Johnson and Dougherty both dropped a quick, potentially powerful little creature early (a Quirion Explorer and Crimson Acolyte, respectively), and elected to trade them in combat almost immediately. This was a risky play for both players. Johnson had several red sources of damage, so the loss of Dougherty's Acolyte could be significant. Johnson, on the other hand, had all of his colors of mana, but couldn't seem to get over three mana. Dougherty started in with some fast beats with a Rooting Kavu and a Battery token.
Humpherys and Cuneo's match was a little more contested in the early game. Small creatures dropped onto either side, and Cuneo dropped a Doomsday Specter to try to take over the game, only to have it Repulsed. After it came back down, Tsabo's Decree killed it, and then the discard hit on both sides. Humpherys used Hypnotic Cloud and Cuneo Probed with kicker to strike back. Soon, they were both down to their stalled table: Humpherys had a Vodalian Merchant and a played Mourning on Faerie Squadron to join his two black 3/3s. Cuneo had a Tidal Visionary and a Crosis's Attendant.
Meanwhile, the first game in the Kastle/Forsythe was already over. Kastle tried to make something happen with several good creatures like Kavu Runner and Shivan Zombie, but they couldn't keep up with a Sinister Strength on a first turn Battleflies. As Kastle mounted more of an offense, Forsythe dropped a few little creatures to keep in the way as the Battleflies did all the work.
Between Johnson and Dougherty, things were about to wrap up as well. Dougherty continued to drop creatures to join his Battery token and Rooting Kavu, while Johnson dropped smaller creatures limited by his mana base. He continued to eliminate attacking creatures with creature enhancement, but he wasn't able to keep up with the steady stream of attackers.
Even as game one ended between Johnson and Dougherty, game two was already concluded between Forsythe and Kastle. Forsythe stalled almost immediately on mana, and was quickly run over by an Ancient Kavu and Kavu Runner.
Dougherty was under extremely quick pressure in the next game. A Quirion Explorer used Gerrard's Command to kill his first creature, an Agonizing Demise with Kicker killed his second, and all the while a Rooting Kavu was coming in. Dougherty finally threatened to stabilize the table when an Explosive Growth with Kicker finished him off.
Still in the first game, Humpherys and Cuneo's matchup had taken a dramatic turn. Cuneo used Do or Die to clear up some of Humpherys table, following up with Tower Drake, Rainbow Crow, and Samite Pilgrim. A Bloodstock was not enough to hold off the flying beats,
The final game between Kastle and Forsythe was quick and bloody.
Forsythe dropped the feared Phyrexian Battleflies, and Kastle quickly Terminated it to remove the early damage. A Ravenous Rat and Mire Kavu quickly joined in the play, and Kastle's team (Kavu Runner and Shoreline Raider) were torn off the table by a Magma Burst. Trench Wurm and Duskwalker joined the fray on Forsythe's side, and he mounted an all out attack, followed by a Soul Burn for the win.
The second game of the Humpherys/Cuneo matchup was underway in the same slow, plodding fashion as the initial game. Cuneo started dropping Stormscape Apprentices, and sucking up damage as they slowly came on-line. Bog Down and Probe with Kicker cleared most of Humpherys hand, but he was whittling away at Cuneo's life with a Phyrexian Bloodstock attacking while Shambler was held off by an Apprentice.
Humpherys dropped a Nightscape Familiar, only to have it immediately die to his own Shambler, and Cuneo stalled out all of the offense with a third Apprentice. His next play, Volcano Imp, came in for a vicious 1 damage a turn, while Ruham Djinn held the fort with the Apprentices. Humpherys rallied with a Tsabo's Decree on 'Wizards,' killing all 3 Apprentices and a Visionary, but Cuneo came back with a Do or Die.
Johnson and Dougherty were also fighting a tight game. With a large initial offense and some strong creatures, Johnson came out strong, but soon was facing down Darigaaz. Johnson started to race the Darigaaz, and brought out a Benalish Trapper for the Darigaaz, only to have Gerrard's Command untap Darigaaz for the kill.
Now, the Humpherys/Cuneo match would decide it all.
Both players had settled into top-deck mode. Humpherys was being beaten down by a Galina's Knight ("Pretty smart casting that Nightscape Familiar," he exclaimed ruefully"), with a Spirit Weaver and an Attendant helping out. Humpherys was trying to race with a Volcano Imp, leaving an Arctic Merfolk and a Vodalian Merchant on defense. Both players were at six life.
Cuneo drew a Sleeping Potion he had brought in from the Sideboard. Slapping the card down, suddenly, Humpherys was forced to block with his Merchant on an Attendant, or die. On his next turn, he needed to draw something, but really, there wasn't a something to draw. At one life, he scooped up his card and offered a concession.