Semifinals: Seth Manfield (Red-Green Werewolves) vs. Allen Wu (Blue-Black)

Posted in Event Coverage on April 18, 2016

By Jacob Van Lunen

Jacob Van Lunen began playing Magic in 1995. He has participated in organized play at every level of competition and was a member of the winning team at Pro Tour San Diego in 2007, thanks to an innovative draft strategy. As a writer, Van Lunen has had more than three hundred Magic strategy pieces published

Third ranked Seth Manfield is the reigning World Champion. Manfield has proven time and again that his greatest strength is the ability to navigate his way through complex forty card puzzles. This skillset makes him particularly dangerous in newer draft formats. Manfield already defeated teammate and Oath of the Gatewatch Champion JC Tao in the quarterfinals and he was seeing red as he sat down for the semifinals.

This may be Allen Wu’s first taste of success at a major event, but Wu absolutely crushed the swiss portion of the event and seems to have a very strong handle on the new draft format.

Could this 22-year-old student overcome the reigning World Champion?

The Games

Game 1

Allen Wu

Manfield had Ravenous Bloodseeker for the first play that affected the board.

Wu’s Reckless Scholar quickly met Fiery Temper and Manfield started attacking.

Wu tried to play defense with Stallion of Ashmouth, but Manfield was happy to discard a land to take the trade before putting himself ahead on the board with Howlpack Wolf.

Neglected Heirloom made Howlpack Wolf big enough that Rabid Bite was able to kill Wu’s Ghoulsteed and Manfield continued his foray into the redzone.

Wu’s life total was dwindling fast and he needed to find an answer quickly. Gone Missing was good enough and Wu was happy to discard a pair of cards to return his Ghoulsteed back to the battlefield.

Manfield was never able to successfully put together a favorable attack for the rest of the game.

The game featured a lot of lands drawn by both players and Wu was able to ride his Ghoulsteed to victory and put himself up a game in the match.

Allen Wu 1 - 0 Seth Manfield

Game 2

Seth Manfield

Manfield was glad to be on the play in the second game of the match.

Starting with six cards, Manfield got aggressive with Ember-Eye Wolf and Byway Courier.

Wu’s Tooth Collector was dealt with via Fiery Temper and Manfield, once again, tried to attack his way to an early victory.

Wu had other plans, though, Silent Observer and a host of defensive bodies soon flooded the board and Manfield looked to be out of gas despite missing a lot of land drops in the early stages of the game.

Manfield tried to engineer a big attack by flashing Pack Guardian into play on Wu’s turn before using Voldaren Duelist to get in for as much damage as he could muster.

It was enough to put Wu down to just three life.

Wu was unphased and continued attacking in the air with Stormrider Spirit. Eventually Stallion of Ashmouth with Delirium started attacking too and Manfield was forced to chump block.

Manfield knocked the top of his deck, perhaps looking for the finishing blow in the form of a burn spell. It wasn’t there and he extended his hand in defeat.

Wu 2 - 0 Manfield

Allen Wu defeats World Champion (3) Seth Manfield in two games to advance to the finals!

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