Both these match-ups were streamed with Randy Buehler and Marshall Sutcliffe announcing. If you head over to the archives, you can check out all the action in video format!
Andrew Robdrup vs. (12) Owen Turtenwald
In the first game, there was one huge turn. It was a stunner. When Owen Turtenwald cast a Logic Knot on Andrew Robdrup's turn-five Arcbound Wanderer, then cast a Death Cloud for two (removing Robdrup's hand) the turn before his Errant Ephemeron resolved, everything that had happened before was moot.
That was a mouthful of a sentence, sure, but that's exactly how Robdrup must have felt when all that stuff happened. There was so much that occurred within, like, thirty seconds and it fundamentally shifted the game. Turtenwald had jumped on the see-saw of the game and launched Robdrup into the future.
"I've never seen Death Cloud be such a big blowout before," Robdrup said as he shuffled for game two.
(12) Owen Turtenwald 1 – 0 Andrew Robdrup
On about the fifth turn of the second game, with a Perilous Research on the stack, Turtenwald cast a Slaughter Pact with a Dreamspoiler Witches out. This wiped out both of Robdrup's creatures leaving him alone with his land and his thoughts. His Arcbound Stinger sadly put a counter on a Frogmite one second before the Slaughter Pact took that out as well.
Owen might have been behind on life, but that was the only area of the game he was behind. With three more land than his opponent and a Death Cloud on deck, Owen was awaiting the moment to strip is opponent off all his land and his hand. Or he could just win by less dramatic means (although that's less fun for me, really),
(12) Owen Turtenwald
With Logic Knot and Vedalken Dismisser making sure that Robdrup was always behind, Owen was easily able to plinkity-plink away his Canadian opponent's life total with whatever dorky Faerie of his choosing. The Death Cloud was used merely as a Fireball to taken out the remaining life two life points.
(12) Owen Turtenwald 2 – 0 Andrew Robdrup
(13) Makihito Mihara vs. Klaas Grüber
Klaas Grüber's opening in the first game was slower than either of his quarterfinals games. He started with a Stinkdrinker Daredevil into a Hillcomber Giant. Without the Kithkin Greatheart, his deck was much less explosive, and much less scary. When Makihito Mihara went Thallid into Pallid Mycoderm and basically blunted all the aggression from the German, the game grinded to a halt.
It wasn't until Thundercloud Shaman and a Brute Force reared their heads was Grüber able to start knocking the Japanese player for some damage. But even then, we must all never underestimate the power of the Saproling tokens. Mihara somehow survived the first Giant wave (with thanks to Pallid Mycoderm) and when the second wave came in (via Thundering Giant), Mihara still had enough left over to chump block and preserve his life total at 12.
And then he cast Sporoloth Ancient, for the first time leading the creature-power total on the board.
(13) Makihito Mihara
Mihara was more than happy to block and trade forever to whittle down Grüber's threats. And whittle down the threats he did. Mihara exhausted the questions from Grüber, then the Japanese player provided his own big ol' answers: a 5/5 Imperiosaur became answer enough.
(13) Makihito Mihara 1 – 0 Klaas Grüber
In the second game, a Suspended Pardic Dragon is something you don't often see, if ever. Grüber took a gamble suspending it on his second turn. And Mihara's turn-three Kodama's Reach pretty much told the German player, "Yeah, your Dragon is never, ever going to resolve."
Every turn, Grüber was resigned to remove the second-to-last suspend counter from his Dragon, only to watch it go back up when the Japanese player got the turn back. It looked like Grüber had done that because it was his best chance at some offense. Because for the first five or six turns, moving that dice was about the only thing he did.
He slumped again. Again he cast nothing.
That Pardic Dragon served as an apt metaphor for Grüber this round. His deck was always threatening to be something big, but it just never materialized.
Makihito Mihara easily took the second game.