Quarterfinals: Alex Shvartsman vs. Matt Severa|
Alex is playing the Lucas Glavin Special, Bad Form, featuring Form of the Dragon, while Matt is playing goblins. Alex has been crowing all day about how good his deck is against Goblins and feels confident about game one. He still feels rather good about the second two, but he thinks Matt has a better chance after side boarding.
Coincidentally, Matt actually agrees that he will lose game 1. However, Matt has a definite plan for after boarding.
Alex started off well with a back-to-back Lightning Rifts on turn 2 and 3. Matt got some damage in with a Goblin Sledder and Goblin Warchief, but they both got Rifted in short order. Matt then played a Clickslither the following turn and got in three more damage.
Alex stalled on three land and a Temple for a turn, taking another three... And in the meantime, Matt took the opening to play a Siege-Gang Commander. But Alex drew his land the next turn and cycled a Gempalm Incinerator to clear away the Commander and two tokens with his double-Rifting action. Matt dropped a Goblin Burrows, a Warchief, and a hard-cast Gempalm Incinerator in consecutive turns; Alex tried to kill the Warchief in response to the Gempalm with a Cycle and Rift... But Matt sacrificed it to the Clickslither, forcing Alex to burn for his impatience. (The creature wasn't there when Lightning Rift resolved, and you pay mana when Rift resolves, not on announcement.)
Feeling the power of the rules on his side, Matt attacked Alex down to four. Alex untapped and dropped Form of the Dragon, going back to five and making the Form of the Dragon flying motion. Matt didn't draw any burn in the next couple of turns, so Alex was able to kill him off with the Form, helped along with a few cyclers.
Alex wins 1-0
Matt's sideboarding plan is to take out the goblins that don't matter and bring in most of his board, bringing in the cards that might help him kill Alex before the Form hits. He also has the not-so-secret weapon Sulfuric Vortex, which card doesn't let Alex go back up to five life while Form of the Dragon is in play.
Alex's plan is simple: He just brings in a few things to keep from dying in the early game. Alex explained that most of the cards he pulled were because he knew about the Sulfuric Vortex interaction and planned on Matt siding them in.
Matt was forced to mulligan multiple times, starting out with five cards, rendering a lot of the strategy completely moot. Alex laid a turn 2 Sparksmith, which got Shocked. Matt then dropped a turn 3 Sulfuric Vortex... But Alex had a Thoughtbound Primoc by then, and answered Matt's Skirk Prospector with a Spark Spray. They both take two a turn until Alex dropped a Rorix on turn 6 and attacked for the win.
Alex wins 2-0, as pretty much everyone expected.
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on Jul 14, 2003: