The 1603 person Grand Prix Toronto has left many players at 12-2 records playing out their final matches, with almost nobody a lock for Top 8 with the exception of the two 13-1 record players: William Jensen and Seth Manfield.
This included both No. 17 Ranked Player Owen Turtenwald, who was seeking his third Grand Prix victory in a row, and No. 7 Ranked Player Samuel Black, who was playing for his incredible fifth major event Top 8 in a row (including his Top 8 at Pro Tour Theros).
(7) Samuel Black vs. Greg Ogreenc
The first match between Black and Greg Ogreenc, both Wisconsinites that have played against each other on the local often often over the years, featured a quick back-and-forth in game counts, mostly a result of Ogreenc's hyper aggressive Boros draft deck.
In the third game, both players were color stalled. Ogreenc was stuck on red mana, while Black had access to only black mana. When the coast appeared to be clear when Ogreenc cast Dragon Mantle on his Two-Headed Cerberus, he went in on a big attack, giving his Cerberus Titan's Strength and pumping it once via the Mantle's effect. While Black found a Forest to let him Time to Feed the three mana creature with his in-play Returned Centaur on the next turn, Ogreenc had another big turn with Minotaur Skullcleaver. Prowler's Helm enabled Ogreenc to send Black to 2 life after another Titan's Strength on the Skullcleaver.
A turn later, and Black offered the handshake to a burn spell.
Black 1 – Ogreenc 2
Robert Smith vs. (17) Owen Turtenwald
Turtenwald's match, and his run for a third consecutive Grand Prix victory, was cut short against Galgary native and Grand Prix Seattle winner Robert Smith in two games. Smith's Boros deck, a common theme in these final rounds, featured not one, but two copies of Anax and Cymede, which achieved some devastating results in both games.
In the first game, the legendary creature(s) allowed for his team to crash in for a big attack thanks to the aid of his Calvary Pegasus, dropping Turtenwald low enough that his sequence of Voyage's Ends and a Sip of Hemlock for the Pegasus would not pull him out of the game with a win.
In the second game, Turtenwald's defenses rested on the shaky back of two Fleshmad Steeds, which were tapped when another of Turtenwald's creatures bit the dust to Lightning Strike. The resulting attack left Turtenwald at 1, and when nothing of merit came from the top of his deck over the next few turns, which degenerated to a standstill, Smith's creatures were eventually able to break through for the final point.
Smith 2 – Turtenwald 0