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Demars Claims Victory at Boston-Worcester

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Brian Demars is the Grand Prix Boston-Worcester Champion!

Long known as a Legacy specialist, Demars worked his way through the second largest U.S. Grand Prix ever held, standing alone atop 1,847 players who surely slung tens of thousands of spells over the course of the weekend.

Demars piloted an unconventional Blue-Red deck to the finals, where he met another unconventional deck helmed by Robert Victory, the name of many puns. When the dust settled it was Elixir of Immortality that helped Demars claim victory over Victory, and the Michigan-based player had added Magic 2013 limited guru to his resume.

We might have also gotten a small preview of the upcoming Players Championship, as Shouta Yasooka, one of the competitors lined up for the 16-player tournament, wound his way to the Top 8 on the back of some strong play and timely pulls. Fifteen of the 16 players were here this weekend for a taste of one of the formats they'll be tackling this week.

But for now the day belongs to Demars. Congratulations to Brian Demars, Grand Prix Boston-Worcester Champion!

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals Champion
2 Cedric Phillips Cedric Phillips
2-1
8 Shouta Yasooka Robert Victory
2-0
5 Robert Victory Robert Victory
2-0
Brian Demars
2-0
6 Jason Ford
1 Alex Lloyd Alex Lloyd
2-0
4 Kevin Michael Brian Demars
2-0
7 Thomas Holzinger Brian Demars
2-0
3 Brian Demars



  Streaming video coverage of Grand Prix Boston-Worcester provided by ggslive.com with Rashad Miller, Ben Swartz, Ray Punzalan, and Rusty Kubis. See full video archives at ggslive's YouTube channel.


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EVENT COVERAGE TWITTER

INFORMATION
 1.  Brian Demars $3,500
 2.  Robert Victory $2,300
 3.  Cedric Phillips $1,500
 4.  Alex Lloyd $1,500
 5.  Kevin Michael $1,000
 6.  Jason Ford $1,000
 7.  Thomas Holzinger $1,000
 8.  Shouta Yasooka $1,000
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Top 8 - Player Profiles

by Marc Calderaro

The Top 8 was shaping up and only a key match or two would determine the last few slots.


Jason Ford

Age: 21
Hometown: Waltham, MA (USA)
Occupation:


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
2010 - Grand Prix Atlanta Champion2009 - 4th place Grand Prix Columbus 2012 - Getting this haircut from Matt Gemme

Day 1 Record:
9-1

Day 2 Record:
4-1-1

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
Black-Red Draw First.Double Vampire Nighthawk.

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
White-Green (3-0) and Mono-Green (1-1-1)

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
"It's Murrrder!"

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

Matt Costa




Brian Demars

Age: 29
Hometown: Canton, MI (USA)
Occupation:


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Vintage Ringer, Pro Tour Top 16, Two Grand Prix Top 16

Day 1 Record:
9-1

Day 2 Record:
5-1

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
Game 1 - Black-Red.After Sideboarding either White-Blue-Red or White-Red.

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
White-Red and Blue-Black.

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
Searing Spear

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

Not Delver of Secrets.




Kevin Michael

Age: 22
Hometown: Washington Township, NJ (USA)
Occupation:


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Beating Mike McGee in FNM at the Comic Book Store in Glassboro, NJ.

Day 1 Record:
8-2

Day 2 Record:
6-0

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
I played a deck with three Murders which was the obvious MVC.

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
I drafted Peter G. Control (Blue-Red)and Blake M. Aggro (White-Red)

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
Searing Spear

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

Josh Bauer




Rob Victory

Age: 26
Hometown: Norwalk, CT (USA) play at Battlegrounds Gaming
Occupation:


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
None. This is my first Grand Prix

Day 1 Record:
9-1

Day 2 Record:
4-0-2

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
Blue-Black Control with Sands of Delirium

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
White-Red Aggro x2

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
Pacifism

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

I don't know what that is.




