This was it. After eight rounds plus quarter- and semifinals, only two of the original 156 competitors remained in the competition, competing for the title and trophy, the fame and the glory. Germany's Maximilian Lorenz had made it this far with Grixis Delver, while Spain's Jesus Vicente Sanchez Bartolome brought Sneak Attack: the classic battle between aggro-control and combo—at least classic by the format's standards.
Due to his higher finish in the Swiss rounds, Lorenz had earned the right to play first, and made the most of it. His opening turn saw him cast Gitaxian Probe (seeing Spell Pierce, Sneak Attack, Ponder, Lotus Petal alongside lands) and summon Deathrite Shaman.
Nothing much happened over the next couple of turns, while players were sorting their hands and lands with the help of various cantrips, preparing for the inevitable battle to come. Lorenz deployed a Gurmag Angler, leaving an opening for Sanchez to make his move. Alas, Sanchez had no move to make. He passed the turn back to Lorenz whose attack already brought Sanchez down to 11.
On turn four Sanchez cast Sneak Attack, but he didn't put up a fight when Lorenz countered it with Spell Pierce. At end of turn, Deathrite Shaman brought Sanchez to 9.
“Lightning Bolt?” was the question Lorenz posed on his turn. Sanchez sacrificed his final source of mana, Lotus Petal, to cast Spell Pierce … Lorenz had Daze to force it through, however, and Gurmag Angler/Deathrite Shaman finished the job.
Intent on not having the second game be a repeat of the first, Sanchez actually used Spell Pierce to counter Lorenz's first-turn Gitaxian Probe. The front half of Delver of Secrets /Insectile Aberration resolved, though, and turned into the decidedly more threatening backside on the very next upkeep, revealing Daze.
On turn three, Lorenz summoned a second Delver, but he didn't have a third land. Sanchez, meanwhile, was doing very well on mana, with a land drop every turn, including Ancient Tomb and the addition of Lotus Petal. This allowed him to brainstorm and cast Sneak Attack all on the very same turn.
Lorenz: “Force of Will.”
Sanchez: “Force of Will.”
Lorenz: “One card left in hand?”
Sanchez: “One card.” (Which was Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.)
So Lorenz responded with Daze, Sanchez responded by sacrificing Lotus Petal, and Lorenz responded with a second Daze. So Sneak Attack was gone, but so where all of Lorenz's lands. Lorenz was also aware that Sanchez had put the best card on top of his library via Brainstorm …
He attacked Sanchez down to 3 and then stopped him at the “end of your draw step.” This is when he pointed Surgical Extraction at the Sneak Attack in Sanchez's graveyard—and did indeed get to exile the second Sneak Attack Sanchez had just drawn!
Sanchez extended his hand in concession and was the first to congratulate Lorenz on a fight well-fought …
The second person to congratulate Lorenz on his victory was Johannes Gutbrod, this year's back-to-back Legacy champion. Gutbrod had earlier told the story of how his buddy Lorenz had gotten him into Legacy in the first place, and now revealed that he himself had gotten Lorenz back into Legacy recently. So things had come full circle; the master becoming the student becoming the master …