Semifinals Roundup

Posted in GRAND PRIX SYDNEY 2015 on October 11, 2015

By Chapman Sim

(Editor: luckily for me, Chapman Sim (my coverage compadre from Singapore) was here to play this weekend, and offered to keep an eye on the semifinals for me. Here’s how Chapman saw things go down on the tables.)

Kelvin Chew (Black-Green) VS Alex Ball (White-Red)

Alex Ball's deck is laden with efficient creatures, including triple Valakut Invoker, and cheap tricks, and hopes to overrun Kelvin Chew's slower deck before he can take over the game with bombs like Bane of Bala Ged and Desolation Twin.

In Game 1, Chew was unable to fend off the blistering assault backed by Tandem Tactics and eventually got finished off by Vestige of Emrakul and multiple activations from Nettle Drone.

In Game 2, Chew's Carrier Thrall and Malakir Familiar were wiped away by Boiling Earth, leaving Ball with a team of Kor Castigator, Tunneling Geopede and Courier Griffin, backed by Tandem Tactics. Despite being able to land Plated Crusher, Chew's life total was slowly whittled away by the flier and Tunneling Geopede's Landfall ability. The final nail in the coffin was Ondu Champion, and Ball was able to trample past Chew's defended to advance to the finals.

Alex Ball defeats Kelvin Chew 2-0.


Kelvin Chew struggles to fend off Alex Ball’s Red-White aggressors.

Pathirana Prad (Blue-Green) VS John Seaton (Blue-Black)

Pathirana was able to keep B's creatures at Bay with the help of double Murk Strider and Brood Monitor, leaving Seaton stranded with a bunch of smaller creatures. A timely Adverse Conditions attempted to steal the win for Pathirana. Turning his entire team of Oran-Rief Invoker and quadruple Eldrazi Scions, boosted by the backbreaking Tajuru Warcaller, it looked like Seaton was in trouble. However, with some appropriate chump blocking from Seaton, he was able to counterattack with a pair of Cloud Mantas to secure Game 1.

In Game 2, Pathirana traded his Skyrider Elf for an opposing Sludge Crawler, but that didn't stop Seaton from ingesting some cards with Benthic Infiltrator. Seaton's follow up was Mind Raker and Kalastria Nightwatch, but that was no match for Pathirana’s Guardian of Tazeem and Brood Monitor. That was until Seaton shut down the 4/5 flier with Desolation Grip, destroying Prad's only Forest along the way. Wasteland Strangler killing Lifespring Druid left Pathirana without any Green mana at all. A timely Adverse Conditions brought Seaton down to 1 life, but he was able to use Hagra Sharpshooter to zap away Prad's team. Cracking Spawning Bed, it looked like there was no way for Pathirana to break past the defenses and he wished Seaton good luck in the finals.

John Seaton defeats Pathirana Prad 2-0.


Prads Pathirana is slowly ingested by John Seaton’s Blue-Black deck.