Both of these players were sitting pretty. Neither could believe that they'd managed to get to 6-0-1 and be in a position to play for better. They argued back and forth about whose deck was a bigger pile. Brian Hegstad, a vocal commentator on the randomness of Onslaught Sealed, is baffled that he should have done so well with what he was given. He's enjoyed success at all levels of play, but has no title to call his own. In the same boat is his opponent Antonio De Rosa. Known mostly as an easygoing chatterbox, De Rosa possesses no small amount of skill at the game of Magic.
Next to them, Ed Fear was squaring off against Nick Eisel in a fight to be 8-0. Fear turned to De Rosa and gestured at their opponents.
"That side of the table, no offense Antonio, is much more attractive than this side." - Ed Fear
"I'm sexy, I don't know what you're talking about." - Antonio De Rosa
Hegstad started the pain with Wretched Anurid. De Rosa made a Wirewood Savage and passed it back. Hegstad upped the ante with Nantuko Husk. De Rosa played his fourth land and considered his options.
"I know this is going to be a mistake, later on." - Antonio De Rosa
It turned out he was agonizing over whether or not to play Disciple of Malice. He put it on the board. Hegstad hit again. De Rosa peeled his card slow, then did a little dance in his chair as it was just the mountain he was looking for. It enabled a 4/4 Stag Beetle.
"The Anurid is making it close" - Antonio De Rosa
"This is one of my favorite guys. Very, very underrated." - Brian Hegstad
Hegstad was undaunted by the giant insect, stopping it with Pacifism and dropping De Rosa to just seven. He tapped out again, this time for Goblin Machinist, then blocked and chumped the incoming Husk with his Disciple. Hegstad wasn't out of gas, playing Gustcloak Sentinel. De Rosa made an Anurid Murkdweller, and Hegstad was happy to trade. He had one of his own, and the game was looking like it would be very short indeed.
De Rosa's Savage was helping to keep him in it. He dropped another as well as Wellwisher. Hegstad pulled up a very large Erratic Explosion. He looked at it, and then at his board, and put his head in his hands.
"I know that whatever decision I make, it's going to be the wrong one." - Brian Hegstad
Eventually choose to hit the Wellwiser. He flipped two lands, and then Chain of Plasma.
"Thank GOD." - Brian Hegstad
He bashed for four, giving De Rosa just one more turn. De Rosa swung back, but after Hegstad blocked sanely he scooped up his cards.
Hegstad 1 - De Rosa 0
De Rosa led with a pair of swamps for game two, while Hegstad opened with Glory Seeker. De Rosa ripped a mountain and didn't bother to hide it.
"How lucky. You kept a two swamp draw, you buffoon?" - Brian Hegstad
He made a secret monster and passed it back. Hegstad had no pressure, only Slate of Ancestry. De Rosa swung in and Hegstad blocked. The monster was a Cadaver. De Rosa's deck was being quite kind, having serving up Tranquil Thicket. Hegstad drew and chuckled. He put down Lay Waste on the Thicket.
"It's depressing, isn't it?" - Brian Hegstad
But De Rosa just drew a forest to replace it, earning sounds of disgust from Hegstad. He also had a replacement Morph. Hegstad offed it (a Gourna) with Chain of Plasma, then made a Disciple of Grace. De Rosa answered with Wellwisher and a morph. Hegstad made a Nantuko Husk, and suprised De Rosa when he just let it trade with Nantuko Husk, rather than sacrificing the Disciple. De Rosa busted the Slate with Naturalize. Hegstad had a Harrier, but the Wellwisher meant he was fighting an uphill battle.
De Rosa's sixth land came with a fanfare that announced Visara. Hegstad mocked him and showed Cruel Revival on his turn. Not only did he get the Husk back, but his Disciple was at the ready to hold off De Rosa's Prowling Pangolin. He just had too much gas, though, and when he played Wirewood Savage and Anurid Murkdweller, Hegstad decided it was time to play Akroma's Vengeance.
De Rosa had the first chance to rebuild, firing out Disciple of Malice and Thoughtbound Primoc. Hegstad came back with Gustcloak Sentinel and Wretched Anurid. De Rosa came overhead and dropped Symbiotic Elf. Hegstad showed him Shock and Pacifism to bash in for six. De Rosa was at just seven. He played Wirewood Elf and held back.
"We have to make a promise: Whoever wins, it'll probably be you, has to make Top 8." - Antonio De Rosa
"We'll help each other's tiebreakers. I have confidence in your drafting ability." - Brian Hegstad
"I don't even have confidence in my drafting ability." - Antonio De Rosa.
Hegstad attacked with both his creatures. De Rosa double-blocked the Anurid, losing his Primoc and dropping to four. Stag Beetle leapt to his rescue. Hegstad made Battlefield Medic and waited. De Rosa refused to stop drawing gold, this time Aphetto Dredging with enough mana to put Visara right into play.
Hegstad, holding Akroma's Blessing, drew Anurid Murkdiver. He did his best to hide his fortune. Sure enough, De Rosa tried to kill it on his turn. Hegstad turned over the Blessing, and readied for the handshake.
Brian Hegstad defeats Antonio De Rosa 2-0
GP LA Day One Sealed Deck
GP LA Day One Sealed Deck