A full three weeks later and here we are – delivering the results of the final matchup in this, our First Annual EDH General March Madness Battle! Who reigns supreme this year? And who walks away with the sweet swag for having the best bracket? Hold onto your seats, folks.
Everyone wants a good championship and the hype for this one couldn’t be greater. You had the powerful offensive aggro stylings of Rafiq as he stomped and crushed his way to the championship. Even if in the past other Commanders had won more games, winning this tournament could easily cement him as one of the best ever. Sharuum also did a great job of shutting other decks down, but let’s be honest…she didn’t exactly face any other generals or decks with the heavy-hitting power or ability to lay down the damage as quickly as Rafiq can.
As soon as the match got underway, Rafiq began to lose his grip. He started off with an abhorrent mulligan, and although he was able to recover a bit, it can be hard to come back from that kind of mental fumble. Sharuum was able to go on the offensive with some of her utility players, and just started hammering down the table with card advantage while sneaking through two points of damage here and three points of damage there.
Rafiq kept trying to get things going, but his efforts were slow and spread out enough that they met with instant-speed control and answers that simply kept him from gaining any ground. He was able to stop some of the graveyard trickery from Sharuum, but still couldn’t muster up enough control to halt the inevitable beating the table was taking from the smaller utility dorks. Sharuum broke off a minor victory in this first game of the match, but at this point the match is still winnable for Rafiq. He just needed to find some momentum.
Rafiq indeed landed early in the second game and took full charge to try and blast through the Esper defenses. Sharuum turned Rafiq against himself using a Phyrexian Metamorph and Vedalken Shackles. That took Rafiq’s push and turned it into one of her own. Rafiq went catatonic as Sharuum got the second game into full lockdown from there. The Rafiq deck found itself losing in an embarrassing manner – death by its own commander.
With the match half over, Rafiq saw his hopes of a championship slipping away, and the third game just continued to move further out of his control. A Lion’s Eye Diamond, Mox Opal, Sol Ring, and a filter land allowed Sharuum to land a Magister Sphinx and lay Rafiq low very early in the third game. Rafiq was unable to muster up even the tiniest shred of a fight after that sphinx hit him, leaving Sharuum with the space to all-but seal victory. The other decks just rolled to the obviously superior powers of Sharuum in quick secession.
In the fourth game, it was still technically possible to score enough points for the lion-riding warrior to force a fifth faceoff, but that would have to be an incredibly unusual confluence of circumstances involving Karn and playing extra games after killing players. The most he could hope for was to save face and show he belonged in the championship. However, a few well-timed combo pieces and even more stumbling from him left Rafiq a broken shell of a man. As Rafiq lay in the mud of Alara covered in blood and bruises, contemplating his worth in the world, Sharuum leaned down and whispered in his ear “Omaha.”
WINNER – SHARUUM THE HEGEMON
. . .
Yep, evil combo-control triumphed over slightly-less-evil Voltron in the finals. Here’s how that leaves the bracket when all is said and done:
The tournament’s conclusion means just one thing – Prizes! To the victor (and the only a little-bit-less-victorious, as well as the bar-none, most embarrassing worst) go the spoils (or something).
In first place, winning the entire bracket and nailing the composition of the championship game is East Coast Commander’s very own Johnathan Pflug! He walks away with a foil copy of Rafiq of the Many, a GeneralDamageControl.com t-shirt and exclusive playmat for his brilliant mind. Johnathan was the only person to have the final match contestants correct. (Never bet against Esper, Jon.)
Just behind Johnathan in second place – East Coast Commander’s very own Christian Goldie! (Wild…this was totally unplanned, but I’m absolutely changing my e-mail passwords just to be safe…)
Christian is going home with a GeneralDamageControl.com t-shirt as well, and thankfully decided that Animar, Soul of Elements was going to take down Rhys, the Redeemed in the finals, sparing us a huge chunk of change. (Thanks, Christian!)
And the most important award of all, the You-Must-Have-Been-Drunk-To-Submit-A-Bracket-Like-That award, goes to Lance Bickford. Not only did he actually admit he was indeed drunk, he had Wort, the Raidmother facing off against Teysa, Orzhov Scion in the finals, but still managed to declare Rosheen Meanderer the ultimate winner. Wow. Huge points for a hilarious bracket, Lance. Mr. P is going to have a blast creating your tokens…
There you have it, folks. This officially brings the First Annual GeneralDamageControl.Com EDH March Madness to a close. I hope you all had a good time with it, and enjoyed the way things played out. It’s all about the fun and games at the end of the day. And we’re already looking forward to next year. (Lance, I’m thinking you might get to be a guest judge…)
Did you enjoy this thing? Want to talk matchups? File a formal protest? Hit up the comments below…we’re looking forward to some lively discussion here.
We’ll see you all in a few days as we ease back into our regularly-scheduled content. (Thanks for the vacation!)
Thanks again, everyone!