Quarterfinals: Bryan Eleyet vs. Kyle Dunn
Colossal Gruul doesn’t like to see a Thoughtseize-laded deck with Doom Blades and Hero’s Downfall, but that’s what he’d face this round. Kyle Dunn’s Orzhov Midrange list was more controlling than the Pro Tour list piloted by Paul Rietzl, but could use High Priest of Penance to threaten Bryan’s planeswalkers differently.
Kyle's Orzhov Midrange is packing High Priest of Penance.
Kyle started on Swamp, while Bryan kept his top card in place with Temple of Abandon. High Priest of Penance on turn 2 for Kyle, while Bryan played Sylvan Caryatid and shipped the turn right back. Devour Flesh slew the 0/3, one of the few cards that could, and Kyle played a land before attacking for 1 damage.
Bryan dropped Nykthos and boosted Domri up a loyalty, but Kyle’s follow-up was much bigger—Desecration Demon! Bryan pumped Domri again, finding nothing, and debated what to do from here. Casting Burning-Tree Emissary and channeling the mana through Nykthos, Bryan played and used Scavenging Ooze. When Kyle entered combat, Bryan burned his Emissary to tap down the Demon.
Reading some Bones, Kyle shipped two to the bottom and fell to 18 life. Domri made it to five, finding Sylvan Caryatid on top for Bryan before he cast Xenagos to start churning out Satyr tokens. The Satyr hit the bin to keep the Demon at bay, and Lifebanze Zombie for Kyle stripped Arbor Colossus from Bryan’s hand, leaving him on two Nykthos and Caryatid—awkward. Underworld Connections followed, and Kyle ended a pretty good turn with High Priest on defense.
Drawing his fourth Nykthos, Bryan cast the Caryatid and then used Domri to fight down the Lifebane Zombie. He was in a stable state, growing Domri with Xenagos against the Demon... but Kyle had tons of ways to break this open and Bryan’s position was only growing weaker. Kyle began Connecting through the Underworld and then cast Whip of Erebos, threatening to make his next creature a real bruiser.
Still stuck, Bryan boosted Domri and ended his turn. Kyle drew and passed, and when Bryan saw Garruk with his next Domri activation, he had to be a little hopeful. That could potentially put him in the lead! Kyle’s Demon grew to 11/11 as another Satyr died, but a second Demon in conjunction with the Whip would start eating planeswalkers soon.
Bryan jammed down Garruk and boosted, revealing Elvish Mystic and Voyaging Satyr to the planeswalker—not a strong haul. Domri found another Voyaging Satyr, and Bryan used an extra Nykthos to play all of his mana dudes. That would help him stave off both Demons for a bit! Maybe Kyle would have to start attacking with his High Priests... For now, a Doom Blade on Scavenging Ooze would suffice.
The Demons got tapped, and with Domri on six mana Kyle was probably sweating the situation. Bryan needed to hold things off for one more turn... Domri went to seven, revealing an Emissary, and Garruk added another one with three more creatures in the mix! “That’s pretty nuts,” Kyle admitted. Bryan dropped his handful of creatures onto the table and passed the turn over to Kyle.
Could he Hero’s Downfall the Domri? At this rate, even the Whip wasn’t good enough to win the race. Bryan threw away three creatures to keep the Demons tapped, and he still had plenty. Gray Merchant of Asphodel put Bryan to 11 and Kyle to 30—quite a swing, but not a lethal one. The Ooze grew to 6/6 as Bryan went to 15, and he untapped with Domri Rade in play! At least one of those High Priests really needed to have battled...
Ultimating the planeswalker, Bryan next jumped Garruk and hit Polukranos—“That’s a good start”—alongside some mediocre mana dorks. “This is probably going to work out pretty well for me.” Casting a third Satyr and a third Caryatid, Bryan had sixteen devotion to green in play! He could activate Nykthos five times, thanks to his three Satyrs and final copy of the legendary land in-hand, and that mana would make Polukranos HUGE.
He made it to 77 mana off the lands, and then used Xenagos for eleven more mana to make it 88. Polukranos went monstrous for 43 +1/+1 counters, murdering Kyle’s blockers and losing his planeswalkers to the Priests... before attacking for well over a hundred damage.
Bryan Eleyet made nearly ninety mana!
Bryan 1, Kyle 0
Kyle was slow to start with taplands, but Bryan had Burning-Tree Emissary into Voyaging Satyr to threaten a big Nykthos on turn 3 if he had one. Lifebane Zombie exiled Scavenging Ooze, revealing Domri Rade, Chandra, Pyromaster, and Xenagos, the Reveler plus a Garruk—all he needed was a third land!
Hitting the land, Bryan zapped Zombie with Chandra and assumed control. Xenagos made a Satyr and Chandra enabled Bryan to attack for 4 damage, with the Satyrs still capable of keeping the Demon out of combat. Kyle had a second Demon, and Bryan again used Chandra to force in damage before casting Polukranos, World Eater.
On 11 life, Kyle had to legitimately worry about taking lethal on Bryan’s next turn. He was untapping with two Demons, but Bryan had the means to stay them and get in 8 more damage already. Whip of Erebos forced Bryan to throw away two creatures, tapping down the Demons and keeping his attack available... until Kyle dropped High Priest of Penance.
That changed things!
Chandra forced Kyle to trade his Priest for Polukranos, and he added Scavenging Ooze to the board in its place after another swing for 4 damage put Kyle to 6. Left with just Ooze after tapping down the Demon, Chandra and Ooze were enough to get through lethal damage against just Lifebane Zombie.
Bryan 2, Kyle 0