Posted in GRAND PRIX DENVER 2015 - WELCOME on January 5, 2015

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

The first game started as Standard games often do. Creatures traded with removal spells and the game remained at parity.

The board quickly started to fill up with powerful threats as the game progressed. Eventually, Sperling had a Wingmate Roc token with two +1/+1 counters, a pair of Rakshasa Deathdealers, and Anafenza, the Foremost to Pardee's pair of Stormbreath Dragons, Goblin Rabblemaster, and three Goblin tokens.

Both players were at precarious life totals and the combat math was complicated. Sperling made a pair of tight attacks and managed to squeak through exactly enough damage to take down the first game.

Matt Sperling

Sperling 1 - 0 Pardee

The second game was an absolute blowout. Pardee's turn three Goblin Rabblemaster went unanswered and every defensive body that Sperling could muster met a removal spell. Rabblemaster was able to take over the game and chop away at Sperling's life total in a few short turns.

Sperling 1 - 1 Pardee

The third game was more interactive. Sperling's Rakshasa Deathdealer met Lightning Strike and Hushwing Gryff came down in response to Siege Rhino to prevent the trigger.

Pardee had an answer for Siege Rhino in Glare of Heresy and Sperling had Bile Blight to deal with Pardee's flyer.

Sam Pardee

Both players tried to establish boards, but the other seemed to always have a removal spell.

Eventually, another Siege Rhino came down for Sperling and Pardee's Chained to the Rocks met Back to Nature, which gave Sperling another Siege Rhino trigger. Pardee drew more lands off the top while taking rhino stomps to the face. Unable to find an answer, Pardee soon found himself underfoot.

Sperling 2 - 1 Pardee

Matt Sperling defeats Sam Pardee in three games to secure himself a spot in the finals!