It's bubble time! The final round of a Pro Tour always leads to very interesting situations as players wrestle with the math to figure out whether or not they can draw into Top 8 or if they have to duke it out for the right to play on Sunday. Invariably, there is a Magic Number™, no pun intended, of match points that will allow a player to draw in, assuming they have good enough tiebreakers. Sadly, and this happens most frequently in Limited Pro Tours, sometimes players with the Magic Number™ will get paired against a player with less points. Obviously, since that player can't draw in, they usually have to fight it out for their spot.
Today, we had two former Pro Tour winners, Mike Hron and Guillaume Wafo-Tapa, who were knocking on the door to Top 8 only to get paired down and forced to play. Hron had the easier road to travel as his first game against Manuel Bucher wasn't much of a contest. Bramblewood Paragon
powered out a huge army of counter-laden men (Elves, really) that Bucher couldn't stop. His second game was a little harder. Bucher put a quick army of Rogues that threatened to quickly steal the game from Hron. Not one to be deterred from another crack at a Limited title, Hron set about amassing an amazing token army that eventually swarmed Bucher into oblivion.
Wafo-Tapo had to scrape and scrimp to make his way into the Top 8. In Game 1 against Chang Chua, he had trouble finding a fourth mana source, but Chua sure didn't, and Wafo-Tapa received quite the beating at the hands of a Plover Knight and Changeling Hero. Karma can be funny sometimes, though, and his Chua kept an incredibly powerful opening draw that needed one more land to come online. Four turns later, Chua was still sitting on one land, and Wafo-Tapa was sitting in the driver's seat.
By comparison to the previous two, the last game was in a league of its own. Chua had another blazing start that looked ready to overrun Wafo-Tapa. His two little Kithkin and a Changeling Hero were set to make short work of Wafo-Tapa's life total. Chua hadn't counted on having to run through a Floodchaser, though, and the giant Elemental (not to be confused with Chua's Giant Elemental) stopped Chua from attacking anytime soon. Eventually, Chua got a Kithkin Zephyrnaut into play that took to the skies in an attempt to get over the Floodchaser. However, Wings of Velis Vel lifted the Floodchaser and made it big enough to trade with a Supreme Exemplar (4/4 plus six +1/+1 counters). Needless to say, the impressive yet undersized Kithkin bit the dust.
From this point out, it was all Wafo-Tapa. A Mournwhelk stripped Chua's last two cards and then got to trade with a Changeling Hero thanks to Final-Sting Faerie. Shriekmaw ate Chua's Wizened Cenn and gave Wafo-Tapa an evading attacker. After a few turns of attacks and a few draws of no consequence, Chua packed it up, and Wafo-Tapa was in the Top 8 again.