Cedric Phillips

Age: 26
Hometown: Seattle, WA (USA)
Occupation:


Previous Magic Accomplishments:
Grand Prix Columbus 2004 Top 8, Pro Tour Kyoto 2009 Top 8, 11 PTQ wins

Day 1 Record:
8-2

Day 2 Record:
6-0

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
Red-Green splash White Control. My mana was 7 Forest, 6 Mountain and 4 Plains with no fixing. It was a huge gamble, but if I drew all three colors I couldn't lose.MVC = Thundermaw Hellkite

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
White-Blue Aggro and White-Green Aggro

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
Murder. Not close.

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

Owen Turtenwald (X-Owen)




Alex Lloyd

Age: 23
Hometown: Hudson, NH
Occupation:


Previous Magic accomplishments:
10th at SCG Worcester 2012

Day 1 record:
10-0

Day 2 record:
4-0-2

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
I played Blue-Black midrange/Black-Red Aggro and Duty-Bound Dead was awesome!

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
Blue-White both times, though my first deck could have been mono-Blue

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
Murder

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

Shouta, only because he's sitting front of me and I'm intimidated (can't block).




Thomas Holzinger

Age: 20
Hometown: Salzburg, Austria
Occupation:


Previous Magic accomplishments:
Top 8 PT Avacyn Restored

Day 1 record:
10-0

Day 2 record:
3-2-1

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
RW vanilla aggro

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
RGbUB

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
I like all, but probably Murder

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?

Estratti, but I like all of them. It will be a great event. I hope I can watch.




Shouta Yasooka

Age: 28
Hometown: Japan
Occupation:


Previous Magic accomplishments:
2006 Player of the Year

Day 1 record:
9-1

Day 2 record:
4-1-1

What did you play on Day 1 and what was your MVC (Most Valuable Card)?
I played GBR. My MVC was Hamletback Goliath

What archetypes did you draft on Day 2?
RB and GRu

Pack 1, Pick 1: Pacifism, Searing Spear or Murder?
Murder

What player are you cheering for at the Players Championship this week?



 

Top 8 - Decklists

by Marc Calderaro

Alex Lloyd - (Top 8)
Grand Prix Boston-Worcester Sealed Deck / Booster Draft

Cedric Phillips - (Top 8)
Grand Prix Boston-Worcester Sealed Deck / Booster Draft

 

Quarterfinals - Alex Lloyd vs. Kevin Michael

by Blake Rasmussen

Alex Lloyd and Kevin Michael was a bit of a have and have-nots kind of match. Lloyd had tons of breathing room coming into the last few rounds as the only player to go undefeated on the weekend (he finished 14-0-2). Michael, on the other hand, had his back constantly against the wall, needing to go 6-0 in the Day 2 Drafts to squeeze into the Top 8.

But sometimes the hot hand stays hot. Sometimes a little rest before the Top 8 takes the edge away.

And sometimes, players are undefeated for a reason.

Game 1

Lloyd and Michael matched one drops, Lloyd with a Duty-Bound Dead and Michael with a Goblin Arsonist to defend.

But Lloyd went straight for the throat, playing Dark Favor on his Dead and attacking for four on turn two. Crippling Blight killed the Arsonist and Lloyd was off to the races, dealing damage in chunks of four with his gigantic Duty-Bound Dead.


Kevin Michael blinked and missed his first game. He lost.

Michael, sporting an otherwise fast Red-Green deck, played a Timberwatch Pack on turn two, but was falling behind to the enchanted monstrosity at his doorstep. Things got even worse when Lloyd played Bloodhunter Bat and followed it up with a Thragtusk.

"Alright, that's it. That was a good draw," Michael said, scooping up his cards.

Lloyd 1 – Michael 0

Game 2

Second verse, kind of the same as the first, as Goblin Arsonist met Duty-Bound Dead once again.

This time there was no Dark Favor on turn two, only a Ravenous Rats to strip a forest.

Without missing a beat, Michael played a Centaur Courser to get his beats on, but got stuck on just three lands at that point. Of course, he had just pitched a Forest to the Rats...

Meanwhile, Lloyd was building an Exalted force of Knight of Infamy and Duty-Bound Dead to start crashing in for four damage a turn.


