Quarterfinals: Jeff Hoogland vs. Greg Mitchell
Jeff drew into the Top 8 with his innovative 4-Color Loam deck, but faced a rough matchup in the first rough: The Epic Storm. Will Greg be able to Silence Jeff or can Jeff Punish him with Fire instead?
Jeff may have drawn into the Top 8, but since he had the best tiebreakers he got to have the play in this matchup. Jeff led off with Bayou, while Greg used Gitaxian Probe to see what else Jeff was working with. Chalice of the Void, Dark Confidant, Green Sun’s Zenith, and a trio of utility lands (Dryad Arbor, Maze of Ith, and Grove of the Burnwillows) was his answer.
“Am I dead?”
“No, you’re not dead.”
“Are you going to make a lot of Goblins?”
Gemstone Mine was Greg's turn, and after he passed he cast Silence on Jeff’s upkeep to effectively Time Walk him. Greg then went for a turn 2 win: Chrome Mox, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Infernal Tutor (sac LED on the stack) to get Ad Nauseum. Starting at 18 and no mana in the pool, Ad Nauseum revealed and drew nine cards and sent Greg to 8 life. He then cast two Lotus Petals, LED, Rite of Flame, and Burning Wish for Tendrils of Agony to storm for 11.
“Well, that’s Magic.” Jeff scooped his cards.
Jeff came prepared for combo with plenty of Chalices.
Greg 1, Jeff 0
“Your deck is much faster than ANT.”
“Yeah, by at least a turn.”
Jeff once again had the play, and Greg mulliganed. When play got underway, Jeff looked like he would have a similar start to last game with a dual land on turn 1… but this time he had the nut-high hand of Mox Diamond into Chalice of the Void for one. Greg had a rough start, not even playing a land on his first turn. Jeff cast Life from the Loam for no targets, and once more Greg had no land but cast Lotus Petal instead. Jeff fetched at the end of the turn, finding Arbor Elf.
Knight of the Reliquary, a 3/3 currently, resolved for Jeff. Greg could only draw and discard. Life from the Loam got under way for Jeff, and in short order Knight chopped Greg down from 20 to 15. Greg found Misty Rainforest on his turn but nothing else. Jeff targeted Greg’s fetchland with Wasteland to make him search up Underground Sea, then Burning Wish found Shattering Spree. Jeff replicated once, and the copy resolved since Chalice countered the first one. Lotus cracked for green mana in response, and once Jeff went to attack step Greg cast Abrupt Decay to destroy the troublesome Mirrodin artifact. Jeff stayed in his main phase and tanked for a bit before activating Knight to search out Wasteland to knock out the last of Greg’s permanents.
Greg used Gitaxian Probe (dropping to 12, with Knight as an 8/8) to show him Jeff’s hand of Thoughtseize and Life from the Loam. Gitaxian Probe two dropped Greg down to 8, then Chrome Mox became a Mox Sapphire by removing Chain of Vapor. He then cast Brainstorm…
Greg's looking to Storm past this Loam deck.
“C’mon, get there…”
Flooded Strand and pass was his play. Then Jeff counted up his power (9 currently, with the Dryad Arbor) before casting Thoughtseize targeting Jeff. Greg responsed with a fetchland activation, finding Underground Sea. He cast Chain of Vapor targeting Knight of the Reliquary. In response, Jeff used Knight (sacking Arbor) to find Wasteland and then asked about the Oracle text on Chain of Vapor. After seeing that, he snagged Greg’s Ponder from a Rite of Flame and Dark Ritual hand. Jeff used his mana to recast Knight of the Reliquary before passing.
Now with no action, Jeff kept chaining together Wastelands, Maverick style, until Greg conceded.
Greg 1, Jeff 1
“I almost bounced your Mox there.”
Greg finally had the play, and used it to start things off with Cabal Therapy naming Chalice of the Void. Jeff showed that he had no such cups, but instead held a grip of Mox Diamond, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Knight of the Reliquary, Life from the Loam, and lands. Jeff then used Mox Diamond and Wasteland to cast the Dark Ascension legend, discarding Dryad Arbor. City of Brass came down, and Greg spent 1U to cast Ponder. He shuffled away the mess that uncovered, and drew a random one instead.
Thalia smashed into the red zone to put the clock into motion, and after cycling Forgotten Cave he played Tranquil Thicket instead. Wasteland took out Greg’s Underground Sea, and Jeff passed. But Greg still had Misty Rainforest.
“All the lands.”
Volcanic Island allowed Greg to cast Brainstorm to dig for a way to deal with the 2/1 first striking Thorn of Amethyst on the opposite side of the table. Jeff untapped and attacked Greg to 13 before just simply passing right back, and Greg paid one mana for Chrome Mox (removing a blue card) and also one mana for Lotus Petal. Dark Confidant joined Thalia as the other 2/1 on the board for Jeff, and Thalia dropped Greg to 11. Confidant trigger found a land, and after the pair of Goblin Piker creatures attacked Greg Abrupt Decayed the Thalia… but Jeff had another one ready and waiting after combat.
Greg had nothing after that, and Chalice of the Void for one on Jeff’s next turn was even more pressure. WhileChain of Vapor targeted Thalia in response, Jeff sacrificed a land to copy the Chain and bounce Chrome Mox, and Chalice for one resolved. Greg had no outs after that, and he scooped up his cards.
Jeff 2, Greg 1