Both players had three byes going into the Grand Prix, and both seemed to have an excellent card pool. Ryan's deck had two of many excellent commons, including Thermal Blast and Wild Mongrel, as well as Embolden, Lieutenant Kirtar, and Squirrel's Nest. Alex also had an excellent card pool, his deck sporting Elephant Ambush, Roar of the Wurm, Embolden, Wild Mongrel, Aven Windreader, among other things.
Ryan's draw came up just right, with him able to lay a Sligh curve of Mongrel, Lt. Kirtar, and Squirrel's Nest, after Alex opted to let Ryan play first. Alex started out relatively slowly, not casting a spell until he ambushed Ryan's Squirrel Token on turn four. Alex once again passed the turn on ten life. Ryan then had the choice of what to attack with against the Elephant Token of his Wild Mongrel, Lieutenant, and Squirrel Token. Sensing his opponent had a trick, Ryan only sent with his flyer, knocking Alex to eight. Indeed, Alex Repelled the flyer at the end of Ryan's turn. It seemed highly questionable that Alex did not Repel the flyer before it dealt its damage, but Alex felt that the Shelter in his hand justified him taking the damage. Ryan chose on that same turn not to play a comes into play tapped white land, which later cost him a Squirrel Token when he had to tap the Nested Plains to once again summon the Lieutenant. Alex tried to mount an offense and defense by casting Roar of the Wurm and flashing back it and Elephant Ambush. With Alex on four, Ryan attacked and Muscle Burst smashed Alex's hope of saving himself with Embolden. Game 1, Ryan Fuller.
In Game 2, Alex once again allowed Ryan to play first, and Ryan once again had one of his Wild Mongrels to use his mana on turn two. This time though, Alex refused to be left out of the party and summoned his own Mongrel on turn two. In Ryan's attack step the following turn, and interesting situation occurs, one we will probably see many times before this block rotates out, a game of chicken between two Wild Mongrels. When Ryan attacked, each player had six cards, two lands, and a Mongrel. Alex decided to avoid the whole mess of blocking and just take two points. On the following turn, Alex made a Hallowed Healer, and swung with his own Mongrel. This game wasn't the smashing of the last game though. The game stagnated after Ryan cast Second Thoughts on Alex's Mongrel, and each side summoned a Krosan Archer. But with a horde of fatties in his hand, Alex was more than willing to sit around summoning creatures. After he had played his 8/8 Ivy Elemental and his 6/6 Wurm token, Alex proceeded with the demolition. The fatties started to cut a swath through Ryan's life total, Ryan's creatures, and Ryan's damage prevention effects. But, Alex was racing against the clock to win game two and claim a draw. If Alex couldn't win this game, he would just plain lose. Not only did Alex have Squirrel Tokens jumping in front of his monsters, but he also was playing against one of the most well know slow players in the game. But, a person's turns can take only so long, and 8/8 is pretty big, especially when it brings its younger cousins buffered by Nantuko Mentor, and so, Ryan Fuller eventually succumbed, in the final turn of the extra turns, after extra time awarded by the judges. Game 2, Alex Shvartsman.
Final Result: 1-1 Draw