Welcome to the standard portion of this years competition. This round sees Farid Meraghni, winner of Pro Tour San Diego, take on Florent Jeudon of the famous Black Ops team. They both made it through the draft portion at 5-1, quite a respectable record. Farid has been testing draft heavily on Magic Online. In fact, if you've played a draft in the last few months, the chances are Farid was in it. With more accounts than most small countries, he's famous for running multiple drafts at the same time.
Farid got a strong start with his Opposition
deck busting out a first turn Llanowar Elves
and a second turn Squirrel Nest
. As Jeudon laid a Forgotten Cave
and a Plains
, Farid chose Astral Slide
with Cabal Therapy
. This missed and a Squirrel
allowed him to flash it back on the two Wrath of God
s in Florent's hand.
Meraghni busted out a Wild Mongrel to put the pressure firmly on Florent. Jeudon drew Living Wish to fetch Aven Cloudchaser, but Farid had another Cabal Therapy to remove it. He then dropped Opposition. This wasn't quite a hard lock against Florent as he could Slice and Dice away any number of Squirrels.
Farid didn't have enough creatures in play to tap all of Florent's land and this allowed Florent to play his topdecked Lightning Rift. Farid cast Quiet Speculation to fetch Roar of the Wurm and two Call of the Herds that could survive the Rift. After flashing back all of these, and using his Squirrel Nest a few times, Meraghni easily had enough creatures to tap all of Florent's lands in his upkeep. Jeudon didn't find Slice and Dice in time, and the Roar of the Wurm and Calls ended the game fairly quickly.
Farid Meraghni 1 – Florent Jeudon 0
Sideboarding was fairly easy for both players – Florent's Slide deck can take out superfluous creatures such as Teroh's Faithful and one Exalted Angel for Ray of Revelation, and Farid took out his Smothers for Rays, since they can only target face-down Angels. He also took out all of his Cabal Therapies for Envelop, which is probably not correct – you want to leave one in against everyone and probably more versus Slide.
Florent played a turn two Lightning Rift
and Farid had a Ray of Revelation
ready for it with some help from a fortunate City of Brass
. Jeudon played a morph on turn three, but didn't have the white mana to unmorph.
Florent repaid the complement with an immediate Ray of Revelation on Squirrel Nest, and then Farid dropped Opposition which was also Rayed. Meraghni was having some mana problems and took a lot of damage from City of Brass.
Meraghni played a Static Orb but it wasn't particularly frightening for Jeudon without an Opposition in play and Florent had plenty of time to find his Plains and unmorph Exalted Angel, for which Opposition was the only answer in Farid's deck. Meraghni made a Phantom Centaur, but as he had already taken a few points of pain from his lands, and Florent was gaining four lives a turn, it wasn't even a race.
Farid Meraghni 1 – Florent Jeudon 1
After sideboarding this matchup swings a lot. Without Ray of Revelation, Florent's deck can virtually scoop to Opposition, but with it he can buy a lot of time to find Exalted Angel. Meraghni doesn't really have much chance of putting enough pressure on without his enchantments. On the other hand, Farid's Ray of Revelations are more of an annoyance than a real problem for Florent.
Farid got a much better start this game, playing a first turn Birds of Paradise
, then Speculating and playing a second Bird on turn two. He then played an Opposition
. Florent didn't have a third land and discarded Ray of Revelation
. "Combo!" said Farid. He Duress
ed away a Slice and Dice
and made a pair of Call of the Herd
Jeudon was having severe mana problems, with only one Plains and two Forests in play, as well as a face-down Angel. A second Plains would have allowed him to play any of his three Wrath of Gods or unmorph Exalted Angel. He did draw a land but it was a Mountain, and Farid added a Phantom Centaur and two more Call of the Herds.
Jeudon drew another non-Plains card and conceded; Farid showed him the Envelop in hand meaning that Florent couldn't have Wrathed anyway.
Farid Meraghni 2 – Florent Jeudon 1