Posted in NEWS on March 16, 2014

By Tobi Henke

Mads Utzon (Green-Black) vs. Aleksa Telarov (Red-White)

In the first game, Aleksa Telarov led with Bronze Sable and Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass whereas Mads Utzon's somewhat disappointing deck could only come up with its first play on turn five. Still, for a moment, it looked as if Pheres-Band Centaurs, followed by Nessian Asp, would allow Utzon to stabilize. However Telarov's Purphoros, God of the Forge, especially in combination with Wild Celebrants, proved quite the capable finisher.

Telarov went off to a slow start for the second game, but his late game of Cyclops of One-Eyed Pass and Fanatic of Mogis, with Hopeful Eidolon for good measure, was enough to beat Utzon's mana flood.

Mads Utzon 2-0 Aleksa Telarov

Denniz Rachid (Red-Green) vs. (1) Jérémy Dezani (Green-Black)

Although (1) Jérémy Dezani was forced to work with creatures like Felhide Brawler and Fleshmad Steed to get there, he was able to win the first game. Denniz Rachid was slightly flooded, then had his Nylea's Disciple and Ordeal of Purphoros destroyed by Sip of Hemlock, and finally succumbed to lots of 2/2s courtesy of Raised by Wolves.

The second game then really showcased the power of Rachid's deck: Deathbellow Raider on turn two, Bow of Nylea on turn three, Ordeal of Purphoros on turn four, activate Bow for a second +1/+1 counter. Next turn, Rachid's Ordeal killed Dezani's Pheres-Band Tromper and Bow of Nylea killed Blood-Toll Harpy ... They quickly moved to game three.

Unfortunately, this was extremely anticlimactic. After a mulligan, Rachid was stuck on two Forests and saw his Voyaging Satyr killed by Dezani's Pharika's Cure. He only drew his third land, another Forest which didn't even help, when Dezani had already cast Keepsake Gorgon. He never stood a chance.

Denniz Rachid 1-2 (1) Jérémy Dezani

Robert Jurkovic (Blue-Green) vs. Alexey Antonenko (Blue-Black)

Robert Jurkovic led in the damage race early on, with among other things a constantly growing Pheres-Band Tromper, but then the Sirens went off for Alexey Antonenko: Shipwreck Singer, Siren of the Silent Song, and Siren of the Fanged Coast threatened to take over the game, but in the end it was Jurkovic's Meletis Astronomer which, triggered four times over the course of the game, provided enough material to overwhelm the opposition.

In game two, Antonenko again assembled a few early fliers, while his Sealock Monster held the fort against Jurkovic's ground creatures. At a crucial point, he also had Nullify for an otherwise neck-breaking Nylea's Emissary, and when his Sealock Monster turned monstrous, Jurkovic lost in short order.

In the all-deciding third game, Antonenko had Asphyxiate for Prophet of Kruphix but sadly no fifth land to cast the Nullify in his hand for the Nessian Wilds Ravager which followed. The Ravager took out Returned Phalanx, then acquired Nyxborn Triton, and started hitting for 8 a turn. Soon it was time for Antonenko to chump, and his attempts to race with fliers were summarily thwarted by a surprise appearance of Horizon Chimera and Triton Tactics.

Robert Jurkovic 2-1 Alexey Antonenko

Aniol Alcaraz (White-Blue) vs. Andreas Lesch (Black-Red)

Andreas Lesch went off to an aggressive start into the first game and almost managed to push through lethal damage with the help of Erebos's Emissary. But then Alcaraz stabilized at 3 thanks to Hundred-Handed One. Fate Unraveler, with its ability to deal damage and not cause loss of life, died to Spear of Heliod, and that was the win for Alcaraz.

The second game basically came down to one interesting combat phase: Alcaraz blocked a 3/3 creature with his Wingsteed Rider carrying Chosen by Heliod and blocked Flamespeaker Adept with his 6/8 Hundred-Handed One. Lesch had Magma Jet for the 3/5 Wingsteed Rider, which gave Flamespeaker Adept the necessary boost to take down Hundred-Handed One via Fall of the Hammer and even live to tell the tale. Alcaraz almost recovered, but eventually lost his Spear of Heliod to Lesch's sideboarded Demolish and the game to Ill-Tempered Cyclops.

In the third game, Alcaraz's Battlewise Hoplite died to Magma Jet, his Lagonna-Band Elder died to Searing Blood, but his Phalanx Leader survived. More creatures followed as did Chosen by Heliod and Ordeal of Heliod for the Phalanx Leader. Spear of Heliod and Voyage's End sealed the deal.

Aniol Alcaraz 2-1 Andreas Lesch