Only one match remains to decide the champion of Grand Prix Hamburg. Arndt Meier’s green-white beatdown deck faced off against Simon Hockwin’s blue-green Quiet Speculation deck.
Hockwin won the die roll and elected to go first. He thought about his hand for a while and decided to keep it. Meier had a solid hand that looked even better when Hockwin passed turn three with one solitary Rootwalla on the table. Meier’s board looked much better as a turn 1 Spurnmage Advocate was followed by a turn 2 Mongrel and then a turn 3 Anurid Brushhopper. Hockwin could only make Acorn Harvest to get a few squirrels underfoot to keep the damage under control. Meier continued the solid curve as a Phantom Centaur appeared on the table on turn 4.
Hockwin hunted for some answers with a Careful Study and found a Werebear and Wild Mongrel. Undaunted, Meier came charging in and added an Arrogant Wurm to the assault.
Hockwin was down to seven life and in serious trouble. He cast an Upheaval that was only partially effective as Meier’s Brushhopper could duck it and still be ready to swing the next turn. It did, leaving Hockwin at four life.
Both players reached two land and laid Mongrels. It wasn’t enough. Next turn Meier had access to three mana, could activate Glory and Hockwin’s lone Mongrel couldn’t block everything.
Meier 1-0 Hockwin
In: 2 Aboshan, 1 Moments Peace
Out: 2 Upheaval, 1 Acorn Harvest
In: 1 Moment's Peace, 1 Vengeful Dreams, 1 Morningtide, 2 Krosan Reclamation
Out: 4 Phantom Centaur, 1 Tireless Tribe
Meier mulliganed game 2 but came out pretty good with a Rootwalla on turn 1 and Mongrel for turn 2. Hockwin matched with a Rootwalla and Werebear. The Rootwalla’s traded and Hockwin went straight to threshold with a Careful Study and Mental Notes. Unfortunately none of these spells really hit anything.
The 4/4 Werebear jumped in the way of Meier’s Mongrel. Hockwin let him discard three cards before casting Moment's Peace. Unfortunately one of those was an Arrogant Wurm. It looked good for Meier but the weight of four 2/2 bears has a habit of tipping the scales. Meier was back on defence and it got worse.
The game started to slip away as Quiet Speculation stocked some Roars into Hockwin’s graveyard. Then he dropped the hammer blow: Aboshan, Cephalid Emperor. Careful to use Aboshan to tap down one of Meier’s two plains to prevent either Vengeful Dreams or Battle Screech, Hockwin used the big squid to sploosh the board at end of turn and the way was clear for his bears to march right in.
Meier 1-1 Hockwin
It was time for a decider and the mulliganing continued. This time Hockwin was the unfortunate victim. A Careful Study looked like it might recover some of the disadvantage and sure enough a Rootwalla entered play and a Grizzly Fate entered the graveyard, ready to return later.
Meier busted out a turn two Mongrel and followed it with another, but unfortunately was stuck with only two forests. On the other side Hockwin was happily building up his mana with a couple of Werebears.
Turn 4, no land and no play for Meier. In contrast Hockwin reached six mana in his turn and Aboshan entered the room. The title was close enough to smell.
The board was looking seriously lopsided. Meier had just two forests and two mongrels against Hockwin’s Aboshan, double Werebear (at threshold thanks to a Quiet Speculation), double Rootwalla and 4 land.
A Werebear traded for a Mongrel and a Spurnmage Advocate out of Meier’s hand. A Rootwalla was madnessed out but a third land still showed no sign of appearing, leaving Meier with a hand full of white spells he couldn’t cast. A sad end to the Grand Prix for the hapless Meier.
Simon Hockwin beat Arndt Meier 2-0 and is champion of Grand Prix Hamburg