Game 1 was a slugfest from the start. Herzog was on the play and looked very good, opening with a turn 3
Amazingly however, Dirk was still in this. Herzog's next turn brought a Hunted Wumpus into play, which allowed Dirk to drop a Craw Wurm from the bargain bin. Dirk untapped and added an Unholy Strength to his Serpent Warrior, Dark Banished the Wumpus, and sent his team in for a very impressive smashing. Just like that the game had swung 180 and Herzog needed an answer right now. Despite the extra card from Arena he couldn't find anything to hold back that kind of tide and after just 5 minutes of play it was off to game 2.
Nicolai got right into defense mode from the start for this one, playing out turn 2 Drudge Skeletons, turn 3 Coercion (for Dark Banishing) and then a freshly drawn
Dirk somehow again managed to claw his way back into the game, this time Naturalizing the Arena and playing out a Call of the Wild that hit a staggering number of creatures, many of them Craw Wurm-sized. But just as things were getting beyond Herzog's grasp a timely Eastern Paladin meant he had his own card advantage engine. It was down to racing and it wasn't entirely clear who held the advantage. Then disaster struck for Dirk; after reaping so much bounty from Call of the Wild he flipped over a Serpent Warrior that he definitely didn't want on his team at that point in the race. The resulting loss of 3 life didn't kill him outright, but he knew he was done for next turn and conceded the game with a chuckle at this turn of luck.
This one started decidedly badly for Nicolai as he got stuck at 2 Forest/1 Swamp and had a hell of a time trying to get out of there. Meanwhile Dirk was summoning an endless stream of monsters that included a Maro, Two Wood Elves, and then an
Baberowski wins a dramatic one 2-1.