The first of three Masters events in 2019 has now come to a close. After three days of play, Dog wins Masters Tour Las Vegas and $100,000. That’s a huge boost to his resume as he is already a top member of the Grandmasters league.
Top 8 Initial Matches
The first pair to face off were Chris “Fenomeno” Tsakopoulos and Wataru “posesi” Ishibashi in Group A. They were playing a Cyclone Mage mirror match. Posesi got a godlike draw in Game 1 with double Mountain Giant and double Conjurer’s Calling on the coin, resulting in a win. Game 2 saw Feno on the coin but he did not receive a draw as good as that. Posesi would exhaust feno’s resources and win 2-0.
The second initial match in Group A would be played out between Maxime “Kalàxz” Thierry and former World Champ Chen “tom60229” Wei Lin. Once again, we had a Cyclone Mage mirror match on our hands.
In Game 1, Tom was able to play Khadgar plus Conjurer’s Calling on a Mountain Giant. He would go on to win by overwhelming Kalàxz on board. Kalàxz was the one who managed to go Conjurer’s Calling plus Khadgar on a Mountain Giant in Game 2, but didn’t get a single taunt and lost to a huge Questing Adventurer.
The first match of Group B would be David “Dog” Caero versus Yoann “Hypno” Pfersich. This was the first non-mirror, with Hypno’s Bomb Warrior against Dog’s Cyclone Mage. In Game 1, Hypno was able to play hard for tempo, and then curve out an Azalina Soulthief for the win. Game 2 saw Dog never get anything going on board and Hypno won 2-0.
The final initial match was Eugene “Neirea” Shumilin versus “Gallon“. Neirea had Tempo Rogue up against Gallon’s Bomb Warrior. In Game 1, Neirea would be one damage off lethal and lose on the following turn to Wrenchcalibur. The last game would see Gallon curve out and find lethal with Blastmaster Boom’s Boom Bots, advancing to the winners match.
Deciding the Final Four
Starting off the final day of play were posesi and tom60229. It was a back and forth battle of giant board states created by Conjurer’s Calling. It would go to a final Game 3 where tom would take the series and be the first in that Top 4.
Feno versus Kalàxz would decide who kept their tournament life alive. Kalàxz would take the series 2-0 and advance to play posesi for a Top 4 spot.
In the match between posesi and Kalàxz, posesi was able to freeze Kalàxz out of the board and win the game to go up 1-0. The same thing would happen in Game 2 and posesi made quick work of Kalàxz 2-0 and was the next to make the Top 4.
In Group B, Hypno would take on Gallon to decide the first person to advance to the semifinals from the group. Gallon took the win in Game 1 with Archivist Elysiana. In Game 2, Hypno switched decks and was able to grind out the win. Gallon was able to be very aggressive in Game 3 and take the series, advancing to the Top 4.
Dog and Neirea would determine who went on to face Hypno for the last Top 4 spot. Neirea would go down early in Game 1, but tempo out very hard in Game 2 to tie the set at 1-1. In the final game, Dog got ahead on board and that would be it for Neirea.
Dog and Hypno would play each other for the third time in the tournament. This time Dog finally prevailed after three games. It was the first time he beat Hypno but the most important of those matches as the win slotted him in the Top 4.
Crowning a Champion
Posesi and Gallon were first up of the two semifinal matches. Posesi would take the first game with his Freeze Mage over Gallon’s Bomb Warrior. In Game 2, Gallon would bounce back to tie the series, then take the set victory 2-1.
Dog and Tom would face off in the last Mage mirror match of the tournament to determine who would face Gallon. Dog swept the former Wold Champion and was the fan favorite in the Grand Final.
So the final show down would be between Gallon’s Bomb Warrior and Dog’s Cyclone Mage. This would play out in a best-of-five set as opposed to the best-of-three the rest of the tournament was played in.
Dog struggled against Bomb Warrior throughout the tournament but was able to stabilize against Gallon. In the first two games Dog was able survive early onslaughts from Gallons Bombs. He finally was able to stabilize on board and build momentum with Giants and bug minions. He would win the first two games in similar fashion, low on health, but ran Gallon out of answers for the board.
In the third game, Gallon was able to try to pull back into the series. He played hard for tempo and was able to play Blastmaster Boom on curve. He ran Dog out of health and the Boom Bots provided lethal damage.
Gallon’s hope would be short lived. Gallon was unable to play the tempo game plan in the fourth game and Dog got ahead early on board. Gallon didn’t remove Archmage Antonidas and Dog drew a one mana Alexstrasza to set up a Fireball lethal. Fortunately, it was not a sweep, but Dog proves his skill with the great swing potential of Cyclone Mage.