By Scott Wills
This was the "win and in" round with the winner advancing to the Top 8 finals. Both players here have a lot of experience of this sort of pressure, with Dominik the one with the most recent success coming off a recent top eight at the 2000 World Championships. They are both playing blue-white decks and their decks are very much alike making this an interest mirror match for the last round of the day.
Justin won the dice roll but elected to draw first feeling that both decks were pretty slow and the card advantage would outweigh any potential temporal advantage that might be gained by playing first. This decision actually turned out to be better than he first thought as Justin was forced to mulligan his initial hand as it didn't contain a single land.
Dominik had a lot of "tappers" in his deck and laid his first one on turn two as he played a Benalish Trapper. He followed up quickly with a Metathran Transport and a kickered up Faerie Squadron. Justin had to Worldly Counsel to find land on his second turn and found himself on the back foot very early due to Dominik's quick fliers and the Trapper. Dominik uses a couple of Repulses to get through additional damage and pressure Justin still further. Justin really needed to get creatures into play fast but Dominik's Repulses and the Trapper made things very difficult for him.
Justin was really looking to draw his Rout at some point to establish control. He wasn't able to do this at this point, but he was able pull a Stormscape Apprentice and began to look like he might establish some sort of stand-off. Dominik had other ideas however and played a Samite Archer which took out the Apprentice soon after. A Washout on White gave Gary some time, but Dominik's cheap creatures were swiftly back on the table. Gary cast Orim's Touch to give himself one more turn to draw the Rout but it didn't come and Dominik's Faerie Squadron came through for the last few points.
Game 2 saw yet another mulligan from Justin who had been mulliganing in practically every feature match game he'd been involved in today. Dominik played his standard second turn Trapper, and fifth turn Squadron whilst Gary's only serious threat was a sixth turn Rohan Djinn which is easily taken care of by Dominik's Trapper. Justin clearly realized he was in a lot of trouble and began to joke with Dominik often distracting him from his game. When Gary cast Wash Out on white a couple of turns later Dominik forgot to tap down Justin's Stormscape Apprentice costing him a valuable three points of damage as Justin was then able to tap down the Squadron for a turn.
Justin was able to get in a couple of attacks with the Djinn and started to believe he might actually be able to race Dominik. Dominik kept up the pressure however and a couple of turns later whilst on only one life Gary had only one option - he played Distorting Wake targetting all of Dominik's non-land permanents and Dominik has already put the Glimmering Angel in his hand before he realised he could've kept it on the board simply by tapping an Island. Despite this error Dominik was able to replay three creatures on his following turn, chump block the Djinn and play Traveller's Cloak on a Sunscape Apprentice to give Justin two unblockable creatures to deal with. With only his Stormscape Apprentice available, Justin could only stop one of the incoming threats and the Islandwalking Apprentice comes through to deal Justin the fatal blow.
Dominik wins 2-0