Mattias Jorstedt and Niels Sanders Jensen
Niels was undefeated going into this round, as was Mattias who had only one draw.
Mattias had drafted a strong blue/black deck; Neils had a solid, but not as impressive, black/green. Their deck lists can be found on the first draft report.
Mattias won the toss and chose to go first. He kept a two land hand with a Spiketail Hatchling and a Cateran Summons. Surprisingly he doesn't cast the summons on the first turn (it helps to thin the deck for that third land and he had a turn 2?). He then casts the Hatchling on turn two, summons on turn three (whilst playing a 'free' Deepwood Legate) and the summoned Rathi Assassin on turn four. Meanwhile Niels puts in a Spore Frog, and Deepwood Ghoul. This game really saw the Assassin in action as it immediately goes for a Bog Smuggler and begins the beatdown. However, it is becoming a struggle for the Swede as his opponent is fighting back with a bracered Fen Stalker and 2 Deepwood Ghouls. The interesting player interaction here involved two Spore Frogs on Jensen's side which would have decided the damage race if a Dominate hadn't whipped one out at the end of Neils's turn. (A slight mistake here - Jorstedt took damage from an attack that turn when he could have dominated after damage dealing). An Avatar of Woe then landed to seal the game.
Game 1 to Jorstedt
Game two started with 2 Spore Frogs by turn two, but a first turn Deepwood Legate stopped any form of amphibious damage. This time Mattias' Smugglers hit the table turn three, and despite the Deepwood Ghoul, Living Terrain and Spidersilk armour he was still looking good when he Flayed the remaining two cards in his opponent's hand (he got another Spidersilk and a Rathi Intimidator!) and dropped the Assassin again. The Assassin managed to kill the living land, but a Spiteful Bully was played by Niels, which then Braced itself and finished the game.
Game 2 to Sanders Jensen
Game 3 was a flurry. There was only 6 minutes left on the clock and they both thought it best to go fast. Mattias sided in a Dark Ritual, hoping for an early threat, but did not draw it in his opening hand. There is no creature form either player until turn 4, when they make an Assassin and a Ghoul. Once again the 'free' Legate hits the ground on turn five and Niels tries to reply with a Cateran Brute, but has to Rethink. The following couple of minutes saw frantic gameplay, the Bog Smugglers once again putting on the clock, but there are too many ground blockers for the Swede to risk a full out blow. Extra turns is called and Niels is reduced from 14 to 6 to 2 with one round left to play from his opponent. Neils looks at the board and at the Steal Strength in his hand, and at the Living Terrain next to it. I spoke to him afterwards and he said that he was so concentrating so much on not loosing to realise that he could have dealt enough damage that turn if he had enchanted a land and attacked with everything. The sad thing for Mattias is that if he had, Mattias could have dominated the land (he only had 3 mana open) and won the game. To be fair to Niels I think he had considered the Dominate too, but I think that if he knew he could win he would have gone for it.
The Match ended as a 1-1 draw.
- Written by Ben Ronaldson