Posted in PRO TOUR KHANS OF TARKIR - COVERAGE - EVENTS on October 11, 2014

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

With three Grand Prix Top 8s, including a win, Christian Calcano is certainly no slouch, but he's still in search of his first Pro Tour Top 8, and sitting in his way in Round 4 is none other than Hall of Famer and generally well respected pro player and coverage guru Luis Scott Vargas.

(look, us coverage people gotta stick together, alright?)

(oh wait, Calcano just owned up to doing some coverage a couple of weeks ago, too. Okay, he's also awesome.)

Both players would be looking to take an aggressive stance in this match. Calcano's Red-White Aggro deck would seek to get creatures on the table as quickly as possible, and back it up with a handful of burn spells to turn that into quick reduction in his opponent's life total. Scott-Vargas on the other hand, would be less interested in what's going on over on the other side of the table, and mostly concerned with setting up his Jeskai Ascendency combo and destroying Calcano in One Big Turn.

Gold-level pro Christian Calcano squares off with Hall of Famer Luis Scott-Vargas in the first of five Standard Constructed rounds for the day.

The Games

Calcano won the roll and elected to drive, relegating Scott-Vargas to the passenger seat. Calcano summoned a turn two Seeker of the Way, while Scott-Vargas played a Rattleclaw Mystic. Chain to the Rocks exiled the Mystic and sent the Seeker in for 3. Scott-Vargas fell to 15 from his Mana Confluence to cast an Astral Cornucopia for 1, and Calcano attacked Scott-Vargas down to 13 before adding an Ashcloud Phoenix to the board. Scott-Vargas cast Commune with the Gods, finding and playing a Sylvan Caryatid. Calcano attacked again and to get the most out of his Seeker during combat, pointed a Stoke the Flames at Scott-Vargas, dropping him to 1.

Christian Calcano is in the driver's seat.

At this point, they pulled over for gas and it was Scott-Vargas's turn to drive.

Scott-Vargas untapped and cast Commune with the Gods to find him the Jeskai Ascendency. He tapped everything he had left that wasn't a Mana Confluence to cast the Ascendency, and then cast an Astral Cornucopia for 0 to untap his Caryatid.

Delving away most of his graveyard, he played Treasure Cruise for a single blue mana (untapping the Caryatid) and then a Retraction Helix on his Caryatid (untapping the Caryatid) before tapping the Caryatid to bounce and replay the Cornucopia for 0 (untapping the Caryatid) and look, it goes on like this for a while, and each time he did this (untapping the Caryatid) the Jeskai Ascendency allowed him to draw and discard a card. Eventually he found an Altar of the Brood, and continued his loop until Calcano nodded his head with a "that works, good game."

Calcano 0 Scott-Vargas 1

After sideboarding, Calcano declared that it was his turn to drive again, and took them on the exact same route as last time, playing a Seeker of the Way and a Chained to the Rocks on Scott-Vargas's Rattleclaw Mystic. Scott-Vargas followed up with another Mystic face-down (mystery!) only to have Calcano Lightning Strike it (solved!).

This time Calcano did not need to pull over for gas, summoning a Goblin Rabblemaster and pushing his foot to the floor. Scott-Vargas tried to Commune with the Gods, but came up short and Calcano evened up the match.

Calcano 1 – Scott-Vargas 1

It was finally Scott-Vargas's turn to drive.

It was finally Scott-Vargas's turn to drive again and there was nothing Calcano could do about it. Scott-Vargas played a Sylvan Caryatid on turn two, while Calcano could only play a second land and pass it back. Missing a third land, Scott-Vargas played a Rattleclaw Mystic face-down, which earned a Banishing Light from Calcano.

Scott-Vargas untapped for his fourth turn and things were looking particularly good. Pressure from Calcano was noticeably absent and he was tapped all the way out. Scott-Vargas played his third land and cast Jeskai Ascendency, Retraction Helix (untapping the Caryatid) and an Astral Cornucopia for 0 (untapping the Caryatid). He again bounced and replayed the Cornucopia (untapping the Caryatid) a bunch of times, drawing and discarding a card each time.

Having demonstrated the loop, Scott-Vargas proceeded to turn over cards from his library until he finally found his Altar of the Brood, which joined in on the fun to steadily tip Calcano's library into his graveyard.

Calcano 1 – Scott-Vargas 2

Luis Scott-Vargas – Standard

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Christian Calcano – Standard

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