Alex Lloyd STILL hasn't lost a match this weekend.

Elvish Visionary gave Michael some hope, but still no land was forthcoming. Goblin Arsonist and Elvish Visionary combined to trade with the Knight of Infamy, but by that point Lloyd had hit seven mana for a Duskdale Wurm.

STILL with no fourth mana forthcoming, there wasn't anything Michael could do as the monstrous 7/7 trampler quickly extinguished the rest of his life, keeping Lloyd still undefeated on the weekend.

Lloyd 2 – Michael 0

 

Quarterfinals - Jason Ford vs. Roberty Victory

by Blake Rasmussen

I'll admit, I'm cheering for Robert Victory in this Top 8 just a bit. Not because he won a Grinder to help get here (though he did), not because I know much about him (because he's playing in his first Grand Prix), but because, as a writer, there are just so many puns with his name. The headline practically writes itself.

But one player who does have experience is Jason Ford, a man who's no stranger to a Grand Prix Top 8. It was experience versus a pun-tastic name in the Quarterfinals.

Game 1

Victory got off to a winning start, playing Knight of Infamy directly in the face of Ford's Green-White deck. But he signaled his intention to use it defensively when he declined to attack, instead playing out Sands of Delirium.

Meanwhile, Ford built his forces with a Healer of the Pride and Phyrexian Hulk, forcing Victory to do more with his mana than mill. He played a Krenko's Command and a Mogg Flunkies, but still he mostly played the defensive game, choosing to attack Ford's library rather than his life.


Jason Ford could hardly believe all the cool cards that were ending up in his graveyard.

Ford kept adding to his attack force, but a few choice trades kept Victory alive long enough to mill Ford's entire deck. And like that they were on to the second game.

Victory 1 – Ford 0

Game 2

Victory got off to another quick start, torturing Ford early with Tormented Soul and Servant of Nefarox into Furnace Whelp, taking off turn two to eliminate an Ajani's Sunstriker with Searing Spear.

But Ford was building a team of his own. Elvish Visionary, Yeva's Forcemage, and Griffin Protector were putting up a wall for Ford to hide behind long enough to resolve a Phyrexian Hulk.

Plinking for two with Tormented Soul wasn't going to do it though, so Victory attacked with an Exalted Furnace Whelp. Ford snap-blocked with his 2/3 Griffin Protector, not realizing the Whelp was Exalted.

"Well, I'm stupid," Ford said, tossing the flier into his graveyard.

Tons of creatures traded on the next attack to eliminate the Hulk, leaving Victory with just Tormented Soul and Furnace Whelp against Ford's Elvish Visionary and Deadly Recluse. Victory simply suited up his Tormented Soul with Volcanic Strength, and began taking 3-point chunks out of Ford's life.

At this point, Victory was on top 14-10, which soon became seven and then 9 thanks to Healer of the Pride.


"Victory!" shouted everyone ever when Robert Victory won his quarterfinals.

But then Ford attacked with his Healer of the Pride, which Victory gladly traded with his Furnace Whelp.

A few more unblockable attacks and Victory had, well, declared victory.

Victory 2 – Ford 0

 

Quarterfinals - Brian Demars vs. Thomas Holzinger

by Marc Calderaro

In this match-up we've got two names you know, but you might not know from where. Both Brian Demars and Thomas Holzinger are constants in the Magic community. Demars is the Eternal format expert. Though he's been putting up close-to-Top 8 finishes recently, this is his first trip to the elimination stages. And Thomas Holzinger is the young gun. He finished in the Top 8 at Pro Tour Avacyn Restored and competed last week in the World Magic Cup for the Austrian National Team. If you didn't know who he was in the last few months, it sure seems that you will.

Holzinger's deck is a strong White-Green deck. He has the hits in Yeva, Nature's Herald and Sublime Archangel, and he has the workhorses to back them up. Demars's deck, however, is a bit of a wild card. When I asked how he felt about it, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, it's crazy. That's for sure." Aside from two Goblin Arsonists and a Rummaging Goblin, just about every creature in the deck is a rare. He has Krenko, Mob Boss, Slumbering Dragon, Void Stalker, Stormtide Leviathan and Sphinx of Uthuun. On top of this he has Switcheroo, Spelltwine, Divinations and a few Unsummons.

