Round 15: (2) Owen Turtenwald (Temur Emerge) vs. (19) Lukas Blohon (White-Black Control)

Posted in Event Coverage on August 6, 2016

By Chapman Sim

As the Swiss rounds reaches its final throes, the stakes are only becoming higher. At the X-3 bracket, there was a lot of Pro Points and prize money up for grabs—in addition to a Top 8 berth and the accompanying eternal glory.

Both players summoned to the feature match area are at 33 match points. A win here puts the victor in a position to take an intentional draw to make it through to Sunday. For the other, he would need to win the final round and hope to win the tiebreakers lottery.

For No. 2-ranked Owen Turtenwald, this result also means a potential fourth Pro Tour Top 8 and a shot to leap frog No. 1-ranked Seth Manfield to clinch Player of the Year. Since Manfield had already picked up a seventh loss, he wasn't about to gain much headway to cushion his dissipating lead.

As for No. 19-ranked Lukas Blohon, he was hungering for a second Pro Tour Top 8. His first visit to the Sunday stage was during Pro Tour Dark Ascension and a second trip to the playoffs was definitely more than welcome. In addition, there was also the title of Czech Republic National Champion and a World Championship seat on the line.

The Games

Hallowed Moonlight was pretty useless against Temur Emerge, so Blohon cycled it before recruiting Liliana, the Last Hope. Turtenwald used his first turns to resolve Grapple with the Past and Nissa's Pilgrimage. Gather the Pack dumped even more cards into the graveyard, finding an eight-cost Emrakul, the Promised End.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet was the sole creature on the board. No matter, since it was not a fast clock in Turtenwald's eyes. However, an emblem was a different story. Dutifully ticking up Liliana, the Last Hope for the past few turns, Blohon arrived at her ultimate ability—which could help him overpower an incoming Emrakul, just like within the story line.

Owen Turtenwald may not consider Kalitas a threat, but Liliana on 6 loyalty sure is.

To Turtenwald's dismay, he found two copies of Ruinous Path in Blohon's hand and was unable to expend both due to a lack of targets. Naturally, Blohon used it on Emrakul, awakening a land in the process. Despite having two copies of Elder Deep-Fiend, Turtenwald succumbed to the incremental horde of relentless zombies.

In Game Two, Turtenwald cracked open Vessel of Nascency, before using Corrupted Grafstone to cast a second vessel. Blohon exiled it with Anguished Unmaking, a solid plan considering that his White-Black Control deck had more than sufficient removal. The issue was finding a fast clock to close the game. Turtenwald trudged ahead with a second Corrupted Grafstone and Nissa's Pilgrimage, very quickly reaching eight mana while Blohon was still on four.

Dropping his fifth land, Blohon used Read the Bones to filter away unwanted cards, digging into Transgress the Mind. Turtenwald unveiled a grip of Elder Deep-Fiend, Emrakul, the Promised End and Coax from the Blind Eternities, a sorcery he had specifically sideboarded in to combat exiling hand-disruption spells such as Transgress the Mind and Pick the Brain.

Blohon had no choice but to take Emrakul, which meant that Turtenwald was able to hard cast Elder Deep-Fiend. Without emerge, the Eldrazi Octopus cost eight mana, but since Turtenwald was swimming in mana, there was no problem paying full retail price. After tying up Blohon's turn, Turtenwald used Coax from the Blind Eternities to return Emrakul, the Promised End from oblivion.

Mindslaver took effect, and Blohon fanned out a hand of largely inconsequential spells, including Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Grasp of Darkness, and Ultimate Price. The most relevant card was Blighted Fen, which was sitting right there across the table. Unfortunately for Turtenwald, that land forces an opponent to sacrifice a creature, not target player. In order to get around it, Turtenwald decided the best line of play was to kill Shambling Vents to keep Blohon off the required mana. If Blohon didn't topdeck an untapped land, he would be unable to activate Blighted Fen.

Well, he didn't, so Turtenwald summoned another Emrakul and sent another Shambling Vent into suicide. If you ask me, that was a rather elaborate plan just to remove two lands, but it worked like a charm! Blohon found no untapped lands, drawing Infinite Obliteration. Despite the 13/13 being lethal, he wasn't about to concede without reviewing Turtenwald's deck, and that is exactly what he did before moving on to Game 3.

Even without a real out, Lukas Blohon wasn't about to turn down free information.

Both players decided that their initial seven weren't keepers, and quickly exchanged those cards for a fresh six each. Blohon tried Duress, but Turtenwald stopped it with Invasive Surgery, protecting Grapple with the Past. The follow-up Transgress the Mind resolved, plucking away Emrakul, the Promised End.

Now that the coast was clear, Blohon took the aggressive route, summoning not only Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, but also animating Shambling Vent to attack for 5. A second Transgress the Mind revealed that Turtenwald had nothing but Forests, Kozilek's Return, and Elder Deep-Fiend. The Eldrazi Octopus was sent into exile, and Blohon attacked for 5 more damage.

Unfortunately for Blohon, Turtenwald drew into a second copy of Kozilek's Return right after, which wiped clean Blohon's entire board. However, it was Blohon who had the last laugh, rebuilding with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and sealing the deal before things spiraled out of control.

Owen Turtenwald 1 – Lukas Blohon 2

With this win, Lukas Blohon advances to 12-3 and hopes to draw into the Top 8. It is also likely that he will clinch the title of Czech Republic National Champion, since Ondřej Stráský has an extremely slim chance to make the Top 8. Turtenwald drops to 11-4, but isn't dead for the Top 8 just yet. With his tiebreakers being the best, he'll likely make the cut if he wins the final round. In the meantime, Manfield be keeping his fingers tightly crossed.

Owen Turtenwald's Temur Emerge

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Lukas Blohon's White-Black Control

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