As Orrin Beasley and Christian Calcano sat down in the feature match area, they both just seemed happy that for once, they were still in contention for the Top 8 coming back into the Constructed rounds.
"This is my first PT feature match!" Beasley confessed demurely, his voice slightly muffled by a splendid moustache that is so popular, it actually has its own Twitter account.
Orrin Beasley was hoping to sculpt a Scapeshift victory. His opponent, Christian Calcano, had other ideas with his Doran deck.
The players shuffled and presented their decks, but were instructed to wait, just in case the other on-camera feature matches proved to be less interesting than Beasley's moustache. They passed the time reminiscing past tournaments.
Calcano was playing a Doran aggro control deck that plays a little like Jund, in some ways, but eschews Bloodbraid Elves and Terminates for things like Doran, the Siege Tower, Loxodon Smiter, and Path to Exile. He spoiled the conversational atmosphere with a turn one Inquisition of Kozilek, seeing a Peer through the Depths, Repeal, and five lands. After jotting down the rest of Beasley's hand, Calcano elected to do away with the Repeal, and followed it up with a Dark Confidant, while Beasley continued to play out his lands.
Beasley's Peer Through Depths indicated he was most likely playing a Scapeshift combo deck. Beasley would be looking to stall the game while searching out additional lands each turn, and eventually casting a lethal Scapeshift. How does that work? Like this!
Calcano attacked, played a Stirring Wildwood, and summoned a second Confidant, while Beasley Peered through the Depths, finding a solitary Remand, and sending two Sakura Tribe-Elders and a Wood Elves to the bottom of his deck.
Beasley begins the land battle.
The Wildwood awoke on the following turn, but Beasley fended it off with a Gigadrowse. When Calcano went to summon a Restoration Angel, that too, was pushed back with a Remand. Calcano continued to attack, but Beasley was quickly reaching a point where he could "go off".
Sure enough, Beasley played his seventh land, and summoned a Sakura-Tribe Elder. He immediately sacrificed it to find an eighth land. He then cast Scapeshift, sacrificing six lands, leaving a Steam Vents and a Stomping Grounds in play. Beasley searched out two more of each of those two lands, and a pair of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle.
The Valakuts took a look around the battlefield at what was going on, and both exclaimed, "Goodness! Four Mountains, all entering the battlefield. Let's see... one, two, three, yup, we control at least five other Mountains, so that's four triggers each. Who want's 'em, boss? By the way, sweet moustache."
Beasley pointed across the table at Calcano. Now, eight iterations of 3 damage is a lot for someone who started the game on 20 life, and Calcano's been cracking fetch lands and playing dual lands untapped, so by the time the stack had cleared, Calcano was just a pair of shoes with smoke emitting wisps of smoke.
Orrin Beasley 1, Christian Calcano 0
"I was sure you were playing Jund, so I was happy," Calcano laughed as they sideboarded. "Not as happy about Scapeshift."
Calcano got off to a more aggressive start in game two, quickly attacking with a Dark Confidant and a Loxodon Smiter. Beasley used Peer Through Depths to help set up his combo, but Calcano cashed in a Fulminator Mage to set him back a turn.
Beasley took out the Confidant with a Magma Jet, leaving two Search for Tomorrows on top of his library, before playing a tapped Stomping Grounds. A second Fulminator Mage from Calcano destroyed another land, and knowing there wasn't exactly another land on top, Beasley scooped up his remaining lands with an imperceptible shake of his head, mostly only really noticeable by the gentle shaking of his glorious facial hair.
Orrin Beasley 1, Christian Calcano 1
Beasley led game 3 with a Breeding Pool, while Calcano once again poked around his opponent's hand with a Thoughtseize. "Avenger of Zendikar?!" he exclaimed as Beasley revealed his hand. Calcano eventually threw aside a Sakura Tribe-Elder, leaving Cryptic Command, Scapeshift, the Avenger, and two more lands. Calcano summoned a Tarmogoyf, and then a Doran the Siege Tower, before attacking.
"Four? Oh, Doran!" Beasley nodded approvingly.
"Your plant tokens are going to be that much better," I pointed out.
"I know! It's exciting," he smiled.
Doran and the Tarmogoyf attacked Beasley down to 7, and Calcano summoned a Loxodon Smiter. At the end of the turn, Beasley cast Peer through the Depths, and then Magma Jet'd Calcano. The two cards on top were an Island, and a Valakut, which Beasley threw to the bottom. He played a tapped Steam Vents, and then tapped down Calcano's team with the Cryptic Command. Calcano followed up his lack of combat with a Fulminator Mage on Beasley's Flooded Grove. Beasley drew for the turn, let out a dejected sigh, and offered the handshake of defeat.
Orrin Beasley 1, Christian Calcano 2
Orrin Beasley's Scapeshift
Pro Tour Return to Ravnica - Modern
Christian Calcano's Doran
Pro Tour Return to Ravnica - Modern