The Orcs popped out to an early lead, partly because of lots of mana and Orchish Artillery to clear the way. In game two, the Artillery still leapt the Thrulls at bay, but did 18 points of damage to their controller in the process, so when the Breeding Pit and Thrull Champion hit the field, the two damage was no problem. Game three was just like the first and let to an Orc victory.
The Shapeshifters brought out their powerhouse creature, the 3/4 Escaped Shapeshifter, and, after that, there was a lot of Cloning and Doppleganging going on. In the second game, speed was on the side of the Dwarves and, in game three, the killer combo came out for the Dwarves. The Dwarven Vigilantes, pumped by the Lieutenant and given Mountainwalk by the Dwarven Pony, managed to shoot the 9/5 Dracoplasm and its copy out of the air to secure the match victory.
The largely Portal Nightstalkers looked very strong, but the flying Falcons, led by Soraya the Falconer, were too quick in game one. Next up, three Duskrider Falcons held off the mono-black Nightstalkers in a dramatic upset.
In the first game, the Gargantuan Gorillas held the Snakes at bay while the Gorilla Berserkers snuck through for two points of damage a turn. In game 2, the big Gorilla couldn't hold back the horde and the Snakes slithered on to victory; but, in game three, the Gargantuan Gorilla came back, picking of the Snakes to clear the way. Monkey-boy could've easily been the goat instead of the hero because of the sac-the-forest upkeep, but he managed to squeak through just in time.
Both low casting cost creature types were mana-hosed in the first game, but it didn't matter to the Kobolds. At two mana, the Taskmaster hit the board and the Rats couldn't multiply fast enough. Game two saw Rohgahh of Kerr Keep lead his first strike, trampling, pumped up Kobold horde over the Rats who could do nothing but run for cover.
Game one: The 40 mana-source Dragon deck managed to get out two Elder Dragons, but by that time, they had to remain on defense against the faster Trolls. Game two: No contest. The Elders lost the game with six Dragons sitting in hand.
In this clash of the mostly mono-colored decks, the Skeletons couldn't stop the quick onslaught and the trickiness of Merfolk like Seasingers, Looters, Tidal Warriors and Illusionists. The Rootwater Hunter shut down the one-toughness Skeletons and the flying Merfolk (Manta Riders) buzzed over the top of the regenerators to deal a big chunk of damage. For the Skeletons, Carrionette was helpful in removing the nastiest Merfolk. But it just wasn't enough.