Posted in NEWS on June 30, 2014

By Corbin Hosler

"High roll for choice?" Christian Calcano asked as he began to pick up his dice. "Oh wait, I forgot it doesn't work like that anymore. I guess I'll go first."

Like that, the Top 8 of Grand Prix Washington D.C. was underway, with seven-seed Mike Sigrist squaring off against the three-seed Calcano, who had of course earn the right to choose the play or draw by virtue of his higher seed.

For his part, Sigrist, who has a Pro Tour Top 8 to his name (2003 in Boston) laughed off along with Calcano as they began a match that featured friendly banter throughout.

Game 1

If there was any doubt coming in, Calcano made it clear he was a fan of the blue-red archetype in Draft, leading off his third straight draft with an Island and a Mountain. A Satyr Hoplite began the beats while Mike simply drew and passed for several turns, smartly saving a Magma Spray for the Turn 4 Bladetusk Boar Calcano deployed rather than burning it on the Satyr.

But the Boars kept coming. A second soon followed and was killed, but Calcano just continued to tap four lands and play the 3/2 Intimidator. Sigrist tried to trade damage for a few turns, but the fourth Bladetusk Boar of the game sealed the outcome and sent the pair into Game 2.

Calcano 1, Sigrist 0

Game 2

Things took a decidedly slower turn in the second game, with a Sigiled Starfish from Sigrist having the board to itself for a few turns before Calcano laid a 0-power Spellheart Chimera with a laugh. Mike laid one of his most dangerous threats in Akroan Conscriptor, while Calcano had a trusty Bladetusk Boar begin the assault.

But the Boar alone wasn't enough pressure to seriously put Sigrist on the back foot, and he began to take over by targeting his Triton Cavalry with spells, bouncing first an Ordeal of Purphoros and then several of Calcano's creatures. With the board now clearing out it was time for Sigrist's bomb, a Shipbreaker Kraken that ended the game in short fashion.

Calcano 1, Sigrist 1

Game 3

If Sigrist was feeling the pressure of the moment, he certainly didn't show it.

"Man, if we could just combine our decks, whew," he lamented to Calcano as they shuffled up for the deciding game.

While the combined deck may have been a superpower, Sigrist's deck proved it didn't need much help, as an early Nyxborn Rollicker was quickly upgraded into a 4/4 flier thanks to Hour of Need. It began to beat down while Calcano, facing a slow start after a mulligan, was able to remove several early threats but couldn't deal with the Arbiter of the Ideal that Sigrist found several turn later.

Facing down an army of fliers and with no good options, Calcano — who locked himself for Gold in the Pro Players Club this weekend — simply shook Sigrist's hand and congratulated him on the victory.

Sigrist 2, Calcano 1