gpslc12

Shenhar Snags Second Victory in Salt Lake!

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It's been an incredible weekend for Magic here in Salt Lake City. 1136 players showed up to battle with their favorite standard decks. The field was whittled down to 146 players for the second day of competition. When the dust settled only eight players remained. Tom Martell, Marcel Angelo Zafra, Michael Peterson, David Gleicher, Bryan Olvera, James Cooper, Shahar Shenhar, and Michael Hetrick found themselves in the elimination rounds.

Shahar Shenhar managed to best fellow Californian, Michael Hetrick, in a difficult quarterfinal match. Another Red/Green deck, this time piloted by James Cooper, couldn't stop Shenhar in the semifinals match. Finally, Shenhar was able to defeat another player from his local area, Michael Peterson, in a mirror match to take home the trophy, $3,500, and the title of Grand Prix Salt Lake City Champion.

This is Shenhar's second Grand Prix victory in less than six months. Shenhar has crossed the 30 pro point threshold and will be a fixture of the Pro Tour for the remainder of 2012 and the entirety of 2013. Only 18 years old, there's still a world of potential in this young master. Expect great things.




Follow live streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Salt Lake City at ggslive.com with Rashad Miller, Brian David-Marshall, Nate Price, and Ben Swartz and at SCGlive.com with Pat Sullivan and Matthias Hunt.


Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
Tom Martell Tom Martell
2-1
Marcel Angelo Zafra Michael Peterson
2-1
Michael Peterson Michael Peterson
2-1
Shahar Shenhar
2-1
David Gleicher
Bryan Olvera James Cooper
2-0
James Cooper Shahar Shenhar
2-1
Shahar Shenhar Shahar Shenhar
2-1
Michael Hetrick






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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

INFORMATION
1. Shahar Shenhar $3,500
2. Michael Peterson $2,300
3. Tom Martell $1,500
4. James Cooper $1,500
5. Michael Hetrick $1,000
6. Bryan Olvera $1,000
7. David Gleicher $1,000
8. Marcel Angelo Zafra $1,000
Pairings Results Standings
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Top 8: Decklists

by Event Coverage Staff















 

Top 8: Player Profiles

by Event Coverage Staff

Michael Hetrick

Age: 21
Hometown: Roseville, CA
Occupation: MTGO Grinder


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
I leveled the Rat (Shahar Shenhar) in a name guessing bet this weekend.

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
RG Aggro. It’s easy to play for 13+ rounds and still very powerful.

What’s your best matchup?
Not sure. I feel good about most matchups except the following...

What’s your worst matchup?
Ramp and Pod. They just go bigger. (Especially in game 1)

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Definitely



David Gleicher

Age: 27
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Occupation: Archivist


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Top 25 Pro Tour Dark Ascension, some GP top 64s and 32s

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
Delver. It’s the best and it’s fun to play

What’s your best matchup?
Not sure. Lots of them are good.

What’s your worst matchup?
Probably some control deck tuned to beat me.

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Delver... surprise!



Bryan Olvera

Age: 22
Hometown: Santa Barbara
Occupation: Student


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
None yet. 1st GP top 8

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
UW Humans because having access to Thalia and Day of Judgment is that awesome.

What’s your best matchup?
B/x Zombies

What’s your worst matchup?
Decks that go turn 1 bird, turn 2 sword.

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Yes, the deck is just that good.



Jimmy Cooper

Age: 22
Hometown: Miles City, Montana
Occupation: Salesman


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
3rd place states

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
Wolf Run Ramp, it’s an explosive deck that had a decent matchup against Delver - that was my main reason, I expected a lot of it. [Delver] So Wolf Run it was.

What’s your best matchup?
I don’t really know. It has a good matchup against a lot of things but it’s not that superior to other decks.

What’s your worst matchup?
Played against a Mono-G Aggro deck that was really good against me. 2-0ed me easily.

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Definitely, it’s a great deck and has a lot of power and it isn’t weak against anything.



