Going into Round 9, only one team remained with a pristine record. Matthew Katz, Ben Yu, and Jameson Painter all entered the final round of Day 1 with 24 match points, and another win would give them strong footing for the second day of Team Sealed competition.
However, coming close to them were three teams at 22 match points, courtesy of their 7-0-1 records. These teams are the following:
Luis Luks, Maximilao Liprandi, and Ander Zurimendi
Chester Swords, Patrick Robertson, and Tye Soens
Eric Severson, Benjamin Weitz, and Josiah Skallerup
The four teams played it out to see who would remain undefeated in Round 9. Let's take a look at the results.
Katz, Yu, and Painter vs. Swords, Robertson, and Soens
The battle between Katz and Swords was the highlight of these two teams and their bout, where Katz's Ob Nixilis, Unshackled was matched up against Hornet Queen and Genesis Hydra. However, multiple forms of removal and tricks allowed the legendary demon to punch through Swords's hornets enough times unscathed to give Katz an early lead.
The second game, however, was a lopsided affair as Katz's third-turn Chasm Stalker quickly turned into a monstrous leviathan thanks in part to a Divination two turns later. Even with Hornet Queen available on the sixth turn for Swords, thanks in part to Genesis Hydra ramping his mana, Frost Lynxes ensured that the most it could do is stem the bleeding. And it certainly did that, leaving Swords with the Hornet Queen and an insect token, and Katz with six squids.
The battle was close, with Swords at 5, just out of Covenant of Blood range, and Katz's board desolated. Swords drew and...
...confirmed with his teammates that they were out of the match, with Robertson and Soens confirming that they lost their matches against Yu and Painter respectively. They signed the slip, then continued to play out the game to see how it would resolve.
And as it turned out, they would have gone to three, with Swords making a monumental comeback after a rough start.
Nonetheless, his team couldn't be too upset. They were heading into Day 2 at 7-1-1, and were in good shape for a potential Top 4 finish on Sunday. Katz, Yu, and Painter advance into Sunday undefeated.
Severson, Weitz, and Skallerup vs. Luks, Liprandi, and Zurimendi
A quick 2-0 victory from Severson over Luks allowed him to watch over his teammates and offer advice as soon as possible. However, it mattered little, as an overwhelming board position from Weitz locked up their team with the match win. They will head into Day 2 with a solid 25 match points.