The quarterfinals of the Masters Series started during a torrential downpour. The sound of rain drumming on the roof was almost enough to drown out the noise of the crowd, but the rain relented while the players were shuffling, and only the odd peel of thunder disturbed the players' concentration.
It's not only people with lots of Pro Tour Points who can succeed at the Master Series. Of the eight remaining competitors, Jay Elarar and Markus Bell qualified for the event on Constructed rating, and Tuomo Nieminen made it in through the Gateway. Don't be surprised if you are unfamiliar with Markus Bell. He doesn't have any Pro Tour Top 8s to his credit, although he was close in Chicago last year. He qualified for that event on rating, and his good performance there qualified him for this event.
Zvi is playing Domain, and Bell is running a Black-Red deck, with a little Green for enchantment removal.
Zvi kept his initial hand, and Markus had to mulligan. His second hand was very poor as well - containing six land and no spells, but he chose to keep it. Markus drew a Plague Spitter by his third turn, which he summoned as Zvi developed his mana base via Chromatic Spheres and a Harrow.
Zvi's hand was a little better, with two Ordered Migrations, and a Dromar's Charm. Of course he had to kill the Plague Spitter before he could use the Migration, as the 1/1 Birds would otherwise be immediately wiped out by it in Markus's upkeep. Zvi did indeed use his Dromar's Charm at the end of the German's turn, and then played Ordered Migration for the full five creatures.
Bell really needed a second Plague Spitter at this point, and this is exactly what he had drawn. The Birds did their one attack, which put Mowshowitz ahead in the damage race, and then he played a Collective Restraint, forcing Markus to tap five mana in order to attack.
First Bell used Void to show that Zvi had nothing but land in his hand after he named five and forced Mowshowitz to discard his other Ordered Migration. Zvi continued to draw land, and Markus just tapped five mana to attack with his Spitter turn after turn.
Two turns away from death, on six life, the American finally drew a Fact or Fiction, and it turned over two Fertile Grounds, a Chromatic Sphere, and a Phelddagrif. Now it was the German who was in trouble since Zvi could finish him with the 4/4 Creature before he died to the Spitter. Bell gave Zvi a Fertile Ground in addition to the Phelddagrif, which of course Zvi took and summoned immediately.
Markus had another Void however, which removed the Hippo and put Zvi back in deep trouble. His next draw was Worldly Counsel. This netted him a five-card Allied Strategies. The Strategies were very kind to Zvi, and gave him two Dromar's Charms, as well as a Restock.Zvi Mowshowitz vs. Markus Bell
When Bell attacked Mowshowitz used one of the Charms to gain five life and tie the life totals at seven life each. Zvi was in firm control though, with seven good spells in his hand after a Restock. Markus played a Crypt Angel but he only had enough mana to attack with one creature anyway. He then attempted a second Plague Spitter, which he needed as it appeared he would otherwise die to his own Spitter, but it made his play of Crypt Angel look rather silly since it would immediately die.
Indeed Zvi seemed quite happy to see the Spitter, and blew one of his Charms at the end of Markus' turn. Markus conceded when Mowshowitz pumped his Hippo up so that it would survive the Spitters.
Mowshowitz 1 - Bell 0
After a lengthy period of sideboarding, the players started the second game with Bell playing first. He summoned a Shivan Zombie on his second turn, and a Nightscape Familiar on his third turn. Mowshowitz was content to develop his mana base, first by a Fertile Ground, and then two Harrows.
Markus played a Blazing Specter on his fourth turn, and attacked. This brought Zvi to thirteen, and forced him to discard a Fertile Ground. Mowshowitz then cast a Questing Phelddagrif to try and hold off the beats. The German lapsed into a long think, before attacking with the Zombie and the Blazing Specter.
Mowshowitz didn't have enough mana to risk giving the Phelddagrif flying and blocking - his only blue mana source was an Island with Fertile Ground on it, and this was also his only source of White. The damage put Zvi on nine, and a Ghitu Fire reduced him to five.
The American played a Collective Restraint and Markus didn't draw the fifth land necessary to attack. He cast Void to remove the Phelddagrif, and Mowshowitz played a second Collective Restraint from the top of his deck.
Markus seemed annoyed at this draw but he had a Plague Spitter, which threatened to kill Zvi in four turns. Mowshowitz peeled again, this time it was a Rout which reduced him to three but left neither player with any threats. Markus would win if he drew any burn spells at all, but he didn't.
When Zvi Lobotomized Thunderscape Battlemage, he found that there were only a small number of cards remaining in the German's deck that could kill him. Bell did nothing and Mowshowitz top-decked Allied Strategies, giving him a Global Ruin, but he elected not to cast it. Markus continued to summon useless creatures, and with two Dromar's Charms in Zvi's hand there was no way for Bell to win. Mowshowitz summoned and started to attack with a Phelddagrif. Three turns later, the large Hippo ended the match.
Final Result: Zvi Mowshowitz defeats Markus Bell 2 - 0