This was expected to be a very long match. Both players had drafted blue-white decks. Raphaël has a red splash for removal in form of Firebolt and two Thermal Blasts, while Christoph is splashing green for Roar of the Wurm.
Lippert's deck was very defensive with Kirtar's Desire and THREE Angelic Walls. Lévy's deck has THREE Aether Burst. Combined with the one Lippert has, that makes FOUR Aether Burst in this match. Just like in Constructed.
Lippert won the die roll and opted to play. At this point, the players had no idea about what to expect.
Lévy mulliganed his initial hand, but still made the first play of the match, Devoted Caretaker on turn one. Lippert had its own good start: Angelic Wall, Cephalid Looter and Mystic Zealot. Teroh's Faithful gave Raphaël a nice body to block. But Christoph started to build his position with the help of the Looter. He summoned Aven Smokeweaver and Cephalid Aristocrat. Raphaël killed the Looter with Firebolt.
With no Looter, Lippert obtained the treshold he needed by enchanting the Aristocrat with Strength of Isolation. The Aristocrat would have been a problem by itself, but Lévy Thermal Blasted him in response of the Strength. Lippert attacked with the flyers, Aven Smokeweaver and Mystic Zealot for five damage.
He did the same on the following turn, but Raphaël removed both with Vengeful Dreams, leaving Christoph with no creatures except for Walls. Christoph tried another flier, Thought Eater, but is met with the Flashbacked Firebolt.
After what seemed like one hundred turns after the Firebolt, the board stood at three Angelic Walls, Militant Monk and Aquamoeba to Christoph, against Teroh's Faithful, Luminous Guardian, Militant Monk and Devoted Caretaker on Raphaël's side, which meant absolutely no use of the Red Zone.
Lippert searched for answers with Deep Analysis and the Flashback cost, but was only able to draw another Analysis. Roar of the Wurm finally appeared, but Raphaël used Kirtar's Desire on one of them, and blocked the other with Luminous Guardian. Christoph looked at his very small library of three cards and conceded.
Raphaël: "Your deck seems as good as mine."
1 – 0 to Raphaël Lévy
This time Lippert decided to draw. Once again Raphaël started with Devoted Caretaker, followed by Militant Monk. Raphaël was able to attack Christoph for some points of damage. The savage beatdown was only contained thanks to Christoph's first play; Aven Smokeweaver on turn four.
Once again they set about building his positions, Raphaël with Aven Flock, Christoph with Mystic Zealot, but he was very far from treshold.
Lévy enchanted his Flock with Floating Shield naming Blue, and was able to attack for some more points of damage. Lippert's life totals were now going dangerously low, especially after a Deep Analysis with Flashback. He was now at six life. But the extra cards gave Lippert exactly what he needed. He Kirtar's Desired the Flock with protection from blue, and cast Roar of the Wurm.
With two 6/6 tokens on the table, Lippert felt that his time had come, and sent both tokens to Raphael, for five damage, because Raphaël blocked one with the Flock, and prevented one to him with the monk. But he couldn't afford five damage per turn for much longer. And eventually chump blocking was the only solution. Devoted Caretaker was the first to meet his fate.
Lippert tried to rush things by Dematerializing the Angelic Wall, but Lévy sacrificed the shield and gave the Wall protection from blue. Lippert just dropped a land and used the Flashback of Dematerialize on the Flock, which caused Raphaël to lose his Hydromorph Guardian. The fight was on for the control of the skies.
Lippert attacked with all for the victory, or so he thought. Lévy used Aether Burst to dispatch one of the Roars, and dropped to the not so comfortable one life point. But Lippert was not going to be able to do the final damage, at least not for now. He played Aquamoeba and passed.
The Aquamoeba allowed Lippert to gain Threshold. Lippert gained one additional flyer, Mystic Zealot; Lévy lost one, Aven Flock with Kirtar's Desire. Lippert attacked once again.
Raphaël tried to Thermal BlastSkywing Aven, but Christoph used the last card in his hand - Syncopate – to save it. Raphaël still refused to die and Aether Bursted, for two, the Skywing Aven and the remaining Roar token.
Lippert didn't lose his pace and just replaced the Skywing Aven. It was burned by Raphaël's Firebolt, since there weren't any cards left on his owner's hand. It looked like Raphaël would end this match soon, since Lippert was only at six, but Lippert topdecked his only Aether Burst, sending three of Raphael's creatures to his hand, and Raphaël to game 3.
Raphaël Lévy 1 – 1 Christoph Lippert
Lippert started with a nice trick. He attacked with his Aquamoeba. It was blocked by Raphaël's Angelic Wall. Lippert discard a card to switch the power and thoughness; and that card turned to be Strength of Isolation. Lippert dropped a Wall.
Raphaël rebuilt his army very quickly: Hydromorph Guardian, Dreamwinder and Aven Flock. Things were not looking good to Lippert when Raphaël sent Aquamoeba to hand with Aether Burst. He attacked with everything, only to see the Dreamwinder removed with Second Thoughts.
However, Lévy was now the aggressive player, as he dropped a Militant Monk. Lippert cast the Aquamoeba and Mystic Zealot. The game was once again stalled. They just cast more and more creatures.
Much later in the game, Lippert put a Kirtar's Desire on the Flock, discard cards to the Aquamoeba, and attacked with the Zealot. He did manage to deal two damage to Lévy, because the Monk prevented one.
However, the Zealot was not a plan. Raphaël put Floating Shield on the Flock to get rid of the Kirtar's Desire.
When the Roar tokens appeared, the situation was already too confusing. Lévy had seven creatures and Lippert had eight after the Roars. So, they both thought that this game might not be ended with damage, and they both counted their libraries.
Christoph sent the two Roars and the Zealot. Minutes later, Raphaël lost his Floating Shield and five life, while Christoph used an Embolden.
On the next Attack, Raphaël tried to use Aether Burst number two on the Roars, but Lippert Syncopated that attempt. After a very huge attack, that involved a Thermal Blast on the Zealot, the creature count was reduced to five creatures each, plus one Wall to Lippert.
On his turn, Raphaël used Aether Burst number three on the two Roars, and attacked with four creatures. He then proceeded to enchant one of Lippert's guys with Kirtar's Desire, and it looked like Raphaël would finish this lengthy round pretty soon with his Flock.
Everyone had already seen the way the game was going and all were anxious for the end. But Lippert dropped Sphere of Truth.
So Lippert needed another path to victory. He came up with a clever one: using the Looter ability on Raphael. He proceeded to deck the helpless French with the help of a Deep Analysis targeting Raphael.
Final Result: Christoph Lippert won 2 – 1 and advanced to the semifinals against the winner of the Carlos Barrado - Reinhard Blech quarterfinal match.