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Scott-Vargas Repeats in Golden State!

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Grand Prix San Francisco is over! Luis Scott-Vargas, with a feat accomplished only once before by Antonino De Rosa, has followed his Nationals win with a Grand Prix victory. Luis piloted his Mystical Teachings deck through eighteen rounds, ending in the finals against his friend Jonathon Stocks. Stocks took it to three games, but it was Scott-Vargas' key sideboard Spell Burst that vaulted the California native to the win and trophy. Congratulations to Luis Scott-Vargas, the 2007 champion of Grand Prix-San Francisco!



Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 David Irvine   Luis Scott-Vargas, 2-0        
8 Luis Scott-Vargas   Luis Scott-Vargas, 2-1
       
4 Brett Blackman   Brett Blackman, 2-1   Luis Scott-Vargas, 2-1
5 Andrew Walden    
       
2 Jonathan Stocks   Jonathan Stocks, 2-0
7 Paul Cheon   Jonathan Stocks, 2-0
       
3 Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa   Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa, 2-0
6 Zack Smith    


EVENT COVERAGE FINAL TOP 8 STANDINGS

  • Blog - 9:00 p.m. - Finals: Luis Scott-Vargas vs. Jonathon Stocks
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 8:59 p.m. - Semifinals: Paulo Vitor Dama Da Rosa vs. Jonathan Stocks
    by Eric Reasoner
  • Blog - 8:49 p.m. - Semifinals: Brett Blackman vs. Luis Scott-Vargas
    by Jonathon Loucks
  • Blog - 8:20 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Paul Cheon vs. Jonathan Stocks
    by Jonathon Loucks
  • Blog - 8:14 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa vs. Zack Smith
    by Eric Reasoner
  • Blog - 8:09 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Luis Scott-Vargas vs. David Irvine
    by Zaiem Beg
  • Blog - 7:44 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Brett Blackman vs. Andrew Walden
    by Noah Weil
  • Blog - 5:24 p.m. - The Top 8 Profiles with Decklists
    by Staff



  • Day 2 Blog Archive: Read all the stories from Day 2 here!
    by Noah Weil & Staff



  • Day 1 Blog Archive: Read all the stories from Day 1 here!
    by Noah Weil & Staff
  • Info: Fact Sheet
    by Event Coverage Staff
 1.  Luis Scott-Vargas $3,000
 2.  Jonathan Stocks* $3,500
 3.  Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa $1,400
 4.  Brett Blackman* $2,300
 5.  David Irvine $900
 6.  Andrew Walden* $1,650
 7.  Zack Smith $900
 8.  Paul Cheon $900
* includes amateur award.
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  • Sunday, Aug 26: 5:24 p.m. - The Top 8 Profiles with Decklists
    by Staff


  • What is your name and where are you from?
    David Irvine from Miami, FL

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    Since Mercadian Masques Block (1999)

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-1-2

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Fiery Justice

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Boom/Bust

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Any time I turn two Kavu Predator and turn 3 Fiery Justice. It's always a blowout.

    David Irvine
    1st After Swiss // Deck Title: Ravitz Fiery Justice // Deck Designer: Josh Ravitz //




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Jon Stocks from Reno, NV

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    13 years

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-1-2

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Serrated Arrows, seemed to be helpful versus almost everything

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Serrated Arrows again - would consider playing more maindeck

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Turn 2 Serrated Arrows after Magus of the Vineyard

    Jon Stocks
    2nd After Swiss // Deck Title: Poison Slivers with Wild Pair // Deck Designer: Kai Davis




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Paulo Vitor Dama da Rosa, Brazil.

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    About ten years.

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    11/0/4

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Finkel and Detritivore. It won me all the mirrors.

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Slaughter Pact.

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Not paying for Slaughter Pact!




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Brett Blackman

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    Six years

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-2-1

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Pongify!

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Cancel

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Versus Luis Scott-Vargas. He Voided. I Delayed it. He says Blue Pact. I play Delay again. He says Blue pact. I'm like OK. Not thinking at all. He Jedi mind-tricked me. I still can't believe it. He was at three life. I had psi blast he was tapped out and I had a second one.

