Posted in PRO TOUR KHANS OF TARKIR - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 12, 2014

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

Gregory Orange finished 18th at last Pro Tour in Portland, and he was getting awfully close to improving on that finish here this weekend. But he'd first have to beat 5th-ranked Ivan Floch, who can't improve on his finish at that event, because he won it.

When I got to the table, Orange was waiting as Floch finished a video interview at the news desk.

"If he's playing what I think he's playing, I don't think this is a good match-up for me," Orange confided, confirming what I had already suspected after viewing their decklists backstage.

Floch was playing a Blue-Black control deck designed to prey on slower decks like Orange's Esper Planeswalker list. Short of a flurry of early Thoughtseizes and Planeswalkers from Orange, Floch would be heavily favored in this match.

Ivan Floch settles into his match against Greg Orange, both feeling fairly sure that Orange had an uphill battle.

The Games

To make matters worse, Floch started the game with some disruption of his own, immediately denying Orange an Elspeth, Sun's Champion with a Despise, and then using a Thoughtseize to strip away a Thoughtseize of Orange's, who had clearly decided to hold it back so he could use it to try and create a window to land a threat later.

Both players continued to play lands, but Floch chained back to back Dig Through Times, and eventually drew into and played a Prognostic Sphinx. By now, Orange's hand was full of removal spells that would do little more than annoy the Sphinx for a turn and delaying the inevitable. Floch happily saved his Dissolves and Disdainful Strokes for anything Orange might play that would stick, and they were soon off to Game 2.

Orange does not like his chances in this match-up.

Floch 1 – Orange 0

Floch had to mulligan in Game 2, but the general pace of play in this match meant that didn't matter nearly as much as it might in another match-up. Unsurprisingly, the early turns saw each player playing lands and passing the turn back to the other.

A Thoughtseize from Orange revealed a hand almost overflowing with counterspells on Floch's side of the table, and to make matters worse, Orange missed his fifth land drop, and was unable to stop Floch resolving a Prognostic Sphinx.

Floch says no.

Orange managed to find a Disdainful Stroke for the second Sphinx from Floch, but by then it was very much too little too late, as Floch was scrying for 3 roughly every 30 seconds. Orange valiantly put up a fight, but his life total was steadily dropping in 3s, and Ivan Floch and his fist full of counterspells soon took the match.

Floch 2 – Orange 0

Gregory Orange – Esper Planeswalkers

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Ivan Floch – Blue-Black Control Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir

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