With records of 7-1 in the tournament so far, both of these players needed one more win to secure a Top 8 berth. When asked for their previous Magic accomplishments, Cristian Retuerta just shrugged and Omar Diez laughed and shook his head. “We won a couple of PTQs,” he said. “But that's it.”

As luck would have it, Diez and Retuerta had both brought a green-blue version of Infect. With lots of insanely powerful pump spells and cheap interaction on either side, this match would definitely be interesting to watch.

Cristian Retuerta was only 1 match win away from advancing to the Top 8!

Cristian Retuerta was only 1 match win away from advancing to the Top 8!

Game 1

Retuerta won the die roll and kept: Breeding Pool, Spell Pierce, Spell Pierce, Become Immense, Inkmoth Nexus, Groundswell, and Apostle's Blessing … which Diez got to see when he cast Gitaxian Probe as his first play of the match. He followed it up with a Breeding Pool and a Glistener Elf.

Soon both players had a Glistener Elf and an Inkmoth Nexus on the battlefield. Blows were traded, both players went to five poison counters, and then went on defense. The ground creatures traded in combat and nothing much happened for the next couple of turns as neither player wanted to risk his Inkmoth Nexus. Things only begant to heat back up when Retuerta summoned another Glistener Elf.

Diez activated his Nexus and cast Rancor. Retuerta countered with Spell Pierce. Diez paid, leaving himself with just one mana available to Retuerta's one Breeding Pool and one Inkmoth Nexus.

Diez attacked with the 3/1 Nexus. Retuerta thought long and hard, then decided not to declare a blocker. If he had activated his own Nexus to block, Diez's Become Immense would have taken the game thanks to the trample provided by Rancor. But against two untapped lands Diez figured he couldn't risk it. And he really couldn't.

Unfortunately, Diez also couldn't do anything about Retuerta's next attack with Nexus and Elf, or about Retuerta's Become Immense

Omar Diez 0-1 Cristian Retuerta

Omar Diez now had to win 2 games in a row!

Omar Diez now had to win 2 games in a row!

Game 2

Diez, after a mulligan, led with Glistener Elf but immediately lost it to Dismember. In retaliation, his own Dismember killed Retuerta's Elf, and subsequently one Inkmoth Nexus on either side died to another Dismember and a Nature's Claim.

Diez was the first to deploy another creature in Blighted Agent, but Retuerta had Snapcaster Mage to flashback Dismember.

The Mage got in for some actual lifeloss-causing combat damage for a change, and things came to a head a couple of turns later, when Diez was down to 3 life, facing Snapcaster Mage and Dryad Arbor. In the meantime, Diez had summoned another Glistener Elf which now attacked. Retuerta declared no blockers. Diez cast Become Immense, Retuerta tried to stop it with unkicked Vines of Vastwood. In response, Diez cast his own Vines of Vastwood, this time with kicker. But Retuerta had yet another counter in Dispel.

The stack (big) resolved, the combat damage (very little) did too, and Diez died on the backswing to regular old-fashioned combat damage.

Omar Diez 0-2 Cristian Retuerta

Congratulations to Cristian Retuerta for advancing to the Top 8!