Quarterfinals: Bradley Carpenter vs. Kyle Boggemes

Posted in Event Coverage on May 22, 2010

By Wizards of the Coast

Sometimes, we reporters write our intro to a match once the match has finished, because that way we can tie in the story, knowing what the ending is going to be. I'm writing this as the players shuffle up, so anything I say here could look very foolish a few minutes, hours, weeks, or months from now. Nonetheless, I'm going to risk it and say this:

Kyle Boggemes

Kyle Boggemes may be embarking upon a really, really good Magic career. He made the Final of Pro Tour San Diego earlier this year, and has seemingly cruised into the Top 8 here, the largest Grand Prix in North American history, topping out at over 1900 players. His calm manner, thoughtful yet crisp play, and apparently unshakeable belief are a potent package, and he has a Blue-White Control deck ready to make all the right plays.

In his way, a maximum of three more opponents, and the first of those is Brad Carpenter. Starting the tournament with just two Byes, he lost twice early, and then went on a huge winning streak.

Raging Ravine faced Celestial Colonnade as we got under way, with Spreading Seas quickly turning Savage Lands into an Island. Putrid Leech was first up for Carpenter, leaving Boggemes to cast Everflowing Chalice for one. The Leech attacked and pumped, and Boggemes decided to see what the removal was like across in Carpenter's hand, running out Baneslayer Angel. Sprouting Thrinax and Lotus Cobra are not removal...

The Baneslayer piled in for the obligatory ten point lifeswing, and Boggemes added Elspeth, Knight-Errant and a Soldier token, before blowing up Raging Ravine with Tectonic Edge. In came the Carpenter team, with everything aiming at Elspeth. The Soldier token traded with Lotus Cobra, but Elspeth was gone.

Five mana for Carpenter meant Sarkhan the Mad. He used the loyalty ability to force Boggemes to sacrifice the Baneslayer, granting him a Dragon instead. Not a vast improvement on the situation, really. After Boggemes dropped him to two, Carpenter used Sarkhan to give himself a Dragon this time, sacrificing Sprouting Thrinax to generate tokens. It wasn't relevant. Boggemes showed his Jace, the Mind Sculptor, ready to bounce the Dragon token and leave the airways clear for a comfortable win.

Carpenter 0 – 1 Boggemes.

Lotus Cobra opened game two for Carpenter, and being on the play could certainly give him an edge. Spreading Seas was on hand to deny Carpenter his Raging Ravine, but the Lotus Cobra could provide Red mana, and did so, as Carpenter laid and then sacrificed Verdant Catacombs, enabling him to run out Bloodbraid Elf, Cascading into Maelstrom Pulse. He chose not to use it, sending the Pulse to the bottom. A Maelstrom Pulse from hand destroyed the Spreading Seas, and Boggemes tried to stabilize with Elspeth, Knight-Errant and the accompanying Soldier token.

Bradley Carpenter

Consuming Vapors dealt with that Soldier, and Bloodbraid Elf and Lotus Cobra dealt with Elspeth. Things were looking a lot better for Carpenter. Day of Judgment from Boggemes helped some, but Carpenter came right back with Vengevine, leaving Boggemes at just six life. Two Wall of Omens looked to shore up the defences. Carpenter had Maelstrom Pulse for the pair of them, but Flashfreeze said no, critically for Boggemes.

Tectonic Edge took out Raging Ravine, and Boggemes had enough mana left to cast Baneslayer Angel. Lotus Cobra wasn't going to challenge that. Bloodbraid Elf Cascaded into Lotus Cobra, but that was Carpenter out of cards, while Boggemes sat with three, and then four. Spreading Seas drew him another card, and then he piled in with the Baneslayer, taking him back up to eleven, completing the turn with Kor Firewalker. Whatever Carpenter drew, it would need to be good. He was keeping it secret as he went into combat, turning everything sideways. Six damage got through, but that was effectively just one in the wake of the Baneslayer. Elspeth and a Soldier left Carpenter in an awful hole, and it was hard to see how he could climb out of it.

Terminate killed the Baneslayer, but Celestial Colonnades were more than enough to get the job done. A win doesn't make Boggemes the Next Big Thing, any more than a loss would have meant he isn't. It's just another small step towards a first title. One down, two to go.

Bradley Carpenter 0 - 2 Kyle Boggemes.

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