While fiddling with the deck Demars kept throwing in more and more Wall of Fire, realizing how much his deck could use them.

The two sat down greeted each other, then readied for the first game.


Brian Demars

Game 1

Brian Demars started with a Goblin Arsonist who got in there for one. Demars then made a Kraken Hatchling so Holzinger wouldn't do the same. However, Holzinger's first play was an Ajani's Sunstriker so Holzinger would want to swing into a 0/4 again and again anyway.

Demars held his troops back and in the next two turns made a Rummaging Goblin and a Krenko, Mob Boss. Holzinger paused, and rightfully so. This was about to get ugly. But Holzinger was prepared. He cast Yeva, Nature's Herald and the following turn, Serra Angel. Maybe he could race himself out of it.

Then a hiccup happened which could have been a boon for the Austrian. Demars activated his Rummaging Goblin at the end of Holzinger's turn, but used it as a Merfolk Looter, drawing first instead of discarding first. Quickly shuffling it into his hand, Holzinger called a judge to resolve this mistake. Though the fix took a bit of time, an appropriate action was reached. Demars took a random card from his hand, shuffled it back into his library, then properly activated the ability.

Demars untapped, drew, and then said, "Let's do this right this time," as he tapped the Goblin again. He cast a Divination after the correct activation and passed the turn.

Holzinger attacked with both his big creatures. Demars made more goblins to chump the Yeva and took his first damage of the game to drop to 16. The score was 16-19 when Holzinger made a post-combat Attended Knight and Demars cast Unsummon on the Serra Angel.

Holzinger, defying the possibility of an Essence Scatter from Demars, staunchly cast the Angel again. It resolved, but he was forced to watch Demars's token total rise to 15. The next turn the total Goblin count was 36; I'd say this is about critical mass. Holzinger tried to keep up by casting a Captain's Call, but three dinky Soldiers was not going to make up the difference. The Serra Angel had brought Demars down to 12, but it seemed the Gobbo army was just biding time.

Demars counted the defenders for his opponent and half-asked, "Uh, attack with 33 Goblins?" Holzinger nodded and scooped up his cards.

Brian Demars 1 – 0 Thomas Holzinger

Game 2

Holzinger started this game with a turn-three Timberpack Wolf. Demars had already cast two Goblin Arsonist and swung them both in the wolf's general direction. Holzinger went down to 17 and Demars followed with a Wall of Fire.

Yeva's Forcemage played the role of Gray Ogre as his pumps were unused. But it was followed closely by a Captain's Call and a Rhox Faithmender, so the fact that his enters-the-battlefield ability was not useful wasn't much of an issue.

However, what was an issue was the 3/3 flying Faerie Invaders that started chipping away at Hozlinger, who was now at 13. The Wall of Fire and the pinging Arsonists made for a barely penetrable wall. But if Holzinger didn't do anything soon, he wouldn't have the chance. Holzinger went into it full force the following turn. Demars only had four Mountains, but he could kill the Rhox Faithmender with help from the Goblin Arsonists. The Arsonist jumped in front of the Wolf and a Soldier token and the Wall of Fire became a 4/5 and jumped in front of the rhino. Though this looked like a great trade for Demars, a Safe Passage made the American lose both goblins and drop to 16 life to make the totals 16-15.

Demars laid down a Stormtide Leviathan the next turn and tried to fill the void his Goblins had left – it did. The giant fish splashed in to take Holzinger to 7, and without an answer from the Austrian, the boat of a creature cruise-controlled to a victory. (Did you catch the Speed 2 reference? It was purposeful.)

Brian Demars 2 – 0 Thomas Holzinger

Brian Demars advances to the Semi-Finals!

 

Semifinals - Cedric Phillips vs. Robert Victory

by Blake Rasmussen

This might have actually been the most entertaining match of Magic I've ever covered. On one hand you have Cedric Phillips, master of the in-game quip and pun.

