While both of these players had made it to Grand Prix elimination rounds before, one could hardly characterize this pairing as evenly matched. Austria's Bernhard Lehner had but one Top 8 to his name, while Czech superstar Martin Jůza could boast a whopping 21 Grand Prix Top 8s including four wins.
So Lehner was clearly the underdog here and his deck may have been too. He had brought an innovative red-green beatdown deck, while Jůza was running a more established archetype in Jeskai, albeit with a few spicy additions from Fate Reforged.
Lehner won the die-roll and was suitably happy: "Achievement unlocked!" He led with a Heir of the Wilds, and Jůza matched it with his own Soulfire Grand Master. "That guy is … annoying," Lehner complained and killed it via Crater's Claws.
Over the next two turns, Jůza summoned a pair of Mantis Riders but Lehner was easily able to keep up with him: First, he cast an impressive three-drop of his own in Fanatic of Xenagos, then his Lightning Strike took down one of Jůza's fliers, and then came Stormbreath Dragon.
While Jůza did have Stoke the Flames for the Dragon and was able to get Lehner all the way to 2 life, it was Lehner who sealed the deal, with Chandra, Pyromaster coughing up the final point of damage.
Berhard Lehner 1 – 0 Martin Jůza
"It was really important for you to win this die-roll," Jůza agreed while the players were shuffling. "If I had had the first creature or been able to kill yours first, this whole thing would have played out very differently."
This time it was Jůza's turn to deploy the first creature—Seeker of the Way—but this game was defined by a lot of trades rather than a classic damage race. Fanatic of Xenagos traded with Lightning Strike, Heir of the Wilds traded with Goblin Rabblemaster, another Heir of the Wilds traded with Seeker of the Way.
Jůza was already far ahead in life when he summoned Stormbreath Dragon and put Lehner in grave danger. Lehner did have a Dragon of his own, and these two traded too, but then Jůza had more—Brimaz, King of Oreskos—while Lehner didn't.
Berhard Lehner 1 – 1 Martin Jůza
"Sooo … I'm going to go first again," Lehner announced with a determined grin on his face.
Again, Lehner had Heir of the Wilds as his first creature, to Jůza's Seeker of the Way. The two creatures traded in combat and were replaced by another Heir of the Wilds for Lehner and a Mantis Rider for Jůza. The latter died to Lightning Strike, the former died to Stoke the Flames.
Lehner only now drew his third land, whereas Jůza's hand appeared to contain nothing but lands while, in fact, Jůza was also accumulating as-of-yet useless Disdainful Strokes. Both, his large number of lands and Disdainful Strokes, came to his rescue though, when the duel entered its homestretch. First, Jůza was able to counter Lehner's Stormbreath Dragon; then Jůza was able to cast his own Stormbreath Dragon and also keep mana up to counter Lehner's second Stormbreath Dragon; finally, he was able to turn his Dragon monstrous to take the game.
Berhard Lehner 1 – 2 Martin Jůza