Quarterfinals: Justin Polin vs. Robert Thompson

Posted in Event Coverage

By Alex Shvartsman

This was the first career Top 8 for both of these players, so the games were being played in a very deliberate (read, slow) fashion. The two concentrated to make sure they do not make any play errors in front of the spectators, both hoping very much to advance to the round of four.

Polin was on the offensive from the start of the first game. He summoned several early creatures and was chiseling away at his opponents' life total with a Frightcrawler. Thompson did not have much of an early game, but he did begin by cycling through his library quickly. "Whoa, we've got Turbo-Peek here," exclaimed Polin when his opponent cast two copies of this excellent instant. Thompson was trying hard to establish control, but he just could not muster up any kind of a game with the cards he was drawing. Repel and Puppeteer slowed Polin down, but did not by any means stop him. With more and more creatures entering play on Polin's side of the table, Thompson's hopes now rested on Balancing Act.

Balancing Act is a bad card. Unfortunately for Thompson, he did not seem to know this. He first-picked it in the draft, and based several turns of his game around it. Finally, with only a single creature in play facing down a horde of seven monsters, he cast his rare. Polin shrugged it off by sacrificing several of the less important creatures and a few lands. In the end, Balancing Act had no real effect on the game, and Polin won easily in the next few turns.

Thompson was in a much better shape for game two. He was able to slow Polin down significantly by casting a pair of AEther Blasts. Polin did not have a quick start - his first creatures out being Frightcrawler and Aven Fisher - so AEther Blasts hurt quite a bit. Thompson summoned Mystic Zealots and was able to attack several turns in a row - but he failed to muster up any further offense. Although Polin took some time to recover the board position, he had time aplenty. Polin got a pair of Aven Fishers back on the table, then summoned Dreamwinder to control the ground as well. Thompson's last-ditch effort was to remove Dreamwinder by blocking it with the Zealots and casting Gallantry, but Polin was ready with a Repel. Thompson survived only a few more turns, eventually conceding the match.

Final Result: Polin 2 - Thompson 0

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