Posted in GRAND PRIX LOS ANGELES 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 20, 2014

By Marc Calderaro

"Man, I haven't played against Red-Green since Theros," Carlo Falcis said as he looked over the Daniel Scheid's decklist. His eyes focused on each "old-school" card choice as if he were trying to remember what the deck was like all those weeks ago. Falcis is originally from the Philippines, but has been living in North Hollywood for the last ten years.

"That's good," Daniel Scheid said. He smiled. Red-Green Monsters has been out of the limelight for a spell, thanks to all the new, shiny Khans of Tarkir cards. But Scheid liked his Gruuly beaters, and swore up and down that his match-ups were good. Well, sitting in the Grand Prix Semi-Finals, he was proven right. Scheid is in southern California from Oakland, and this the first time he's ever been this far.

Carlo Falcis was helming the only expected deck left standing—Abzan Midrange. All the others had fallen to a host of other decks out of left field, like Monsters, for example.

The Games

Carlo Falcis stumbled out of the gates in the first game. Though both players mulliganed, Falcis went down to four. That's not a great start. But despite that, the game began as it does, with Sylvan Caryatids and Elvish Mystics. Scheid remarked how well Falcis' deck was running, considering.

Falcis went on the aggressive, with a Siege Rhino, but he could only say, "Oh my God," when a Genesis Hydra for seven mana came down what seemed way too early to be doing anything of the sort. This is how Scheid would punish Falcis' draw.

Carlo Falcis

Though Falcis was able to deal with both the Hydra and the Stormbreath Dragon pulled directly from the library, Scheid calmly untapped and cast a Hornet Queen, and then a Crater's Claws clearing out Falcis' Courser of Kruphix blocker. The amount of just raw power was a little overwhelming.

Falcis still had a healthy life total, but his board presence was sorely lacking. And Scheid's half looked like a sea of green. One might say it was sea-foam green.

Falcis fought valiantly, but infi-green absorbed him like an amoeba.

Daniel Scheid 1 – 0 Carlo Falcis

Like the first game, both players had to mulligan, but that didn't stop the little green accelerators from getting on the field first. Falcis stuck with his six, so this would at least be a fair game.

Then Red-Green Monsters did as it does. Scheid powered out a fourth-turn Stormbreath Dragon and began the assault. That was hit with a Hero's Downfall, obviously, but Scheid didn't miss a beat and cast a second.

Daniel Scheid

Falcis sent a Drown in Sorrow into his library with a fetchland. It had been sitting on top and revealed, thanks to Courser of Kruphix, and he needed to stop the dragon-shaped beats immediately.

Falcis was gaining life like a champ, or at least a semifinalist, and his Siege Rhino and even his Courser of Kruphix were attacking in on the ground. Falcis was grabbing the upper hand. The life totals were 5-24 in Falcis' favor. He even had Wingmate Roc and Utter End sitting in his hand. If he could just sneak in a few more damage, he would get there.

And that's when the Hornet Queen came down. Any aggressive intentions from the other side of the table were brought to a grinding halt. All of a sudden, that Drown in Sorrow that Falcis sent away looked like the greatest card to have ever drawn, ever.

The 1/1 Deathtouch dudes traded for like four things as Falcis desperately tried to clean up the board. And clean up the board it did, but not really in the way Falcis wanted. He was out of relevant things. The Philippines native kept drawing copies of Sorin, Solemn Visitor, but without the support creatures, the Planeswalker was Sor-ly lacking.

Falcis was ahead by around twenty life points, and he just had to sit and watch them tick away. He tried to get himself out of it, but it wasn't meant to be. The Drown in Sorrow was lost in time.

Daniel Scheid 2 – 0 Carlo Falcis