    Brett Blackman
    4th After Swiss // Deck Title: Iamadork // Deck Designer: Matt Abrams and Sam Stein




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Andrew Walden, Ogden Utah

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    I played it a little bit when Ice Age first came out, then started playing again a lot right before Scourge

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-2-1

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Pongify. It's absolutely insane in the format.

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Serrated Arrows

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Uh, I ripped seven cards in a row to beat a Predator.dec to lock in the top 8.

    Andrew Walden
    5th After Swiss // Deck Title: Cash Machine // Deck Designer: [none]




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Zack Smith from Los Angeles

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    10 years

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-1-1
    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Psionic Blast

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Might of Old Krosa

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Flashed back a Call of the Herd when a Damnation that I had Delayed was coming out of suspend the following turn.

    Zack Smith
    6th After Swiss // Deck Title: Waffle Tech // Deck Designer: Waffle




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Paul Cheon, Los Angeles

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    5 years

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-3-0

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Damnation/Void

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Slaughter Pact

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Was pretty sure my opponent had a Delay in his hand and he had a Looter (2/2 with graft) and a Tarmogoyf and my hand was Slaughter Pact and Void. I lead out with Slaughter Pact on Looter as I was pretty sure he would Delay it. I followed it up with a Void for 2 which killed his Looter, Tarmogoyf, and got the Goyf in his hand.




    What is your name and where are you from?
    Luis Scott-Vargas, Oakland

    How long have you been playing Magic: The Gathering?
    11 years

    Wins/Losses/Draws on the weekend?
    12-3-0

    What was the best card in your maindeck?
    Void

    What was the best card in your sideboard?
    Slaughter Pact

    What was your most memorable play this tournament?
    Transmuting Tolaria West for Urborg, then playing it to kill my other Urborg so my opponent couldn't Tendrils.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 7:44 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Brett Blackman vs. Andrew Walden
    by Noah Weil


  • Tools of the G/U mage

    It must be tough. You're forced to play the same deck all weekend, for fifteen rounds straight! Now that you're in the quarterfinals, you have play a near-perfect mirror! Brett Blackman and Andrew Walden came to GP San Francisco with a firm belief in the power of Green/Blue, and so far that faith has been vindicated. While Brett's popped up on the MSS circuit here and there, both are amateurs and already guaranteed a significant payday, as well as qualifying for Pro Tour Valencia. Yet there's still a trophy out there, and they both want it. Brett swore a victory, assuring the crowd his daily MTGO routines would continue to serve him well. Andrew just seemed happy to be there.

    Game 1: A quick strategy lesson: there are two ways to win in Magic. You can play better spells, or you can play more spells (the best decks do both). Almost by definition it's impossible to play better spells than the opponent in a mirror match. Hence the way to win is overload. Walden took this theory to heart in the first game, which is to say, Brett didn't play enough lands. Brett did have three lands in the beginning, which doesn't sound bad when everything in the deck costs two and three mana. But with an opponent at five lands out, someone who's able to play two spells a turn, the advantage is overwhelming.

    Brett did start well, negating Looters with his own, casting Delays then Riftsweeper to counter the card for good. But that mana problem caught up, and it translated to Brett taking more damage than he could handle. A Psionic Blast would take care of Tarmogoyf, but Riftwing Cloudskate would sneak through. Thornweald Archer would take out the Cloudskate, but a Looter would still hit. Brett's life total was dwindling, and Andrew was still piling out the threats. Eventually Blackman found more mana to do more, and it looked like the game was slowly turning around. But Brett was just too low, and a topdecked Psi Blast from Walden gave Andrew the first.

    Walden: 1
    Blackman: 0

    This man is on his third mulligan

    Game 2: Things began in normal fashion, with Expanses and Llanowar Reborn as appropriate. Andrew's Tarmogoyf looked ok, but a +1/+1 counter made Brett's look better. That particular 'Goyf took on a permanent +2/+2 when Brett cast the MVP Pongify, sweeping in for four quick points. Andrew's back was against the wall, and this time he was the one who was stymied at three lands to his opponent's five. Just like the first game, the defensive player would trade a card for a card, and take some damage. This game went even quicker than before. A last-ditch double block from Walden went south on a second Pongify, and Walden immediately conceded.

    Walden: 1
    Blackman: 1

    Walden: "I'm going to first. Wait, should I? I do like extra cards…"
    Blackman: "You should go first."

