Congratulations, Carinne!

Carinne emerged victorious from the Ixalan Invitational by winning 3 out of 4 best-of-three matches! Congratulations!

Invitational Match #4: GR Dinos > WU Ascend

Given Ascend's previous success, I thought I had a contender here. I can't say I had bad draws; my cards were simply outclassed nearly every step of the way by Carinne's GR Dinos deck. I was getting through with 1/1 and 2/1 flyers, but these don't have much impact when facing down 5/5s and 4/5s. I managed to clear out a couple of Carinne's beasts in the first game with a combat trick, but she still had another three that were able to finish me off easily. I think she would have won the second game if she had been attacking earlier, but she took a very defensive posture, allowing my Daring Saboteur to win the game 2 life at a time. In the final game, she used her Trashing Brontodon to get rid of the Waterknot holding back her Sun-Crowned Hunters and attacked for the win!

Invitational Match #3: GR Dinos > GRB Midrange

My GRB Midrange deck got the jump on Carinne's GR Dinos deck in the first game, as her deck got stuck on 3 lands and was unable to play its expensive, dominating cards. I was a little surprised at how solid my victory was, given how cobbled together my deck was compared to hers, but her deck really needs to get to 4+ lands, so there just wasn't much she could do. The second game showed this theory in action, as she started out with very little action in the first few turns. Fortunately for her, I also wasn't doing much during those turns, and all of a sudden my Hardy Veteran was staring down a bunch of 5/5s. I didn't last much longer after that. The final game was the best one of the evening, a defining match between these two decks. Again, I got off to an early start, this time getting the stellar Captivating Crew into play. I used Bombard to take out one of Carinne's two blockers and was going to use the Captivating Crew to turn her other blocker against her for the win. However, she responded with Pounce, destroying my Captivating Crew. All of a sudden, I went from thinking I was going to win to having just a Skittering Heartstopper and a Hardy Veteran. My hand had run dry, and Carinne hit the board with Verdant Sun's Avatar on her next turn. She played huge creature after huge creature while I played lands and eventually attacked, forcing me to block with my puny creatures. Another attack later, she won the game with 26 life to my -5 and won the best-of-three matchup overall with a 2-1 record!

Invitational Match #2: WU Ascend > RW Dinos

We played this matchup on the trail as well, so I don't have notes for it. My WU Ascend deck pulled off a 2-1 victory over RW Dinos in this best-of-three matchup.

Invitational Match #1: RW Dinos > GRB Midrange

The Ixalan Invitational has begun! The first match had me jump out to an early start, since Carinne's deck wasn't built to have much of an early game. However, I was hitting with just a 1/1 and a 2/4, so it wasn't too painful for her. I might have gotten her down to 12 life before *BOOM* Charging Monstrosaur hit the battlefield, and I knew the game was basically over. I didn't have any removal on hand to deal with that threat, and she used Pious Interdiction on whatever my best creature was. My Captivating Crew managed to turn her 5/5 against her, but she was gaining 2 life per turn with the Priest of the Wakening Sun, so it didn't matter much. Soon enough, I was down to 0 life, and she took a 1-0 lead in the match! We played the next two matches in a tent, far from a computer, so I couldn't record how they went at the time. However, we split the games 1-1, resulting in an overall 2-1 match victory for the RW Dinos!

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