It all comes down to this. The final swiss round. The deciding match. One of these players is going on to the top 8. The other is guaranteed some cash but will not be playing for that Legacy Open Championship trophy. Alcibiades Felix rocking a UG Madness deck that is still running well despite the loss of Survival of the Fittest is going up against Alexander Kwan and his Painter's Savant combo deck.
Alexander led off with Volcanic Island and a Sensei's Divining Top while Alcibiades led with Island and Careful Study. As he debated on discards Alexander sounded relieved. “I'm so glad I didn't keep. I thought you were Zoo or something!”
And then Felix pitched a Vengevine and Basking Rootwalla. “Oh.” Alexander said. Alcibiades put his rootwalla into play and then passed to Alexander who ran his first Painter's Savant into a Daze. Alcibiades helped fight back the stunted mana growth with a fetchland for a Tropical Island and a Noble Hierarch.
The second Painter's Savant that Alexander played met a Force of Will but Alexander fought back with Pyroblast to make sure his creature hit play. His City of Traitors let him have the mana available to fight Alcibiades' Force of Will which would prove key for his next turn as well.
When Alcibiades played an Umezawa's Jitte on his third turn tapping out after an attack from his Noble Hierarch Alexander quickly dropped his third land a Seat of the Synod and had enough mana to play and activate Grindstone in his hand. Alcibiades had no counters for the combo and conceded.
Alexander – 1 Felix – 0
While Alcibiades was unhappy with his first hand Alexander chose to keep his first seven. Felix kept his second hand and led with Tropical Island and Noble Hierarch while Alexander opened up his game with fetchland for Volcanic Island and a Goblin Welder. Alcibiades promptly dropped a Wasteland and an Energy Flux which shook up Alexander. He attempted to Force of Will (removing a Show and Tell) but Alcibiades fought it off with a Daze.
Alexander popped another fetchland for another Volcanic Island but lost one to Alcibiades' in-play Fetchland. Alcibiades followed up the Wasteland with a a Wild Mongrel. An attack from the madness-enabler put Alexander to 14 thanks to exalted and Alcibiades added a Fauna Shaman to his battlefield. Alexander began playing artifacts needing some way to get onto the board. He dropped a Grindstone and a Seat of the Synod into play along with a second Goblin Welder.
With the Energy Flux triggers on the stack Alexander let his Seat of the Synod go to the graveyard and then sacrificed his Grindstone to put the artifact land back into play. He then milled himself hoping to get a Painter's Savant into the graveyard. Instead he found an Emrakul The Aeon's Torn from his Show and Tell alternate win condition and lost his graveyard back into his deck. His plan of getting around countermagic by milling his other combo piece would have to wait another turn.
Attacks from Alcibiades' creatures put Alexander to 6. On Alexander's next turn he used one of the welders to bring back the Grindstone he sacrificed to Energy Flux (sacrificing a Seat of the Synod he played last turn) and then milled himself again with Grindstone. This time he found a Painter's Savant but did not have the untapped Grindstone to go off. He would have to wait until his upkeep.
Alcibiades wouldn't give him that time casting an Intuition for three Vengevines. When he showed that he had a way to trigger the ones going to his graveyard via Fauna Shaman Alexander scooped them up for game three.
Alexander – 1 Felix – 1
After a brief delay in moving the match under the cameras of SCGlive.com both players spent their time sideboarding and thinking about what to do for the tense final game of this bubble-match.
Alexander chose to go fist and kept his opening hand. Alcibiades also kept with Alexander blowing up on turn one with an Island Sensei's Divining Top Mox Opal Lion's Eye Diamon and a Goblin Welder. The trouble with this potent turn one play? Force of Will from Alcibiades on the Goblin Welder. Alcibiades exiled an Energy Flux telegraphing that he either had another or had no other blue cards.
Alcibiades then played a Pithing Needle naming Sensei's Divining Top. And just like that Alexander had his back against the wall. He had another Sensei's Divining Top in hand making these two plays from Alcibiades absolutely crippling.
Alexander played a Volcanic Island and passed for his second turn while Alcibiades played a Noble Hierarch. A complete whiff of a Brainstorm from Alexander on his third turn found three lands none of them fetchlands to change up those cards that he didn't want. However Alcibiades was also lacking action at least until he played an end-of-turn Intuition as Alexander passed his turn four waiting to find relevant plays. Alcibiades tutored up three copies of Fauna Shaman with that Intuition guaranteeing that he would get his engine online.
The Fauna Shaman went unanswered but a top-decked Brainstorm from Alexander found some potentially spicy cards that could get him back into the game: a Goblin Welder and a Painter's Savant. He kept both and put some lands back on top of his deck and attempted to cast the Painter's Savant first. The Goblin Welder also resolved but Alexander still had no way of finding the other piece to his combo for a few turns.
Alcibiades contemplated his plays. With an active Fauna Shaman he had a couple of options. He decided to pass the turn and then used his Fauna Shaman when Alexander had no plays discarding Vengevine to find an enabler to get them back. Fauna Shaman went on the offensive and an end-of-turn Intuition from Alcibiades looked to put the game out of Alexander's reach. He searched up triple Careful Study signaling that he had a grip of Vengevines. But then he untapped and passed the turn. What was going on over there?
When Alexander top-decked a Brainstorm he found...an Intuition. Which...resolved? Did Alcibiades really not have anything to stop this? If he couldn't counter this or whatever the Intuition got then the game was over.
Alexander searched up three Grindstones playing one. He activated it and when Alcibiades responded with Krosan Grip on Painter's Savant the reason for his lack of counterspells Alexander used his Goblin Welder to put the Painter's Savant back into play before the Grindstone activation resolved. This resulted in the combo resolving successfully milling Alcibiades out and giving Alexander the win.
Alexander – 2 Alcibiades – 1
After the match Alcibiades talked with his teammate lamenting one huge misplay. “If I just Pithing Needle Painter's Savant I don't lose that match”. This was true as Alexander had sided out his Show and Tell game plan. However he had to guess whether or not Alexander had the other combo in his deck still and unfortunately for Alcibiades that guess left him out of the top 8.