    Game 3: Walden, on the play, looked at his opener and sent it back. His next six were also unacceptable. His next five were also unacceptable. At four cards he found a keeper, retaining a smile through a rough batch of luck at the worst possible time. A mulligan from Blackman gave Andrew some hope, but Brett's next six were excellent. Looter il-Kor, Looter il-Kor and all Andrew could do was play land and pass. Brett set up the perfect hand, dealing damage all the while. Andrew laughed about his impossible situation and extended the hand, wishing his opponent luck in the semifinals.

    Brett Blackman defeats Andrew Walden and goes on to face Luis Scott-Vargas in the semifinals.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 8:09 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Luis Scott-Vargas vs. David Irvine
    by Zaiem Beg


  • David won the die roll. "I was 10-1 in die rolls before this," Luis remarked.
    "I was 10-1 in match wins before this," David countered.
    "You got me on that one."

    Game 1:
    David threw back his opening hand but liked the second one he saw, while Luis was satisfied with his starter. David got down an early Kavu Predator with grand plans to make him enormous. But when David cast Fiery Justice, the Kavu Predator ate a Strangling Soot in response instead of +1/+1 counters. David followed up with a Tarmogoyf, but Luis had answers for everything. Tarmogoyf and Riftsweeper met Damnation, and the follow-up Calciderm met Void. Luis played a Triskelevus and Bogardan Hellkite on consecutive turns, prompting David to scoop and go to Game 2.

    Luis remarked on his early Strangling Soot. "Turn three Fiery Justice would have been bad for me. When you fetched the turn three Mountain (off Terramorphic Expanse), I was pretty sure you had it."

    Both players liked their hands for Game 2, and David led off with two Tarmogoyfs by turn three. When Luis missed his third land drop and discarded a Tendrils, David took that as the green light to try to get as much damage through before Luis could get a chance to play Damnation. Luis stalled on two lands after turn four, and looking at a board of double Tarmogoyf, Mystic Enforcer, Serra Avenger, and Kavu Predator, Luis conceded to go to the next game.

    Luis Scott-Vargas inspects the board

    While the players were sideboarding, Antonino De Rosa stopped by and pointedly told Luis, "When I won Nationals, the week after I won a Grand Prix. It was block constructed, too. No pressure. I'm just saying."

    Game 3 started out slowly with neither player doing much until David played Calciderm and a 4/4 Serra Avenger wearing a graft token. But before it could do much damage, Luis hit the giant reset button known as Damnation.

    David played a second Calciderm and and got in enough damage to put Luis down to three, but when David played Tarmogoyf, Luis Tendrilled it to go back up to 12. With no more counters on the Calciderm, it was David's turn to use removal for Luis's threats. Shadowmage Infiltrator and Teferi both died to consecutive Fiery Justices, but David was almost out of gas. Another Tarmogoyf got Tendriled to put Luis up to 27, and Triskelevus and Urza's Factory tokens took over. David conceded two turns later.

    Luis Scott-Vargas defeats David Irvine 2-0.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 8:14 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa vs. Zack Smith
    by Eric Reasoner


  • Zack brought to the table U/G tempo, with the plan of making a few 2-drops and riding Snapback and Delay to victory. Da Rosa cruised into the Top 8 with no losses (but a bunch of draws) running his U/B/r Teachings.

    Game 1:
    The first game took a strange tack as both players just spent each turn laying out their team. In Da Rosa's case that meant 3 Shadowmage Infiltrators.

    "That's not good," stated Smith when the third wizard hit the board.

    But he had answers. One fell to a Psionic Blast while a second was sent back to the hand by a Riftwing Cloudskate. The third Finkel was put away with another Psi Blast. Smith was happy to trade hits and not play creatures unless he needed to. Attack and say "go" was his strategy, hoping to keep Da Rosa nervous of counterspells.

    A Damnation and a Strangling Soot both were Delayed, Smith trying to keep on the pressure. But while Da Rosa was taking a few hits, he was planning how to win the game, and crafting his hand. Finkel came down to block a Riftsweeper, and when Smith tried to sneak in a Cloudskate, Da Rosa had the Pact of Negation to keep his life at a healthy 2 after the attack.

