Quarterfinals: David Thomas vs. Chris Bechtoldt
“I’ve got a title to defend.” David had declared he’d be holding onto the Kansas City Legacy Open trophy, and so far he was making good on that promise. Standing in his way this round was Chris, making it a Stoneblade mirror match.
David's facing a two-color Stoneblade opponent.
Each player kept, and David started with polluted Delta. Chris had Misty Rainforest on turn 1 but no other plays, and added Scalding Tarn once David played Underground Sea. The first play came on turn 3 when David played Swamp and Inquisition of Kozilek to reveal Force of Will, Geist of Saint Traft, Spell Pierce, Swords to Plowshares, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Plains, and Stoneforge Mystic.
Geist met the graveyard, and Chris fetched Island in order to cast Stoneforge Mystic, searching up Batterskull. David used Swords to Plowshares on the Stoneforge Mystic after dropping Tundra, and Chris allowed the Mystic to be removed. He played a freshly-drawn Relic of Progenitus on the next turn, and missed his fourth land drop.
The Relic began eating David’s graveyard, while he dropped a fifth land with more on the way. Vendilion Clique in the end step earned Force of Will pitching Spell Pierce from Chris, keeping the board stable for both players.
Looking to break it open, David Brainstormed on the next turn with two fetchlands in play. Another Inquisition revealed Batterskull, Spell Pierce, Swords, Jace, and Engineered Explosives—Swords was lost.
Now David fetched Tundra and resolved Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull himself, passing the turn. Drawing land, Chris could try to resolve Jace, and there was very little David would have to say about it. Fetching twice, Chris grabbed some Islands and cast the planeswalker, brainstorming with its ability.
David cast Snapcaster Mage while Chris was tapped out, flashbacking Brainstorm and hoping to find another blue card for his Force of Will. Chucking two lands, he passed with a fetchland and Tundra up—Batterskull was on his mind. Engineered Explosives for two forced David to respond by putting Batterskull into play, where the Germ token would be vulnerable to Jace’s unsummon.
His board basically empty, David cast another Brainstorm in search of aid. His second Stoneforge found Umezawa’s Jitte, and he cast a third one with no search before ending the turn.
A brainstorm with Jace for Chris, and Vendilion Clique sent David’s Jitte to the bottom of his deck. He drew a Brainstorm off the Clique, while Stoenforge Mystic for Chris resolved. David tried another Swords to Plowshares on the Mystic, prompting a pop of the Relic, but it resolved. David fetched afterward, and equipped his Stoneforge with Batterskull before sending both Mystics at Jace. Clique chumped the big one, and David dropped Jace to one loyalty.
He had a Mishra’s Factory in play as well, so Jace would be hard-pressed to survive the next turn unless Chris simply hardcast Batterskull and had Swords. Fatesealing David and leaving the card, he used Path to Exile afterward, allowing David to shuffle the Underground Sea he’d left on top—a slight miss on sequencing.
Inquisition of Kozilek revealed Spell Peirce and Force of Will while discarding Counterspell. Equipping Batterskull to his other Mystic, he forced Chris to block his Mystic with the Germ while Jace fell to one loyalty... but still alive. David was tapped out, so his opponent didn’t want for much. Snapcaster Mage on Path to Exile was sufficient, followed by fatesealing David. Mishra’s Factory predictable picked up Batterskull and attacked, gaining David 7 life when Snapcaster chumped as a result of its “other” ability.
Bouncing up Batterskull, Chris had at least one more blocker prepared. He cast the equipment and then fatesealed against David’s fetchland, leaving the card in top—David fetched to shuffle before drawing for turn. He had ten lands in play—his deck was very live from here.
But Flooded Strand was useless. He ran the same attack, this time passing with five mana up to hardcast Force of Will and finally force Chris off his own copy. A brainstorm for Chris searched for answers, but appeared light... until Snapcaster Mage leapt into action on defense, and Batterskull bounced back to Chris’s hand.
Fatesealing David and sending the card down, Chris cast his Batterskull and passed. David drew and played Swords to Plowshares on the Germ, Chris responding with Brainstorm. Force pitching Spell Pierce countered, and David again put Batterskull on blocking duty for Chris as he went to 52 life.
This back and forth looked likely to be broken by Jace, but Chris had fatesealed aggressively and kept Jace alive while lacking strong plays. He went to nine loyalty and seven mana before passing, and this time had Swords to Plowshares for the Factory. David made him trade Forces to kill the land, but now he had no threat to make Jace dance for.
