Casey McCarrel (USA) vs. Christian Lührs (Germany)
- Kim Eikefet
In the quarterfinals, Casey McCarrel faced Christian Lührs. Casey, playing a red and blue Tinker/Colossus/Processor deck was the favourite before the match, as his deck is extremely fast and can outrace even a mono-green deck like Lührs'.
Unfortunately, McCarrel had to double mulligan in the very first duel. He kept his third hand, though, and cast a turn two Grim Monolith.
But by then, Lührs had cast a Wild Dogs, and a Pouncing Jaguar, and as if that wasn't enough, he had also enchanted the Wild Dogs with two Rancors. Needless to say, the Dogs put McCarrel under some heavy pressure.
The American cast a Ring of Gix, and he also Tinkered for a Phyrexian Processor, paying five life to make 5/5 Minions that could block Lührs' creatures. Using the Ring of Gix, he tapped down the mad Wild Dogs for one turn, but he had to let the Ring go in order to have enough mana to make a Token.
That didn't help much, though, as Lührs attacked with both critters and cast Might of Oaks on the unblocked Pouncing Jaguar for the victory.
McCarrel 0 - Lührs 1
McCarrel chose to play first in the second duel, and he kept a one-land hand and cast a turn one Voltaic Key.
The American "forgot" to play a land during turn two, though, and if that wasn't enough, Lührs got a really good start. He cast a turn one Pouncing Jaguar, a turn two Elvish Lyrist, and a turn three Poucing Jaguar, Hidden Stag and Hidden Guerillas.
Casey got a turn three Grim Monolith, Temporal Aperture, though, and turn four, he Tinkered for a Phyrexian Colossus. He also had a Hibernation that he cast during Lührs' discard phase, returning all of Lührs' creatures to his hand.
Lührs got out most of his creatures pretty fast, while McCarrel beat him down to four life with the Colossus. But he didn't get any further than that. The German had too many creatures, and in spite of holding an Arc Lightning and enough mana to cast it, he couldn't as that would wake up the Hidden Stag. Thus, Lührs got to take another turn, and that was enough for him to finish McCarrel off.
McCarrel 0 - Lührs 2
After two pretty weak draws, McCarrel finally got a good one in the third game. He let Lührs play first, and the German summoned a turn one Pouncing Jaguar. McCarrel, on the other hand, cast a turn one Voltaic Key, a turn two Grim Monolith, Grim Monolith, Temporal Aperture, and in turn four, he cast a Phyrexian Processor, paying four life so that he could survive an attack from Lührs two Pouncing Jaguars.
McCarrel then started making tokens, and as he had a lot of mana, he was able to make two tokens a turn. Meanwhile, Lührs summoned a Titania's Chosen and an Albino Troll, trying to get enough creatures to get through the wall of Minions. But McCarrel was under no circumstances going to lose, so he Tinkered for a Colossus, got out two more Voltaic Keys and in turn eight, he tapped four of Lührs' creatures and sent his horde in to finish Lührs off in one huge attack.
McCarrel 1 - Lührs 2
It seemed that the tide was turning for McCarrel when Lührs drew his opening hand in the fourth game. The German had a really weak draw containing only one land and no turn one creatures. Naturally, he had to mulligan. McCarrel, on the other hand, had land, artifacts and a Tinker - a perfect hand.
After mulliganing, Lührs was able to cast a turn one Wild Dogs and a turn two Elvish Lyrist. But he only had one land for three turns, and that wasn't enough against McCarrel's draw. The American cast a turn one Voltaic Key, a turn two Grim Monolith, Worn Powerstone, Temporal Aperture, and a turn three Grim Monolith, Tinker for a Colossus.
Suddenly, Lührs was under a huge pressure, and he summoned small creatures and attacked to try and win the damage race, which could be possible as he had creature enhancers like Symbiosis and Might of Oaks in his deck. McCarrel blocked with his Colossus, though, and Lührs had to use the Might to get rid of it.
McCarrel had used his Temporal Aperture several times, and when his Colossus died, he did it again, getting an Arc Lightning. The Arc Lightning killed two of Lührs' critters, and McCarrel had also drawn another Tinker and went searching for another Colossus.
Lührs tried to summon enough creatures to block the Colossus, but McCarrel had yet another Arc Lightning, and, getting rid of two annoying blockers, he sent the Colossus in for the kill.
McCarrel 2 - Lührs 2
The final game was over pretty quickly. Lührs went first, but he didn't cast a creature during his first turn. Yet again, McCarrel had an amazing draw - he cast a turn one Voltaic Key ("as usual," as Lührs commented) a turn two Grim Monolith, Worn Powerstone, and during turn three, he Tinkered twice for two Phyrexian Colossi.
Facing these two huge monsters, Lührs' Rancored Albino Troll looked kind of puny, and Lührs didn't like the way they looked, so he Might of Oaked his Troll and attacked. McCarrel didn't really mind losing one of his 8/8-creatures, though, so he double-blocked and attacked with the one he had left.
Lührs, left with no creatures on the table, cast an Elvish Lyrist and an Albino Troll and played a Treetop Village so that he would eventually be able to block the Colossus. But McCarrel had drawn a Hibernation, and the Troll and the Lyrist fled back to the safety of Lührs' hand.
The game was at that point pretty much over, but a Wildfire made sure that Lührs had no way to recover - and Casey McCarrel had turned his 0-2 start to a 3-2 victory.
McCarrel 3 - Lührs 2