Fifteen year-old Charlie Rinehart breezed his way through the competition on day one with a perfect 9-0 record. The youngster is an up-and-comer here on the east coast--having success in the StarCityGames tournament circuit. Nathan Holiday, on the other hand, has been undefeated going into day two many times before, recently having a perfect day one record at both Grand Prix Phoenix and Grand Prix Atlanta.
Rinehart is playing Soul Sisters--a white aggro deck that leans on creatures like Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant to gain life and power up his Ajani's Pridemate and Serra Ascendants. Rinehart mentioned that he had been playing this deck for three years and played a Daily Event on Magic Online every day in preparation for this event. Holiday brought Melira Pod to the table here in Worcester. The aggressive combo deck is capable of gaining infinite life or dealing infinite damage thanks to the interaction between Melira, Sylvok Outcast, Viscera Seer, and either Kitchen Finks or Murderous Redcap.
Rinehart got an aggressive start in game one with a turn one Soul Warden, a turn two Ajani's Pridemate, and a turn three Spectral Procession. His army started bashing in and quickly dropped Holiday down to nine life.
Holiday responded with Qasali Pridemage and Birthing Pod, changed his Pridemage into an Orzhov Pontiff and used an Abrupt Decay to clear Rinehart's board. Rinehart rebuilt with a Soul Warden, Serra Ascendant and an Honor of the Pure.
Nathan Holiday 1 - 0 Charlie Rinehart
"I've never played this matchup," Holiday mentioned as the players went to sideboard, "you need to know so much about every matchup [in Modern]."
"I know," Rinehart responded, "I needed to change the sideboard of my deck since the MTGO metagame is so Burn and Storm focused."
"Where is the Abrupt Decay going, man?" Rinehart baited.
Holiday waited until Rinehart's following turn to use the Return to Ravnica removal spell, when Rinehart cast an Honor of the Pure.
After a little bit of back and forth, Holiday found a Qasali Pridemage. Now was his chance to remove Rinehart's Suppression Field. However, Rinehart had a second copy of the Ravnica Enchantment along with a second copy of Honor of the Pure. When Holiday used his Pridemage on Honor of the Pure he knew his time was limited.
Rinehart put a lethal number of 1/1s on the board thanks to Ranger of Eos and Squadron Hawk. When Holiday couldn't find an Orzhov Pontiff on his following turn, he scooped up his cards and looked to the third game.
Nathan Holiday 1 - 1 Charlie Rinehart
Holiday prayed for an Orzhov Pontiff, but came up short as Rinehart found a finisher in the form of Ajani's Pridemate. Thanks to the Soul Sisters, Rinehart's Pridemate quickly became a 6/6 and then a 10/10, while Holiday landed a Birthing Pod.
Holiday used Birthing Pod to get Reclamation Sage which destroyed Rinehart's Suppression Field and gave Holiday a glimmer of hope. Holiday was a land short of comboing off on his following turn, but set things up by casting a Ranger Of Eos to get a Viscera Seer and Podding away his Noble Hierarch to get a Melira, Sylvok Outcast.
"Don't draw anything sweet," Holiday begged, as Rinehart drew and passed for his turn. Holiday went to combo off, and, with only a plains in hand, Rinehart extended the hand.
Holiday wins the match 2-1 over Charlie Rinehart