Quarterfinals - Brian Braun-Duin vs. Joseph Santomassino

Posted in Event Coverage on November 16, 2014

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

Brian Braun-Duin, or BBD, is quickly establishing himself as one of the best players in the United States. Over the last year-and-a-half, Braun-Duin has Top 8ed two Grand Prix events, winning one of them, and Top 8ed four StarCityGames Invitational events. This weekend, Braun-Duin is armed with a powerful Jeskai Stoneblade deck of his own design. The buzz around the tournament hall is that Braun-Duin had the best deck in the room.

On the other side of the table, we have Joseph Santomassino, a twenty-one year old factory worker from Litchfield, New Hampshire. This is Santomassino’s first Grand Prix and he managed to best a field of over 4000 players to find himself in the last remaining eight players in the elimination rounds. Santomassino brought a powerful MUD deck that turbocharges big artifacts into play with Metalworker.

In the first game, Braun-Duin got on the board with Stoneforge Mystic and started applying strong pressure on Santomassino with an unmolested Batterskull.

Kuldotha Forgemaster looked like it could turn things around for Santomassino, but Braun-Duin had True-Name Nemesis and the race was on!

Kuldotha Forgemaster started chaining out powerful artifacts like Spine of Ish Sah to destroy Batterskull and Wurmcoil Engine for some impressive pressure of his own.

In a heated race, Braun-Duin was eventually able to create a board state where he could attack for lethal with True-Name Nemesis armed with Umezawa’s Jitte.

Braun-Duin 1 - 0 Santomassino

The second game was all about Chalice of the Void. The first copy from Santomassino met Force of Will, but the second copy hit the battlefield and made the game a living hell for Braun-Duin.

Braun-Duin tried to apply pressure with Young Pyromancer, but Wurmcoil Engine and Sundering Titan were enough to seal the game up for Santomassino.

Braun-Duin 1 - 1 Santomassino

Santomassino was hoping that the third game would be all about Chalice of the Void too. Braun-Duin had different plans, though. Force of Will stopped the first Chalice of the Void and Spell Pierce stopped the second.

Braun-Duin was able to refill his hand with Treasure Cruise and he started applying good pressure the turn thereafter.

The two copies of Kuldotha Forgemaster in Santomassino’s hand were public knowledge thanks to an early Gitaxian Probe, and Braun-Duin was able to take full advantage of the situation with Meddling Mage. Ratchet Bomb came down and started ticking up, but it seemed like it was already too late for the New Hampshire native and Braun-Duin would be moving on to the semifinals!

Braun-Duin 2 - 1 Santomassino

Brian Braun-Duin defeats Joseph Santomassino in three games!

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