Quarterfinals: Axel Martinez vs. Pascal Maynard

Posted in Event Coverage on February 2, 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

Axel Martinez hasn’t been losing many matches at Mexican Grand Prix events over the last few years. The 2008 Mexican National Champion finished 9th at last year’s Grand Prix Mexico City, 9th at Grand Prix Guadalajara, and 9th at Grand Prix Mexico City in 2012. Coming off an astounding three heartbreakers, Martinez’s Top 8 berth this weekend was a labor of love.

Pascal Maynard, a Canadian native, struggled and failed to get back to the Pro Tour last year. After this weekend, it seems that all his problems are dead and gone. This is Maynard’s third consecutive Grand Prix Top 8 and his fifth overall!

Martinez mulliganed in the first game while Maynard curved Whisperer of the Wilds into Temur Sabertooth and started ramping into huge creatures before Martinez could even find a fourth land. Martinez tried to hold on, but he was chump blocking before he could establish any board presence and the game was over in the blink of an eye.

In the second game, Martinez stuck an early Warden of the First Tree and started dumping mana into it. Maynard had a pair of Whisperer of the Wilds and Temur Sabertooth, but Warden of the First Tree was quickly getting out of hand while Martinez advanced his boardstate with other large creatures.

It looked like Maynard was on the ropes, but the tides of war shifted instantaneously when he cast Duneblast. Suddenly, Temur Sabertooth was the only creature on the battlefield and Maynard had six cards in hand to Martinez’s two.

Martinez tried to win a race with Lightform, but Maynard had plenty of gas to fill up the board and take the match.

Pascal Maynard defeats Axel Martinez in two games to advance to the semifinals!

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