A friendly chat before the match revealed that both these players knew exactly what their respective opponent was bringing to the table.
Rod won the Swiss part of the tournament, so he was allowed to start the first game, which he did in convincing fashion, playing Mana Crypt, Mox Jet, Mishra‘s Factory, Phyrexian Revoker „blindly“ naming Grindstone, and a Sphere of Resistance to top things off. Matthew had a great opening hand as well though, which became apparent when a basic Island allowed three Moxes to be cast by Matthew despite the Sphere. Rod started attacking for four damage, before Matthew summoned Magus of the Moon to stop the Factory at least, but the Revoker stopped attacking as well. Rod obviously didn‘t want to offer to trade away his only defense against the mill combo.


Matthew cast Brainstorm and had a Thirst for Knowledge in response to a second Revoker on his opponents turn as well. Painters Servant came down for him, which turned everything blue, allowing Red Elemental Blast to kill the first Invoker. Rod‘s Thoughtknot Seer was denied via Pyroblast as well. Matthew „cycled“ Time Walk into Dig Through Time, which found the perfect cards in the form of Grindstone and Red Elemental Blast. The second Revoker was blasted and Rod‘s entire deck landed in the graveyard.

Matthew took the lead 1-0


It was time to sideboard!

Rod opened with Mox Jet, Wasteland, and Sphere of Resistance after a Mulligan to six. Matthew fetched a basic Island, which payed for Black Lotus, which in turn payed for evoking Ingot Chewer and a Sensei‘s Diving Top. Rod used his Strip Mine for the Island and Phyrexian Revoker naming the Top this time. Matthew found a new land after two turns to play Sol Ring and Painter‘s Servant. Rod had Thorn of Amethyst and Null Rod, slowing the game down to a crawl, but Thought-Knot Seer was countered via Force of Will.

When Matthew tried to Brainstorm end of turn, Dismember got rid of Painter‘s Servant, but Matthew had a replacement one. He also played a Grindstone, but at the moment the combo was still offline due to Null Rod. Rod only drew a bunch of mana, but Matthew didn‘t have one of his Blasts either. Ancestral Recall found an Ingot Chewer for the Null Rod, but Matthew had to pass the turn once more, missing the mana to activate Grindstone, yet. Rod could not draw into anything of relevance and had his entire deck milled away again on the next turn.


Matthew Harper won the game and the match 2-0.