Day two of Magic World Championship XXVI began with four fewer players from the original field of 16. Gameplay was in Standard Constructed with only four players moving onto day three and the chance to win $300,000.
Four players were eliminated during the first day of competition at Worlds, including the defending Magic World champion Javier Dominguez.
- Matias Leveratto
- Ondřej Stráský
- Andrea Mengucci
- Javier Dominguez
And four competitors locked up a seat in the top eight.
- Carvalho: Jeskai Fires
- Loveman: Mono-Red Aggro
- PVDDR: Azorius Control
- Manfield: Mono-Red Aggro
But the remaining eight players were placed in the Saturday Play-In bracket, in which four of them were at risk of being eliminated from the tournament with two match losses.
- Kvartek: Temur Reclamation
- Burchett: Temur Reclamation
- Lévy: Jeskai Fires
- Nassif: Jeskai Fires
- Pozzo: Mono-Red Aggro
- Piotr “Kanister” Głogowski: Jund Sacrifice
- Depraz: Temur Reclamation
- Severin: Azorius Control
The first feature match of the day was between Kvartek and his Temur Reclamation deck against Kanister, the only player to bring Jund Sacrifice to Magic World Championship XXVI. Kanister began the match with a mulligan down to five, but with two copies of Mayhem Devil on the battlefield in conjunction with a cat/oven combo, it was enough to secure a game one victory.
Kvartek recovered during game two, earning a win, and forcing a game three. Kanister top-decked his only copy of Murderous Rider, killing off Kvartek’s Nissa, Who Shakes the World and his gameplan. But an Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath provided enough life to keep Kanister from attacking Kvartek for lethal while stabilizing the board state.
Kvartek climbed back up to 10 life, picking apart Kanister’s battlefield, and then finishing him off with an Expansion//Explosion for 17 damage to the face.
Burchett and Kvartek, along Depraz and Pozzo advanced to the upper bracket of the Saturday Play-In. The other four players: Kanister, Nassif, Severin, and Lévy moved to the lower bracket upon the completion of round one. A second loss from any of the players in the lower bracket means elimination from Worlds.
The second round began with a mirror match of Temur Reclamation, featuring Depraz and Burchett. Game one had Burchett preventing Depraz from dropping a Wilderness Reclamation onto the battlefield while dropping an Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath for a win.
Game two went much differently, with each player strategizing around the other. Depraz gained an early advantage with Brazen Borrower. And then finished things off with Expansion//Explosion after dropping a Wilderness Reclamation.
And in game three, Depraz top-decked a third copy of Expansion//Explosion to finish of the match and advance into the top-eight.
In the second feature match of round two, Kvartek was paired against Pozzo. And at a disadvantage against Mono-Red Aggro, Pozzo went 2-0 against Kvartek, moving onto the top-eight.
Kanister was paired against Lévy and his Jeskai Fires deck, with each player fighting for survival at Magic World Championship XXVI. Each player earned a win in games one and two, forcing a game three. Lévy gained the advantage of the board state and wrapped up the game for a match win with Cavalier of Flame.
At end of round two, Kanister and Severin were eliminated from the tournament.
The third round of Magic World Championship XXVI featured matches between Nassif and Kvartek, and Burchett against Lévy. Only two players would move onto the top-eight, keeping their dreams of a Worlds title alive.
Both players took a mulligan in game one, with Nassif going down to five cards in his opening hand. But never count out a veteran like Nassif, able to take a five-card starting hand and win game one.
And Nassif kept the momentum rolling into game two, gaining board state advantage via Teferi, Time Raveler, and Elspeth Conquers Death. Kvartek was unable to recover and Nassif moved onto the top-eight.
In the match between Burchett and Lévy, Temur Reclamation dominated Jeskai Fires during game one, earning them a game win. And they continued to dominate during the second game, finishing off Lévy with counterspells and a strong board state. Going out with a Bonecrusher Giant to face, Lévy was eliminated will Burchett moves onto the top-eight.
At the end of round three, Lévy and Kvartek were eliminated.
Top-8 upper bracket
Facing off in the upper bracket of the top-eight were Carvalho vs. Loveman and Manfield against PVDDR. While Nassif, Burchett Pozzo, and Depraz were at risk of being eliminated in the lower bracket.
