Finals: Omar Beldon vs. Dan Lanthier

Posted in Event Coverage on October 26, 2015

By Josh Bennett

It was an old-fashioned all-Canada throwdown in the finals of Grand Prix Quebec City. A Dark Jeskai mirror for all the marbles. A battle of youth versus experience.

On one side of the match, the underdog. Prior to this weekend, Omar Belden's biggest Magic claim to fame was being part of the testing team that helped propel Paul Dean to the semifinals of Pro Tour Battle for Zendikar. All that hard work is being paid back this weekend, as he swept through Day 1 with a perfect record and managed to close out strong. One more win and he'll turn his first Grand Prix Top 8 into his first Championship. Just like his opponent did earlier this year.

That would be Ottawa's Dan Lanthier, here playing the role of the grizzled veteran. A regular of the Grand Prix circuit, 2015 has been his breakout year, having already hoisted the trophy at Grand Prix Vancouver. As a member of Team Face-to-Face Games he enjoyed a larger cheering section on the rail, but Beldon's teammates were doing their best to keep up.

Dan Lanthier


The Decks

Their two versions of Dark Jeskai were within a few cards of each other. The game plan against other decks is simple: Abuse Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, attack with efficient threats, and if all else fails, bury your opponent in two-for-ones. In the mirror, you mostly jockey for position, trying to get your opponent on the wrong end of card advantage, and wearing out their resources before sticking a lethal threat. However, if you catch them without an early answer, you can often ride that tempo to victory.

The Games

On the play, Beldon brought out a second-turn Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. Lanthier answered with Soulfire Grand Master. They matched Kolaghan's Commands to clear the board and force discards. Beldon delved out Tasigur, the Golden Fang with one mana left over, leaving himself Dragonmaster Outcast and Kolaghan's Command in the graveyard. Again, Lanthier matched him.

Worse for Beldon, he was stuck on just four lands. He tried to remove Lanthier's Tasigur with Utter End, but was Dispelled. Lanthier played his fifth land and took to the air with Mantis Rider, leaving himself just one card in hand. Beldon missed on land again and played a Mantis Rider of his own. He attacked with it and Lanthier was happy to trade.

Lanthier untapped, drew, and passed back. He refused to bite when Beldon attacked with his Tasigur, taking the hit on the chin instead of risking a block. Beldon passed. Lanthier activated Tasigur and was given a Jace. He untapped, hit back for four with Tasigur, then tried to cast his Jace. Beldon's four mana enabled Ojutai's Command to counter it and draw a card. Lanthier brought out a second copy and passed.

Beldon wasn't about to let that stick. He continued to trade damage with Tasigur and torched Jace with Fiery Impulse before Lanthier could untap. Lanthier returned fire and passed. Now the life totals were low enough that Beldon wouldn't risk attacking. An end-of-turn Ojutai's Command from Lanthier brought Jace back into play and drew him a card. Beldon tried to kill it with Crackling Doom, but Dispel made the save.

That was the beginning of the end for Beldon. Lanthier was free to loot and transform his Jace, then flash back his Crackling Doom. Beldon couldn't stop it. That cleared the path for a big Tasigur hit, and Beldon was back on his heels. He tried to survive an extra turn with Ojutai's Command, but another Crackling Doom provided the last two damage.

Lanthier 1 – Beldon 0

Omar Beldon

Beldon had to send back his opening seven, but found the next six to his liking. They were off!

Four turns later Beldon played the game's first spell. It was Duress, revealing Lanthier's hand of two Polluted Deltas, Sunken Hollow, Crackling Doom, Dispel, Mantis Rider, and Dig Through Time. He thought hard for twenty seconds, then took the Dig. Lanthier untapped and summoned Mantis Rider, pushing it past Crackling Doom with Dispel.

However, the door was open for Beldon, and he made the most of it. He first resolved Painful Truths for three cards, then brought out Mastery of the Unseen. Lanthier hit for three more, dropping him to just eight life (thanks to a wealth of fetchlands and the Truth-pain), and delved out Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Beldon untapped and got rid of the legend with Ultimate Price, but he didn't have a ready answer to the Mantis Rider overhead. He was down to five. He untapped, drew and passed back.

Again Lanthier hit, leaving Beldon at a precarious two life. Beldon activated his Mastery at end of turn. Lanthier tapped three for Crackling Doom. Beldon had the Dispel. Three more mana, however, meant Kolaghan's Command and victory for Lanthier.

Dan Lanthier defeats Omar Beldon 2-0 and is the Grand Prix Quebec City Champion!

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