Drew Levin took Team America to the Top 8 of the Memphis Legacy Open and he was hoping to do so again after a 4-1 start today. He'd traveled from Virginia in pursuit of an opportunity to make Level 5 but his opponent was a local ringer from much closer. Scott Barrentine was piloting Merfolk with a slightly different sideboard which meant it would be an uphill battle for Drew. Team America is known to have a weak matchup against the fishes.
Scott won the play while Drew mulliganed to six and the game began. Scott opened on an Aether Vial off an Island—when Drew tried to Force of Will a Daze jammed it down. Drew had just a Verdant Catacombs on his own turn passing to Scott. Scott ticked up his Vial and replayed the Island. Drew's attempt to Hymn to Tourach on the second turn was met with another Daze the Island landing again as the Vial went to 2. Scott Vialed in Coralhelm Commander and a level counter took up Scott's turn.
Drew cast just an Engineered Explosives on one missing his third land drop. When Scott leveled his Coralhelm and then tried to Vial in Reejerey a Stifle halted the latter. Drew's Explosives killed the Vial and he passed to Scott who had nothing more thanks to still being stuck on one Island. Drew looked like he might come back from his 10-life deficit dropping a Tombstalker. He had to Force it past Daze as he pitched a Daze of his own. Scott wasn't happy about that and had to just level his Commander after passing to Drew. Drew Pondered for a land and passed casually using a Daze on lord of Atlantis as Scott found a second Island. Drew fell to 9 as he cracked a Polluted Delta before casting Brainstorm tossing back a pair of keepers and playing Underground Sea.
Drew declined to begin racing holding his Tombstalker back on defense. Scott cast Silvergill Adept to reveal a Sygg River Adept but Drew used a Daze to counter it. Hymn to Tourach followed and Scott sighed. Reejerey and Standstill hit the bin and Drew passed the turn with his Underground Sea untapped. Scott had a Mutavault for Merrow Reejerey which hit the board without incident as Drew continued to draw and pass. Sygg tapped down the Tombstalker and Drew fell to 1.
His next card wasn't a lifesaver and they were onto the second game.
Scott 1 Drew 0
Scott seemed dissatisfied with his sideboarding and Drew smiled. “Well you get to re-sideboard for game three.” Drew took the play and kept his hand but Scott immediately chucked his back for six cards and then five. Drew had Verdant Catacombs for an Underground Sea using Thoughtseize to nab a Merrow Reejerey. Scott played an Island and passed with Drew following suit after seeing the Dazes that Scott was packing.
Drew played Wasteland and cracked a Misty for Bayou casting Hymn to Tourach. The Hymn caught Lord and a Daze and Wasteland destroyed Scott's Mutavault. Both players dropped lands for a couple turns Drew breaking the silence with a Brainstorm during Scott's end step. He played his fourth land and passed leaving Scott to consider his options. He tapped out for Back to Basics hoping Drew just happened to be cold but Drew responded with a Predict for Underground Sea thanks to his Brainstorm frowning. It resolved.
Suddenly Scott was back in the game! Drew passed the turn Scott drawing and casting a Cursecatcher. Drew passed turn and a Coralhelm Commander joined the party earning a level counter thanks to Scott's Island. Snuff Out on Cursecatcher paved the way for a second Snuff Out on Coralhelm Commander and Drew tapped out for Tombstalker. He knew Scott had a Daze and his own Daze countered it.
Scott drew and played just an Island as the Tombstalker attacked. He followed that with a Mutavault off the top taking another 5. Silvergill Adept revealed Lord of Atlantis on the next turn Drew on 6 as he knocked Scott to 5 and cast Ghastly Demise on Lord. Scott drew and slammed down Sower of Temptation prompting Drew to crack Misty and Brainstorm for an out. He missed taking 3 as the Silvergill swung and Drew was now drawing dead. “Threw my card away” Drew growled at himself realizing he should have saved his Ghastly Demise given that neither merfolk was lethal.
Scott 2 Drew 0