzon vs. (2) Josh Utter-Leyton
No. 2 Ranked Player Josh Utter-Leyton's powerful blue-white deck made quick work of Gregory Puzon's Boros deck in two games, primarily on the back of Puzon's glut of lands coming in the second game. Utter-Leyton will advance into Day Two with a 7-2 record.
(4) Shahar Shenhar vs. Benjamin Yu
No. 4 Ranked Player Shahar Shenhar tried to fight for his tournament life with a green-black Sealed deck against Benjamin Yu's blue and black spells. However, it was to no avail, as Yu swept through Shenhar 2-0 to advance into Day Two.
Greg Ogreenc vs. Josh Ravitz
The final major bubble-match on the green tables featured Grand Prix Toronto 2013 Finalist Greg Ogreenc battling for his tournament life against three-time Grand Prix Top 8 competitors Josh Ravitz. The players traded blows in the first and second games, culminating into an exciting finale to Day One.
Ravitz had a blistering fast start with a first-turn Hopeful Eidolon suited up with a second-turn Ordeal of Heliod. However, he had no way to grow his creature and lost his enchanted bestow creature in combat to Ogreenc's Nessian Courser. However, Ravitz won't done yet, unloading the powerful Daxos of Meletis onto the table on turn three. Ogreenc lost a five mana flying creature to its effect on the next turn, as Daxos attacked through Ogreenc's rare threat in the form of Hundred-Handed One. However, Daxos succumbed to Wingsteed Rider on the next turn when it attacked in, Ravitz simply followed suit and cast Prognostic Sphinx post-combat.
However, Ogreenc was far from out. His Voyaging Satyr gave him the ability to make his Hundred-Handed One monstros on the next turn, and with the creature having been suited up with an Ordeal of Heliod of his own on the previous turn, Ogreenc now had a massive threat as well as a blocker. Ravitz fought back with Aqueous Form on his Prognostic Sphinx, but despite how often he would scry, he was unable to find an answer to Ogreenc's Hundred-Handed One and, eventually, his very large Staunch-Hearted Warrior, which joined the giant in combat in the turns that followed.
Ogreenc's 2-1 victory over Ravitz keeps his dreams of another Theros Limited Grand Prix Top 8 alive, as he advances to Day Two.