Michael Peterson

Age: 22
Hometown: Fair Oak, CA
Occupation: Grinder


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Day 2ed 2 GPs

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
UW Delver because it did so good at the last constructed GP

What’s your best matchup?

Control or Wolf Run Ramp?

What’s your worst matchup?
RG Aggro

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Yes, the deck is nuts.



Marcel Angelo Zafra

Age: 23
Hometown: Manila, Phillipines
Occupation: Cook


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
4th 2011 Canadian Nationals, 17th PT Austin, 8 time PT competitor

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
Delver, team manadeprived told me!

What’s your best matchup?
UB Control

What’s your worst matchup?
Esper Spirits

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Yes



Shahar Shenhar

Age: 18
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Occupation: Student, work with Blackborder.com


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
1st place GP San Diego, 12th GP Nashville

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
Delver, Matt Costa and Ben Friedman did well with it the last two weeks.

What’s your best matchup?
The mirror

What’s your worst matchup?
RG Aggro

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Yes



Tom Martell

Age: 29
Hometown: San Leandro, CA
Occupation: Lawyer/Entrepreneur


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
I won GP Indy a few weeks ago and finished 13th at Pro Tour Dark Ascension (1 PT Top 8, 2 GP Top 8, 2 PT Top 16)

What deck are you playing, and why did you choose it?
Spirit Delver - I went 9-1 in Hawaii and Sam Black and Josh Ravitz did well with it at the SCG Invitational.

What’s your best matchup?
Normal Delver or Humans (Is this still a deck?)

What’s your worst matchup?
Wrath of God and Elesh Norn - UW Control and FRites

Would you recommend your deck to people playing in the upcoming Standard Pro Tour Qualifiers?
Spirit Delver unless people start playing Corrosive Gale again.



 

Quarterfinal - Michael Hetrick vs. Shahar Shenhar

by Jacob Van Lunen

Michael Hetrick is somewhat famous as ShipItHolla on MTGO. This is his first Top 8 in a major large event.

Shahar Shenhar won Grand Prix San Diego in November. This is his second Grand Prix Top 8 in less than 6 months. Pretty impressive for an 18-year-old.

Hetrick and Shenhar are both California players. They've clearly played before and their friendship was obvious. Both players are already qualified for Pro Tour Avacyn Restored, they'll be playing for Pro Points, money, and glory.

Game 1

Hetrick led things off with a Birds of Paradise and Shenhar used Gitaxian Probe to see the contents of Hetrick's hand: Galvanic Blast, Phyrexian Metamorph, Brimstone Volley, Mountain, and Huntmaster of the Fells.

Shenhar also had Gut Shot and Delver of Secrets on his first turn.

Hetrick cast Galvanic Blast to deal with Shenhar's Delver of Secrets. Shenhar Pondered, looking for another Delver of Secrets, which he found.

Hetrick couldn't find a third land and was forced to pass without a play.

Ponder helped the Delver of Secrets flip, while Hetrick missed his third land drop.

Hetrick conceded after Shenhar cast Geist of Saint Traft before he made his second land drop.

Game 2

Hetrick led things off with Llanowar Elves while Shenhar had Delver of Secrets.

Hetrick cast Strangleroot Geist on his second turn and sent it into the red zone. Llanowar Elves made Avacyn's Pilgrim and he passed the turn with three creatures in play.

Shenhar pondered for an answer to Hetrick's aggressive start. He failed to find a second land.

Hetrick sent all his creatures at Shenhar, who traded his Delver of Secrets for Hetrick's Llanowar Elves.

Shenhar found a second land and used it to cast Invisible Stalker.

Hetrick was sitting on a few burn spells and things were looking grim for the Grand Prix San Diego champion. Hetrick sent in his team again and added Huntmaster of the Fells to the board.

Shenhar had a Runechanter's Pike, but Hetrick had an Ancient Grudge he was waiting to use until Shenhar equipped. Another attack brought Shenhar down to three.

With no help from the top of Shenhar's deck they were ready to move on to game 3.

