It was a clash of the European titans as Kai Budde's Phoenix Foundation met up with Sigurd Eskeland's Cosmopolitan. Dirk Baberowski got things off to a rollicking start as he offered Eskeland his arm to determine who would go first in their match. Eskeland refused. Baberowski was genuinely surprised. "Sigurd, you're huge! Look at your arms! I'm gonna tell everyone you chickened out of arm wrestling!"
Eskeland's Shivan Zombie came out a turn late, but brawled just the same. Baberowski was slow to get on the board, choosing to Bog Eskeland Down instead. He followed up with a Metathran Transport that looked tasty to Eskeland's next play of Slingshot Goblin.
In the C seat, Oyvind Odegaard had the better of Kai Budde. He traded early ogres with the German Juggernaut, then trumped in with Suffocating Blast on Quirion Trailblazer. He didn't have much to seize tempo, though, so allowed Budde to drop Mirrorwood Treefolk and then a kicked Benalish Emissary that relieved Odegaard of his only mountain.
At the head of the table, Lovre Crnobori had brought ample early beats against Marco Blume's hand of meat. By the time Blume was getting his giant monsters into play, Crnobori merely had to keep sending his Glimmering Angel in the air to take the first game.
Meanwhile, Baberowski was brutalizing Eskeland. He Probed with kicker, Jilted away Eskeland's Nightscape Master and Slingshot Goblin, then had Exclude back while his Snidd and company beat down. Exasperated by the string of top quality cards coming from his opponent, Eskeland finished the game with just a Shivan Zombie on the table. Baberowski was unsympathetic. "Didn't I tell you I was the best player on the team? I mean, Kai's pretty good, too."
At that point, Odegaard had to concede in the face of Budde's army. His draw had yielded more lands than he needed.
Blume's sideboarded Llanowar Cavalry did not excite in game two. Crnobori made a pair of tappers and held back. Blume met him with kicked Pouncing Kavu and hasted Serpentine Kavu, then relieved him of his tappers with Plague Spores and Exotic Curse. It was a short road from there to victory.
Eskeland looked like he was getting his own back in his game two. He soon had Lava Zombie and Ancient Kavu on the table, threatening to stop Baberowski before he got started, particularly with Baberowski forced to Probe with kicker for answers. Unfortunately for his opponent, he found Breath of Darigaaz, and cleared the board.Team Cosmopolitan
Budde, in turn, had to deal with Cavern Harpy and Ravenous Rats. He did so by playing out Standard Bearer, Noble Panther and Charging Troll, and then not worrying about the rest of his hand. Odegaard's draw made things doubly difficult, as he had only four lands to work with.
Meanwhile, Baberowski had continued to topdeck. Ravenous Rat took Eskeland's last card and left him with an empty board, while Baberowski made two more monsters. He even matched Eskeland's Phyrexian Rager and Ancient Kavu with a Jilt. He swung for the match win.
Crnobori had a slow draw against Blume, and that's not the way he needed things to be. He had a lone Thornscape Battlemage against Horned Kavu, Ancient Kavu and Serpentine Kavu. Crnobori drew and played Penumbra Kavu, but it seemed like it was too late. Blume just got his fallen dudes back with Urborg Uprising.
Back at the Odegaard-Budde match, Budde had added Aurora Griffin to his team, turning the Rats white to keep them from being reused. He attacked relentlessly, and Odegaard's forces dwindled. The dynamic duo of Noble Panther and Charging Troll were beating him up pretty badly. Eskeland looked over to see the carnage and said to the Player of the Year "Your deck's pretty good.". Budde replied "Well, when you get these guys [Panther and Troll] on turns three and four...". Odegaard conceded at two life.
With the pressure off Blume, it mattered a lot less that Crnobori had somehow stabilized behind a Penumbra token and Shackles. His next two draws gave him no help, while Blume kept finding monsters. Soon he had six ready attackers. He took the match on the following turn.
Final Result: Phoenix Foundation defeats Cosmopolitan 3-0