QUARTERFINALS: ALEX JOHN VS. DAVID FULK

Posted in NEWS on June 30, 2014

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

The Players

Alex John has been looking for another break since his runner-up finish at Grand Prix Providence in 2013, alongside teammates Ari Lax and Matt McCullough. "If I can win this I'll have Silver and be able to play in Portland." John said. A win here this weekend would earn John Silver level of the Pro Players Club, and eligibility to play at Pro Tour Magic 2015. It'd be a nice feather in his cap to join his teammate Lax's advance to Gold level as well. It seems like everybody was after Pro Points this weekend.

David Fulk's 24th place finish at Pro Tour Born of the Gods isn't the flashiest claim to fame, but finishes like that are feats to admire. It was enough to bring him to Pro Tour Journey into Nyx, and Grand Prix D.C. is proof that there's always a cadre of rising stars in Magic. His first Grand Prix Top 8 may be one of the many stepping stones of professional play he could ascend in the years to come.

For both players, this match was about making their own stand among some of the world's greatest players.

The Games

Fulk's Banishing Light on John's Bident of Thassa avoided an avalanche of card draw as Chorus of the Tides, Flitterstep Eidolon, and Nessian Asp formed an army that Fulk couldn't effectively slow down. While the ground was gummed up beyond even what a monstrous Nessian Asp could overpower, once Riptide Chimera joined John's fight there was too much in the air for Fulk to survive.

David Fulk was aiming to take the next step, but Alex John wasn't going to give it up easily.

John 1 – Fulk 0

"I wanted to play white." John said. "I first picked Reprisal, third picked Ajani's Presence, then never saw a playable white card after that."

Fulk's flourish of white cards from the first game meant he knew where those playable went.

"Play or draw?" John asked.

"Draw." Fulk said.

"Interesting. Good luck."

"You too."

The second game was a slow start for Fulk: His first creature joined the battlefield on turn five: A humble Harvestguard Alseids. Chorus of the Tides and Oakheart Dryads went unanswered for several turns on John's side, though again Fulk used Banishing light to fend off Bident of Thassa. Gold-Forged Sentinel finally put an aerial blocker up for Fulk, but at just 7 life the advantage was keenly in John's favor. Mortal's Resolve helped overpower the flying blocker, and Fulk's song was being sung.

Alex John's air force proved superior in every game.

"Gary?" John asked, referring to Grey Merchant of Asphodel, as Fulk drew for his turn and looked at his side of the battlefield.

Fulk shook his head before passing back to turn, then shaking John's hand at the next attack.

John 2 – Fulk 0