Game 3

Shenhar kept his opening hand, but Hetrick's opener wasn't quite good enough. Six cards were good enough for Hetrick.

Shenhar had the first play of the game with Runechanter's Pike.

He followed it up with Geist of Saint Traft, but Hetrick had Phyrexian Metamorph to legend rule it away. Another Geist of Saint Traft came down for Shenhar, but this time Hetrick had Thrun, the Last Troll to take control of the board.

Shenhar had Delver of Secrets and left open mana instead of equipping his Runechanter's Pike.

Hetrick cast Arc Trail, killing the Delver of Secrets and dealing two damage to Shenhar.

Shenhar made a token with his Moorland Haunt.

Shenhar's spirit started poking in some damage, and Hetrick was left with a hand full of lands.

Shenhar got a chance to make another Spirit and the game started to get out of Hetrick's hands.

Another Delver of Secrets pushed things further in favor of Shenhar.

Hetrick decided to get aggressive with his Thrun. He attacked and dumped all his mana into Kessig Wolf Run.

Shenhar had a Snapcaster Mage for Vapor Snag and he flipped his Delver the next turn. Another attack was enough to take the match.

Shahar Shenhar wins 2-1!

 

Quarterfinal - David Gleicher (Blue-White Delver) vs. Michael Peterson (Blue-White Delver)

by Steve Sadin

David Gleicher came into this event with 14 Pro Points, and in need of a good finish here, and at Pro Tour Avacyn Restored in Barcelona, in order to reach Gold Level in the Pro Players Club. Well, a Top 8 berth here is certainly a good start – and if he manages to win the whole thing, Gleicher will find himself guaranteed to reach Gold just by showing up in Barcelona.

Michael Peterson, on the other hand, needs to win his quarterfinals matchup just to earn his invitation to Pro Tour Avacyn Restored in Barcelona.

Game 1

After Gleicher mulliganed down to four cards, and Michael Peterson went down to five -- a Geist of Saint Traft equipped with a Runechanter's Pike was more than enough for Peterson to take the first game.

Michael Peterson 1 - David Gleicher 0

David Gleicher

Game 2

After trading cards back and forth during the early stages of the game – David Gleicher used a Moorland Haunt to build up an offensive force. A Timely Reinforcements, a Runechanter's Pike, and a Moorland Haunt of his own gave Peterson a formidable presence himself – but it wouldn't last long.

Gleicher used a Revoke Existence to deal with the Runechanter's Pike, and when he played two Delver of Secrets, Peterson knew he needed to find some answers fast.

Peterson had an Oblivion Ring for one of Gleicher's two Insectile Aberrations – but with no way to deal with Gleicher's other insect, it was only a matter of time before Gleicher flew to victory.

Michael Peterson 1 – David Gleicher 1

Michael Peterson

Game 3

Peterson's Delver of Secrets flipped on turn two – and he further pressed his advantage with an Invisible Stalker, and a Runechanter's Pike.

Timely Reinforcements bought Gleicher some time, but he wasn't able to do much with those extra turns. A few hits later, and Michael Peterson had advanced to the Top 4.

Michael Peterson 2 - David Gleicher 1

 

Quarterfinal: Bryan Olvera (White-Blue Humans)
vs. James Cooper (Wolf Run Ramp

by Steve Sadin

At Pro Tour Dark Ascension, White-Blue Humans, and Wolf Run Ramp were two of the defining decks of the format. But since that event, they've almost completely fallen of the map. While Delver, Zombies, and Blue-Black control have taken the spotlight away from Champion of the Parish, and Primeval Titan in recent months – Olvera, and Cooper have each advanced to the Top 8 piloting these "forgotten" archetypes.

Bryan Olvera (left) and James Cooper(right)

Game 1

Bryan Olvera got off to a strong start on the play with a Doomed Traveler, and a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, but he quickly sputtered out after that. With Olvera out of threats so early, a Galvanic Blast, and an unanswered Huntmaster of the Fells were enough for James Cooper to take the first game with ease.

