Daniel Fournier is a longtime player with plenty of Grand Prix experience under his belt. The sole remaining undefeated player, he's looking to put a bow on an already outstanding weekend by completing the 13-0 sweep, which would lock up a Top 8 berth. He's drafted an aggressive blue-red deck.
His opponent, Terrence Dufour, is on quite a ride at this, his first Grand Prix. Sitting at 12-1, he just finished a sweep of his first draft. His red-black minotaurs deck decimated his opponents. Now he's playing a more middle-of-the-road deck in the Jund colors.
Fournier was on the draw, but he came out strong with Deepwater Hypnotist and Two-Headed Cerberus. Dufour's only early play was Read the Bones, hardly suited to dealing with the situation. Things improved with Nylea's Presence into Lightning Strike to take care of the double-striker. Fournier replaced it with a Triton Fortune Hunter. Dufour put shields up with a Nyxborn Wolf bolstered by a Nyxborn Rollicker. The Hypnotist meant that it would only have one power on Fournier's attack, and Dufour made the trade, letting the Fortune Hunter through. Fournier passed on five mana.
Here things began to go very wrong for Dufour. He aimed Lash of the Whip at the Fortune Hunter, and Fournier punished him with a cantripped Voyage's End. Worse, after Fournier replayed it, Dufour doubled down with a Sip of Hemlock. Fournier turned over a second Voyage's End. Dufour had no action that could overcome that much card advantage, and Fournier quickly took the game.
Fournier 1 - Dufour 0
Again despite being on the play, Fournier was the aggressor. He played Satyr Rambler, took four from Minotaur Skullcleaver, then summoned Kragma Butcher. Dufour had no removal in hand and was forced to keep his Skullcleaver at home. He tapped out for Mogis, God of Slaughter and passed the turn.
Fourier took two, drew his card, and thought. His frown deepened. Eventually he tapped two for Thunderous Might on Satyr Rambler and attacked with both his creatures. Dufour confirmed that the Rambler was a 5/1 and considered his position, then let both creatures through, falling to eleven. Fournier passed back with two mana open.
Dufour hoped to turn the race in his favor with Portent of Betrayal, but it was not to be. He stole the enchanted Satyr and swung in. Voyage's End sent Skullcleaver back to his hand. Dufour had also left himself defenseless. Fournier untapped, attacked, and showed him Bolt of Keranos for the win.
With a shrug, Fournier said "Okay maybe this deck IS good."
"I'm not so sure about mine," said Dufour with a laugh.
"Well keep winning and hopefully I'll see you in Top 8."
Now 11-2, Dufour didn't like his chances. "This deck, the cards just didn't come. I wound up having to be three colors and it's not even that powerful." Still, he had his game face on. He shrugged off his loss and got ready for the next round.
Meanwhile, the pressure was off Fournier. I asked him about his road to 13-0. His Day 1 Sealed had looked quite good from the little I saw of it. "Well it had two bombs and I drew them a lot. Really the deck sort of built itself, it was the only way pool could go. I thought I might 8-1, but I didn't think it could do 9-0. I just never got screwed."
I asked him about his 3-0 draft deck and his face lit up with a grin. "Oh man, that might have been the best deck I've had in this format. Let me put it this way: I was red-white after Pack 1. In both my other packs I opened Anax and Cymede. I also got a 4th pick Spear of Heliod. The deck was a total gift." By contrast he rated his current deck about a six out of ten.
I asked if he had anything else to add about making his first Top 8. "I want to make sure that people know: I didn't outplay my opponents. I just ran hotter than the sun."