Outnumbered in the Top 8, it looked like the Eldrazi might succumb to the Gatewatch, but the towering monsters smashed through the quarterfinals and semifinals leaving the finals a White-Blue Eldrazi mirror match.
Each piloted by David Mines and Maitland Cameron, two seasoned veterans of the Australian Magic scene, Cameron was considered favourite in the match as he not only finished higher in the Swiss rounds and would be on the play, but was last seen in the Grand Prix Auckland finals last year.
Both players laughed as they shuffled up for Game 1, and kept their opening hands. Cameron played an Eldrazi Temple and passed, while Mines had an Eye of Ugin, an Eldrazi Mimic, and an Endless One for 2. Cameron valiantly tried to keep up, but Mines had stolen the initiative and matched his plays turn after turn, and they were soon off to Game 2.
Mines 1 – Cameron 0
David Mines takes an early and decisive lead.
"Yeah, this is the hand that gets me to game 3," Cameron stated reviewing his opening hand.
"I will also keep," Mines replied.
Both players made powerful early plays, Cameron a turn two Eldrazi Displacer and turn three Endless One for 4, while Mines shot back with a turn two Eldrazi Skyspawner and turn three Thought-Knot Seer, taking a Reality Smasher out of Cameron's hand and leaving Drowner of Hope and Path to Exile. Cameron drew a Seer of his own and struck back, seeing only lands for Mines.
Cameron went for the throat, playing Path to Exile during Mines' draw step to take out the opposing Displacer, "In a play that the historians will hopefully note was… possibly correct," Cameron joked, waggling his eyebrows at me and my laptop.
However, the card Mines had drawn was a Reality Smasher. "Where did you hide that?!" Cameron cried in mock outrage, as Mines attacked him down to 10 life. Cameron retaliated, playing Drowner of Hope and attacking Mines down to 6. Mines tried to take out the Drowner with an Oblivion Ring, but Cameron sacrificed his Eldrazi Scions to instead temporarily exile it with his Displacer. Mines quickly scooped up his cards.
Mines 1 – Cameron 1
The ever jovial Maitland Cameron evens up the match.
Mines again exploded out of the gates with a turn one Eye of Ugin into an Eldrazi Mimic while Cameron could only play a Flooded Strand. Mines followed up with an Eldrazi Skyspawner, while Cameron replied with an Eldrazi Temple and a Skyspawner of his own. Mines attacked on his third turn, played a third land, and passed without further play.
"Whyyy would you do that?" Cameron pondered aloud, poking around in Mines' hand with a Thought-Knot Seer, seeing Path to Exile and a pair of Dismembers. The Seer took one Dismember, and the other took out the Seer.
Between the refund from Cameron's Seer and his draw step, Mines had found a Reality Smasher, and was suddenly attacking for 13, thanks to his Eldrazi Mimic's pitch-perfect Smasher impersonation. Cameron threw his Eldrazi Scion in the way of one of the 5/5's and fell to 10. He played an Eldrazi Displacer and passed the turn back to Mines, sending the attacking Smasher on a Path to Exile and falling to 5 life.
Cameron stabilised by placing another Thought-Knot Seer next to his Displacer to hold off Mine's Mimic and Skyspawner, seeing a solitary Eye of Ugin in Mines' hand. However, the top of Mines' deck help an appropriately named Drowner of Hope, which slammed into play and immediately closed out the match for Mines.
Maitland Cameron congratulates David Mines on his win.
David Mines defeats Maitland Cameron 2-1 to become the Grand Prix Melbourne Champion!