With Jean Charles Salvin needing to depart early to catch a flight Piotr Sienko, from Poland, is the only non-German player left in the tournament. He is also the only player left not playing a deck with green spells, choosing Mono-Black Control. His opponent, Simon Hockwin is running a blue-green Quiet Speculation deck.
Hockwin got a good start. A first turn Careful Study dropped an Acorn Harvest into the graveyard and a Rootwalla into play. In contrast Sienko drew no early removal, but he was able to destroy Hockwin’s only source of green mana with a Rancid Earth. The German continued to lay only islands and a Mutilate wiped out his forces.
Quiet Speculation loaded Hockwin’s graveyard up with 3 Roar of the Wurm while the German cast Mental Notes and Careful Studies in search of land. When he found a forest it seemed like Sienko had found his removal as well as two Mongrels headed straight to the graveyard.
Nantuko Shade appeared and was matched immediately with a Grizzly Fate. The next turn was brutal. Sienko attacked with the shade for 4 damage, Mutilated away the board and then shredded Hockwin’s graveyard and library with Haunting Echoes. All over bar mopping up the pieces.
Not quite. Hockwin had a Grizzly Fate in hand that survived the wreckage and two Bears sprung up out of the ashes. Diabolic Tutor for Mutilate slapped them down.
Hockwin refused to lie down. Upheaval floating mana for a Wild Mongrel suddenly put the Polish player in a perilous situation. He needed an Innocent Blood and didn’t get it.
Sometimes Echoes just doesn’t quite win the game.
Hockwin 1-0 Sienko
The Polish player’s problems were compounded by mulliganing down to 5 in game two. Quiet Speculation on turn two loaded up Hockwin’s graveyard with two fat wurms and a couple of squirrels to soak up the Edicts. Sienko’s five card hand hadn’t been too bad as he was able to get up to four land and Mutilated the vermin. An Edict dealt with the Nantuko Blightcutter that followed and then a Tutor fetched a Butcher to deal with first flashed back Wurm.
Hockwin still had plenty of gas. The second Wurm burst out of the graveyard and was followed by a Wild Mongrel. Sienko still had plenty of Butchers, or rather Tutors to fetch them and another Wurm vanished from play. There was still the small matter of dealing with the second Mongrel and Werebear Hockwin dropped the following turn. Nantuko Shade proved an appropriate answer as Hockwin chose to leave the dogs and bears at home.
Sienko took the fight to the German as a Coffers-fuelled Shade took a fourteen point chunk out of Hockwin’s life total. Then Grizzly Fate showed up to stick a seemingly endless stram of wildlife in the way of the Shade. One card and the Polish player was back on the rack. Hockwin flashed it back the next turn with the security of an island open to Envelop and an army of Bears lined up to maul the hapless Pole. Sienko Scryed away his whole graveyard and half his life total in search of an answer. Nothing was forthcoming and the bears marched in for a serious maulin’
Simon Hockwin defeats Piotr Sienko 2-0 and advances to the Semi-Finals