This round, we decided to watch closely as the almighty Eldrazi faced one of the decks that was supposed to stand a chance against them. Lukas Blohon, a veteran of five Grand Prix Top 8s, had built Abzan Company with the unusual inclusion of main-deck Worship to combat the Eldrazi menace.
Unfortunately for him, his opponent was not running the popular white-blue incarnation. Instead, two-time GP Top 8 competitor Mattia Rizzi had brought Red-Green Eldrazi to the table, complete with World Breaker and the world-breaking Kozilek's Return.
Both were 6-0 in the tournament so far, already qualified for the second day of competition, now jockeying for a better position to make a run at yet another Top 8.
In the first game, Blohon led with Noble Hierarch, followed by Viscera Seer and Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit. With Collected Company already in his hand, it looked as if Blohon might assemble the three-card combination with Kitchen Finks for infinite life as early as turn three!
Alas, it was not to be. Rizzi's Kozilek's Return reduced Blohon's board to a mere two lands. Next turn, World Breaker did the same. Then, Thought-Knot Seer took Collected Company out of Blohon's hand and that was that.
The second game began with Blohon losing a card to a mulligan. He subsequently lost both Birds of Paradise as well as Noble Hierarch to Dismember and Lightning Bolt. Now left with just two lands for mana, Blohon could only watch in growing resignation as he lost two Fiend Hunters to a pair of Thought-Knot Seers. A couple of turns later, he lost his last blockers to Kozilek's Return, then lost his remaining life total to the 4/4s.
After the match, the players discussed Blohon's line of play in the first game where he didn't even try to play around Kozilek's Return. "I think you were definitely correct in going for a fast combo there," Rizzi said. Blohon was not about to argue. "If you have it I'm in trouble anyway."
The games here had been extremely one-sided, but Blohon claimed the matchup was definitely doable. "I'm 2-1 against the deck now," he said. But Rizzi had beaten Abzan Company before as well. "Especially with this version," he pointed at all of his removal spells, Lightning Bolt, Dismember, Kozilek's Return, sideboarded All Is Dust, "I think the matchup is great."
When told about the result of the match, Hall of Famer Frank Karsten just said, "As expected," then offered the following analysis of Company's place in the metagame: "White-Blue Eldrazi is weak to Company, Company's weak to Red-Green Eldrazi, and people tell me Red-Green Eldrazi is weak to White-Blue. It's the circle of life."
Meanwhile, at another table in the feature match area, another Hall of Famer (Raphaël Lévy) and his Eldrazi deck beat another Collected Company player and his Worship with the help of Essence Depleter.