James Cooper 1 – Bryan Olvera 0

Game 2

Olvera mulliganed to start the second game, but he still came out strong with a Champion of the Parish, a Doomed Traveler, and a Honor of the Pure.

Slagstorm left Olvera without much of a board, and the White-Blue Human player again found himself drawing land after land. Olvera did have an Oblivion Ring for Cooper's Batterskull – but with no way to stop an Inkmoth plus Kessig Wolf Run, it wasn't long before Olvera was wishing James Cooper good luck in the rest of the tournament, and in Barcelona.

James Cooper 2 – Bryan Olvera 0

 

Semifinal: Tom Martell vs. Michael Peterson

by Jacob Van Lunen

Tom Martell is on quite the hot streak. He recently won Grand Prix Indianapolis and Top 16'ed Pro Tour Dark Ascension. Already on the train, Martell is looking to cement his place in the World Magic Cup and acquire as many twitter followers (@TomMartell) as possible. He's playing the Esper Spirits deck that he went 9-1 with at Pro Tour Dark Ascension.

Michael Peterson's top four berth qualifies him for Pro Tour Avacyn Restored. Peterson's Blue/White Delver deck has been serving him well all weekend.

Martell chose to play first thanks to his exceptional performance in the swiss rounds. (The new rules let the player at the top of the swiss standings choose to play or draw.)

Tom Martell

Game 1

Both players kept their opening hands. Peterson had the first play of the game with a turn one Delver of Secrets.

Martell used Evolving Wilds to find a Plains. He played his second land and passed the turn.

Michael failed to flip his Delver of Secrets. He attacked for one and passed the turn with Mana Leak mana open.

Martell attempted a Drogskol Captain, but Peterson used his Mana Leak.

Thoughtscour added some cards to Peterson's graveyard. He continued to develop his board with Invisible Stalker.

Martell had Dungeon Geists and used it to tap down Peterson's Delver.

Peterson had an end of turn Snapcaster Mage to flashback his Thoughtscour. He managed to resolve Runechanter's Pike and sent his team into battle to deal Martell 6 points of damage. Another Delver was added to the board postcombat and Peterson looked to be in solid control of the game.

Martell continued attacking with his Dungeon Geists, after combat he had a pair of Phantasmal Images that both copied Dungeon Geists. (Tapping down Peterson's second Delver of Secrets and Snapcaster Mage.)

Peterson sent his equipped Invisible Stalker in and had Geist of Saint Traft and another Invisible stalker postcombat. Martell used a Vapor Snag on one of Peterson's locked up Delvers.

Martell attacked for nine and passed the turn back to Peterson.

Peterson attacked Martell with both Invisible Stalkers and Geist of Saint Traft, but Martell had Snapcaster Mage, which he used to flashback his Vapor Snag, bouncing the angel. Martell wanted Snapcaster Mage to block Geist of Saint Traft, but Peterson had Gut Shot to make the Runechanter's Pike exactly lethal.

Peterson 1 - 0 Martell

Martell and Peterson kept quiet during sideboarding; both studying the other's decklist and taking their time with sideboarding.

Michael Peterson

Game 2

Both players seemed happy with their opening hands.

Martell led things off with a turn one Delver of Secrets, but Peterson had a Delver of his own and a Gut Shot to deal with Martell's.

Martell payed mana for Gitaxian Probe and jotted down Peterson's hand: Plains, Moorland Haunt, Island, Snapcaster Mage, Vapor Snag. He cast Ponder afterward and chose to leave three cards on top.

Peterson simply attacked, played his land, and passed with an instant-packed hand.

Martell was able to resolve Drogskol Captain, but Peterson used Vapor Snag to bounce it back to Martell's hand.

Martell knew about the Snapcaster Mage in Peterson's hand and mulled over his decision for a bit. He came out of the tank with a mainphase Snapcaster Mage, which he used to flashback his Ponder.

Peterson cast Snapcaster Mage during Martell's endstep and used it to Gutshot the opposing wizard. He drew Runechanter's Pike, cast it, equipped it to Invisible Stalker, and dealt Martell four points of damage with his attack.

