Eight players sat down in the feature match area for this first of the three elimination rounds. We have four matches to cover, so let's get right to it!"
In the first quarterfinal to finish, Steffen van de Veen's creature removal and life gain was of no use against Ricardo van den Bogaard's Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which either entered the battlefield with haste (Through the Breach) or at end of turn (Summoning Trap). It really was that simple.
Steffen van de Veen 0-2 Ricardo van den Bogaard
Till Riffert (Scapeshift) vs. Marcio Carvalho (Abzan)
The second quarterfinal saw some more back and forth, as Marcio Carvalho's Abzan deck faced off against Till Riffert's Scapeshift. In one game, Carvalho managed to resolve Liliana of the Veil but lost it to burn while Riffert restocked with Dig Through Time. Then, Carvalho found that Inquisition of Kozilek was really bad against Cryptic Command which bought enough time for Scapeshift to get the necessary Mountains and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. In the second game, Carvalho had an aggressive start with Tarmogoyf, supplemented by discard and even Tectonic Edge, but in the end, Riffert still won surprisingly easily—again largely thanks to the power of Cryptic Command, which had always been good against such Rock-type decks.
Till Riffert 2-0 Marcio Carvalho
Immanuel Gerschenson (Temur Delver) vs. Kevin Grove (Birthing Pod)
Kevin Grove wasn't able to resolve a Birthing Pod in the first game, but, as his deck sometimes does, he did manage to apply good and honest beatdown. In the second game, Gerschenson out-tempoed Grove, partly thanks to an extra land off Grove's early Path to Exile. The third game began with Grove's Voice of Resurgence and Spellskite, but Gerschenson soon matched those with Delver of Secrets and Threads of Disloyalty, and later went completely crazy with Young Pyromancer, lots of tokens, and two Tarmogoyfs.
Immanuel Gerschenson 2-1 Kevin Grove
Both players had lots of creatures, both had Birthing Pod, and both entered a war of attrition with lots of heavy hitters when any attempts at combo were successfully thwarted. In the end, Archangel of Thune, in tandem with Scavenging Ooze, claimed game one for Rodriguez. After mulligans for Devine, Rodriguez was not only able to get out of the gate faster with his beatdown, he was also the first to cast Birthing Pod. Siege Rhino, Restoration Angel, and Thragtusk brought Devine back into the game again and again, but finally Rodriguez's Sigarda, Host of Herons dealt lethal damage.
Andrew Devine 0-2 José Rodriguez