On the other you have Robert Victory, a man who's name screams pun and whose Black Red Tormented Soul/Sands of Delirium deck was full of laugh-worth moments.

For everyone watching, it didn't matter who won. We all did.

For Victory and Phillips, that was another story...

Game 1

Tormented Soul met Aven Squire right off the bat.

Make that three Tormented Souls.

"I like your style," Phillips said as Victory shrugged his shoulders.

"Let's not even play Magic. Let's just throw cards at each other," Victory said while Phillips cast Divination.

This game wasn't likely going to last long, as Victory played Volcanic Strength on one of the Tormented Souls and started quickly ticking down Phillips life total.

But Phillips deck was positively bonkers, so it would be folly to count him out. Unsummon returned the enchanted Soul and Essence Scatter countered it on the way back down. Phillips then cast Guardians of Akrasa and evened the life totals at 10 before Pacifying one of the 1/1s.

"An embarrassing state of affairs," Phillips said.


The entire semifinals was "an embarrassing state of affairs" for Cedric Phillips.

Victory then took out the Squire with Chandra's Fury, which Phillips matched with Talrand's Invocation.

Half of the Invocation disappeared with a Public Execution, but Exalted let Phillips get in for one life to drop Victory to five. Phillips was at just three life himself, but unable to stop the last Tormented Soul from dropping him to two life.

Exactly enough to Sign in Blood Phillips for the win.

Victory 1 – Phillips 0

Game 2

"Can I stop the beatdowns? That is the question," Phillips mused before game two.

Little did he know how wrong he was. But we'll get to that.

Both players mulliganned to start the second game with some pretty unplayable hands.

"I only had two Tormented Souls," Victory offered.

Phillips pleaded for "six of the best" but ended up keeping a hand full of blue cards and plains.

One Tormented Soul was all it took, though, as Volcanic Strength turned the Soul into a 3/3 and Searing Spear killed an Arctic Aven.

"This is getting hard to watch," Phillips said. "He got the Aven. I was all-in."

The crowd laughed when Victory then played a Sands of Delirium.

"Is there no angle he won't attack from?" Phillips quipped, casting Unsummon on the Tormented Soul.

Victory tried to land Tormented Soul again, but lost it to Essence Scatter.

When Phillips drew Divination he asked out loud "Hm, what's in my deck?"

"We're about to find out," Victory said, nudging his Sands of Delirium.

No Encrust was on the top of Phillips deck, so Victory didn't even pretend. Throwing down all of his lands and milling Phillips in his main phase.

When Encrust, Phillips' only out, hit the graveyard, that was it.

"The winner is you," Phillips said, extending his hand.

Victory 2 – Phillips 0

 

Semifinals - Brian Demars vs. Alex Lloyd

by Marc Calderaro

There's a story brewing here I think. Alex Lloyd is still undefeated this weekend and doesn't want to stop. Brian Demars however, does want him to. And Demars has one of the scarier-looking decks on its face. His Blue-Red Control deck can do just about anything if you give it time. But Lloyd's Green-Black deck certainly wasn't planning on affording it the opportunity. With tons of exalted creatures and big green monsters, he was hoping to get in there before Krenko, Mob Boss's army or Stormtide Leviathan's body could get in the way.

Game 1

Alex Lloyd played first, as he was the first seed, and he started attacking early with a Duty-Bound Dead. Demars went to 18 before he laid a Wall of Fire to stop such little plinkings. But Lloyd immediately laid a Spiked Baloth and threatened to swing for five.

Demars was having none of that and used a Searing Spear to take it down; however, Lloyd was far from out-of-gas. He made a Bloodhunter Bat and a Thragtusk in successive turns and made the totals 13-27 in his favor. Demars was starting to get to his scary land count, but Lloyd was threatening with a lot of damage. Demars would have to come up with something quickly.

He used a Flames of the Firebrand and a Void Stalker to take out the two offenders, but then it became a Duty-Bound Dead, a 3/3 Beast and a newly cast Acidic Slime against a lone Wall of Fire.

