Quarterfinals: Nicolas Labarre vs. Alexander Witt

Posted in Event Coverage on December 18, 2015

By Alex Shvartsman

Game 1

Labarre was extremely happy to win the die roll that preceded the first game. His green-blue deck was extremely solid, but it needed to marshal a definitive early offense in order to overcome Witt's ultra-defensive blue-white strategy. Labarre started out by casting Call of the Herd, then cast a Krosan Avenger as the fourth land he played came into play tapped. Witt summoned a Resilient Wanderer, forcing the Avenger to stay back, then pitched a card to give it protection from green in order not take anymore damage from the Elephant.

Witt went on to enchant the Wanderer with Psionic Gift. It now became a fearsome creature, able to block and destroy Labarre's Elephant tokens and other three toughness green creatures. Labarre lost his Avenger to Wanderer's Pinger ability, but brought Witt down to fourteen life points and then summoned an Aven Smokeweaver. Witt continued to enhance his defenses by summoning a Dreamwinder. Labarre traded a Refresh for the Winder, but lost his other Elephant token to the Wanderer in the process. Witt used his Lieutenant Kirtar's ability to remove a Treetop Sentinel from the game, finally establishing control while still at twelve life points.

Labarre needed to pose more threats in a hurry. He summoned a Cephalid Broker and used its ability for several turns to dig deeper into his library. He found and cast a pair of Aven Fishers, but Witt was able to keep up in the damage race with a second Dreamwinder. A Syncopate countered Witt's Scrivener after the Dutch player used Shelter to let his Dreamwinder survive an encounter with the remaining Elephant token. With a pair of 2/2 flying creatures and a freshly summoned Springing Tiger (threshold has been met a while ago thanks to the Broker's efforts), Labarre was once again at an advantage in this game. Sylvan Might finished Witt off, while Labarre was feeling extremely comfortable with a pair of Aether Bursts in his hand.

Game 2

Labarre's job was a lot more difficult in the second game. Not only did Witt get to play first, summoning a pair of creatures (Mystic Visionary and Treetop Sentinel), but the French player was forced to mulligan too, starting the game with only six cards. Labarre traded off his Krosan Avenger in combat for the Visionary, and both players got busy developing their air forces.

With each of them controlling a 2/3 flying creature (Aven Smokeweaver and Treetop Sentinel), Labarre attacked and used a Sylvan Might to try and break the stalemate. Witt responded with Shelter, but Labarre had a Syncopate at the ready. The skies were now clear for Air Labarre to come on through - Smokeweaver joined with a Sentinel of his own, and then an Aven Fisher. Witt summoned an Aven Flock and an Aven Cloudchaser to once again stabilize his board position, but Labarre was not out of tricks yet. He cast Springing Tiger and attacked with all of his creatures on the following turn, able to reach Threshold at will. The attack forced him to sacrifice a blocked Diligent Farmhand, but brought Witt down to five life points.

Desperate to find an answer, Witt cast a Scrivener returning Peek to his hand rather than a Shelter - because neither could solve the problem of Seton's Desire the Peek revealed on the previous turn. He attacked with all of his creatures except one, hoping to perhaps scare Labarre off from an all-out attack of his own. Labarre did not budge, sending his creatures in, and Witt extended his hand in a concession.

Final Result: Labarre 2 - Witt 0

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