Doing text coverage for a Grand Prix is a daunting proposition. There is so much to keep track of over the course of the day that many of the cooler details of the Magic that's being play can be lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, in times like these, I know that we can always count on the video coverage team to come through with some of the cooler plays that they've seen either on camera or while wandering around the room.
The first person I tend to turn to in situations like these is the ever-present host of the Grand Prix video coverage: Marshall Sutcliffe. Marshall is a true railbird, much like myself, and can often be found wandering the room on his off rounds, just looking for something cool to pique his interest. I always know that he'll have a tidbit or two that he thought was particularly impressive, and, if it's good enough to impress Marshall, it's probably pretty freaking cool.
The first thing he mentioned to me was a strange situation that he had just witnessed on the Round 8 video coverage.
"I just saw Cavalry Pegasus and Gideon, Champion of Justice, on the table at the same time in Standard," he laughed. "I don't know if I'd call that really impressive or anything, but it was certainly pretty funny to me. It's certainly not a sentence I ever thought I'd say."
Considering that the player that had the pair in play happened to be Craig Wescoe, well-known for his love of white weenie, it's not much of a stretch. Plus, the thought of Gideon riding a Pegasus into battle is pretty cool.
After getting that off of his chest, Marshall gave me what was easily the most common choice for coolest play of the day.
"The match between Brad Nelson and Luis Scott-Vargas was just fantastic," he said, shaking his head. "There was basically a human barricade in the Feature Match area because so many people wanted to watch them play. I had to plow my way through a mob about four people deep just to watch it. The real highlight was when Luis stole both a Purphoros, God of the Forge, and a Sacred Foundry from Brad's deck with a pair of Nightveil Specters. That let him play it and activate its ability on the way to killing him with it. It was awesome."
Nelson wasn't without a cool play of his own in the match, though.
"Brad managed to do something pretty sweet of his own in the match," Marshall continued. "He used Xenagos, God of Revels, to make enough mana that he was able to both overload a Mizzium Mortars to clear Luis's side of the board, but he was able to drop a 5/5 Mistcutter Hydra into play, too. There were so many haymakers in this match."
He also got to witness his own share of bad beats over the course of the day.
"We saw Will Edel scoop to his own Brain Maggot," he sighed. "It sucks because I really like Willy. He was playing against Green Devotion and saw a hand with a two copies of Nylea, God of the Hunt, when his opponent had about a million mana in play. It was one of those things that was like, 'Yeah, we're done here.' His opponent's deck was pretty sweet, though. Cool to see it play out."
Worse than that were the bad beats he had to endure himself.
"I had to sign a Brian Kibler playmat," he laughed. "That made me a little sad. Also, BDM showed me a tweet of someone's Vintage Masters draft with a Mox Ruby and Mox Emerald in their pool. I immediately asked if we could block him, heh."