3,613 players were down to 4. 9 am Saturday morning was up to 9.30 pm Saturday night. And the most important matches of the weekend were yet to be played. The players, clearly affected by both the excitement of making the top 8 and the mental challenge after a long weekend of Magic shuffled up in a friendly matter before they got down to the business of finding out which two of them would go on to duke it out for the title as Grand Prix Champion.
Semifinal #1 – Daniel Seibold vs Davide Vergoni
Danny Seibold and Davide Vergoni
In the first match to start, and to finish roughly 15 minutes later Pro Tour top 8 competitor Daniel Seibold took on Italian Davide Vergoni in match of honor, diplomacy and green-black creatures and spells of all colors against Italian evasive creatures with protection from green and black.
Sounds simplified? Well, that's more or less exactly how the match played out. As Daniel Seibold's deck simply didn't have a lot of answers in it to Mirran Crusader, that Davide Vergoni timely cast on turn four in both games against the more seasoned German. In the second game it didn't help that Seibold was stuck on three swamps before finally finding a Sphere of the Suns to cast spells of other colors.
In the quickest match of the entire top 8. Davide Vergoni defeated Daniel Seibold 2-0.
Semifinal #2 – Lars Rosengren vs Iwan Smit
Lars Rosengren and Iwan Smit
The other match was a much more interesting affair. It also featured four- or five-colored decks, filled with powerful spells and a wide array of removal spells. Just look at these notes of the key spells for both players in the first game:
Lars Rosengren and Iwan Smit
|Lars Rosengren||Iwan Smit|
|Gnarlid Pack||Nest Invaders|
|Matca Rioters||Root-Kin Ally|
|Bestial Menace||Precursor Golem|
|Sickleslicer||Artisan of Kozilek|
The rest of the match turned out to follow in the same manner. In the second game Lars Rosengren won with Ant Queen, to feelings of both the bewilderment and disappointment from Iwan Smit. But not before an epic Precursor Golem interaction.
On his fifth turn Smit cast Precursor Golem, Rosengren went for Tribal Flames to kill it, and the two Golem tokens but Smit answered with Mutagenic Growth to save all of them before Rosengren trumped him with Grim Affliction for both a proliferate party and sending the Golems to the graveyard.
The decider was a nail-biter with both players and decks displaying fine qualities of both late and early game. Smit started things off by fueling out an early Mulldrifter with Smokebraider. Tribal Flames killed it, and Rosengren got to two-for-one with Spitebellows once, then returned it with Vengeful Rebirth to do it again. And not even an Worldheart Phoenix from Iwan Smit's sideboard could live through all of Rosengren's red removal. In the end Rosengren took the game, and the match in five-color-fashion by sending two copies of Tribal Flames directly aimed at Smit after attacking a few times with Matca Rioters.
Lars Rosengren beat Iwan Smit 2-1