Sweden's Susanne Bornelöv has managed to win all of her games yesterday, leaving her with a perfect 8 - 0 record. Her G/B Devotion deck was working like a well-oiled machine and it hadn't failed her so far.
Her round 9 opponent is Russia's Alexey Rogov, who was piloting a Jund monsters deck to a very strong 7 - 1 finish at the end of day 1.
It would be a first for both of these players to advance to the top 8 of a Grand Prix, so the tension was building very fast prior to the match. Rogov won the die roll and he opted to go first.
Bornelöv tried to cripple Rogov's deck with two Thoughtseize in the first game, revealing this hand after the first activation:
Devour Flesh couldn't exactly stem the bleeding, with Bornelöv only sacrificing his Elvish Mystic. When the Russian started to use the effect of Scavenging Ooze the following turn and Bornelöv didn't find an out, she started accessing her sideboard for game 2.
Game 2 - Alexey Rogov 1 - 0 Susanne Bornelöv
Once again, Bornelöv found a Thoughtseize among the cards in her opening hand.
Bornelöv had a second Thoughtseize (sending Elvish Mystic to the graveyard) and a Lifebane Zombie after that made this game look like a very one-sided affair, exiling Polukranos, World Eater. Rogov was now left with just one threat: Stormbreath Dragon, but he was lacking the mana to cast it.
Finally, Rogov had the necessary amount of mana to cast Stormbreath Dragon. Could it turn the tide in this game?
It couldn't, since Bornelöv used Hero's Downfall to deal with it.
Rogov needed a big draw; he must have prayed to the gods all night since his deck provided him with Xenagos, the Reveler! It got him a token.
Bornelöv was thinking long and hard how to deal with the Planeswalker; she sent Gray Merchant of Asphodel into it and it connected. It was still on the field, however.
Over the course of the following turns, Bornelöv tried to get rid of the Planeswalker with her Gray Merchant and Mutavault, but Rogov was able to use his tokens and his own Mutavault that traded with Bornelöv's copy to keep Xenagos on the field.
Rogov was hanging in the ropes, but as long as his Planeswalker could do its dirty work, there was no reason for him to complain. Finally, he found Domri Rade, but Abrupt Decay dealt with it momentarily.
Bornelöv wasn't holding on to much more and when Rogov found Courser of Kruphix, he was able to pull ahead. He cast a land from the top of his deck and he then revealed Stormbreath Dragon. Bornelöv was suddenly staring down a huge clock!
She was desperately looking for answers, but her deck wouldn't provide her with them. Rogov was now up on 3 tokens and when he declared attacks, Bornelöv just said "That's it. Good luck for the next rounds!"