Posted in Event Coverage on March 16, 2015

By Adam Styborski

Stybs has played Magic the world over, writing and drafting as part of the event coverage team and slinging Commander everywhere his decks will fit.

With a quick march over his quarterfinal opponent, Gerard Fabiano was looking to add another Limited Grand Prix to his string of recent victories. It wasn’t an unusual positon for the player already on a hot streak of success at high-level Magic.

Jake Mondello was in the opposite positon. With some large tournament success in the Legacy format, Mondello’s was rising through his first Grand Prix Top 8. Taking out a fellow first-time Top 8 player in his quarterfinal, his work would be cut out for him against the veteran Fabiano.

The Decks

Fabiano’s deck was a beautiful construction that put delve on display in the format one last time. With multiple ways to stock his graveyard, like Sultai Skullkeeper and Bitter Revelation, Fabiano used hits like Murderous Cut and Treasure Cruise to bury his opponents under and avalanche of cards.

Mondello’s Temur build was a smattering of matches and mismatched pieces. Leaping Master wouldn’t be taking graceful flight, but Avalanche Tusker and two copies of Dragonscale Boon made combat a nightmare for opponents to muscle through. Tuskguard Captain and Longshot Squad diversified and added depth to Mondello’s tricks as well.

The Games

The first game was a quick affair. Fabiano used back-to-back Mardu Skullhunter to force Mondello to discard Waterwhirl before Fabiano’s Debilitating Injury killed a morphed Mistfire Weaver.

Sultai Scabenger then came down for Fabiano as Mondello began attacking with Leaping Master and a Cloudform with a +1/+1 counter on it. As Fabiano tried to get back into the mix with smaller creatures, Woolly Colossodon from Mondello ensured there would be no racing back.

Jake Mondello’s creatures quickly earned a victory when Gerard Fabiano missed on having an answer at the ready.

The second game started with Leaping Master into Write into Being for Mondello as Fabiano cast Sultai Skullkeeper and Biter Revelation to fill up his graveyard. Shambling Attendants was Fabiano’s plan as Tuskguard Captain and Avalanche Tusker upped the ante on Mondello’s side of the battlefield.

Aven Surveyor from Fabiano met Temur Charm from Mondello, and Waterwhirl to follow let Mondello drop Fabiano to 11 life. Murderous Cut stopped one of Mondello’s fatties, but form there Mondello upped Tuskguard Captain every turn and attacked once it hit five +1/+1 counters.

Throttle for Feral Krushok and Whisk Away to reset the Tuskguard let Fabiano buy the time he needed catch his side of the battlefield up. Picking part Mondello’s side with removal and reupping his hand with Treasure Cruise, Fabiano again fell to a small remaining library of just eight cards.

Throughout the Top 8, Gerard Fabiano pushed the limit of what his deck could put intot he graveyard to fuel his delve spells.

Longshot Squad for Mondello began outlast as Fabiano fearlessly used Bitter Revelation to dig even deeper. He found Rakshasa Vizier and Throttle, but when Fabiano tried to fight off the Squad Mondello used Dragonscale Boon to fight back and survive Throttle.

Three cards remained in Fabiano’s library.

With Hunt the Weak to eat away Sultai Scavenger, Mondello piled in to put Fabiano down to 1 life. Rakshasa Vizier and Mardu Skullhunter tried to give Fabiano another set of turns, but a second Dragonscale Boon off the top of Mondello’s library put enough power to trample over for victory.

Jake Mondello defeated Gerard Fabiano, 2-0.

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