"My only losses are to myself: I showed up late and got a match loss Day One. This morning, showed up late and got a game loss." Art Macurda said. It was an interesting way to introduce himself and start both days of a Grand Prix, but for Macurda who "wanted Jund to make something happen," getting his first Grand Prix Top 8.
Will Levin was just as jovial. "I never do anything like this," he said. "I usually just play drafts Friday nights at my local shop, Gotham. I was expecting all this." He, too, found his first Grand Prix Top 8 as well.
Looking over each other's lists led to some raised eyebrows. Both took inspiration from Chris VanMeter's Jund Monsters list, tweaking and changing things to suit their own tastes.
"Let's get this party started," Levin said when he played an untapped Stomping Ground to take the first damage of game, playing Courser of Kruphix on turn three. While Macurda has Dreadbore for it immediately, Levin followed with an unanswered second.
If Macurda casting Xenegos, the Reveler counted as going unanswered, that is.
It turned out it did mean that as it allowed Levin to add the fifth land for Stormbreath Dragon, attacking and destroying Macurda's Xenagos. Levin leveled the satyr planeswalker up casting Xenagos, God of Revels and delivered 8 damage to Macurda. Domri Rade joined Levin's side after Dreadbore cleared the way for another 8 damage.
It didn't take long for Macurda to check his hand and sigh.
"I had double Dragon!" Macurda exclaimed as he conceded the first game and revealed his hand. "Domri's just game there."
"I never played the mirror," Levin admitted. "I was expecting Red-Green Monsters."
"Give me Mono-Black. Give me Esper Control." Macurda with a grin.
The second game was defined by Macurda's proclaimation: "I'm going aggressive!" Dreadbore and Scavenging Ooze led Macurda take an early lead on life, knocking Levin down to 13, but Mizzium Mortars and a Scavenging Ooze of his down put the game leader back into the drivers seat.
"It's a guessing game. I know your list. Did you bring them in?" Macurda asked rhetorically before casting Polukranos, World Eater.
Reaper of the Wilds was all Levin mustered as he missed his land drop. Ultimate Price helped clear the way, but Macurda forget about Levin's untapped Sylvan Caryatid when Domri Rade made Polukranos and Reaper of the Wilds fight.
"Excuse my language." Macurda said after the obligatory response.
Stormbreath Dragon finished off the planeswalker, but a second Polukranos from Macurda didn't phase Levin. A second Dreadbore put Macurda into a tighter position, and he was dwelling on the Domri play.
"It's all about the Domri play." he said as he played and tried to attack with a Strombreath Dragon in his second main phase. Mizzium Mortars cleared the way for Levin to continue attacking with his Dragon, and Courser of Kruphix began to filter lands into play for his.
Stormbreath Dragon was the next card on top of Levin's library.
"Light's out!" Macurda said as he fell to 3 life.
"I had the third Stormbreath in my hand." Levin said.
"Good game." Macurda grinned as he extended his hand.
"Don't worry, you'll be a Twitch all-star. That's what they keep telling me."
They parted just as they started: Laughing.
Will Levin defeated Art Macurda, 2-0.