    Zach Smith couldn't maintain the pressure against Vitor

    But Smith couldn't force through any more damage. After a devastating Haunting Hymn and answers for his next few threats, Da Rosa took control of the game and never gave it back. A much needed Tendrils of Corruption put him back out of Psi Blast danger. The following turns saw him make a Teferi and a Shadowmage Infiltrator. When Da Rosa went for a Mystical Teachings at the end of another disappointing turn, Smith offered, "Don't even bother," and picked up his cards to move on to the next game.

    Da Rosa 1
    Smith 0

    Game 2:
    Smith began well with a Riftsweeper followed by a Call of the Herd token. Da Rosa cleared the board with Damnation, but Smith had a 'goyf to keep his opponent's life interesting. A Slaughter Pact on the beater was interrupted by a Pongify, making an ape token which would do a number on Da Rosa over the next few turns.

    Smith was running out of gas quickly though, and when an elephant token met the wrong end of a Tendrils and was followed up with a Shadowmage, Smith simply shrugged and extended his hand, knowing he'd lost the tempo and wouldn't be able to get back in this game.

    Da Rosa defeats Smith 2-0



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 8:20 p.m. - Quarterfinals: Paul Cheon vs. Jonathan Stocks
    by Jonathon Loucks


  • The beats came fast in quarterfinals

    The top 8 was finalized and Paul Cheon sat across from Jonathan Stocks to decide who would move on to the semi-finals. Both players were using the same sleeves, amounting to Stocks attempting to draw a hand of seven from Cheon's deck after the cut.

    "You said that was my deck!" said Stocks.

    "I can't believe I actually got you, I was just messing with you," replied Cheon, and both laughed. Then they tried to kill each other.

    Game 1:

    Stocks began the game with Islands, suspending a Riftwing Cloudskate and playing a morph, while Cheon cast a Coalition Relic. It looked like the typical Blue Pickles against Relic-Teachings matchup, until...

    Llanowar Reborn came into play for Stock. Then, when Cheon cast a Void on the following turn, choosing zero, the morph was revealed to be a Fathom Seer. Interesting.

    The Riftwing Cloudskate continued the assault, and Aeon Chronicler entered the removed from game zone with one counter.

    "Come on, drop an island and play Teferi," begged Stocks.

    Cheon instead cast Careful Consideration, and passed the turn. The Aeon Chronicler was hit with a Slaughter pact, and Tarmogoyf joined the fray as a 5/6.

    "Aww, now I have no chance," said Sstocks, in response to Cheon paying for his Slaughter Pact. This was false. The morph became a Tarmogoyf, and combined with early morph and Cloudskate damage, Cheon was forced to pick up his cards.

    Stocks 1 - Cheon 0

    Jonathon Stocks had too much offense for Paul Cheon to handle

    Game 2:
    Both players kept their opening seven. A morph with a graft counter on it started to take chunks out of Cheon's life, who could only play a Coalition Relic and use the boost in mana to make an Urza's Factory token on his turn, which disappeared thanks to Venser, Shaper Sa-vant.

    Haunting Hymn took Stocks' hand, but the morph was re-vealed to be a Fathom Seer, giving Stocks' some new cards. Cheon paid for the Pact, checked the size of the Tarmogoyf still on the table, and conceded.

    Stocks 2 - Cheon 0

    Jonathan Stocks will move on to the semifinals.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 8:49 p.m. - Semifinals: Brett Blackman vs. Luis Scott-Vargas
    by Jonathon Loucks


  • Brett Blackman

    Apparently Brett Blackman and Luis Scott-Vargas have a history.
    "I won't let you get me with Pact this time," declared Brett.
    "You got yourself with pact."
    "You tricked me."
    With accusations of trickery on the table, Blackman sought vengeance.

    Game 1:

    And vengeance is what he got. Brett led off with a Looter il-Kor, Tarmogoyf, and double Psionic Blast.
    Luis cast a Careful Consideration on the end of Brett's turn, and scooped in response to the Mystic Snake.

    Brett Blackman 1 - Luis Scott-Vargas 0

    Antonino De Rosa decided to spice up the sideboarding process. "Hey Luis, you gotta make me a promise. Once you win you gotta beat the Brazilian in the finals."

    "We are playing the same deck," replied Luis.

    "So. USA! USA!" chanted Antonino. Nobody joined in.

    Game 2:

    Brett kicked things off with a Riftwing Cloudskate, and Luis cast a Foresee off of a Prismatic Lens, already doubling his spell count in the previous game.

