Mark Larson (Zoo) vs. Bernie Wen (UW Standstill)
Larson made two big mistakes: first, he lost the die roll. Then, he didn't have a first-turn play. This made things very awkward when Bernie Wen cast a Standstill on turn two. "Boooooo!" was Larson's reply. Larson waited until his hand was full before he broke the 'still of standing with a Lightning Bolt on Wen's Factory.
So now everyone had tons of cards, and you know what that means. Larson cast creatures; Wen removed them.
After a while, the graveyard for Larson was Steppe Lynx, Knight of the Reliquary, Grim Lavamancer, Qasali Pridgemage, Sylvan Library with a Tarmogoyf and another Knight exiled. Wen had a flurry of counterspells in his own discarded pile.
Larson eventually made it 12-23, but then the Batterskull shenanigans happened. Larson was finally able to Pridemage the equipment when the life totals were 28-7, but it was way too late. A Vendilion Clique finished things quickly and painfully.
Bernie Wen 1 – 0 Mark Larson
Game Two started like the last – with dead things everywhere. On the bonestrewn battlefield, Larson's Gofy faced off against a Mystic and a grabbed Batterskull. Larson was able to strand the 'skull in Wen's hand with a Helix after the bounce activation was on the stack.
This game was pretty epic; things went back and forth through a good portion of each player's deck. Counting up the graveyard, Wen went through six Swords to Plowshares effects in this game. And though Larson tried valiantly, the card advantage was just too much.
"Oh Bernie, you got me. You got me good." - Mark Larson
Bernie Wen 2 – 0 Mark Larson
Eric Markowicz (Reanimator) vs. Reed Hartman (NO-RUG)
Eric Markowicz started with multiple Entombs, netting both Jin-Gitaxias and Sphinx of the Steel Wind in the bin. He used an early Darkblast to take away the Natural Order target, Dryad Arbor. Soon, however, a Tarmogoyf came down, which was much larger than a Darkblast could handle. The game progressed with gives and takes. But the big move came with a resolved Animate Dead on the Sphinx.
Reed Hartman 1 – 0 Eric Markowicz
Game Two started with an interesting hand from Eric. Metal Misstep, Exhume, Reanimate, Force of Will and Pithing Needle, which came down turn one naming, after a while of thinking of the name, Scavenging Ooze – that pesky dude. Eric then topped the Brainstorm to fill his hand. But all this Reanimator deck's posturing were for naught: Hartman's opener had two Surgical Extractions and he promptly drew his third.
"I can't beat three sideboarded cards that early." Eric Markowicz
Reed Hartman wins 2 – 0 over Eric Markowicz
David Gleicher (Team America) vs. Ian Rogerson (Dredge without LED
The first game was no good, as Ian Rogerson mulled to four and was never in it.
David Gleicher 1 - 0 Ian Rogerson
The second game showed some stones from Ian. Turn one: Tarnished Citadel, then Breakthrough for zero. He ditched his whole hand and won the old fashion way. No Bridge From Belows in the graveyard, but, soon, all four Ichorids. Rogerson eventually had to remove Ichorids to return other Ichorids, but it was worth it.
Brass, my friend. Brass.
David Gleicher 1 – 1 Ian Rogerson
David Gleicher said the hardest decision to be made in this match-up is on the first turn. He chose to play Thoughtseize, and it could have backfired. Gleicher was in trouble for a bit here. It was scary early on, but he ripped the Tormod's Crypt at just about the last second, and together with a nice Tombstalker, his board position became just about insurmountable. Though Rogerson had outs if he could draw a Dredger to activate his Cephalid Coliseum, it wasn't meant to be, and this ridiculous match ends pretty spectacularly.
David Gleicher wins 2 - 1 over Ian Rogerson
Mark Sun (NO-RUG) vs. Jared Kohler (Merfolk)
A quick Game One, as Jared resolved a turn-one Æther Vial. Mark Sun got in a Noble Hierarch and a Tarmogoyf, but his second Hierarch and his aggressive Natural Order were both Dazed. With Mutavault as his only land, Kohler Vialed in two Silvergill Adept and a Cursecatcher, and started Merfolkin' all aggro-style. A few turns later, Sun only had a Lavamancer more, while Kohler was able to continue the folk attack. It was 12-16 for a turn or two. But Sun saw the writing on the wall. So did Kohler.
Jared Kohler 1 – 0 Mark Sun
Another game, another turn-one Vial from Kohler. Sun had a Sylvan Library and two Noble Hierarchs. Sun Lightning Bolted Kohler's early Coralhelm Commander and Merrow Reejerey so for a while, all Kohler had were two Æther Vials, and a lonely Umezawa's Jitte. Those artifacts were against a rather imposing Tarmogoyf.
Though Kohler cast Submerge to delay things, it was just delaying the inevitable.
Jared Kohler 1 – 1 Mark Sun
It was tight, but the board ended with multiple Goyfs crying into their beers (they're holding beers, right? They can't possibly be eating humans), while Merfolk marched by. After the match I talked to Jared who said, "We both made some mistakes, but that's why I played this deck. Merfolk is the most forgiving for mistakes." He added, "Oh, and say something really nice about Mark [Sun]. He was the most energetic kindest person I played against all day." I don't have to Jared, you already did.
Jared wins 2 - 1 over Mark Sun