Quarterfinals: Richard Nguyen vs. Josh Everly
Grand Prix Charlotte top 8 competitor and former Standard Open winner Richard Nguyen made his way into today’s top 8 with many a Predator Ooze and Revenge of the Hunted. Can Josh’s Imposing Sovereigns and Banisher Priests keep up? It’s the battle of the basic lands!
Josh is hoping to Banish the opposition!
By virtue of the second overall seed, Richard had the play and led off with Arbor Elf, while Doomed Traveler was Josh’s first play. Mutavault and Llanowar Elves… er, I mean Elvish Mystic entered play for Richard, while Josh was not equipped with a 2-drop. Predator Ooze turn three immediately picked up Rancor for Richard, but Banisher Priest quickly handled that.
Another Mutavault joined Richard’s board, then it became alive. Elvish Mystic grabbed the Rancor, and Richard swung in for five. Champion of the Parish and Frontline Medic entered play for the Mono White player, and he passed right back. Garruk, Caller of Beasts entered play for Richard, and he used the +1 Lead the Stampede ability to call some Beasts (and Oozes and Elves and what have you). He found Wolfir Silverheart and Arbor Elf, then cast the Elf before passing the turn. Champion of the Parish number two and Frontline Medic number two grew one Champ to 4/4 and the other (summoning sick) to 2/2. Josh decided to attack with the four creatures that could attack: Medic, Priest, Traveler, and 4/4 Champion. Richard took ten, falling to 8, and Josh passed.
Richard had to get it done quick if he was to get it done at all, facing the inevitability of Frontline Medic’s indestructible ability… and indeed he did, activating both Mutavaults before using Garruk’s Dramatic Entrance -3 mode to drop the hammer down in the form of Craterhoof Behemoth. Behemoth gave all of his creatures +6/+6 and made a Behemoth Hoof Crater out of Josh’s life total.
Richard 1, Josh 0.
Richard's ready to Hoof it!
“Guess I should have hit the Garruk…
I should also point out that the players both had color coordinated sleeves, with the Mono White pilot utilizing white sleeves and the Mono Green player using Mr. Greensleeves. Adorable.
Now on the play, Josh led with Champion of the Parish, and Richard (after a mulligan to six) played a turn one Elvish Mystic. Doomed Traveler made Champion a 2/2… but no second Plains could mean trouble. Strangleroot Geist came to play defense for Richard, but it came into play before Josh found his second Plains for Imposing Sovereign. Richard took four from attacks, falling to 14, and further developed his board on his turn with Mutavault followed by a tapped Elvish Mystic and Garruk Relentless. After some deliberation, Garruk traded with the Champion and Richard pinged two damage thanks to Strangleroot Geist.
Josh failed to find a third land, but attacks dropped Richard to 11. Richard found the opportunity to cast Wolfir Silverheart too tempting, pairing the Wolf Warrior with Strangleroot Geist and then bringing the beats with 6/5 Geist and 1/1 Elf. Celestial Flare ate the 1/1, and Josh fell to 12. Imposing Sovereign dropped Richard into single digits, but still on naught but two Plains Josh could only pass after that. Richard’s huge army of 8/8 Wolf, 6/5 Spirit, 2/2 Changeling land, and a pair of Elves dropped Josh to 2. His third land finally showed up, but possibly a bit too late. Banisher Priest got the Wolfir Silverheart off the board… but Revenge of the Hunted miracle ended the game in the very next draw step.
Richard 2, Josh 0.