Martell stuck Dungeon Geists and tapped down Peterson's Snapcaster Mage.

Peterson revealed Surgical Extraction and flipped his Delver of Secrets. Surgical Extraction removed Martell's Snapcaster Mages from his deck and graveyard. Martell revealed his hand: double Drogskol Captain, double Phantasmal Image.

Martell cast Drogskol Captain, but Peterson used his last card in hand, Snapcaster Mage, to flashback Vapor Snag and bounce the Dungeon Geists. Martell resolved another Drogskol Captain and passed the turn with his pair of 3/3s.

Peterson immediately sent his team of two Snapcaster Mage and Insectile Aberration with Runechanter's Pike at Martell. Martell blocked both Snapcaster Mages. Peterson just scooped them up and dropped them in his graveyard.

Martell cast Dungeon Geists again and used it to tap down Peterson's Insectile Aberration. Phantasmal Image copied Drogskol Caption and Martell sent both 4/4 Drogskol Captains at Peterson.

Peterson didn't find any help on the top of his deck and conceded.

Peterson 1 - 1 Martell

Game 3

Peterson kept his opening hand, but Martell sent back his seven in hopes of a better six card offering. Martell's six looked better.

Peterson led things off with a turn one Delver of Secrets.

Martell Pondered for an answer.

Peterson failed to flip his Delver of Secrets, but he advanced his board presence with Invisible Stalker after attacking for one.

Martell used Vapor Snag to bounce Peterson's Delver of Secrets, but struggled to make any board presence of his own.

Peterson cast Thought Scour and Delver of Secrets after poking in one damage with Invisible Stalker, but failed to play a third land.

Martell found an Island with Evolving Wilds on Peterson's endstep. Snapcaster Mage was mainphased to flashback Ponder. Things were looking good for Martell as long as his opponent continued missing land drops.

Peterson cast Gut Shot to kill Snapcaster Mage, flipped Delver of Secrets with Mana Leak, and attacked for four.

Martell cast a pair of Delver of Secrets and attempted to pass the turn back, but Peterson cast Snapcaster Mage and killed one with the Gut Shot in his graveyard.

Peterson continued to apply pressure with Delver of Secrets and Invisible Stalker. A post-combat Ponder revealed three lands and Peterson was happy to keep them. He passed the turn back to Martell with Mana Leak open.

Martell had a Snapcaster mage of his own on Peterson's endstep, he flipped his Delver of Secrets, and went for Drogskol Captain, which got Mana Leaked.

Peterson stuck Runechanter's Pike, played a fourth land, equipped Runechanter's Pike to Invisible Stalker, and put Tom down to 5.

Tom found Divine Offering and used it to deal with Runechanter's Pike.

Peterson cast Vapor Snag and continued applying pressure on Martell.

Martell was at 2 life with Invisible Stalker staring him in the face. He went deep into the tank. He came out with Lingering Souls and Delver of Secrets, but Peterson's Invisible Stalker was still a huge problem.

Martell failed to find an answer to Invisible Stalker and was forced to Concede.

Michael Peterson won and advanced to the finals!

 

Semifinal:
Shahar Shenhar (Blue-White Delver) vs. James Cooper (Wolf Run Ramp)

by Steve Sadin

Going into the Top 4, James Cooper is the only remaining non-Delver player in the tournament. But if he's going to advance any further, he's going to need to get past Grand Prix San Diego Champion Shahar Shenhar.

Game 1

James Cooper began the match with a Birds of Paradise, while Shahar Shenhar kicked things off with a Delver of Secrets that transformed on turn two.

When his second turn Gitaxian Probe revealed a hand of lands, Huntmaster of the Fells, and Thrun, the Last Troll – Shenhar wasted no time before playing a second Delver of Secrets, and bouncing Cooper's Birds of Paradise with a Vapor Snag.