The first feature match was between Manfield (Envy) against PVDDR (Tempo Storm). Game one began with PVDDR having the advantage after Manfield kept an opening hand without a single one or two drop. Countering every spell Manfield played, PVDDR earned a win.
Manfield started off game two with an ideal opening hand but PVDDR was able to gain control before the Team Envy player could attack for lethal. Going from three to over 10 life PVDDR gained an advantage of the board state. Manfield conceded, handing the match victory and a seat in the top-four over to PVDDR.
In the upper bracket match between Carvalho and Loveman, each earned a win in games one and two. But Akroan War couldn’t save him in another match against Jeskai Fires, and Carvalho advanced to the upper finals with PVDDR.
Top-8 lower bracket
Manfield and Loveman were bumped to the lower bracket. But before they would play another match, the four players from the Play-In bracket faced off against each other. To advance in the lower bracket, players needed to win two matches as opposed to just one.
The first feature match of the lower bracket was between Nassif against Burchett. And with elimination from Worlds on the line, the winner of this match would advance to play Loveman next.
Donning his infamous yellow hat for the first time at Magic Worlds, Nassif dropped Fires of Invention on turn four. But a Brazen Borrower from Burchett returned it to hand and was then countered by Thassa’s Intervention, upon Nassif attempting to recast it. But it didn’t slow down Nassif, playing Cavalier of Flame and winning the game.
Both players fought diligently during game two, but Nassif found three copies of Cavalier of Flame for his first match win.
The second match began with Nassif having several copies of Sphinx of Foresight. But all the pieces fell into place for Burchett as they blasted 15 damage to face with Expansion//Explosion. Game two, however, was one of the longest games of the day. Burchette earned the win, forcing a third match between the two Magic veterans.
In match three Nassif earned a victory during the first game, forcing Burchett to win two games in a row. And the momentum continued with Nassif earning himself a hard-fought win to advance in the lower bracket.
Taking place at the same time as the feature match was a lengthy battle between Pozzo and Depraz. Each player also earned a match win, forcing a third to determine who would survive elimination. And throughout the third match, Pozzo elegantly navigated Mono-Red Aggro one step further at Magic Worlds.
Two slots in the final four remained with Pozzo, Manfield, Nassif, and Loveman fighting for a seat. The first best of three matches featured a Mono-Red Aggro mirror between Pozzo and Manfield.
Game one showcased the power of building a board around Embercleave, with Manfield earning the first victory. And the domination continued during game two, with Manfield going up one match over Pozzo.
Pozzo came out swinging during game one but it wasn’t enough, as Manfield earned himself a third game win in a row. Desperately needing a win, Pozzo drew first blood with Manfield stuck on two lands. Unable to recover, Manfield suffered his first game loss.
Both opening hands were strong during game three, with Pozzo having a slight advantage. Manfield was the first to drop Embercleave, but Pozzo dominated the board and was able to swing in for lethal to force a third match.
The final match of the Mono-Red Aggro mirror began with Manfield gaining an early advantage on the battlefield. Utilizing Castle Embreth, Manfield attacked for lethal, forcing Pozzo to win the next two games. But Pozzo wasn’t giving up, winning game two.
But in the end, it all came down to Manfield believing in Embercleave. Seeking his second Magic Worlds title, Manfield advanced to the final four.
In the other lower bracket battle between Nassif and Loveman, “Yellowhat” won the first match. And during the second, both players earned a game win to force a game three. Loveman kicked off the game swinging with his Mono-Red Aggro deck, but Nassif had answers and was able to stabilize the battlefield. With Kenrith on the battlefield, Nassif ended Loveman’s run at Magic Worlds, advancing to the final four with Jeskai Fires.
Heading into day three at Magic World Championship XXVI, only four players from the field of 16 remained.
- Gabriel Nassif: Jeskai Fires
- Márcio Carvalho: Jeskai Fires
- Paulo Vitor Damo “PVDDR” da Rosa: Azorius Control
- Seth Manfield: Mono-Red Aggro
With a title on the line, day-three coverage at Magic World Championship XXVI begins tomorrow at 2pm CT, one hour later than previously scheduled.