The Brazilian Carlos Romao, who needs to catch a late flight to make a vital class tomorrow, sat down to face the well-known American Justin Schneider in this exciting semifinal match. They both tried to control their nerves and after a good luck handshake they started shuffling.
Justin opened with a Quirion Dryad that promised to get very big soon. As soon as Firebrand Ranger came in Romao Zapped the Dryad in response but Schneider promptly defended it with an Explosive Growth. So the Dryad stayed on the table and it started swinging.
Romao stopped it with two big blockers: Serpentine Kavu and Root Greevil. Shaking his head Justin was forced to sit back while Romao dropped land after land. The next creature also came from the Brazilian's side: a Firescreamer.
The Firescreamer was blocked by a Firebrand Ranger and Romao sacrificed the doomed creature to cast a Death Bomb removing the Dryad. Schneider replaced his troops with a Stone Kavu and a Pincer Spider but Romao dropped the clock: Duskwalker.
Justin had a different kind of clock in mind: Armadillo Cloak. Unfortunately, he forgot about the Greevil's ability. It took care of the Cloak, but Justin had to read it first. The Duskwalker and the Stone Kavu traded blows for a while and Schneider dropped a Quirion Sentinel.
The Brazilian took advantage of his rainbow mana sources to play a Nightscape Apprentice that could be used for both abilities. Justin checked the life totals and send everyone in trading two creatures and a Scorching Lava for the Apprentice and the Serpentine Kavu.
With all the mana he had, Carlos' next play of Cinder Shade was downright scary. However, he was low on life, and the Shade had to jump in front of a freshly cast Pouncing Kavu. It shot the Sentinel before going to the graveyard.
After swinging with the Duskwalker Carlos made his trademark play: sacrificing his trusty creature to get a fatal Tribal Flames. Justin immediately went into whining mode, jokingly saying how bad Carlos' deck was and later discussing some game situations with his opponent and the judge.
Carlos 1 - 0 Justin
Justin again opened with the Dryad and Carlos played a Thunderscape Familiar. The Dryad got bigger as soon as the Firebrand Ranger came to the table and Romao played a Root Greevil. That Greevil died blocking a Kavu Runner on the next turn.
The real trouble was the Dryad but a Tribal Flames took it down before it could cause any serious damage. Justin soon kicked into Kavu mode with a Horned and a Pouncing Kavu coming in to get the big Brazilian into trouble. His Firescreamer got bigger and tried to take down the Horned Kavu but Justin was ready with a Scorching Lava to burn it out before it could damage anything.
The next attempt to slow down the American's horde was a Slimy Kavu but the Brazilian soon found himself at three facing down two Horned Kavu, Pouncing Kavu and a Firebrand Ranger with only one blocker. He played a Cinder Shade but Justin didn't even blink, sending the Kavu-led army in among complains about how unlucky he was to lose the first game.
Carlos 1 - 1 Justin
Going into the third game, it was hard to tell if Carlos was affected by Justin's constant banter. The big Brazilian quietly shuffled behind a poker face while Schneider nervously eyed the huge crowd leaning against the Feature Match ropes.Justin Schneider
He was also not happy with his hand but nevertheless he kept it opening with a second turn Quirion Sentinel. Carlos already had a Thunderscape Familiar swinging and used a Quirion Trailblazer to get his fourth different land type. The Familiar was Zapped away as Justin looked for extra threats. He found his trusty Dryad and played an unkicked Pouncing Kavu, setting up a Horned Kavu on his next turn. Meanwhile Romao got a Serpentine Kavu and a Voracious Cobra.
The Dryad was quickly getting out of control but Justin was still mana shy. The Serpentine Kavu and the Cobra came crashing in. Justin first decided to take the damage but after he learned how low on life he was he used the Dryad and the Horned Kavu to take the Kavu out.
A Scorching Lava on the next turn, burning the Cobra, gave Justin some hope. Still, he was in so much trouble he had to block the Quirion Trailblazer with the Sentinel. He then dropped a Radiant Kavu that steadied things. That looked good until a Magma Burst took it out. Carlos sacrificed his only creature to cast his Diabolic Intent, getting a Tribal Flames to perform his trademark kill.
The crowd erupted in a roar so loud it must have shook the whole city. The only problem was that it disturbed the other semifinal match, but after some stern action from the judging staff they got hold of the situation. The American left after looking through Carlos' deck, still complaining about how unlucky he had been. While the huge Brazilian, with his usual silent smile, tried to survive the huge shower of congratulations that rained down from everyone on the room.
Final result: Carlos 2 - 1 Justin