Posted in Event Coverage on November 24, 2014

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Shahar Shenhar is the reigning world champion. Currently ranked 16th in the world, Shenhar already has two Grand Prix victories and another Top 8 to his name. Shenhar enters this Top 8 as the highest ranked seed.

His opponent, Lucas Siow, has a pair of Grand Prix Top 8s and also once beat me in the finals of a PTQ. Siow entered this tournament without much knowledge of the Khans of Tarkir Limited format, but he's proven his Magic instincts and card evaluation skills are worthy of greatness with a Top 8 in this event.

Siow and Shenhar debated Siow's picks in an earlier draft while they waited for the match to start.

Shenhar got off to a quick start with Disowned Ancestor into Mardu Skullhunter, but Siow had Highland Game to stave off the early pressure.

Lucas Siow

Siow had an army of morphs, but Shenhar was applying pressure in the air with Alabaster Kirin. Shahar's air aggression was quickly negated by Siow's Abzan Guide

Siow gummed things up again when he surprised Shenhar with a main deck Windstorm.

The game continued as a stalemate, but Siow eventually drew Duneblast to sweep Shenhar's side of the table and he was able to ride that advantage to victory.

Siow 1 - 0 Shenhar

Both players established boards quickly in the early turns of the second game.

Neither player wanted to play the trading game.

Shenhar seemed to have the advantage early with a few attackers repeatedly getting in without much resistance from Siow.

Siow made a risky play by going down to a precarious life total to cast Bitter Revelation. The card choices were tight and Siow eventually decided to take Rakshasa's Secret over a better spell in fear that the remaining cards in Shenhar's hand were particularly powerful.

Shahar Shenhar

The next turn, Siow's intuition paid off when he got Duneblast and Smite the Monstrous out of Shenhar's hand with Rakshasa's Secret and had Kill Shot to deal with Shenhar's freshly cast Bellowing Saddlebrute.

From there Siow continued turning the screws on Shenhar. Continuously pulling further ahead with Abzan Guide, Woolly Loxodon, and Death Frenzy to close out the game.

Siow breathed a sigh of relief, "I knew I'd either look like a genius or an idiot taking that Rakshasa's Secret, I'm glad it turned out how it did."

Lucas Siow defeats Shahar Shenhar in two games to advance to the semifinals!

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