The semifinals featured four players, from four different countries, playing four very different deck archetypes. While it took six rounds of Limited prowess to push these players into the playoffs, it was their Standard archetypes that would determine the outcome of this tournament.
Enough chatting, let's dive into what happened.
Oscar Christensen (R/G Monsters) vs. Jérémie Ross-Latour (Jeskai Ascendancy)
The first match to finish was the semifinal battle between Montreal's Jérémie Ross-Latour (piloting Jeskai Ascendancy combo) and Oscar Christensen of Denmark (piloting R/G Monsters).
A lack of any combo action from Ross-Latour allowed Christensen and his behemoths—led by the old khan Yasova Dragonclaw—to trample over the competition in Game 1.
In the second game, while Ross-Latour had some fancy mana play with a morphed Rattleclaw Mystic to get multiple plays in a turn, the fast clock of Christensen was too fast. Yasova did her work again, ridding Ross-Latour of blockers at critical points to ensure lethal.
“Your clock is too fast,” Ross-Latour noted after the match, offering the handshake.
Dominik Prosek (B/G Constellation) vs. Luis Salvatto (R/W Midrange)
While Salvatto's R/W Midrange deck is capable of putting on some pressure, its clock was not the fastest that you are capable of in Standard, and a fast clock or graveyard disruption is a requirement against Prosek's B/G Constellation deck, which has access to the utterly brutal combination of Hornet Queen and Whip of Erebos.
In the second game, Salvatto took an aggressive route and aced past Prosek's Pharika, God of Affliction thanks to Erase. With no Whip of Erebos in sight and multiple Stormbreath Dragons in hand, Salvatto had the advantage. Even when Prosek cast Whip of Erebos, it was Salvatto's Hushwing Gryff that stymied Prosek's ability to self-mill, and a second Erase dispatched of the Whip.
The final game featured a sequence Prosek did not want to see: no land after revealing for a third-turn Courser of Kruphix while staring down Seeker of the Way and Brimaz, King of Oreskos from Salvatto. Chained to the Rocks dispatched the enchantment-creature, ensuring Prosek's mana troubles would remain.
Salvatto's lead was so large, Outpost Siege even came down naming Dragons instead of Khans. With a very real clock staring him down, and few ways to mitigate the inevitable, Prosek inevitably extended the hand.