James Cooper

A freshly drawn Galvanic Blast took out an Insectile Aberration, and a Thrun, the Last Troll gave Cooper a serious threat. However, Shenhar still looked to be in very good shape as he used a Mana Leak to counter Huntmaster of the Fells, before playing a Geist of Saint Traft that kept Cooper's Thrun on defense.

A Red Sun's Zenith killed a Delver of Secrets, but when Cooper drew his first Primeval Titan – a Snapcaster Mage flashing back Mana Leak allowed Shenhar to counter it.

However, Shenhar had no answer for the Primeval Titan that Cooper drew, and cast, on his next turn. Nor did he have a way to deal with the next Primeval Titan that Cooper played.

Once he had two Primeval Titans, four Inkmoth Nexuses, and a Kessig Wolf Run – it didn't take Cooper very long to seal the first game.

James Cooper 1 – Shahar Shenhar 0

Shahar Shenhar

Game 2

Both players had slow draws to start the second game -- with Cooper simply spending his early turns playing lands, while Shenhar dug through his deck with Ponders, and Gitaxian Probes. Shenhar's Snapcaster Mage gave him a bit of pressure, and a Mana Leak allowed him to keep Cooper's Solemn Simulacrum off the board.

Cooper, not content to let Shenhar chip away at his life total, tried to take care of the Snapcaster Mage with a Galvanic Blast -- but a Vapor Snag brought it right back to Shenhar's hand.

When Cooper tried for another Solemn Simulacrum, Shenhar was happy to use his Snapcaster Mage to flash back a Mana Leak.

A Sword of War and Peace made Shenhar's Snapcaster Mage absolutely terrifying, and a few hits later they were off to a deciding third game.

James Cooper 1 – Shahar Shenhar 1

Game 3

Cooper opened on Birds of Paradise, while Shenhar's first turn Gitaxian Probe revealed a hand of Galvanic Blast, Rampant Growth and lands.

Delver of Secrets died to Cooper's Galvanic Blast, but a Snapcaster Mage, and a Geist of Saint Traft gave Shenhar a very quick clock. And when Cooper's next few draws failed to yield him anything of note, Shenhar was off to the finals.

Shahar Shenhar 2 – James Cooper 1

 

Final - Shahar Shenhar (Blue-White Delver) vs. Michael Peterson (Blue-White Delver)

by Steve Sadin

After two days of play, a field of 1,136 players has been cut down to just two players piloting the defining deck of the format. Blue-White Delver.

Grand Prix San Diego Champion Shahar Shenhar and his finals opponent Michael Peterson have known each other for a long time as they both play regularly at Adventures in Comics and Games in Sacramento. These two strong players are joined by Ricky Sidher and Michael Hetrick, all posting strong finishes here at Grand Prix Salt Lake City and representing a surging second base of power to combat the ChannelFireball crew in the west.

Piloting similar decks, it would be the slight differences in card selection, as well as play that would decide which of the two would be the one to hoist the trophy this weekend. Either way, it seemed sure that the other, while disappointed, would be proud.

Game 1

Michael Peterson went first, and passed his turn without playing the deck's signature card: Delver of Secrets.

Shahar Shenhar's Gitaxian Probe revealed that Peterson had kept an opening hand with Gut Shot, Mana Leak, Runechanter's Pike, Snapcaster Mage, Vapor Snag, but no second land.

"Is it greedy?" asked Peterson with a smile.

"A little bit" replied Shenhar.

Thought Scour was enough for Peterson to find the second land that he needed. This allowed Petereson to counter an Invisible Stalker with a Mana Leak, before resolving a Runechanter's Pike that threatened to make any creature he played a force to be reckoned with.

Shenhar cast a Geist of Saint Traft, and while Peterson was able to play a Snapcaster Mage to block it with, he didn't have enough mana to equip it with Runechanter's Pike. Shenhar's replacement Geist of Saint Traft got legend ruled away by Peterson's own Geist, but Shenhar had yet another Geist to keep the pressure on.

Peterson then played a Delver of Secrets, equipped it with Runechanter's Pike, and saved it from Shenhar's Gut Shot with a Mutagenic Growth. Shenhar was unable to attack into the first striking Delver, and had to pass his turn.

