Posted in GRAND PRIX STRASBOURG 2014 - COVERAGE - EVENTS on November 29, 2014

By Tobi Henke

Meeting this round with perfect records of 4-0 were No. 5-ranked Ivan Floch and Humberto Patarca. Patarca may have one previous Grand Prix Top 8, a finals appearance even, but his accomplishments were still no match for Floch's. With four Top 8s at Grand Prix and two at the Pro Tour, including one win at each, Floch's résumé left no doubt as to who was the favorite in this encounter.

Floch had built a green-blue-red Temur deck, Patarca brought Jeskai with mostly blue and red cards and just a small splash of white.

Game 1

In the first game, Floch launched a relentless assault: Smoke Teller, morph, another morph, Bring Low. Also being brought low—on life—was Patarca.

Humberto Patarca

He managed to get one block in, trading away Bloodfire Expert for one of Floch's morphs. But Floch kept pressuring him, destroying Patarca's Jeskai Windscout with Master the Way before it even had a chance to block.

In a last-ditch effort, Patarca tried to buy time by pointing Winterflame at Smoke Teller and a morph, trying to kill the former. However, Floch had Become Immense in response and ended the game even faster.

Humberto Patarca 0-1 (5) Ivan Floch

Game 2

Now it was Patarca's turn to make the first move with Wetland Sambar, and when he dispatched Floch's first two creatures—Jeskai Windscout via Winterflame, Sagu Archer via Suspension Field, the game began to eerily resemble the first, just with the roles reversed.

However, before long, Patarca ran out of steam and never even drew another creature. Meanwhile, Floch took control of the battlefield with Thousand Winds and a morph that later turned out to be Snowhorn Rider.

Ivan Floch

While the battlefield remained relatively empty of creatures, both players had more than enough lands and some tricks up their respective card sleeves: Floch held on to Master the Way, whereas Patarca had Flying Crane Technique, Force Away, and Disdainful Stroke. He used the latter two to deal with Thousand Winds, but with just the lonely Wetland Sambar he couldn't make much use of Flying Crane Technique.

When he finally died to Master the Way, he revealed the card from his hand and grumbled, "I just needed one more creature."

Humberto Patarca 0-2 (5) Ivan Floch

"I don't even think there even was anything I could've done differently," Patarca said. "I was trying to set up for when I'd be drawing another creature, but I just drew four more lands instead. It wasn't the most interesting game, I'm afraid."