Rounding out the formats that the sixteen 2014 Magic Online Championship competitors prepared for this weekend is good ol' Standard Constructed. Standard represented these players and their sprint towards home plate, so with that in mind, what did they bring for the final four rounds of swiss?
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The point of focus for these last four rounds fell onto the players who sat at five losses at various points from Rounds 11-14. Here are a few tidbits from the last two rounds.
Round 13, Jasper De Jong ensured Sunday play after dispatching Maxime Martin in the Green-White Devotion mirror 2-0 on the back of some Polukranos, World Eater and Temur Sabertooth trickery. This put Maxime Martin at 8-5, meaning that he would need to win his Round 14 match to ensure Sunday play.
In Round 13, a match between Pro Tour champions took place under the feature match area featuring Olle Råde and Antonio Del Moral León. While Råde put up a fight, Del Moral León proved the power of having all four copies of Siege Rhino, as not one, not two, not three, but four rhinos sealed the deal in a very close first game. Not to be deterred, Råde evened things up quickly in the second game.
However, while Råde had the upper hand in the third game as Del Moral León was running out of life against a Hornet Queen, Del Moral León finally untapped with an eighth land to drop Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, which wiped the board of tokens and left Rade with a single Hornet Queen against an active Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Ugin.
Antonio Del Moral León assembled the Abzan Superfriends multiple times in Saturday's Standard rounds.
When the top of his deck did not provide a miracle, the door for Rade closed, and Del Moral León's Planeswalkers quickly wrapped things up. This win put Del Moral León in a good spot.
Also in Round 13, Magnus Lantto faced off against Aleksa Telarov in a match between Atarka Devotion and Jund Megamorph. However, while Lantto had a couple copies of the ravenous dragon in his deck, the creature that was the most famished was Polukranos, World Eater. Rather than chowing down on some worlds, Polukranos settled for multiple creatures as Lantto's devotion strategy fed the legendary hydra more than enough mana to clear a path for a lethal attack in their match.
After losing Round 13, Aleksa Telarov had his back against the wall and needed a win in Round 14 to lock a Top 4 finish.
"I hope you win your next one," Lantto said to Telarov as the two shook hands. While Lantto's win was close to locking him for Top 4 (9-5 was a near lock), Telarov would need to win one more to have a shot.
In Round 14, Olle Rade found himself paired against his friend and testing partner, Magnus Lantto, who locked Top 4 in the previous round with a win. Lantto offered the concession; giving Rade a chance to Top 4 should Del Moral Leon not win his final round.
Also in Round 14, Antonio Del Moral León joined up with the Abzan superfriends of Elsepth, Sun's Champion, Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon to lock Jasper De Jong out of his game, sealing the match in his favor and locking him for Sunday play.
Meanwhile, the Round 14 feature match pitched Aleksa Telarov against Maxime Martin in an elimination match that would have one player coming back tomorrow, and one player done for the weekend. Martin's Mastery of the Unseen engine buried Telarov in the first game, but Telarov quickly evened things up thanks to a back-breaking Crux of Fate combined with Xenagos and his part of revelers.
Maxine Martin was just one game away from locking the Top 4.
The third game came down to Telarov's active Xenagos sending in multiple Satyrs reach turn, clocking Martin and putting him to the test. A Thoughtseize from Telarov revealed what Martin was sitting on: Hornet Queen and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon with five lands in play and two active Satyr Wayfinders.
Telarov ran the numbers, and ultimately, he was not comfortable enough to chance Martin on drawing an untapped land to cast Ugin. He went for the safe route, discarding Ugin, and Martin shrugged as he cast Hornet Queen, trading off the four insect tokens that came in with the Satyr tokens. Whisperwood Elemental off the top put Martin on the ropes, and Martin's draw step did not yield any outs, as Telarov locked up the game, the match, and his place in the Top 4.
At the end of the four rounds of Standard, our Top 4 is set. Congratulations to Jasper De Jong, Magnus Lantto, Aleksa Telarov, and Antonio Del Moral León on making it in to Sunday's play.
If you'd like to delve a little deeper into what the competitors you were playing, then take a browse through their Standard decklists.