Semifinals – Jun Young Park vs. Gregory Orange

Posted in Event Coverage on May 11, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

With one White-Blue-Red Control deck behind him in his Quarterfinal match, Jun Young Park was now facing another in Gregory Orange's hands. With team MTGMintCard watching on (and cheering), Park was already well on his way to his first Grand Prix finals appearance.

Gregory Orange was in his first Grand Prix Top 8, finding qualification for Pro Tour Magic 2015 and a win in his Quarterfinal match. Matching Park's quiet countenance, you have to really listen to his almost whisper voice call out his actions.

Stoicism would only go so far: One player's pillar would crumble before it was all said and done..

Ramping lands and sculpting hands was Park's early plan in the first game, and Orange plied his counterspells to contain the acceleration as best he could. Lands piled up on both sides as Park forced Orange to fight over Sakura-Tribe Elders and Repeals, with Snapcaster Mages repeating the fights and bringing Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt from the graveyard into the action.

Eventually, Park tried for Scapeshift but met Remand. Even with nine more mana avalable he passed on trying again until next turn when it met Orange's Cryptic Command instead. Park fought the Command with Remand, and a second Cryptic Command from Orange tried to force it through.

Jun Young Park put patience on display setting up his ultimate turns.

A Cryptic Command from Park meant Scapeshift would resolve into a lethal number of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle triggers.

Park 1 – Orange 0

Like Park's Quarterfinal match, his Semifinal was just as quiet with each player focused on what they needed to do. It was a calming silence, unlike the vociferous Semifinal match next door between Shaun McLaren and he second game started without a hitch, again following the wait, increase lands, and fight over ramping pattern of the last.

This time, however, artifacts punctuated the quiet: Relic of Progenitus for Park, Crucible of Worlds and Spellskite for Orange. As both players continued to find lands throughout the impasse, it was Park's Obstinate Baloth from the sideboard threatened to speed the game along.

After protecting the Baloth Park began to beat down, the familiar alternative from his Quarterfinal victory. However, Scapeshift was off the table for the Korean pro: Using Cryptic Command to return Orange's Spellskite to hand, Park tried to Scapeshift only to find Counterflux in wait.

Gregory Orange had patience of his own. It was answers he fell short on.

When Park tried again with a second Scapeshift the next turn, Orange used Shadow of Doubt to fight the combo, leading to Swan Song from Park, Mana Leak from Orange to stop the Swan Song, then, finally, the trump Izzet Charm sealed the deal for Park.

Scapeshift resolved, the stoicism lifted, and Orange extended the hand as team MTGMintCard clapped.

Park 2 – Orange 0

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