    A Pendelhaven-powered Looter il-Kor and the Cloudskate attacked under the dark shadow of a looming Void from Luis, courtesy of a Delay.

    "Your mouth dry enough?" asked Luis.

    "Sooo dry."

    The Looter and Cloudskate each met Slaughter Pacts, and the Void came crashing down for four. Luis cast a Teferi, Mage of Zahlfir, scary enough to earn a Delay from Blackman, opeing the gate for Luis to resolve a Tendrils of Corruption, causing Brett to scoop. Where have we seen this before...

    Brett Blackman 1 - Luis Scott-Vargas 1

    Game 3:

    While Game 1 and two were quick and simple, Game 3 was a grueling war of attri-tion.

    Venser, Shaper Savant kicked off the action, working with Stonewood Invocation to quickly reduce Luis' life to only six. A Void for three revealed a hand of Pongify, Vesuvan Shapeshifter, Venser, Mystic Snake, and Stonewood Invoca-tion. I never knew Voids made such loud whiffs.

    Damnation cleared the board, and a secondary assault by Looter il-Kor was thwarted by Triskelavus, forced through a Cancel by a Pact of Negation. Luis managed to get a Tendrils of Corruption to resolve, raising his life total to a healthier 13. This was the last major life total change for many turns, and the deep attrition war began.

    Luis Scott-Vargas had the answers

    Blackman, jealous of Luis' Triskelavus, decided to make his own with a hardcast Vesuvan Shapeshifter, complete with its own +1/+1 counters. A flurry of Triskelavus tokens and Factory Workers danced around the table, blocking, shooting, and trading left and right. Black-man cast creatures, Luis blocked with Factory Workers. The mood was tense, as it ap-peared Blackman was always on the verge of pushing through with Psionic Blast or Stonewood Invocation.

    Blackman cast a Tarmogoyf, and sent a grafted Morph into the red zone, revealed to be a Vesuvan Shapeshifter copying Riftwing Cloudskate, something able to get over the supply of Factory Workers. Tarmogoyf number two hit the table, and it looked like Luis might have fallen behind.

    That is, until Tendrils of Corruption decided to crash the party, apparently invited by Urborg. Such a long and exciting game ended so typically, with an Urborg-fueled Tendrils of Corruption, and the extension of the hand.

    Luis Scott-Vargas 2 - Brett Blackman 1

    Luis advanced to the finals to face, not the Relic-toting Brazilian Antonino predicted, but more Tarmogoyfs. May the Tendrils flow.



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 8:59 p.m. - Semifinals: Paulo Vitor Dama Da Rosa vs. Jonathan Stocks
    by Eric Reasoner


  • Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa

    Imagine you're U/B teachings and your girlfriend is Mono U with Tarmogoyf. Now imagine you're having an argument about anything. You're there, you're fighting and you think you have valid points. You're both going back and forth, bickering at each other. All the while, you think maybe you're winning, or at least you're holding your own. But you aren't. You won't win this argument, and Teachings can't win this match-up.

    Game 1

    Stocks started the match with a Tarmogoyf and a couple of Ancestral Visions. Da Rosa meanwhile was stock piling Coalition Relics and cards in hand. Triskelavus hit the table to defend the homestead and did a great job at it with a little help from a Void for 2 which removed three (3!) Tarmogoyfs and a Fathom Seer in the hand.

    Undaunted, Stocks suspended an Aeon Chronicler for 1 to synch it up with an Ancestral Visions which was about to fill up his hand. Five fresh cards later and the avatar was bashing in for 8. Da Rosa was on his heels now, looking across the board at a giant Chronicler and a mittful of cards. His hand consisted of Damnation, Haunting Hymn, and Tendrils of Corruption; he just had to wait for the right time to play them. An EOT Venser from Stocks gave Da Rosa the opportunity to hit with the Haunting Hymn. Still EOT, Stocks attempted to sacrifice Horizon Canopy only to see his Chronicler shot down by Trike tokens.

    Stocks just shook his head and muttered, "Man, where did I learn to count?"

    But it wouldn't matter. Stocks had enough gas to get him to the finish line. After Da Rosa's recurred Triskelavus was bounced before attackers on Stocks' turn, all that was left was the crying.

