Greg Ogreenc has come into the public eye this past year thanks to a pair of Grand Prix Top 8s. His draft today is a three-color concoction featuring powerful mythics. Across from him is the venerable Brock Parker, beard enthusiast and Pro Tour Boston 2003 Champion as a member of The Brockafellars (teammates Hall of Famer Huey Jensen and Worlds '99 semifinalist Matt Linde). Parker pulled together a very fast White-Green deck with a diverse suite of tricks.
Parker was first on the board with Soldier of the Pantheon but had no follow-up. Ogreenc played out Bronze Sable to block and a third-turn Last Breath cleared it out. Still Parker couldn't find a decent threat. Ephara's Warden was not made to bash face. Things settled into a position where Ogreenc had Arena Athlete wearing Leafcrown Dryad attacking and Parker declining to block with Nylea's Emissary. He untapped and bestowed Shieldmate on the Emissary and swung all out for seven.
Ogreenc was flooding badly. His only other spells were Mortal's Resolve and Kiora, the Crashing Wave. He played it and fogged the Emissary. Parker's other creatures killed Kiora, but he had nothing to add to the board. Ogreenc drew Snake of the Golden Grove which hit play as a 4/4, and decided to race. Resolve on his Athlete tapped the Emissary to drop Parker to just three life. The bad news was that Parker had been waiting on Mortal's Ardor, which combined with a bestowed Observant Alseid for a huge life swing. Ogreenc's topdecked Stormbreath Dragon was no help, as Parker drew Time to Feed.
Parker 1 - Ogreenc 0
Ogreenc seemed torn during sideboarding. He went back to it once, then changed his mind and they were off. Parker opened with a strong sequence of Soldier of the Pantheon, Snarecaster tapping Bronze Sable, and then Elite Skirmisher. Ogreenc dropped Pheres-Band Tromper and tried to hold his ground. Parker thought for a moment, then played Ordeal of Heliod on the Skirmisher, tapping the Sable, and swung with all his creatures. Ogreenc put the Tromper in front of the Soldier. Mortal's Ardor made it a one-for-two.
The bad news for Parker was that Ogreenc was sitting on Time to Feed. The Sable took one for the team to keep the Skirmisher from getting out of hand. He also summoned Leafcrown Dryad and passed. Parker passed a blank turn, keeping his Snarecaster at home. A Bestowed Noble Quarry forced him to make another bad trade, this time his creature and Acolyte's Reward for the Leafcrown Dryad.
So far, so good for Ogreenc, but his deck had other ideas. The only offence it offered him were some Sedge Scorpions. Parker was likewise short on action, but managed to find a Cavalry Pegasus to bestow Nyxborn Shieldmate onto. Ogreenc was forced to spend Artisan's Sorrow on the Shieldmate to stay level and to desperately dig for his big threats. Two cards went to the bottom, but still he drew brick after brick. Parker matched him for a few turns, but then found Phalanx Leader and Nylea's Emissary, which were enough to take the match.
Parker 2 - Ogreenc 0
First I sat down with Ogreenc for a post-mortem. My first question was if he had been considering siding out his blue in what looked like a very fast matchup. "Oh absolutely. The problem was, first I sided in Artisan's Sorrow, and if I take out blue there are other changes I'd need to make. My sideboard has a lot of options in it. Then I looked at the clock and we were already down to thirty minutes and [Parker] had presented his deck. I felt I couldn't make the change without going over sideboarding time so I decided to just go with it for game two and make the change in game three."
I asked him if he had any difficulties thanks to playing three colors and he shook his head. "My mana's actually really good. The only actual blue card I'm playing is Kiora, and my red is very light as well. Only Stormbreath is RR. So I get to play two islands, five mountains, Unknown Shores and still have room for nine forests. And I have Karametra's Favor."
Later I caught up with Parker to get his take on how the match had gone. "I think I probably played bad. Both games my opening hands were not great. You know, I had all these tricks. I think I could've used them better. The Ordeal play, I don't know."
I told him that his deck seemed a lot better than it looked early in game one, what with the Last Breath and Ephara's Warden, and he laughed. "Yeah, I've got a couple stinkers for sure. The deck's really good overall, though. I have two Ordeals, lots of good creatures. After pack one I was worried I was going to open Elspeth and Phalanx Leader and have to pass Elspeth. Luckily I only opened Phalanx Leader."