Quarterfinals: Andrew Mitchell vs. Wagner Kruger

Posted in Event Coverage

By Sideboard Staff

Both players going into this round seemed to feel that Andrew Mitchell had a significant advantage over Wagner Kruger, since his deck had excellent burn and a fistful of Leaf Dancers. Even if these Leaf Dancers give Andrew some advantage, they ought to prove quite crippling in the following round when they could have been Spellbane Centaur and Springing Tiger.

Wagner came out game one about as fast as one can in this format with turn one and two Chatter of the Squirrels, followed by a turn three Auramancer. Andrew had a fairly fast start as well with a turn two Werebear, and a turn three Barbarian Lunatic and Firebolt on the Auramancer. These early plays from Wagner soon retired to pacifism once the board stagnated, but the damage had been done. These few early points made the game fast enough that Andrew could never really rally an offense when the evasive Resilient Wanderer and Mystic Visionary came to play for Wagner. It would have been even less close had Wagner chosen to actually attack with his Resilient Wanderer. The last nail in the coffin was the Thaumatog, which served to give the Mystic Zealot threshold.

Game two was just as not close as game one. Each player played out a Leaf Dancer on turn three, but Andrew Mitchell's turn four double the power of his Leaf Dancer with Seton's Desire and dispatched his opponent's with Firebolt. Each player summoned a couple of creatures, notably a Spellbane Centaur for Wagner and a Beast Attack token for Andrew. The only important aspect of the game, however, was Andrew's Leaf Dancer, which besides being Seton's Desired, also eventually got Reckless Charged twice.

Game three would decide which South African player would defend his home country throughout the rest of the top eight, and unlike the previous games, this one was an actual race. Wagner summoned a turn three Spellbane Centaur while Andrew followed it up with a Leaf Dancer. Then, Andrew so valued the forest walker that he refused to trade it for the higher power creature, also despite the fact that he did not have the initiative. Andrew further hindered his own ability to race by not sending in the Dwarven Strike Force the turn it was summoned, preferring not to risk the 1-in-4 chance that he pitches his Stalking Tiger. The game wrapped up when Wagner overwhelmed Andrew with Thaumatog, Still Life, and a creature with Seton's Desire. The turn did go a turn longer than it needed to when Wagner failed to realize that he could threshold Seton's Desire with the Thaumatog.

Andrew Mitchell was seen by some as having an advantage with his three Leaf Dancers, but this proved not to be the case. This forestwalking plan was fundamentally flawed by the fact that while the leaves danced through the trees, the Tigers beat in the open, just a bit harder.

Final Result: 2-1 Wagner Kruger

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