by Mark Wraith
With both of these players already safely into day two, they were playing to try and get as high a standing as possible for the draft. Many players were on 6-1 and decided to intentionally draw to secure their slot tomorrow.
Antoine won the dice roll and opted to go first, which is a little unusual for this format, unless your deck is especially fast and aggressive. It was Ivan who played the first creature in game one however, playing a Sunscape Apprentice on the first turn. It quickly emerged that Ivan had a great mana curve draw, not missing a spell drop for the first five turns. On his second turn he played a Quirion Sentinel, although Antoine had made a blocker in the form of a Sky Weaver. On turn three he played a Pincer Spider, prompting Antoine to play a Vodalian Serpent without kicker - possibly a slightly strange move as the Serpent was not big enough to kill the Spider. Antoine at least had an Agonizing Demise for the Charging Troll that Ivan summoned on turn four, but Ivan was still not finished. On turns five and six he cast a Glimmering Angel and then enchanted it with Armadillo Cloak. A Fertile Ground that he had in play made it impossible for Antoine to kill it because of the Angel's U "Becomes Untargetable until end of turn" ability. Antoine did try to cast Plague Spores on it, but Ivan was awake and easily won the game with the 4/4 Angel.
In game 2, Antoine once again opted to go first but Ivan was forced to mulligan a hand light on mana. Neither player played anything for the first three turns, but Antoine cast a Blind Seer on turn four. With only Forests in play, it seemed like Ivan would struggle to deal with the Wizard, but he used a Forest to cast Harrow, fetching a Mountain and a Swamp to allow him to Tribal Flames it. Ivan continued to remove Antoine's creatures next turn as well - killing a Metathran Aerostat with an Exotic Curse. Of course, there is only so much you can do after a mulligan, and Ivan did not have an answer to the Cinder Shade which Antoine cast on turn six. It seemed like he might be able to race the shade with his Quirion Sentinel after it became enchanted by an Armadillo Cloak, but all the Cloak gave him was an extra two damage from the Agonizing Demise which Antoine cast to remove the Sentinel next turn. Antoine laid a Power Armor, which sped up the game considerably, killing Ivan over the next three turns.
Game 3 started the same way as had game two - with Antoine playing first, and Ivan being forced to mulligan. Despite this fact, he got off to a reasonable start. He played a Quirion Sentinel on turn two - which brought him down to 18 as he had already taken a damage from a Nightscape Apprentice. He then played a Charging Troll and a Glimmering Angel. These creatures brought Antoine down to twelve before he was able to stabilize - which he did so by casting Agonizing Demise on the Angel, then playing a Faerie Squadron and a Power Armor. The Armor enabled Antoine's' flyer to be a 6/6 which was easily enough to hold off Ivan. Antoine then played a Cinder Shade and a Vodalian Serpent, completely blocking the ground. This meant that when Metathran Aerostat, Ivan had only a few turns to draw an answer. It turned out that he needed two answers, as Antoine had a Recover in his hand as well, meaning that the Exotic Curse Ivan drew was not enough. With the Power Armor the Aerostat could hit for five damage a turn, which killed Ivan in three turns.
Final Result: Antoine Ruel wins 2-1 over Ivan Stanoev