Knight of Infamy made the deal worse for Demars who sunk to 8 with a 5/5 Beast attacking him. His mint Rummaging Goblin and a Divination or two did some work to find answers. He had six cards in his hands after he cast a Goblin Arsonist and passed the turn back to Lloyd, the totals 8-26, and Demars was still deathly in danger.

Lloyd's grip contained a Titanic Growth, Bond Beetle, Dark Favor and a second Spiked Baloth. He cast both the green creatures and gave the Beast a +1/+1 counter. Demars calmly activated the Rummaging Goblin and killed the token with an Unsummon. On his own turn he used Turn to Slag to take out the 4/2 and then made a Void Stalker. Though his life total was low, he was still out of imminent-death range, so far.

When Void Stalker made the Acidic Slime disappear, the board was quiet again.

Well, for a turn. Demars decided it was safe to step on the gas and cast a Talrand's Invocation. The Drakes started chewing Lloyd's life total. Lloyd continued the aggression himself, albeit slower as he watched his above-twenty life total begin to dwindle.

Demars activated Rummaging Goblin, but for the second time in the Top 8, he tried to draw his card before discarding. Judge Rob Castellon quickly intervened. There was a lengthy discussion about how to best resolve the situation. Because Demars had already received a warning, there was a possibility of a game loss, but no one wanted to see that happen. The deliberation lasted at least five minutes (it sure felt like ten), and the resolution was to again give a warning. But it was accompanied with a stern announcement about what would happen the next time – a big, fat game loss.

Getting back to the game, Dark Favor was cast on the Duty-Bound Dead, it became a 3/3, and 4/4 when attacking. Demars's new Faerie Invaders became the sacrificial lamb to preserve a life total and Lloyd followed his combat with a Sentinel Spider. He'd successfully made something to stop the Drake attacks while at a healthy 15. Demars made a Wall of Fire (with three Mountains supporting it), and passed the turn back. After making his Drake take a Sentinel hit, Demars used a Switcheroo to take the big spider away.

But just when Demars thought he'd stabilized, a Crippling Blight made the spider a non-blocking entity. He had to use his Unsummon to stop a five-power Duty-Bound Dead from ending this long first game. The totals were 5-15. Demars was running low on cards in his library, and he must certainly be running out of answers to all of Lloyd's questions. But just when you thought he was out of options, he cast Spelltwine to copy Divination and Titanic Growth. Demars simply drew some cards and cast his Void Stalker for the third time. After losing his last Drake to a 3/3 Walking Corpse and drawing for the turn, he had four cards left in his library.

But then he dropped an Elixir of Immortality. Half the crowd gasped and half the crowd groaned.

"Woah!" Lloyd exclaimed. "So there goes that plan." Demars activated the artifact to go to 10 life, shuffled his graveyard back into his library, then dropped a Sphinx of Uthuun. This extracted a total gasp from the crowd. It looked like Brian Demars might have successfully come from the back-foot this entire game to actually win. However his opponent still had 15 life. Lloyd made a Mwonvuli Beast Tracker (finding Duskdale Wurm) and took Demars to 7.

Demars sent the Sphinx in after remaking his Elixir of Immortality and summoning a Krenko, Mob Boss. After another artifact activation and another Corpse attack later, it was 9-10. Sphinx attack #2 made it 9-5.

Lloyd drew, thought, then scooped up his cards. He had no answer to the Fact or Sphinx-ion.

Brian Demars 1 – 0 Alex Lloyd

After the marathon of a game one (it lasted about an hour), everyone was ready for a break. But there was more to be had. The two combatants shuffled up and readied for the next game.


Alex Lloyd

Game 2

Alex Lloyd opened with two Ravenous Rats right of the bat. Demars chose to discard his Stormtide Leviathan as well as a Faerie Invaders. Demars fired back with a Rummaging Goblin and a Krenko, Mob Boss.

When Lloyd had no way to remove the Legend before passing the turn back he sighed and said, "Go." This game was likely going to be a bit quicker than the previous one.

