"Hurry up and win, Osyp! I'm hungry," shouted Patrick Sullivan. "Whatever you do just play fast—don't think just play!"
"Sounds good to me," Diego said under his breath.
"No pressure Osyp but your whole country is depending on you," Sullivan misstated. Darwin Kastle, William Jensen, and Jordan Berkowitz have already drawn into the top 8. Not only is Osyp's country well represented but his Northeast region is all over the Top 8. Osyp is a very popular player on the Tour and he his fan club was swelling around the feature match area to offer their support for this very difficult match-up.
"I feel so sad," Diego kidded. "I have only one person on my side."
If anyone doubted that this was a bad match up they need only refer back to this game. Osyp was a little slow coming out of the gate with only a Lightning Rift on the first few turns. He cycled for a number of cards shooting Diego each time. Diego played Baloth's on turns four and five and a Tephradem on turn 6. A second Rift allowed Osyp to 'kill' a Baloth but it hardly mattered. Diego had two Chain of Plasma to finish him off.
Osyp – 0 Diego – 1
If Osyp felt any of the pressure of being down a game in what is essentially an elimination match he did not show it outwardly. He continued to clown around with his TOGIT buddies. When he directed Craig Krempel's attention toward something away form the feature area he commented with raised eyebrows, "Thirty cents, Craig?"
"Diego...I'll tell you what that means after the match."
Diego's turn two Lightning Rift made Osyp's life difficult while he cycled deep into his deck—including two Akroma's Vengeance. Diego—who had mulliganed his initial seven—stalled for a few turns on lands while Osyp went right to six lands and Exalted Angel. Diego found lands—including a Contested Cliffs—and played a Tephraderm. Osyp played another Angel and swung in with the first one.
Diego cracked back with his 'Derm and used Cliffs to kill an Angel. Osyp kept the pressure on and played a Jareth, Leonine Titan with a white mana up. The Tephraderm could still kill it in response with only one white and it got to swing in for another attack before sniping the other Angel out of the sky—sending Osyp up to 22 in the process.
Another Tephraderm hit the table but when Jareth attacked it was blocked by a morphed Vigilante. When it went to the yard it was the all clear for Osyp to play his Astral Slide. At the end of the turn Osyp dug for his eighth land—removoing the 'Derms from play in the process—and found it.
The eighth land allowed him to play Akroma, Angel of Wrath and attack for the kill. When Diego reached for a Forest Osyp slammed his fist on the table, "Not the damn Vitality Charm! Just like in Limited! Stupid charm!" Diego did have the Charm and he was able to forestall death for a turn by chumping the pitfighter.
Both of his Tephraderms came back but Osyp still had an untapped Angel and a pretty hearty 18 points of life. Diego weighed his options to the growing frustration of Osyp, "C'mon Diego! Don't slow roll me. Don't let me lose here. Did you see what I have in play? I have dreamed about this!"
After cycling to find a miracle that was not there Diego finally scooped and they went onto Game 3.
Osyp – 1 Diego – 1
There was considerably less banter as they shuffled for their final game—the final game of the weekend for one of them. In fact there was actually silence in the feature area for a few scant moments until Amiel Tannenbaum started chanting, "Diego! Diego!" Osyp turned and gave Amiel a look as if to say, "Wtf?" Amiel enjoyed a rare opportunity to get the better of Osyp and whispered something in his ear. Osyp doesn't rattle easy and he laughed it off. Apparently Amiel asked why Osyp always loses when he make Top 8.
Unfortunately there isn't much of a game to report here. Randy Buehler was sitting behind Diego and was appalled at the hand he kept after much deliberation. Apparently he kept a hand of Tranquil Thicket, Forest, two Biorythyms, Lightning Rift, Chain of Plasma, and Ravenous Baloth. It was an absolutely unkeepable hand in Randy's opinion especially with the whole enchilada on the line. "You cash that one in," said Randy.
Diego stalled on three lands with Lightning Rift in play. Osyp just played lands and cycled until he played face-up Exalted Angels on turn 6 and 7. Eventully Diego could kill one of them with two Chain of Plasma but Osyp had Exalted's big sister for turn 8 and he finished him off as quickly as possible.
"I'm sorry man," Osyp offered. "I think this is a really bad match for me..."
Diego agreed glumly, "I was 3-0 vs. Slide this weekend..."
"By the way, Diego. Thirty cents means 'good-looking girl'. I was just showing Craig. It had nothing to do with you."
Final Result: Osyp – 2 Diego – 1