The eighth round pitted several players in a battle to the death for Top 8 with 16 points and good tiebreakers deciding who would come out on top. The winner of this match would still be crossing their fingers but a shot was better than nothing. Dan's Dredge deck had served him well thus far but Wes Blanchard's Canadian Threshold deck would be his last true test. Dredge's popularity in the room had many players worried but many graveyard aficionados had fallen—Dan carried their torch.
Wes won the roll to go first while Dan took a mulligan on the draw. His second hand was no looker but he kept after a sigh. Wes began with Volcanic Island and Ponder keeping the three cards on top. Dan's Undiscovered Paradise made it almost a certainty that he was on Dredge and he sent the turn to Wes with no other plays. Wes untapped and cast Brainstorm finding no second land and passing the turn. He used a Force of Will pitching Stifle to counter Dan's Brainstorm as the Paradise bounced. Dan untapped and replayed the Paradise to cast a Careful Study but that earned another Force pitching Stifle!
Wes passed the next turn powerless to stop Dan's Putrid Imp via Underground Sea. He discarded Bloodghast to the Imp and then played Undiscovered Paradise. The Sea cast Brainstorm finding a couple dredgers and he cast Trickster Mage off the Paradise. Wes read it and confirmed that it resolved to which Dan laughed. “Are you sure? It's really good.” The Imp poked in for 1 and Dan sent the turn to Wes.
Wes drew a card and played nothing.
Dan discarded a Grave-Troll and dredged it during his draw flipping a Dread Return a Zealot and nothing else of relevance. He began to beat with the Bloodghast and Putrid Imp and he tapped the Volcanic Island with his Mage on Wes's upkeep discarding the Grave-Troll. Wes again missed a land and the next dredge was way better milling a pair of Imps a Dakmor Salvage and a Sphinx of Lost Truths. Dan cast and resolved a Putrid Imp attacking Wes to 9 and playing Undiscovered Paradise. He declined to Dread Return the Sphinx choosing to play the weenie beater plan against his stunted opponent.
Trickster Mage again tapped Wes down and he scooped after drawing his next card. “Exciting.”
Dan 1 Wes 0
Dan probably knew that Wes was most likely on some sort of Canadian Threshold deck but he couldn't be truly sure given the nature of Legacy. Either way he wound up mulliganing to six once again on the draw as Wes kept his hand. That mulligan to six quickly became a mulligan to five. “Luckily this deck mulligans well” Dan said. He groaned in disbelief as he drew five and announced that he'd be going to four. Then three. Dredge mulligans well but this is asking a bit much!
With Dan on three cards Wes probably felt confident. He opened on just Scalding Tarn while Dan had a Dakmor Salvage for the first turn. That Tarn fetched up a Tropical Island after Wes played Misty Rainforest and he used it to cast Ponder keeping the three cards before passing. Dan played a Cephalid Coliseum and cast Cabal Therapy on Wes naming Force of Will as it resolved. He missed revealing a Ponder Engineered Explosives Tormod's Crypt Tarmogoyf Fire/Ice and Stifle. “That's pretty good against me” Dan admitted. He cast Careful Study next discarding a pair of Stinkweed Imps.
Wes drew and played Wasteland popping off the Coliseum with it. He followed with Tormod's Crypt and a Ponder keeping the cards before using the Crypt to remove Dan's graveyard. Dan drew staring at just a pair of cards and passed the turn. Wes cracked Misty Rainforest for a Volcanic Island and cast Tarmogoyf adding a new Misty to the field. Dan drew and played Undiscovered Paradise before ending turn stuck with close to nothing.
A Brainstorm for Wes found him a little more action and made Tarmogoyf slightly larger swinging home. Dan cast Putrid Imp after playing a second Paradise but Force of Will removing Fire/Ice still ended the Imp. Tarmogoyf continued to attack and another Wasteland removed Paradise. A second Tarmogoyf sent Dan to the top of the deck with no miracles in sight.
Dan 1 Wes 1
Both players were hoping for a better game of Magic following those lopsided affairs as they turned to their sideboards once again. Dan kept his hand for the first time opening on a Brainstorm off an Underground Sea. Wes had just a Scalding Tarn and he cracked after Dan laid a Cephalid Coliseum and cast Putrid Imp. That found him a Volcanic Island which he used to Brainstorm before allowing the enabler to resolve.
Misty Rainforest cracked on the next turn Wes falling to 18 and casting a Lightning Bolt at Putrid Imp. Dan responded by discarding a Golgari Grave-Troll and casting Chain of Vapor on the Imp. Daze countered that and the Imp hit the bin. A Nimble Mongoose for Wes and a pass of the turn. Dan began to go nuts dredging Grave-Troll into a Narcomoeba a Bridge and a pair of Imps. He cracked his Coliseum replacing the first draw with an Imp and hitting a second Bridge and two Bloodghast. The next draw became an Imp hitting Narcomoeba and Cabal Therapy and the last draw was a Troll for another Therapy.
Dan discarded Bloodghast and two Grave-Trolls before playing Dakmor Salvage to bring back a trio of vampires. Cabal Therapy resolved targeting Wes making two Zombies and whiffing on Engineered Explosives. He revealed a hand of Fire/Ice Nimble Mongoose Vendilion Clique and land. Dan passed after that with nothing else to do. Wes drew and added a Mongoose to the board passing. Dan's Troll on his next draw hit just a Cabal Therapy which he flashbacked by sacrificing another Bloodghast revealing Daze and the Clique.
Dan attacked with just the remaining Bloodghast and the Narcomoebas dropping Wes to 16 and losing a pair of Bridges to make two more Zombies. Wes drew and passed while Dan dredged back a Dakmor Salvage and attacked Wes to 2 life. Wes drew his next card and conceded in the face of so many 2/2 Zombies.
Dan 2 Wes 1