Woop. Nobody saw these results coming. Tonight concludes the thoroughly predictable second round. From here, things get tougher and more interesting…
Here are tonights results.
The title fight of the conference. Azusa’s blazing green ramp speed looks good in the face of the combo-riffic Esper menace. Can she race out to a giant Genesis Wave before Sharuum turns the whole affair into a Bitter Ordeal?
In practice, this plays out very similarly to the Bolas-Maralen matchup. The nefarious Island shows its face again, providing Sharuum enough control to weather the green storm long enough to assemble a number of different combo avenues. The best removal colors in the format add insult to injury, easily providing enough disruption for the infamous sphinx to find a Sculpting Steel or Phrexian Metamorph and end things infinitely with no real difficulty at all.
Just to rub it in, one game was decided when Glassdust Hulk was cycled, revealing the Metamorph off the top and allowing Sharuum to immediately make an arbitrarily large, un-blockable golem to close the game out for the diminutive green monk.
Sharuum brutalizes Azusa here. It’s not pretty.
Winner: Sharuum the Hegemon, Score: 50-4
Karador stepped into this matchup proudly displaying his weird centaur horns and doing chiefly things. That took about 20 minutes. And he dredged some guys or whatever. (Sisay came down turn three with some fancy boots and called forth Gaea’s Cradle and Serra’s Sanctum on successive turns while also casting the Hokori, Dust Drinker and Mangara of Corondor she drew naturally.
Karador finally tried to join the party himself (thanks to his glacially slow dredging), and Sisay flashed in Staff of Domination, laughed, and stroked out the table with infinite mana. The Karador player spent the next several games laugh-crying, which made it tough to play EDH or keep up with the lockout tutor queen in the thong-plus-chaps combo.
Winner: Captain Sisay, Score: 44-8
I don’t want to bad-mouth every Commander who is forced to choke down their ego in this tournament. I am a big fan of Thada and I think overall she had a great chance from a meta-game level to take down the tournament.
Sometimes, though, matchups are just not in your favor. This was one of those matchups. Edric just doesn’t play many artifacts. He also doesn’t get hurt by Winter Orb effects since he uses creature-based ramp. So while I have to admit that Thada got beaten like a dirty rug, we don’t have to rub it in. There is also no shame in losing to what could quite possibly be the best Commander in terms of pure card advantage.
Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Score: 65-20
This went exactly as expected. Jhoira can cast Ulamog faster than Ulamog can cast himself. She can also counter Ulamog while the colorless deck has little-to-no stack manipulation. The only questions that came out of this was, “So, Mr. Gyre. How does it feel to be a being of so much power you transcend reality and still get beaten by a little girl?”
Yeah, it might be time go buy Jhoira a hit-girl costume.
Jhoira of the Ghitu, Score: 54-14
This was a heavy battle of the original Precons. Both of these decks are fast and aggressive. The big bad legions of demons, dragons and angels squared off against…well, damn-near every other creature out there. This was a great skull-kicking, face-smashing, land-burning good time.
The problem for Kaalia was that the horde of small creatures quickly turned into larger and larger creatures, until Kaalia found herself overwhelmed with Eldrazi. Animar became big enough that the protection from two thirds of Kaalia’s identity became a real issue.
Animar walked away the victor this time, but it was hard fought and hard won.
Animar, Soul of Elements, Score: 35-20
This clash came down to speed. Let me just say that it was incredibly unfair that they ended up racing and Damia had to foot-slog it while Rafiq got to ride a giant lion. Of course the mounted fighter is going to win a race…that’s ridiculous. It would be like if he asked to fight Damia and he brought a sword and armor and she got nothing…. oh wait.
In game terms, it took Damia too long to start producing card advantage for her power to even be a factor for Rafiq. He basically won the day playing solitaire.
Rafiq of the Many, Score: 48-6
So there you have it. And then there were 16, and a sweet, heavily blue 16 they were. Monday we dig into the real meat of the tournament. Have a good weekend!