Demars cast Divination, then at the end of his opponent's turn, made a pair of tokens. After his next untap, he did the same thing. The goblin count grew.

Lloyd kept trying the card disadvantage route by casting Mind Rot, but the Rummaging Goblin and the multiple Divinations were not helping him.

After a Searing Spear took out his only blocker (a Bloodhunter Bat), Lloyd sunk to 15 from various goblin attacks.

Though Lloyd tried, the Goblin count was mounting. It was a mounting count. When Demars had 18 Goblins, he looked at the 15 in his opponent's life column and turned everything sideways.

Alex Lloyd extended his hand. His undefeated run had come to an end. But not before qualifying for the next Pro Tour.

Brian Demars 2 – 0 Alex Lloyd

Brian Demars advances to the final!

 

Finals - Robert Victory vs. Brian Demars

by Blake Rasmussen

"You again!" Brian Demars said as he sat across from Robert Victory for the final match. "You almost knocked me out earlier."

Victory has been knocking out players left and right all weekend despite playing in his first Grand Prix. He was no novice in the world of games, though, as he's had a good deal of success with the World of Warcraft card game as something of a limited specialist. He had obviously replicated those skills here this weekend.

Demars was known as a specialist himself, but typically in Legacy. He was certainly rewriting that reputation this weekend.

To add to the drama, both players had unusual decks. Victory's was a very aggressive Black-Red aggro deck with three Tormented Souls and Sands of Delirium for backup, while Demars was a Blue Red deck that won the slow way, even recycling his deck with Elixir of Immortality while building his board with Krenko, Mob Boss.

Hold on to your seats boys and girls, this one is gonna get weird.

Game 1

And Sands of Delirium was the name of the game almost right away, as Wall of Fire stared down two Krenko's Command tokens. Even with spells in hand, Victory chose to start activating Sands pretty much immediately.

Demars seemed unconcerned with the next win condition, even casting two of his three Divinations to pull ahead on cards. Did he have Elixir of Immortality in hand?

It seemed like he might, casting Talrand's Invocation with a grip full of cards to the chorus of "land, go" from Victory.

It turned out Demars was sandbagging the Elixir of Immortality, and he quickly used it to shuffle his bursting graveyard back into his one-card library.

"That's awkward," Victory said, now that he suddenly had to consider shifting gears to compensate.


That's awkward indeed, said Robert Victory as he watched Elixir of Immortality undo all his hard work.

Except he didn't shift gears at all, choosing to leave up mana to mill.

Now with a full library, Demars had no problem casting Sphinx of Uthuun to turn his two-turn clock into a one-turn clock.

When no answers presented themselves, Victory milled Demars' library for value to get another peek at its contents. With nothing surprising showing up, Victory quickly scooped up his cards.

Demars 1 – Victory 0

Game 2

Drawing Elixir of Immortality had certainly pulled the match in Demars' favor in the first game, but fortune wasn't smiling on him for the start of game two as he was forced to slip down to five cards on the draw.

Victory, meanwhile started the second game with his signature – at least in this Top 8 – Tormented Soul backed by a Walking Corpse.

Naturally, he followed it up on his third turn with Sands of Delirium. And so it goes...

"A two-pronged attack," Victory offered as Demars played Rummaging Goblin.

But Victory wasn't paying much attention to the milling plan as he missed his land drop and suited up his Tormented Soul with Volcanic Strength. His Walking Corpse might have been a better target, though, as the Soul was already unblockable and being a 3/3 made it vulnerable to Searing Spear.

Not that it mattered, as Demars' answer was Unsummon instead, saving three life and destroying the enchantment.

However, as Victory continued to miss land drops – he was stuck on just three – Demars certainly appeared to be wresting control of this game back to his side. Talrand's Invocation helped swing things further his direction.


Brian Demars did a lot of library counting in this Top 8.

Another Volcanic Strength jumped onto the Walking Corpse from the top of Victory's library, and the resulting attack suddenly had Demars down to just four life.

That was when Demars had maybe the best turn of the tournament, slapping Encrust on the Walking Corpse and destroying the rest of Victory's board with Flames of the Firebrand.

