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

By Ray “blisterguy” Walkinshaw

I feel like I might be noticing a pattern here this weekend. Alex Sittner has a couple of Grand Prix Top 8s to his name, which is pretty solid, but he would no doubt like to add a Pro Tour Top 8 to that. No, that's not the pattern, I'm pretty sure everyone here wants one of those. What I mean is people like Sittner are having to battle through people like 21st-ranked Ben Stark. People who not only have Pro Tour Top 8s, but have Pro Tour wins, and are in the Hall of Fame.

Apparently we have an unprecedented number of Hall of Fame members playing here this weekend, which I guess might have something to do with the fact that the number of Hall of Fame members increases each year, but probably has more to do with the fact that we're in Hawaii. I mean, have you seen pictures of Hawaii? It's pretty sweet.

Anyway, down to business now, and down to the beach later. Sittner's sitting on Naya Planeswalkers, while Stark has Jeskai Aggro. While Jeskai Aggro can certainly opt to play a more controlling game if it needs to, this is one of the match-ups where Stark will have to play the aggressor, because failure to do so will result in him getting mobbed by Planeswalkers asking for autographs and to pose with him for selfies and stuff.

Alex Sittner's Round 7 was one of many matches featuring players with solid finishes at the Pro Tour level and Grand Prix circuit going toe-to-toe with Hall of Famers in attendance.

The Games

Sittner won the die roll, and both players had to mulligan. Seeker of the Way was the first creature on the board from Stark, but it left as quickly as it arrived thanks to a Banishing Light from Sittner. The same went for a Goblin Rabblemaster, but it at least left behind a goblin token (yay!) for about a turn, because it ended up collateral damage on an Anger of the Gods meant for Stark's Mantis Rider (boo).

It looked like things were coming up Sittner as he deployed a Courser of Kruphix and a Xenagos, the Reveler. Stark spent a flurry of spells removing them, only to see his second Seeker of the Way Chained to the Rocks, as Sittner found another Courser, and a Chandra, Pyromaster, which then helped him find Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker, and another Xenagos, the Reveler.

Alex Sittner presides over his domain.

Stark used a Magma Jet to find a Dig Through Time, which in turn found him a Stoke the Flames, which took care of Sarkhan, but you'd think that'd have left Stark cold to Chandra, Xenagos, and the Courser, right? No! He summoned a Mantis Rider and a Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker of his own to clear out the Planeswalkers, only to have Sittner come back with a Banishing Light on Sarkhan and an Anger of the Gods for the Mantis Rider. Stark found another Rider, but Sittner had a Lightning Strike for that, too.

Look, I'm not going to lie, I may have lost some of you with all of that, there certainly was an awful lot of cards fighting each other in there. To cut a long story short, somewhere in all of the kerfuffle, Sittner found some time to leverage Chandra, Pyromaster and a Course of Kruphix to get ahead of Stark on cards. When the smoke eventually cleared, Sittner was left with a Xenagos, the Reveler to Stark's nothing, and they were off to Game 2.

Sittner 1 – Stark 0

Stark again started out with a Seeker of the Way, protecting it from a nasty looking Magma Spray with a Negate, while Sittner summoned a Sylvan Caryatid to ramp his mana, as well as provide some level of protection against small, offensive creatures.

Ben Stark is fighting an uphill battle.

One of the reasons Seeker of the Way is seeing play this weekend is that it attacks through all but the bravest Sylvan Caryatids with ease. Sittner instead tapped the Caryatid sideways to power out a Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker, which happily turned the Seeker into a pair of smoking sandals.

Stark fired back with a Jeskai Charm on the Planeswalker, but Sittner came right back over the top with a Stormbreath Dragon. Stark had six land in play, but only 1 that could tap for red mana. While Stark's Stoke the Flames shields were down, Sittner slammed down a seventh mana and immediately sank it into the Dragon to make it monstrous. Stark tried to Dig Through Time, but it appeared time was not on Stark's side, and Sittner took the match.

Sittner 2 – Stark 0

Alex Sittner - Standard

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Ben Stark – Standard

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