Finals: William ‘Huey’ Jensen vs. Brad Nelson
“I wanted to dodge you,” Brad admitted. “I guess I can’t do that anymore!” Brad knew Huey to be a master of the Sneak and Show archetype, making the mirror match an intimidating proposition.
Huey pieces together every look he can per cantrip.
Brad was the only player with a higher seed than Huey, and he used it to ensure the play in at least three of these games—starting with this one. Casting turn 1 Probe, Brad spied two Ponder, Preordain, Daze, Volcanic Island, and two fetchland in Huey’s hand. That meant his actual potential was almost totally disguised.
Volcanic Island with no cantrip for Brad, while Huey Pondered and left the top three in place, earning a Force of Will for his trouble. Brad played a land and passed turn, while Huey fetched to clear the top of his library before casting Preordain. He once more kept Force of Will, then cast another Ponder to shuffle.
Brad hadn’t played any cantrips—did that mean he was rolled up with the full combo already? Playing Lotus Petal, Brad cast Show and Tell with the Petal available, trading with the Daze he’d known was there. Huey replayed his land, and passed the turn. Fetching, Brad went to four lands plus Petal and cast Sneak Attack.
Force of Will from Huey countered, and he Preordained on his own turn. Sending both to the bottom, Huey drew a card. Brad tried another Sneak Attack—Huey once more had Force of Will, and now the game appeared even. Huey had four Sneaks left in the deck, however, while Brad was drawing at his two remaining without a way to discard Emrakul.
Each player drew and cantripped for a handful of turns, and then Huey broke the silence for Sneak Attack with two mana up. Brad hardcast Force of Will to counter, and the players were back to topdecking.
When Brad found a Sneak Attack, he only had to flash Emrakul and another creature to earn the scoop.
Brad 1, Huey 0
Huey kept in game 2 while Brad took a mulligan to six. Huey started with a fetchland while Brad had Volcanic Island, and Brad led Lotus Petal prior to a Gitaxian Probe that seemed likely to be looking for land. It revealed Red Blast, Force of Will, Through the Breach, Sneak Attack, City of Traitors, and other lands.
Playing Ancient Tomb, Brad tapped out and resolved Sneak Attack at the cost of his Petal. That put Huey in a bind... Once he’d passed back to Brad, Brad Sneaked in Griselbrand and drew seven, finding a fetchland and Emrakul to quickly take it down on turn 3!
Brad 2, Huey 0
Brad was starting to feel the blood of 2010 running through his veins now, with an incredibly game 5 dodge against Brian Braun-Duin and now two very strong hands in the finals. Huey had the play again in game 3, his back against the wall as he began with Volcanic Island and Ponder. Brad Pondered on turn 1 as well, and then it was Huey’s turn to Preordain.
Beginning turn 3 with Lotus Petal and a “free” Probe, Brad spotted Daze, Ponder, Show and Tell, Sneak Attack, and Red Elemental Blast... but he didn’t have a kill. Huey took another turn and declined to cast any of his cantrips just yet, likely hoping to represent some interaction while freerolling the opportunity to Brainstorm.
Playing City of Traitors, Brad cast Sneak Attack with just his Petal for defense... and Huey Brainstormed. “That’s a good one,” Brad sighed, and waved that it resolved. Drawing three, Huey found another Brainstorm and Emrakul—he could perhaps dig into a mortal City of Traitors or Ancient Tomb for the next turn if he exhausted Brad’s counterspells here, allowing him to Show in Sneak with Red Elemental Blast available.
Casting Daze, Huey allowed Brad to pay before fetching and Brainstorming again with Sneak Attack still on the stack. Fetching, Huey cast the Brainstorm again. That Brainstorm was also dry, and Huey was locked up without the ability to do much of anything. He Showed in Emrakul, Brad put in Griselbrand... but when Brad went to 3 life for fourteen cards with the Griselbrand, he didn’t turn up an Emrakul!
Huey had a shot. Brad would need to cantrip his way into Emrakul in order to not immediately die on the next turn to Huey’s attack. Brainstorming and then fetching, Brad cast Probe and then one final Brainstorm... but it did not turn up the Emrakul he needed to win.
Brad slams Sneak Attack one more time.
Brad 2, Huey 1
Back on the play, Brad kept his opening seven while Huey went down to six cards. Probe revealed those six cards to be Red Blast, Through the Breach, Lotus Petal, Brainstorm, and two fetchlands. Brad fetched Volcanic Island and cast Ponder, leaving the top three in place. Huey started with Lotus Petal and Misty Rainforest on his own turn before sending the turn over to Brad.
Another fetchland before Brad Pondered, once again leaving those three there and ending his turn. Huey simply played another land and ended the turn, while Brad fetched Volcanic Island and began his next turn with Gitaxian Probe—ominous. It revealed Huey had drawn Sneak Attack and City of Traitors over the last couple turns.
Adding Ancient Tomb to the battlefield, Brad cast Sneak Attack. Huey responded by fetching Volcanic Island and casting Brainstorm. Finding no counterspell, he fetched once more for Volcanic Island and Brainstormed again—all bricks. Not even a creature to threaten his own deadly Sneak Attack!
Brad’s gambit had paid off, and now Huey had to cross his fingers that Brad lacked a way to kill him. He had no offense, no cantrip, and no way to defend himself. Untapping, Brad put into play Emrakul... and that was the game!
Brad 3, Huey 1