FINALS: JEREMY DEZANI VS. ANIOL ALCARAZ

Posted in NEWS on March 23, 2014

By Oliver Gehrmann

It's already 9 pm here in beautiful Vienna, so you can tell it's been a very long day. Still standing after 9 rounds of Sealed deck competition, 6 more rounds of Draft and the quarter as well as the semi finals are Jérémy Dezani, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the Top 25 and Aniol Alcaraz, a former National Champion who came close at two Limited Grand Prix before, reaching the Top 8 of both GP Barcelona and GP Madrid. Could the Sealed expert finally go all the way and overcome one of the biggest names Magic has to offer just now?

The first game was dominated by a very aggressive start from Alcaraz who found Oreskos Sun Guide and Phalanx Leader among the cards in his opening hand. At the same time, a Traveler's Amulet fixed his mana base so he could continue to bring the beatdown.

Dezani on the other hand had a Blood-Toll Harpy, but it couldn't quite stem the bleeding thanks to a timely Triton Tactics that made sure Alcaraz would not only get to keep his creatures, but also add counters to them. Dezani went down to 14.


Triton Tactics combined with Phalanx Leader put Alcaraz far ahead in this game!

 

Erebos's Emissary now attempted to stem the bleeding, but Alcaraz went in with both creatures once again. In response to Dezani's block, he found a Gods Willing to make sure his Phalanx Leader would not only not fall victim to Erebos's Emissary, but also add more counters to his field.

 

Dezani discarded a second copy to Blood-Toll Harpy to make sure he would get to keep his creature, but he was running out of life and fast! Only 10 more points remaining for the former Pro Tour Champion.

Commune with the Gods didn't exactly get Dezani what he needed, but for the first time since the beginning of the match, Alcaraz took a breather. Apparently, he didn't have another targeting spell. He passed play and it was up to Dezani who had a Marshmist Titan.


A devastating Celestial Archon spelled doom for Dezani's hopes to turn this game around!

 

Alcaraz found Celestial Archon and Dezani could only smile. He went down to 2, he drew for his turn, he didn't find an answer and that already concluded the first game!

Aniol Alcaraz claims the lead!

 

Dezani went first in the second game and much to everyone's surprise, Alcaraz didn't find a turn 2 play. A Nyxborn Wolf came down for Dezani and Alcaraz matched it with Wingsteed Rider. Dezani let out a sigh, he clearly didn't like to see fliers that were so hard to deal with.

In fact, after he attacked with his Nyxborn Wolf, he used Time to Feed to make sure the flier wouldn't become a threat Dezani was no longer able to handle. Considering all the enchantments that Alcaraz was playing, that seemed like a good choice.

Alcaraz took the invitation to claim control of the game, adding Nyxborn Shieldmade and enchanting it with Chosen by Heliod.


Alcaraz had now claimed control of the game!

 

After it attacked the following turn, it was joined by Wavecrash Triton. Dezani had a Pheres-Band Raiders, but Voyage's End made sure that Alcaraz could get a little more damage in.

 

He made use of the extra time to cast Ordeal of Heliod to enchant his Nyxborn Shieldmate for a second time. The following attacks left Dezani on 19.

Once again, Pheres-Band Raiders entered play.

Chosen by Heliod enchanted Wavecrash Triton; once again Alcaraz attacked unopposed.

Dezani then found Fleshmad Siren and it blocked Wavecrash Triton the following turn, with Alcaraz considering to use Gods Willing. He opted against it, instead inviting a Setessan Battle Priest after combat.

Pheres-Band Raiders attacked and made it 22 on Alcaraz.

Nyxborn Shieldmate attacked once again the following turn and the air was getting thinner for Dezani, so he now opted to double block it with his token and Fleshmad Siren. Alcaraz once again opted against using Gods Willing; Dezani lost the token.

He replaced it the following turn thanks to the Pheres-Band Raiders, he then tried to use Asphyxiate on Wavecrash Triton, but Alcaraz felt the time was finally right for Gods Willing, which also allowed him to tap Pheres-Band Raiders.

He was now out of tricks, however, only holding on to two more lands. He didn't seem to need them with his extremely powerful Nyxborn Shieldmate, which attacked, ending the Fleshmad Siren.

Dezani was apparently also running out of gas, not making any plays on his next turn.


Dezani was forced to block with his token.

 

Alcaraz became more fearless, this time attacking with both Wavecrash Triton and his Nyxborn Shieldmate. The token blocked the Triton. He then added Battlewise Hoplite.

 

Dezani enchanted his Pheres-Band Raiders with Erebos's Emissary and its attack left Alcaraz on 14.

He finally drew into Phalanx Leader on his following turn and once again, he attacked with Nyxborn Shieldmate, which cost Dezani a token.

While things seemed to be going downhill for Dezani, the tokens that got produced by Pheres-Band Raiders were still helping him to hang in there. This time it was Alcaraz who lost a creature when the Raiders attacked, but that was all that happened on Dezani's turn.


After Retraction Helix and Wavecrash Triton cleared the path, Alcaraz attacked for game!

 

A Retraction Helix from Alcaraz targeting Wavecrash Triton allowed him to clear the path for lethal attacks, ending the game and match and turning him into the Champion of Grand Prix Vienna!