Quarterfinal Roundup

Posted in Event Coverage on January 19, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Tom Martell vs Ryan Miller

Tom Martell is currently ranked 13th in the Top 25 Pro Rankings. This weekend is the Pro Tour Gatecrash winner's fifth Grand Prix Top 8. His opponent, Ryan Miller, is a California Native in his first Grand Prix Top 8.

Game 1:

Miller started things with Spearpoint Oread and Martell kept up with Wingsteed Rider. Martell's board was further advanced with Favored Hoplite and Phalanx Leader. Miller was drawing a lot of land and couldn't interact much with Martell's board.

Martell sculpted his hand with Read the Bones as he continued to trade blows with Miller, who was falling behind in the race.

Miller eventually found Magma Jet to deal with Wingsteed Rider, but Martell was able to follow-up with Dauntless Onslaught on his remaining two heroic creatures. Miller, at a lowly 2 life, couldn't find an answer on the top of his deck and was forced to concede after chump blocking for a turn.

Game 2:

Miller got off to a decent start in the second game with Fable Hero and Wingsteed Rider. Meanwhile, Martell suffered mana issues and tried to hold onto his life total long enough to stabilize.

Martell's Heliod's Emissary got in the way of Fabled Hero and was saved from a Magma Jet with First Strike on the stack with God's Willing.

Miller made another misstep on the following turn when he aimed a Magma Jet at one of Martell's creatures while Martell was at 1 life.

Martell tried to stabilize with Observant Alseid and Lagonna-Band Elder to gain some life, but two more attacks from Miller were enough to force a third game.

Game 3:

Martell led things off with Scholar of Athreos, but Miller one-upped him with Fabled Hero.

Scholar of Athreos and Battlewise Valor traded with Miller's Fabled Hero and Spark Jolt, and the board was cleared except for Martell's Traveling Philosopher.

Martell turned up the heat the following turn with Scourgemark and Lagonna-Band Elder, but Miller was able to trade some creatures and leave the board cleared while he had three cards in hand to Martell's one.

Unfortunately for Miller, the last card in Martell's hand was Scholar of Athreos, and it started draining Miller right away.

Miller played Fanatic of Mogis and started racing, but the Scholar was ahead thanks to Martell's early aggression.

Heliod's Emissary was found by Martell when Miller tapped out, leaving Miller at only 2 life.

Miller couldn't deal with the Scholar of Athreos and found himself drained to death on the following turn.

Tom Martell defeats Ryan Miller in three games!

Philip Yam vs. Nathannael Maliszekski

Game 1:

Philip Yam came out of the gates quickly with Vaporkin and Blood-Toll Harpy.

Nathannael Maliszekski took a lot of damage without being able to answer the flyers, but Hero's Downfall eventually dealt with one of them.

Yam continued to apply pressure, but Maliszekski had Arbor Colossus to gum up the board.

Unphased, Yam cast Breaching Hippocamp on Maliszekski's endstep and used Griptide to put the Arbor Colossus on the top of his opponent's deck to attack for lethal.

Game 2:

The second game was much slower. Maliszekski used Burnished Hart and Opaline Unicorn to massively accelerate his mana. Bow of Nylea came down and it was clear that Maliszekski would have enough mana to activate it every turn.

Bow of Nylea is good, but Yam had some bombs of his own. Thassa, God of the Sea, was soon joined by Shipbreaker Kraken and then Prognostic Sphinx.

Maliszekski had Abhorrent Overlord, but Shipbreaker Kraken grew to monstrous proportions and it wasn't long before Yam was able to break through for lethal.

Philip Yam defeats Nathannael Maliszekski in two games!

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