Round 8: (23) Brad Nelson (R/G Goggle Ramp) vs. Petr Sochůrek (Jund)

Posted in Event Coverage on April 22, 2016

By Tobi Henke

Former Player of the Year and current No. 23 Brad Nelson went into this last round of the day as one of just three undefeated players. Standing in his way was up-and-coming Czech player Petr Sochůrek, fresh of a win at Grand Prix Paris this year. He already had a loss today and would be trying to avoid another.

Unfortunately for him, the match-up didn't look promising. Sochůrek had brought Jund to the table, while Nelson was on Team EUreka's Red-Green Ramp with Pyromancer's Goggles. Not only was this one of the breakout decks of the event so far, it was specifically strong at going over the top of traditional midrange decks. Like Jund.

Former Player of the Year Brad Nelson squared off against Grand Prix Paris 2016 champion Peter Sochůrek to see if he could escape Day 1 with a pristine record.

The Games

Nelson led with Traverse the Ulvenwald and Tormenting Voice, got three Forests off of Nissa's Pilgrimage, and had further mana acceleration in Hedron Archive.

Sochůrek, meanwhile, had barely cast his first spell in Read the Bones. He cast a face-down creature next. Nelson summoned World Breaker, taking out Sochůrek's sole source of green mana. World Breaker was sent on a Ruinous Path, but Chandra, Flamecaller proved more than ample reinforcement.

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet was supposed to recoup some life, but Magmatic Insight plus Fall of the Titans meant Sochůrek's life was only going down further. Another Fall of the Titans on Nelson's next turn ended this very one-sided game.

Nelson's ramp deck shows off what it can do.

"Close game," Sochůrek joked while moving to sideboard, eliciting a chuckle from the gentle giant on the other side of the table. "Yeah."

Nelson lost one card to a mulligan and another to Sochůrek's turn one Duress. Afterward, Nelson was left with a less than impressive hand of four lands plus World Breaker. It was time for Sochůrek to take advantage of the situation!

Instead, nothing happened until, on turn four, Nelson cast Hedron Archive, followed by World Breaker on turn five. Only after that did Sochůrek cast his second spell of the game, another Duress which hit Pyromancer's Goggles, followed by Ruinous Path on World Breaker.

Sochůrek did what he could, but his deck appeared to be outmatched.

None of that proved to be more than a stopgap measure, however, and soon Nelson was able to recur World Breaker. He even managed to kill a Chandra, Flamecaller that may have become a problem otherwise with Dragonlord Atarka. A problematic Dragonmaster Outcast was dealt with by Traverse the Ulvenwald searching up another Atarka, and the rest of Sochůrek's team was handled by Fall of the Titans on surge.

It wasn't pretty and it wasn't quick, either, but at least the result was very unambiguous.

Nelson 2 – Sochůrek 0

"If I had cast the second Duress on turn four, did you already have Hedron Archive then?" Sochůrek asked.

"Yeah, I had it for two turns by then," said Nelson. "That Duress would have changed the game completely."

After Nelson had been whisked away by my colleagues for an on-air interview, I asked Sochůrek what he thought about the match-up. "Before sideboarding, you can't win. Afterwards it's about fifty-fifty. So overall, pretty horrible," he admitted. "If I had cast that Duress on turn four though, I think I would have won that game."

Petr Sochůrek: Jund

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Brad Nelson: Red-Green Goggle Ramp

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