Semifinals: Mehdi Saadi vs. Viktors Kazanskis

Posted in Event Coverage on April 17, 2016

By Tobi Henke

The Top 8 had been stacked with multiple Platinum and almost-Platinum pros. However, by the end of the quarterfinals only two of the famous players remained, and they were duking it out in the other semifinal match. Over here, the pairing of Mehdi Saadi and Viktors Kazanskis pitted two first-time Top 8ers against each other.

Their decks were obviously insane, each in its own way. That is, Kazanskis's plan was madness in black and red, while Saadi was aiming for delirium in green, white, and black. Kazanskis would definitely be the aggressor in the matchup and Saadi's potentially clunkier three-color deck could easily turn out to be the underdog here. Or, you know, not.

The Games

Kazanskis, playing first due to his higher finish in the Swiss, led with Ghoulcaller's Accomplice, Vampire Noble, and Stromkirk Mentor, all while Saadi was still sorting his mana with Fork in the Road.

Saadi put up a little fight, summoned Cathar's Companion for defense, but had already fallen too far behind. Kazanskis's From Under the Floorboards wasn't really necessary to seal the deal, although it certainly sped things up.

Mehdi Saadi 0-1 Viktors Kazanskis

Saadi's start into the second game was much better, with Vessel Nascency on turn one, Dauntless Cathar on turn three, and Stallion of Ashmouth on turn four. The following turn, a Fork in the Road led straight to delirium even.

Kazanskis hadn't been inactive either, but his plays of Ghoulcaller's Accomplice, Farbog Revenant, and Ravenous Bloodseeker didn't match up favorably against Saadi's unexpected onslaught. A mid-combat Senseless Rage which turned his Farbog Revenant into a sizable 3/5 made things interesting again, though only temporarily.

Saadi cast Kindly Stranger, transformed it, and it was all downhill for Kazanskis from there.

Mehdi Saadi 1-1 Viktors Kazanskis

By the deciding game, the transformation of Saadi's deck to the aggressive side seemed complete. His opening of Thalia's Lieutenant plus Tooth Collector not only gave him 5 power by turn three, he was also able to kill Kazanskis's Rancid Rats!

Kazanskis's Accursed Witch slowed Saadi down for a while, and would later take Saadi all the way to 5 in the form of Infectious Curse. But most of the rest of the game was all Saadi's: First, Vessel of Nascency brought upon delirium, then Stallion of Ashmouth, Moldgraf Scavenger, and Kindly Stranger made good use of it.

At some point, Kazanskis's Spiteful Motives caused a bit of trouble, but he later activated the Ravenous Bloodseeker that was enchanted by it, and lost both. (He hadn forgotten about the turn's Tooth Collector ability which Saadi had wisely pointed at Ravenous Bloodseeker.)

In the end, Moldgraf Scavenger and Kindly Stranger danced a Macabre Waltz, from graveyard to battlefield, to combat, to victory …

Mehdi Saadi 2-1 Viktors Kazanskis

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