Mike Sigrist, a Grand Prix champion already, faced down Stephen Whelan in his first Grand Prix Top 8. Both were in excellent spirits, excited to see each other in Milwaukee and, perhaps, beyond.
Whelen led the way in the first game playing a morph and a Summit Prowler as Sigrist struck back with Territorial Roc and Aven Tactician. Alesha, Who Smiles at Death joined the fray for Whelan but the 3/4 Tactician held the fort. When Sigrist blocked with the Tactician, Guardian Shield-Bearer flipped up for Whelan but Sigirst made his Aven indestructible with Valorous Stance. It continued to stick it out through several turns before Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury jumped in for Sigrist. Whelan didn't last long after that.
Stephen Whelan was in his first Grand Prix Top 8, and faced stuff competition from the veteran Mike Sigrist.
In the second game, Whelan went aggressive with a 2/2 Ainok Guide and 3/2 Frontier Mastodon, using an early Vial of Dragonfire to kill Champion of Arashin. Sigrist was slower, stuck on four mana for some time: He blocked to clear away the Mastodon but left plenty of creatures behind for Whelan.
Once Outpost Siege hit Sigrist began to take over. He attacked several turns, unleashing his tricks and annihilating Whelan's side of the battlefield in the blocks. Without enough creatures to follow up Whelan fell from there.
Mike Sigrist used his draw engine to overpower Whelan's defenses.
There was another veteran versus new challenger match happening nearby.
Pro Tour Hall of Fame Player Jelger Wiegersma had earned his Platinum status earlier in the day, but adding another Top 8 win to his lifetime of impressive stats wouldn't hurt either. Gautier Cousin was in his first Grand Prix Top 8 but was ready to do more.
Cousin and Weigersma each had the “same” first creature, a morph, on the third turn but when the Hall of Fame player blocked and attack Cousin drew first blood off Coat with Venom. Wiegersma used Roast to return the favor as both players remained on three lands for a couple turns. Eventually, Sigrist drew out and began to keep pace with Whelan: Summit Prowler and Sandsteppe Scavenger across the way against Sigrist's Aven Tactician, Kolaghan Aspirant, and Sandsteppe Outcast.
Gautier Cousin was looking to move further in his first Grand Prix Top 8 appearance.
Thunderbreak Regent broke the air for Wiegersma as a big play in their first game, but Hooded Assassin – after the Regent blocked a turn later – took care of it for Cousin. Hardened Berserker and Feral Krushok were Wiegersma's next attackers, but Hand of Silumgar answered the former. Gurmag Angler gave Cousin beef against Wiegersma's growing force of Atarka Beastbreaker and Mardu Scout, though a second Roast handled it before too long.
Cousin traded away most of him team for the Krushok as Wiegersma went wide with Dragon Fodder, but the morph Cousin had the whole time was Acid-Spewer Dragon. However when Wiegersma's army came in, Press the Advantage pushed lethal damage around the formidable blocker.
Wiegersma was quick in the second game, with Zurgo Bellstriker and Atarka Beastbreaker to Cousin's lonely Dragonloft Idol. Weigersma used Tread Upon to run over that and Kolaghan Monument was Cousin's only follow up.
Jelger Wiegersma used his best tricks to push through the damage he needed for a quarterfinals victory.