This match pitted two of the more experienced players in the top eight against each other. Antoine was playing blue-green, and Farid had an Opposition deck almost identical to the one played by Franck Canu to win the Chicago Masters. The matchup probably starts in Farid's favor, but it really depends on the sideboarding strategy. They saw each other's decklist, so Farid knows Antoine will have to bring in all of his enchantment-hate. If he wants he could take out his enchantments completely, leaving Naturalize dead and Spellbane Centaur weak. On the other hand, Meraghni will have real problems if Antoine can consistently get Wonder on the graveyard. After a brief consultation it was decided that the Top 8 was best of three.
Farid got yet another great draw, busting out a first turn Birds of Paradise
, two Llanowar Elves
on his second turn, and a Phantom Centaur
on his third. Antoine just played Aquamoeba
and searched for answers with a couple of Careful Studies.
Farid was definitely the beatdown deck this game. He attacked with the Centaur putting Antoine on 15, then played a Call of the Herd and a Wild Mongrel. Antoine said go holding Arrogant Wurm, so Farid just attacked with his Centaur, and flashed back the Call. Menard Unsummoned Phantom Centaur and played Arrogant Wurm. He untapped and made Roar of the Wurm as well.
Farid couldn't sensibly attack any more given Antoine's enormous blockers. He attempted a Squirrel Nest but it was Circular Logiced. He resolved one on his next turn, though, and this put the pressure back on Antoine to find an immediate answer. The only thing that could help was probably Wonder, although as Farid had two Birds of Paradise in play it wouldn't have been enough either.
Farid made things a lot quicker by playing Opposition at which point Antoine swept up his cards.
Farid Meraghni 1 – Antoine Menard 0
Farid took out all of his Opposition
s and Squirrel Nest
s for a fairly random collection of cards – 1 Duress
, 1 Centaur, 2 Envelop
, 2 Roar of the Wurm
and Quiet Speculation
, which was a very good plan as Antoine had brought in Spellbane Centaur
This was rather an anticlimax as Antoine mulliganed twice to a hand with four land and a Naturalize with no enchantments in Farid's deck. Meraghni played and Elf and a Mongrel, with a Smother for Menard's Spellbane Centaur and Wild Mongrel. This left Antoine with only a turn five Arrogant Wurm. By that point Farid had a Call of the Herd token in play as well, and because of Deep Analysis, Antoine's Wurm had to chump-block a lethal Wild Mongrel. Antoine drew his next card and conceded.
Final Result: Farid Meraghni defeats Antoine Menard 2 – 0