Round 7: Brian Page vs. Alex Etzel
Las Vegas native Brian Page made a deep run at Grand Prix Salt Lake City with Delver+of+Secrets, so it’s no secret that he’s running it back for the Standard Open here in Phoenix. Alex was likewise armed with Delver+of+Secrets, but he would be on the draw for game one as Brian won his first die roll of the tournament. That was okay with him as Brian had to ship his opener back before keeping his next set.
Brian opened on Gitaxian+Probe to see Delver+of+Secrets, two Snapcaster+Mage, Batterskull, Runechanter’s Pike, Island and Moorland+Haunt. The Delver+of+Secrets hit play and flipped off of Thought+Scour on turn two, giving Alex a way to get over the Snapcaster+Mage Brian used to flash back Gitaxian+Probe. Dismember took out the flying bug, but Brian was already down to 9 after all of the phyrexian mana costs, and he still had the pair of Snapcaster+Mages and the Moorland+Haunt to deal with.
Brian Page looks to improve on his great Grand Prix Salt Lake City finish.
Alex 1, Brian 0
Another first turn Gitaxian+Probe revealed Alex’s insane hand of Delver+of+Secrets, Thought+Scour, Ponder, Geist+of+Saint+Traft, Dungeon Geist, Island and Glacial Fortress, but this time the Delver didn’t flip immediately and Brian was able to start getting in with Snapcaster+Mage.
Alex’s Delver+of+Secrets was struggling to get big, but his Geist+of+Saint+Traft looked like it could be a nice trump in the meantime. Phantasmal+Image put a halt to that idea and we had ourselves a strange little stalemate after Alex fired off a Gut+Shot at Brian’s Snapcaster+Mage and Brian picked off Delver+of+Secrets with Oblivion+Ring.
Alex Etzel climbs to the top of the standings after seven rounds.
Cantrips started flying left and right as Ponder, Thought+Scour, and Gitaxian+Probe flew all over both sides of the board allowing Moorland+Haunt to get to work for Alex while he was able to suppress Brian’s copy of the haunted land with Gut+Shots and Vapor+Snags. It seemed like every time Brian was ready turn the tables Alex had the answer. Mana+Leak tapped Brian low so that he couldn’t activate Moorland+Haunt, Dungeon+Geists went big when Brian looked to trade tokens even as Alex kept pumping spirits out, not letting Brian catch up in production.
Alex pumped in 13 damage over a few turns as Brian flooded out and, despite a pair of Snapcaster+Mages on Brian’s side, Alex found a way to put the game and match away, catapulting himself to 7-0.
Alex 2, Brian 0