    Game 2

    Da Rosa began the second game with a frustrating mulligan. Visibly upset about losing even an inch in what was a pretty difficult match.

    The early edge went to Stocks this game as he managed to stick a Tarmogoyf and let it grow and grow and grow, all the while chipping away at Da Rosa's life total. A tussle over Teferi came at the end of Stocks' turn when he tried to Mystic Snake the completely ridiculous, almost unfair, wizard. The snake never saw play though as he was sent straight to the bin by a Pact of Negation. Next turn a Slaughter Pact on the Tarmogoyf put Da Rosa in the driver's seat. Or so it appeared.
    Stocks was able to keep making guys and sticking damage where he could. A Fathom Seer, a Tarmogoyf, he still had plenty of ways to make things difficult for Vitor.
    Da Rosa attempted a Haunting Hymn on his turn, and could only shake his head when it was shot down by a Draining Whelk. Fortunately, he didn't have to face down a 7/7 flier as he had a Trike token to bust the Whelk with the trigger on the stack.

    A Serrated Arrows from Stocks elicited a loooooooooong think tank session for Da Rosa. He had a Spell Burst to stop it, but had better things to do with it and his mana for the turn- namely putting his deceased Triskelavus on his library. Finally the Arrows got the OK.

    Attempting to crawl back into the game, Da Rosa drew the Triskelavus and presented it for Stocks' Cancelling pleasure. He did indeed have the Cancel, two in fact, and that was the end of GP San Francisco for Da Rosa.

    Jonathan Stocks advances to the Finals where he'll face off against Luis Scott-Vargas

    Stocks defeats Da Rosa 2-0



     
  • Sunday, Aug 26: 9:00 p.m. - Finals: Luis Scott-Vargas vs. Jonathon Stocks
    by Noah Weil


  • Unusual

    After eighteen grueling rounds, it came down to this final match. On one side, California native and current National champion Luis Scott-Vargas, known to his close friends as Omnipotence Incarnate. Opposing Luis was Nevada resident Jonathon Stocks, a friend and former testing buddy of Scott-Vargas. Luis was quick to point out he saw Jonathon's U/G list before the tournament but was "unimpressed". Luis may have jumped the gun on his scorn, but it remains to be seen if Stocks' list has what it takes to go all the way. With a hearty handshake and sincere wish of luck, the two competitors got underway for this final match of the tournament.

    Game 1: Stocks won the roll and kicked things off with a suspended Riftwing Cloudskate and graft onto a morph. Scott-Vargas merely started doing what his deck best, which if you haven't heard by now, is making mana and waiting around for something better. Luis' first real play was a Strangling Soot on the facedown. While Stocks could have created some sick card advantage by flipping up Fathom Seer, he elected to keep his lands where they were and placed his morph in the trash.

    Stocks wasn't out of threats by a long shot as another morph stuck, his Riftwing Cloudskate landed on a land, and his Venser bounced another. Cheon was on the backpedal, stuck on only two mana for the turn. He played his third land for the second time and used it to cast Shadowmage Infiltrator, still having to pitch a card. In came the trio of 2/2s, dealing solid damage to Scott-Vargas. Jonathon managed to not only get triple threats on the table, keeping Finkel on defense, but have his mana ready to cast Cancel or Mystic Snake as needed. Luis understood he needed to restore the mana advantage, and spent his four mana on a Mystical Teachings for Pact of Negation. Well and good, but the creatures used the free reign to keep up the attack. With Fathom Seer, Cancel, Riftwing, and Chronicler in hand Stocks pondered his next move. Finally deciding to not even try to fight a counter war against Pact, Stocks suspended Chronicler for one and passed the turn. A fine move, as Damnation had nothing on RFGed Maro.

    Grand Prix finalist Jonathon Stocks

    Scott-Vargas pondered and went for a Void for four, wiping out Venser but whiffing on the hand. Chronicler hit and immediately attacked, with Stocks declaring his attack "idiotic". Luis led with Damnation on the next turn, then chuckled and called himself dumb for not having attacked with his Shadowmage first.

    With an opponent at three life Stocks, cast Riftwing Cloudskate, then burst out laughing when Scott-Vargas pointed out the prime Llanowar Reborn.

    "I, uh, didn't want to get greedy."-Jonathon Stocks

    Misplayed or not, Jonathon's Riftwing came over twice, handing the first game to the U/G mage.

