Finals - Joel Lim (Reel Fish) vs. AJ Grasso (RUG Delver)

Posted in NEWS on November 3, 2013

By Nate Price

A longtime member of the Pro Tour and Grand Prix coverage staff, Nate Price now works making beautiful words for all of you lovely people as the community manager for organized play. When not covering events, he lords over the @MagicProTour Twitter account, ruling with an iron fist.

It is only fitting that at the end of a weekend of standing convention on its head, with creature decks dominating in combo-heavy fields, that two creature decks should meet here in the finals of the Vintage Championship. Joel Lim and AJ Grasso, friends from the New Jersey area with a massive group of supporters here to cheer them on, faced countless trials on their way to this destined meeting in the finals.

Joel Lim & AJ Grasso


"You want to hug it out before we do this," Lim asked?

That managed to draw a smile from the otherwise stoic Grasso.

"I see," Lim said. "You've got your game face on."

The Games

Grasso dominated the early stage of the match. After powering out a first-turn Tarmogoyf, he fought a war over Lim's Black Lotus and won, trading his Spell Pierce and Force of Will for the Cursecatcher Lim had in play. When Lim used Wasteland on Grasso's only land, Grasso was left with nothing but a Tarmogoyf in play, albeit a 4/5 Tarmogoyf. That size was large enough that he was able to take huge swaths out of Lim's life total.

It looked like Lim would be unable to compete, but a pair of Phantasmal Images on Master of the Pearl Trident rapidly closed the gap. His massive army was unblockable due to the lone Volcanic Island on Grasso's side of the board, and he managed to surpass Grasso's racing capability, representing a lethal twelve-point attack before Grasso could threaten one himself.

AJ Grasso


"Please miss...please miss," Lim said as Grasso went to his draw step. After taking a minute to survey the board and check it against the card he drew, Grasso conceded a game that had gotten away from him quickly.

"You're not supposed to have power cards," Lim joked as Grasso resolved both Mox Sapphire and Mox Ruby on his first turn, He tried to use them to cast a Young Pyromancer, but Lim knew it was worth the fight, removing Merrow Reejerey to Force of Will it.

Joel Lim


It was funny that he was so worried about Grasso's power cards when he used a Black Lotus to power a Master of the Pearl Trident and Phantasmal Image into play. This was the same force he had used to steal the first game from Grasso. And again, just as in the last game, he had another pair of Lords to make them utterly lethal, all before Grasso could get any traction. Just as in the Legacy Championship the day before, the finals of the Vintage Championship was a short and brutal affair.

"Blue is too good," Lim said after the match. "These Islandwalkers earned their keep."

Joel Lim defeats AJ Grasso 2-0 to win the 2013 Vintage Championship!