Quarterfinals - David Ochoa vs Philip Bau

Posted in Event Coverage on September 12, 2010

By Josh Bennett

David Ochoa, aka The Ocho, aka "8", aka Webster, aka Web, is the soft-spoken brainbox on Team ChannelFireball, known for conspicuous Top 8'ing and a draft series where he regularly vanquishes Evil. His opponent in the quarters is Philip Bau, who is as surprised as anyone that he managed to make it this far. Though his rating was good enough for two byes far in advance of the event, he joined friends in a number of disastrous GP Trials, resulting in a rating crash and zero byes the day of the event. He snuck into Day 2 at 7-1-1, and won his last match today to secure a seat at the final draft table. Bau has drafted a version of the red-black sacrifice deck, with all-stars Chandra Nalaar and Liliana Vess. Ochoa is a base-black control deck that touches on blue and red.

Bau won the roll and elected to play. He led with mountain and swamp, then Bloodthrone Vampire. Ochoa had a pair of swamps. He took one from the Vampire. Bau added Fiery Hellhound to his board and passed. Ochoa answered with Bog Raiders. Bau played a mountain and swung in. Ochoa accepted the trade.

Bau replaced his monster with Nether Horror. Ochoa played Quag Sickness to kill it, then ended his turn without playing a fourth land. Bau hit for one and played his fifth land. Ochoa pulled up a tardy swamp let him have a Nether Horror of his own. Bau stared it down with Manic Vandal.

Ochoa played it cool, bringing back Bog Raiders with Gravedigger. Bau played Goblin Tunneler and passed. Ochoa frowned in concentration and considered his options. He confirmed that Bau had two cards in hand, then attacked with both Horror and Gravedigger. The Manic Vandal traded with the Horror, and Bau took two. Ochoa played an island and Nightwing Horror after combat.

Bau gamely attacked with his Vampire, and Ochoa pushed his Shade in the way, willing to trade it for the lowly Tunneler. Bau replaced it with Fire Servant. Nether Horror shored up Ochoa's side of the board. Bau played a Viscera Seer and passed it back.

Ochoa broke the monotony: Foresee, leaving three on top. That prompted him to swing with the Nether Horror. Bau let it through, falling to fourteen. Ochoa added Dragonskull Summit to the board and passed.

Bau untapped and swung in with Fire Servant and Bloodthrone Vampire. Ochoa put the Gravedigger in front of the Vampire, and after Bau sacrificed his Seer, played Lightning Bolt to kill the Fire Servant. Bau played Fiery Hellhound and passed.

The Horror hit again. Bau declined to trade it for his Hellhound, and went to ten. Rise from the Grave brought back the Gravedigger, who in turn brought back Nightwing Shade. The Vampire fell to Assassinate.

Ochoa pressed his advantage. Bau played a Spitfire and finally gave up his Hellhound for the Nether Horror. Call to Mind got Ochoa his Lightning Bolt back and that took care of the flier. He played Bog Raiders and was threatening to run away with it.

Bau plucked Pyroclasm and set him back, but down came the Nightwing Shade. Two attacks later Ochoa had won.

Ochoa 1 - Bau 0

Bau opened with Liliana's Specter, getting Ochoa to discard Armored Cancrix. Bau swung in with it, but Ochoa stopped that with Stabbing Pain. Bau upgraded to Nether Horror. Gravedigger from Ochoa undid the Specter and nullified the Horror. Bau cast Reassembling Skeleton, holding back.

Ochoa was fine waiting. He played Sorcerer's Strongbox and passed the turn. Chandra's Outrage from Bau cleared off the Gravedigger, and the resulting attack put Ochoa to thirteen.

Ochoa tried the box. It opened on the first try. He played Mind Rot, catching Bau with Doom Blade and swamp. The Horror swung in but Ochoa was ready with Lightning Bolt. He untapped and played Nightwing Shade. Bau plucked another Outrage and the Skeleton brought Ochoa to nine.

Finally Ochoa stuck a defender: The humble Armored Cancrix. Bau had no play. Ochoa added a second Cancrix. Bau brought out a Fiery Hellhound, but Quag Sickness took care of it, and both Cancrices swung in, one blocked by the Skeleton.

Bau played Child of Night and passed. Ochoa got through for another two damage, and played Mystifying Maze. It looked good for him.

That is, until Chandra Nalaar showed up. She immediately shot down one of the Cancrices and then started to ding Ochoa. Ochoa unwisely chose this time to draw a number of lands. Soon he had thirteen in play and Chandra was up to four loyalty. Bau played Ember Hauler.

Ochoa was down to six. Bau decided to err on the side of unfairness by playing Liliana Vess. Ochoa finally drew action: Sign in Blood. That gave Foresee, but that gave nothing useful. He conceded.

Ochoa 1 - Bau 1

"You have some nice spells in your deck."

Bau laughed. "The creatures aren't so hot, though."

Bau kicked off the final game with Viscera Seer. He hit for one and added Reassembling Skeleton. Ochoa summoned Child of Night. Bau failed to draw his third land, and passed.

Ochoa frowned. He was stuck on two land as well. Unfortunately, Bau had Seer/Skeleton to help him dig out of it. Mountain waited on top of his deck, and then he spilled out Liliana's Specter, Chandra's Spitfire, and Bloodthrone Vampire. A few turns later Ochoa was extending the hand, never having found a third land. The two shook hands and Ochoa offered his congratulations.

Philip Bau defeats David Ochoa 2-1

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