Jitte resolved for Chris, and David cracked Flooded Strand just to shuffle the fate Chris had sealed him with. Drawing another fetchland, he had to be a little annoyed. Bouncing and recasting Batterskull, he nodded as Chris did the same. Fateseal put the card on top once more, and Chris added Jitte to the mix with Jace on lethal loyalty...
Another Engineered Explosives didn’t do the trick.
Chris 1, David 0
Chris will have to fight through David's discard spells.
Inquisition of Kozilek from David started things off right by binning a Brainstorm from his opponent’s hand, but David had no Stoneforge Mystic on turn 2. Chris, on the other hand, had topdecked one—he cast the Mystic on turn 2 after fetching twice. Snapcaster Mage on Inquisition of Kozilek gave David a second look.
He took Umezawa’s Jitte to leave his opponent on Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Batterskull, and lands. Attacking for 2 damage, David lacked a second blue for his Vendilion Clique nad had to settle for a hardcast Inquisition of Kozilek.
When Chris responded with a fetch for an Island, David feared the worst in Vendilion Clique—but it was just Batterskull. Discarding Swords, David followed by Disenchanting Batterskull. Now Chris would be reliant on Jace!
Another Mystic gave Chris access to “the Squire plan” and Path to Exile handled David’s Snapcaster but gave him an Island. He Thoughtseized on the next turn and followed that with Vendilion Clique, discarding Daze and cycling Spell Pierce. David dropped to 12 life and tapped out to try and resolve Jace against one unknown card—it worked! Fatesealing Chris to send Karakas to the bottom, David passed after an attack.
Now Chris was the one facing down the wall. He swung at David’s face, and that gave David free range to brainstorm with Jace and take control of the game completely. Mishra’s Factory was a stern defender, and Chris conceded after his next draw step.
Chris 1, David 1
Inquisition of Kozilek from David earned a Daze from Chris, and that cleared the way for David’s turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic—no second Daze or Force of Will! Fetching Batterskull, David passed on turn 2 without a land after Chris played Plains and passed—he had Swords to Plowshares on David’s turn, but that enabled Batterskull to enter play.
Engineered Explosives for zero killed the Germ for now, and Chris had lands while David continued to lack, his Brainstorm earning Spell Pierce. He played a fourth land and cast Geist of Saint Traft, threatening to take further advantage of David’s vulnerability.
Swords to Plowshares removed David’s second Stoneforge Mystic, and the Geist knocked him to 15 life. Jace, the Mind Sculptor resolved for Chris. David tried to use Snapcaster as Ambush Viper on Geist, but Force of Will hardcast countered that. The fateseals continued for Chris, locking David on two lands.
At 9 life he cast Brainstorm, and had to try the Snapcaster once again—this time, Chris had drawn Path to Exile off the top to keep Geist around. He fatesealed David again, sending the card to the bottom and ending the turn with Jace on nine loyalty and David on 3 life.
Not good for David.
Lingering Souls and the flashback threatened to end the fun for Chris, especially if one of them got to pick up Batterskull! Stymied for now, Chris bounced a Souls and Stoneforged for Umezawa’s Jitte prior to passing the turn, rather than attacking. David would’ve probably had to fall to 1!
Trading Jaces, David passed the turn with Swords to Plowshares mana available and the potential to climb back into the game. Brainstorm for Chris was one of the better cards he could find here, and he followed by Disenchanting Batterskull and ending the turn—Swords removed Mystic, while Jitte entered play for Chris. Now David Stoneforged for his own Jitte to legend rule, creating yet another blocker, and attacked with one Spirit token.
He was actually back in the game—arguably reasonably far ahead on the board now, since he had more lands and some spells in his hand! Lingering Souls with flashback made four more Spirits, and David attacked for 3 damage. It would be a grind, but it was a grind that favored the Spirits over the Geist from here on out.
Chris fetched to shuffle away his last Brainstormed card. David swung with four Spirits to put Chris on a three-turn clock from here, on 12 life. When David drew Brainstorm, he appeared quite excited. That found him Mishra’s Factory and Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which he used to brainstorm again after going to 2 life for Flooded Strand.
Swinging for 5, David left Chris on 7 life and dead to the board unless he made a move. Drawing one last card, Chris played Stoneforge Mystic to find Batterskull—not good enough to save his life. An attack from the Geist would keep David from having lethal next turn if he blocked incorrectly, but it would also trade away the Geist—he had no choice. David lost two Spirits as Stoneforge helped to block the Geist, leaving David with Jace’s bounce and just enough power to get through. Chris fetched down to 6 life in order to cast the Batterskull.
Spell Pierce left him dead to the board.
Chris 1, David 2