Round 9 is one of the only rounds of any given Grand Prix where the drama of the tournament is perhaps higher the further away from the top table. As tournament attendees entered the final round of the day, while those at the top were battling for positioning on Day 2, those further down the line were battling simply for a chance to make it into Day 2.
Here’s how a few notable players on that bubble ended the day.
The hall of famer had lamented that his deck — a vaguely Allies-flavored concoction that was nonetheless forced to play such hits like Blisterpod simply to round out the spells — was one of the worst he had seen at a Grand Prix. But he was still battling it out in the final round of the tournament, and with a win he would sneak into Day 2 at 7-2.
It turns out Scott-Vargas must be an ally of Zendikar, because his Kalastria Healers and Lantern Scout — along with Bloodbond Vampire — were enough to carry the day, and the hall of famer will be back on Sunday.
The reigning Rookie of the Year, Cohen found himself on the bubble in the final round of the tournament, and after losing the first game he battled back with an awakened Rising Miasma in the second to not only create a creature but clear his opponent’s board. Bane of Bala Ged cleaned up, and that sent the pair into a deciding third game, where Cohen came up just short to miss out on the final round.
Ray Perez & Matt Costa
Forced to play against each other in the final round, the two prolific Grand Prix players squared off for the right to battle against in Day 2. In a lightning-fast match, it was Perez — fresh off his second place finish in Indianapolis — who emerged victorious.
Other notable finishers included No. 14 Reid Duke, who won his final round to advance, as did Matt Sperling, David Williams, Alex Majlaton and Pascal Maynard. Jamie Parke started off hot but lost his last two rounds to miss out on Day 2, along with Matthias Hunt and No. 12 Brad Nelson.
More than 200 players will be back for Day 2, so stay tuned to Grand Prix Atlanta to see if any of these players will make a deep run.