Quarterfinals: Sol Malka vs. Pierre-Christophe Mondon
Sol will be back at the Pro Tour after a long time off, but is no stranger to GP success, with a win at Grand Prix Tampa back in 2002. Pierre, no slouch himself, is coming off a Pro Tour Top 8 at Pro Tour Magic 2015. Will Sol move on to the semis with his Sultai deck with a minor splash for white to play Siege Rhino? Or can Pierre overrun him with his low-to-the-ground Mardu deck employing Ankle Shanker?
Pierre raises an eyebrow at Sol’s play..
Sol was on the play and kicked things off with a Rakshasa Deathdealer on the second turn while Pierre had a War-Named Aspirant, but without the raid bonus. Sol bashed for 2 and used a Debilitating Injury on the 2/1 and passed after playing a Sandsteppe Citadel. Pierre fired off a Mardu Charm to kill off the Deathdealer and passed back with a clear board.
Sol dropped to 18 to use Bitter Revelation, looking to refuel over adding to the board while Pierre had a Mardu Warshrieker, again with no raid bonus. Sol found action on his fifth turn with a Kheru Bloodsucker then delved away some cards to add a Sultai Scavenger to his side. Pierre tapped out for an Ankle Shanker and sent in the team to knock Sol down to 13. Sol bashed back, knocking Pierre to 14 then played Rakshasa’s Secret and finished stripping Pierre’s hand with a Mardu Skullhunter, showing the last card to be Arrow Storm.
Pierre attacked Sol down to 8 then killed off the Scavenger with a Burn Away and passed. Sol attacked Pierre to 10 and killed the Ankle Shanker with a Murderous Cut. Pierre drew for the turn and considered his options before passing back. Sol stayed back as well, but added a Disowned Ancestor and a Longshot Squad to his side. Pierre played a Morph, the first of the match, and shipped the turn. Sol sent in just the Longshot Squad and Pierre blocked with his Morph then flipped it showing Sidisi’s Pet, gaining him one life up to 11. Sol played a Smoke Teller and used outlast on his Ancestor.
Pierre played a Bloodstained Mire and passed back. Sol outlasted the Longshot Squad and shipped the turn after playing a Plains, so Pierre fetched up a Swamp, going to 9. Pierre attacked with his Pet and Sol decided to triple block with the Teller, Bloodsucker, and Ancestor, and Pierre allowed the Pet to die to give him one life but also trigger Raid on the Mardu Hordechief that gave him a 1/1 Warrior token. Sol attacked with his Squad and Pierre double blocked with his 3/3 and the token, losing the 3/3, and Sol followed it up with a Siege Rhino, dropping Pierre to 6 and boosting Sol to 13. Pierre played a Mardu Hateblade and had to pass back.
Sol killed the Hateblade with a Throttle and sent in every creature he had, prompting Pierre to pick up his cards.
Sol 1, Pierre 0
Sol surveys the board.
Pierre quickly tossed away his opener on the play, while Sol was happy with his seven.
“Good god,” Pierre said of his six, but he reluctantly kept starting with a Bloodstained Mire. Sol had a Disowned Ancestor and followed it up with a Mardu Skullhunter with raid after Pierre missed his second land drop. Pierre found a Wind-Scarred Crag off the top, but had to pass back, Sol attacked for 2 then outlasted his Ancestor and played a Frontier Bivouac. Pierre went to 18 off his fetch land, finding a Mountain, then played a Swamp to cast his Mardu Banner that let him play a Mardu Hateblade.
Sol attacked with both creatures, knocking Pierre to 15 and ended his turn by killing the Hateblade with a Debilitating Injury and deploying a Kin-Tree Warden. Pierre had a Sidisi’s Pet that slowed Sol’s offense, so Sol added a Morph and passed back, still on three lands. Pierre attacked with his Pet and Sol elected to block with everything, so Pierre killed off the Warden and gained a life as he lost his Pet. Pierre god Raid off Mardu Heart-Piercer, using the ability to kill off Sol’s Morph, which turned out to be a Sagu Mauler.
Sol devled away his graveyard to play a Sultai Scavenger and shipped the turn. Pierre used Mardu Charm to kill the Scavenger and passed. Sol used Scout the Borders to see five lands, getting him a Swamp and allowing him to delve again to play another Sultai Scavenger. Pierre had to pass with no action so Sol attacked for 3 in the air, but Pierre was sandbagging the Kill Shot for it. Sol was OK, as he was able to use the raid trigger off a second Mardu Skullhunter. He outlasted his Ancestor and passed back.
Pierre played a Swamp and passed, holding up his mana. Sol played another outlaster, this one Longshot Squad before dropping a Sandsteppe Citadel. Pierre used Burn Away on the Ancestor on Sol’s end step, untapped, and played a Morph. Sol Throttled the Morph, which was a Horde Ambusher, and attacked for 3 with the Squad. Pierre killed off the Squad with an Arrow Storm and passed back, empty handed. Sol delved away his graveyard to kill off the 2/3 with Murderous Cut and attacked Pierre to 9 then played a Rakshasa’s Deathdealer. Pierre drew for the turn, sacrificed his Banner, and extended the hand.
Sol 2, Pierre 0