At this point, Peterson looked to go on the offensive with his Delver of Secrets, and a second Runechanter's Pike – attacking for nine, and putting Shenhar into a very unsound position.

But a Snapcaster Mage, flashing back Gut Shot (killing Peterson's 9/1 Delver of Secrets), and a Mana Leak to counter Dungeon Geists allowed Shenhar to pull himself within a game of winning his second Grand Prix.

Shahar Shenhar 1 – Michael Peterson 0

Game 2

A series of Gut Shots, and Mana Leaks kept the board empty through the early turns of the game – until a Geist of Saint Traft, and an Invisible Stalker (protected by multiple Mana Leaks) gave Peterson a substantial lead.

At this point Shenhar, who was stuck on four lands and thus unable to cast the Batterskull in his hand, could only watch as Peterson's Geist of Saint Traft clobbered him to death.

Shahar Shenhar 1 – Michael Peterson 1

Game 3

After the players spent their first turns digging for good threats – Peterson used a Surgical Extraction to clear the Ponders out of Shenhar's deck, while Shenhar went on the offensive with an Invisible Stalker.

Peterson continued setting himself up for the long game by using a Snapcaster Mage to flashback Surgical Extraction, stripping Shenhar's deck of its Snapcaster Mages.

After the two players' Geist of Saint Trafts legend ruled each other away, Peterson used a pair of Mana Leaks to counter Sword of War and Peace -- before Shenhar's second Geist of Saint Traft was allowed to stick.

When Peterson (who had taken quite a bit of damage from his Phyrexian mana spells, and Shenhar's Invisible Stalker) passed his turn without killing the Geist --Shenhar quickly did some math, before attacking, and bouncing his Geist of Saint Traft with Vapor Snag after Peterson blocked it.

Shenhar replayed his Geist of Saint Traft, and when Peterson's next draw failed to yield him a way to kill the legendary Geist of Saint Traft, or block the angel token that it makes, it only took Shahar Shenhar one more attack phase before he won his second Grand Prix!

Shahar Shenhar defeats Michael Peterson two games to one to become the Grand Prix Salt Lake City Champion!

 

Top 5 Cards of GP Salt Lake City

by Jacob Van Lunen

1) Honor of the Pure

Humans had fallen off the radar in the past few weeks. No one expected it to have such a big impact this weekend. Bryan Olvera managed to Top 8 the event with the forgotten archetype. Honor of the Pure was also added to Delver by Josh Utter-Leyton in an effort to go "over the top" of other versions of the deck.


2) Gideon Jura

Gideon Jura is one of the most powerful spells in standard, but there aren't many decks that want to play with this Planeswalker. This weekend, Andrew Cuneo showed up with a traditional Blue/White control deck that looked like it was delivered in a DeLorean, fresh from 1998. The deck served Cuneo well and took him very deep in the competition.


3) Runechanter’s Pike

Runechanter's Pike has overtaken Sword of War and Peace as the equipment of choice for Delver players. The latest versions of Delver play over twenty instants and sorceries and even include Thoughtscour over Gitaxian Probe to take full advantage of the rare equipment.


4) Huntmaster of the Fells

Huntmaster of the Fells had a great showing this weekend. Wolf Run Ramp decks saw a revival and RG aggro decks were battling at the top tables throughout the event. The new Naya-Pod decks, popularized by Brian Kibler, took full advantage of Huntmaster of the Fells. Birthing Pod gives players something to do without casting a spell, making it easy to flip Huntmaster into Ravager of the Fells. Birthing Pod also lets players trade their Huntmaster of the Fells in for Acidic Slime, leaving behind a 2/2 wolf and some lifegain.


5) Delver of Secrets

Delver decks continued to dominate in Salt Lake City. Both decks in the finals included four copies of the Innistrad common. A turn one Delver of Secrets that quickly flips into Insectile Aberration provides an exceptionally fast clock that can be defended with Mana Leak, Vapor Snag, and other cheap disruptive spells.


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