And just like that, Demars was in the driver's seat. He clocked Victory to 10 and then six life, threatening lethal.

But Victory still had a chance. He hit his fourth land the turn prior and was holding Chandra's Fury. All he needed was one land off the top of his deck...

...instead he drew Fire Elemental.

And just like that, Brian Demars was the Grand Prix Boston-Worcester champion!

Demars 2 - Victory 0

 

Top 5 cards of Grand Prix Boston Worcester

by Marc Calderaro and Blake Rasmussen



5. Sands of Delirium

We were all set to write about Sands of Delirium as one of the best cards to pull in Sealed on Day 1 when Robert Victory reminded us in the Top 8 how devastating it could be in draft as well. Piloting a very aggressive Black-Red aggro deck with a whopping three Tormented Souls, Victory still leaned on his Sands of Delirium to deliver, well, victory (they can't all be super sly puns) in several of his Top 8 matches. In fact, if it weren't for our number one card, Sands of Delirium might have helped Victory raise the trophy on the weekend.



4. Talrand's Invocation

If it weren't for this powerful uncommon, Blue might never get played. As it is, getting four power worth of Wind Drakes for a single card - one that can be regrown with Archaemancer, nonetheless - turns out to be one of the most powerful things you can do in the format. Nearly every Blue deck that had a strong showing in Sealed - where Blue is at its weakest - had at least one copy of this card. And it also served as Brian Demars' main kill condition in the Finals. Cedric Phillips even took a second-pick Talrand's Invocation in the Top 8 as a sure sign Blue was wide open.



3. Roaring Primadox

This card was the bane of Sealed players all day on Saturday. Because of less spot removal than in Draft decks, the Sealed format is a great place for the Roaring Primadox to shine. Plenty beefy on his own, there are infinite ways to abuse his ability with cards you'd want to be playing anyway. Going Black-Green? How about Bloodhunter Bat or Ravenous Rats? White-Green? Battlefield Eagle is quite fine enough to play again and again. Even within its own color, Elvish Visionary is great, as is Acidic Slime. Jackie Lee, on her way to a stellar first-day finish, killed at least five lands in a single game during a board stall by returning and casting Acidic Slime over and over and over again. One of the best ways to break a stall is to stop your opponent from being able to continue to play Magic.

There's been talk among the pros and the community at large that this card is overrated. It's true that you can't just run the 4/4 for four out there and expect it to win for you. But if the tricks to go with, it more than delivers.



2. Sublime Archangel

Called by many "the best card in sealed," Sublime Archangel was pretty much unbeatable all weekend. This card can quickly turn races into routs and routs into laughers, often adding five, six, or seven power. Cedric Phillips relied on it in the late rounds of the Draft format, just as Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa paired it with Captian of the Watch to do insane amounts of damage on Day 1. If you ever open a Sublime Archangel, there's only one thing you need to do to have a chance every round: play it and don't look back.



1. Elixir of Immortality

What's the best card to highlight from Brian Demars's crazy Top 8 draft deck? Sphinx of Uthuun, who casts a Fact of Fiction upon entering the field? What about Krenko, Mob Boss which won him multiple games with the help of the 20+ Goblin tokens it had created?

Nah. It's Elixir of Immortality all the way. Demars realized that his Blue-Red control deck was going to need both functions that Elixir offered and played one in his maindeck. In the Semifinals the artifact allowed him to keep from decking himself in the first game, and from dying due to damage. He cast it twice in that long marathon of a game.

Then, in the finals, he used it to trump another Top 5-card entrant, Sands of Delirium. As listed above, the concurrent milling/damaging strategy is a tough attack to defend correctly. Brian Demars used Elixir of Immortality to defend with style. He held the Elixir in his hands the whole game, watching his library shrink from the Sands of Delirium. Then at the last second, he cast and activated it, and wasted a whole lot of Robert Victory's time.

Without a doubt, if there is one card to remember from the Grand Prix Boston-Worcester Top 8, it's Elixir of Immortality.


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