Round 11 Feature Match: Pierre Dagen vs. Antonio Del Moral León

Posted in PRO TOUR FATE REFORGED on February 7, 2015

By Marc Calderaro

These two high-rolled two dice to see who would go first, and literally rolled five times, netting a tie each time. This is why the odd-even dice rolling is clearly superior. You'd think two players who are currently 8-2 at a Pro Tour would know this, especially considering one of them is a Pro Tour finalist.

Pierre Dagen, part of the French contingent of Team Revolution, made waves at Pro Tour Theros in Dublin, and has been looking to further prove his Pro Tour worth. He's on a consistent Black-Green plan in the second draft. Though not the most explosive deck, the mana is good and it's got the tricks—those two things can go a long way.

His opponent is Antonio Del Moral León from Spain. A 2014 Magic Online Championship Series competitor, Del Moral León was already on track for his best Pro Tour finish yet. Though this is his fourth Pro Tour, his previous records was not close to 8-2.

He's playing a good stuff control deck that tries to get all the mana, by using all the removal, and winning with all the good cards. His list was stocked with three-color Abzan cards, three-colored Sultai cards, and multiple double-blue spells, but his deck can cast them all.

Del Moral León's deck will win any long game, but the set-up time required might give Dagen a window to sneak in for the twenty.

Gold-level pro and Pro Tour Theros finalist Pierre Dagen squares off against Spain's Antonio Del Moral León, one of the winners of the 2014 Magic Online Championship Series tournaments.

The Games

Del Moral León went Island, Forest, Swamp, Plains in succession in the first turns. When the fourth basic came down, it earned an "Interesting," from Dagen.

The situation became more interesting for Dagen when those four land tapped to make a Sidisi, Brood Tyrant—and brought along a zombie friend. Though Del Moral León hadn't cast a spell before the turn, he caught back up against Dagen's board in one fell swoop.

The Spanish MOCS competitor then used his combat tricks like Whisk Away and Sultai Charm to allow the Sultai legend to keep doing damage and making more friends. By the end of its zombie-making run, Sidisi had added six power to Del Moral León's side.

Dagen recast a Pine Walker to make a 5/5 against all the little men looking to kill him. This would stabilize the board as long as his opponent had run out of removal. But Del Moral León refueled with a Dig Through Time, netting one of the removal-iest removal spells of the format—Duneblast.

Del Moral León was on Plan: Greed and so far it was working in his favor. Heck, he didn't even need the Duneblast. An unmorphed Krumar Bond-Kin and an un-manifested Heir of the Wilds meant that even a second Pine Walker couldn't kept Dagen out harms' way. The two mediocre spells traded for both 5/5s.

Dagen contemplates how to defeat a deck full of brutal spells.

On Del Moral León's last turn he cast a Grave Strength, making a zombie 9/9. He swung for the win, deftly leaving his Duneblast unrevealed.

In the second game, the removal came out fast and furious as each player jockeyed for position on the board. Dagen knew that the long game would not be in his favor, so he used Dragonscale Boon and Debilitating Injury aggressively to get in early damage and build his creature base.

On his sixth turn, Del Moral León was down to 10 life and had no board, with Dagen on a healthy 20, with a Sultai Scavenger and a 3/3 Kin-Tree Warden getting in there.

Del Moral León dug and dug, killing the flying creature in the process, but even though Dagen wasn't attacking for much, his opponent couldn't stop it all. A Scout the Borders set up what would have been a big subsequent turn for Del Moral León, but a Cached Defenses from Dagen was enough to send it to the third game.

Del Moral León's keep in the third game was five land, Sultai Charm, and Duneblast. Dagen was yet to see the seven-cost Sorcery, so a huge blowout was still possible. Even though Del Moral León had no white mana, it was worth it to keep. Then worth it to grab Siege Rhino off Scout the Borders—because by then he had drawn the white-producing artifact, Jeskai Banner.

During this time Dagen's deck started with a Disowned Ancestor, then outlasting it; playing a morph, then casting Wildcall with X at 2. In the first four turns Dagen used all his available mana. It wasn't a blazing start the way red and white can be, but it was imposing. That is, until Del Moral León got to seven mana.

With enough dual-lands, Del Moral León's deck is able to play all of its most powerful cards.

Del Moral León's next couple went Jeskai Banner, Siege Rhino, Duneblast—leaving only the 4/5 alive.

"That's annoying," was all Dagen could say as he put his early-game work into the trash bin. He redeployed with an Archers' Parapet and Sultai Scavenger, but he was low on cards, and his baby removal spells like Debilitating Injury and Douse in Gloom were all but useless. They couldn't even team up to beat the fresh Sage-Eye Avengers from Del Moral León.

Grim Contest, Whisk Away, Sultai Charm, Roar of Challenge were all cards at Del Moral León's disposal, but he only needed one more to stop any hopes of Dagen coming back. Del Moral León destroyed Dagen with the Rhino and the Avengers until there was nothing left to destroy.

Dagen 1 – Del Moral León 2