    Scott-Vargas: 0
    Stocks: 1

    Game 2: Both players started with their special lands, Terramorphic Expanse and Llanowar Reborn. Stocks showed his sideboarded Seal of Primordium against Luis' Prismatic Lens, only to see Luis upgrade into Coalition Relic. "Ah, you baited me".

    Stocks began accumulating land, not wanting to commit anything without counter protection. Stocks was clearly looking forward to playing a morph with Mystic Snake backup, if he drew a land on his seventh turn. Stocks made an error here, when he passed with Terramorphic Expanse as his fresh land. Scott-Vargas had laid an Urborg the turn before, giving that Expanse the ability to tap for black. It was a trick the Urborg players well knew, but one Stocks had less experience with. Instead Stocks exchanged his land for another and got ready to start playing his hand, starting with a suspended Chronicler.

    No hard feelings

    Scott-Vargas hadn't been idle, crafting his own strength with Careful Consideration and Foresee. He had Pull From Eternity for the Chronicler and ended with Shadowmage Infiltrator, still with mana up. Stocks spent some time blowing up a Relic and playing with Fathom Seer, but it just gave Luis more cards via Shadowmage and even a token from Factory. A facedown from Stocks required a response and Luis had a good one: Spell Burst with buyback. Stocks tried to Snake, but Luis tutored up a Pact of Negation. A brief incident occurred when the token disappeared to remind Luis of the Pact, but order was quickly restored. Stocks held on as best he could, Serrated Arrows doing fine work against Finkels and assembly-worker tokens. Yet Luis kept taking cards, widening the gap. Stocks had one shot when he snuck a Riftwing Cloudskate onto the board, playing Nekretaal on a Factory token, then suspending Ancestral Visions.

    The Cloudskate hit a couple of times, but Luis turned it around with a Tendrils and Stocks was out of action. The final nail in the coffin? Imp's Mischief on the Ancestral Vision. Jonathon Stocks picked up.

    Scott-Vargas: 1
    Stocks: 1

    The players were set to begin their final game when one of them made an interesting observation: they had never received each other's decklist for inspection. Typical GP policy has each top 8 competitor receiving time to study the decklist of the opponent, but that hadn't happened here. Head Judge John Carter was summoned, and determined he had made an error. As such, each player was given their opposite's decklist, and as much time as needed to study. The players looked at the sheets for about 30 seconds before tossing them away laughing, looking forward to finishing their exciting and final match.

    Game 3: The crowd was hushed as the players shuffled and drew for their last game. Scott-Vargas led with a second turn Prismatic Lens ("Every time! So lucky!"), before casting a third turn Foresee. Scott-Vargas kept three of the cards on top. Opponents hate seeing an opponent keep cards on top. Scott-Vargas also cast aCareful Consideration, pitching a Tendrils. What in the world did he keep?!

    John Carter announces the winner of Grand Prix San Francisco

    Stocks started with a facedown Fathom Seer. It was targeted by Strangling Soot, but Jonathon let his Venser feel like an Ertai and actually counter something for once, by bouncing the morph. The replayed morph was targeted by the flashed back Soot, countered by Mystic Snake. It looked good, but it just made Luis' Damnation all the sweeter. Stocks started suspending spells, which seemed like a fine time for Scott-Vargas to cast Teferi. While it was bounced once, Luis had enough mana to easily replay it.

    Stocks wasn't quite finished, despite a hand full of junky Snakes and Cancel. Stocks had a plan. If he could get his Shapeshifter to stick, he could remove Teferi at his leisure. Jonathon went for the facedown, but forgot the key card in Luis' deck. Scott-Vargas cast his Mystical Teachings for Spell Burst, casting the spell with buyback. Stocks berated himself for the error, for not casting the Shapeshifter face up. Still, there was one more chance. Riftwing was still entering the red zone. But with Scott-Vargas at four life down came Triskelavus, the terror of the Time Spiral skies. Facing Spell Burst with no way out, Stocks extended the hand in congratulations, to the cheers and applause of the crowd..

    Scott-Vargas: 2
    Stocks: 1

    Congratulations to Luis Scott-Vargas, GP San Francisco champion!


    Grand Prix Champion Luis Scott-Vargas


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