Quarterfinals: Alex Mack vs. Christoph Lippert

Posted in Event Coverage on December 1, 2002

By Craig Jones

833 competitors came to Reims. Once the dust of 15 rounds of Swiss settles only 8 competitors remain. Christophe Lippert of Germany is no stranger to GP top 8's. He's running a crazy 3-color "good stuff" deck utilizing some of the best black, blue and white cards the format can offer. His opponent, Alex Mack, is running Sligh, a choice that paid off for a lot of players this tournament.

Blistering Firecat
Lippert won the die roll and opted to go first. He led with a Polluted Mire, sacrificing it immediately for a swamp and then Duressing his opponent. Mack's hand was less than optimal, the only creature a Blistering Firecat, but he did have a Port and Wasteland to attack the weak mana base in Lippert's deck. The Duress took one of the two Volcanic Hammers in Mack's hand.

Mack found a Mogg Fanatic while Lippert used another Polluted Mire and Brainstormed. By turn 3 he had all three colors in basic lands and dropped a Meddling Mage naming the Volcanic Hammer in Mack's hand.

Mack went after the plains with a Port only for Lippert to dig another one out with a Flooded Strand and summon a Spectral Lynx.

The Firecat screamed in along with the Fanatic. Lippert checked the way was clear with Duress, then dropped a Phyrexian Negator to try and end the game quickly. Mack had only a Jackal Pup and two mountains in hand and needed to find an answer. He laid a Cursed Scroll and nipped off the Spectral Lynx with a fanatic.

Lippert also had a good turn, Vindicating the Cursed Scroll and dropping another Spectral Lynx. Mack was able to activate the scroll and take out the Meddling Mage in response.

He topdecked another Scroll and the situation got very interesting.

Mack was on 9, Lippert on 4. An attack dropped Mack to 5, but worse, Lippert morphed a creature onto the board. This would be able to block Mack's Jackal Pup. Mack needed to draw a burn spell so he could activate the scroll and finish Lippert off.

He didn't and the Negator took the first game.

Lippert 1-0 Mack

Mack started better in Game 2 as a Goblin Cadet entered play on turn and was followed by a Lavamancer on turn two. Lippert didn't do anything until his turn 3 when he dropped an Engineered Plague to deal with the Goblin Cadets.

A second Hammer to the dome and a Cursed Scroll hitting the table put Lippert far behind in the damage race. A second Engineered Plague to take care of Lavamancers seemed late, especially as Mack laid a second Scroll. Mack was still struggling to unload his hand, and more particularly find a 4th land for two Blistering Firecats. It didn't matter as he dropped his hand to just those two cards and a Scroll finished Lippert off.

Lippert 1-1 Mack

For the decider both players had tough decisions on their hands. Lippert Duressed on turn 1 and saw Mack had kept a 1 sac land hand. That one land could cast all but two of his spells so it wasn't terrible. Mack fetched his mountain and led with a Grim Lavamancer.

Lippert dropped a City of Brass, not the best land to have in the matchup and summoned a Spectral Lynx. Mack found a second land, Lavamancered the Lynx and summoned a Jackal Pup.

Lippert's draw hadn't panned out for him at all as a third land still hadn't arrived by turn 3. His Sergeant died to a Fanatic and even when the third land, a Caves of Koilos appeared, he had to use it to Vindicate a Jackal Pup.

Lippert made a morph guy, a Whipcorder, that died immediately to Lavamancer. A second Hammer went to Lippert's Dome.

The German was critically low on life. He untapped, looked for an answer and none was forthcoming.

Final Result: Alex Mack beat Christoph Lippert 2-1

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