Quarterfinals: Carlos Barrado vs. Reinhard Blech

Posted in Event Coverage on March 24, 2002

By Juan F. Tavira

Finally the fourteen-rounds-awaited Top 8 began. On one side Reinhard Blech, on the other the only Spanish player to enter the finals: Carlos Barrado.

We followed Carlos during the whole tournament and one aspect he managed to repeat during the drafts previous to the final was that somehow he and the player on his right drafted the same colors.

This situation was uncomfortable for both players because it usually means that those two decks are probably the weakest in the table.

Despite of this Carlos managed to win enough rounds to enter in the final, even with an intentional draw in the last round.

During the final draft Barrado started with black featuring Patriarch's Desire followed by Gravedigger. On his right his neighbour picked Squirrel Nest and Vampiric Dragon. Barrado then took Halberdier and Gravedigger per Dreamwinder and Morbid Hunger.

The rest of the draft continued very strong in the dark side, with Carlos picking nearly no other color until the second draft, where he went forced to red due in part to the lack of black and in part to the bad feeling of drafting a single color. During this time his neighbour did not find his way, taking cards from any color but white (including Beast Attack, that cost three green mana).

Finally Carlos managed to build a consistent red-black deck without any splash. The main problem of his deck is the lack of the desired amount of creature killers, turning it into something between control and aggression.

The match begins with the announcement of unlimited match time but preventing the players of playing slowly.

Game 1

Reinhard won the coin toss and played first but it was Carlos who played the first creature, a Minotaur Explorer that discarded a Mesmeric Fiend. Reinhard replied with a Longhorn Firebeast that caused the first five points of damage for being discarded.

The creature horde flooded on each side of the table, with Barbarian Outcast and Gravedigger for Carlos and Wild Mongrel followed by a Squirrel Nest on Reinhard's side.

Despite of the menacing Squirrels, Carlos dealt with the Mongrel using Thermal Blast during a block and a Nantuko Calmer using Morbid Hunger. He also increased the pressure over the little Squirrels by playing two Cabal Torturer in the same turn.

Finally the flashback of the Hunger erased the resistance of a Cartographer killing Reinhard. Carlos could have done it before because he held a Fiery Temper in hand but decided not to show all his tricks in an already won game.

Carlos 1 – 0 Reinhard

Game 2

The second game began without any sideboarding by Barrado and a very little by Reinhard. The first move on turn one belonged to Carlos who casted Skull Fracture forcing Reinhard to discard Thermal Blast.

Reinhard went low on land playing only three Forests but maximizing it use by casting Skyshooter and Narcissism. Carlos persisted in Skull Fracture when playing Anarchist and nearly decided the game when solved the Squirrel's Nest with Petravark.

The following turns were a mere flow of creatures that Carlos pumped with Reckless Charge, finishing the game with a huge attack and the Fiery Temper he did not show in the first game.

Final Result: Carlos 2 – 0 Reinhard

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