Quarterfinals: Arbob Ahmad vs. Jason Hall
After 10 rounds of Swiss filled with Mono-Black and Mono-Blue Devotion, Arbob Ahmad and Jason Hall entered this quarterfinal with neither color in their decks. Ahmad and Hall brought differing versions of G/R builds, Ahmad, the top seed, preferring the devotion-build with more planeswalkers while Hall, the No. 8 seed, opted for the popular monsters build. Which Gruul build would come out on top?
Arbob drops the Arbor Colossus!
Both players started with turn-2 Sylvan Caryatids, then Ahmad dropped a Polukranos, World Eater while Hall summoned another Caryatid to his side. Ahmad swung with Polukranos for five and followed up with an Arbor Colossus. Hall dropped a Xenagos, the Reveler and rolled it up to play a Kalonian Tusker. Ahmad played Garruk, Caller of Beasts and plussed revealing a Scavenging Ooze and an Arbor Colossus. Hall, land light other than his Caryatids and Xenagos, decided to up-tick Xenagos and play a Polukranos of his own.
Hall then used Blood on his Polukranos to fight and kill Ahmad’s Garruk. Ahmad attempted to attack Xenagos with the Colossus but Hall chumped with the Tusker. Ahmad added a second Colossus to the board and passed. Hall played a Scavenging Ooze then rolled up Xengaos to add mana to pump his Ooze and have Polukranos fight the opposing World Eater and used Mizzium Mortars to finish off the hydra. After Hall passed, Ahmad played his own Xenagos and made a Satyr then sent his Colossi and a Satyr at Hall’s Xenagos. Hall used his 3/3 Ooze to block the Satyr, traded his bigger Polukranos with a Colossus and allowed the other Colossus to kill the planeswalker. On Hall’s turn, he sent his Ooze at Xenagos, then pumped Ooze twice to kill it when Ahmad offered no blocks. The Ooze life gain brought Hall to 20, while Ahmad sat at 18.
Ahmad sent his Polukranos and Colossus at Hall and activated monstrosity on the Arbor and dropped Hall to 6 life. Hall responded by playing another Xenagos and another Tusker and passed. Ahmad saw his path to victory by using Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to generate enough mana for Polukranos to get monstrous + 6 and fought the opposing Ooze, then sent the team in for the win.
Ahmad 1, Hall 0.
Jason facing a tough decision.
Hall started with a turn-1 Elvish Mystic, while Ahmad played a Stomping Ground. Hall played a temple then attacked for 1. Ahmad dropped a Caryatid and passed. Hall played a third land and shipped it back. Ahmad landed his first threat in the form of Polukranos. Hall answered with a Stormbreath Dragon and attacked through the air dropping Ahmad to 16. Ahmad added a Domri Rade and fought his Polukranos with the dragon, then swung in for five and added a Voyaging Satyr to his board. Hall played a temple and sent the scry to the bottom before casting a second dragon that got in for 4.
Ahmad used a second Domri to fight his hydra with the dragon to clear the way for his World Eater before adding a Scavenging Ooze. Hall scryed away another card with another temple and passed while Ahmad used Ooze to eat a fallen dragon. Ahmad plussed Domri to net a card then had Polukranos eat the Mystic and attacked with the hydra and the Ooze. Hall flashed in a Boon Satyr but Hall chose not to block then Ahmad used the Ooze to eat a Mystic from the graveyard and get in for the win.
Ahmad 2, Hall 0.