Quarterfinals: Stephen Mann vs. Justin Parente
Stephen ponders a play in Game 1.
Both players led with fetch lands on turn 1 and Stephen made the first play by taking a peek at Justin’s hand from Gitaxian Probe. Stephen sacrificed his Scalding Tarn for a Tropical Island and Justin cracked his Polluted Delta for a Swamp. Stephen played a Volcanic Island and produced the first threat of the game – a Tarmogoyf. Justin cast a Brainstorm off a Tropical Island and played a Deathrite Shaman.
Stephen opted to use a Lightning Bolt on the Shaman then destroyed Justin’s Tropical Island with a Wasteland before attacking with the Goyf to drop Justin to 15. Justin tried to crack a Verdant Catacombs on Stephen’s upkeep, but Stephen Stifled it and bashed with Tarmogoyf again before playing another Wasteland. Justin tried to crack a Misty Rainforest but Stephen had another Stifle to keep Justin on only a Swamp.
Stephen fetched up another Volcanic Island and Brainstormed, attacked Justin down to five, added a Nimble Mongoose to the board and shipped the turn. Justin got to actually fetch up a land off his next Verdant Catacombs, but the Baleful Strix he tried to cast got Dazed and Justin picked up his cards.
Stephen 1, Justin 0
Justin decides on keeping his opener in Game 2.
Justin started things off by suspending an Ancestral Visions while Stephen had a turn-1 Delver of Secrets, but Stephen countered it with a Force of Will, pitching another Visions. Justin played a Deathrite Shaman on his second turn after ticking down the Visions and passed. Stephen made his second land drop and Submerged the Shaman for free, then fetched up a Tropical Island to play a Tarmogoyf.
Justin rolled the Visions down and replayed his Deathrite Shaman after playing his third land. Stephen Pondered and attacked with the Tarmogoyf to drop Justin to 15 and played another copy of the Luhrgoyf. Justin played a Shardless Agent and cascaded into an Abrupt Decay that destroyed the untapped Tarmogoyf. Stephen considered his options, knowing that Justin’s Visions would come off suspend next turn, and Brainstormed. Stephen attacked with the Tarmogoyf and Justin had no blocks, but removed a Tarmogoyf from the bin to gain two life. Stephen wasted Justin’s Bayou before passing.
Justin went to draw a few cards off the Visions, but Stephen had the Pyroblast, so Justin attacked with his Shardless Agent after drawing just a single card. Stephen Brainstormed and went to 15 by fetching up another Volcanic Island then attacked with the Tarmogoyf to knock Justin to 11 after he removed the Delver of Secrets via Deathrite Shaman to shrink the Tarmogoyf. Stephen Pondered again, then Submerged the Deathrite Shaman to set Justin back a turn.
Justin got in with the agent and passed after replaying his Shaman. Stephen Pondered for a third time and found a Dismember to kill the Shaman, then knocked Justin to 7 off his Tarmogoyf. Justin drew and passed, leaving the agent on defense. Stephen Brainstormed, used a Wasteland to destroy Justin’s Tropical Island, then Pyroblasted the agent to beat in for five and dropped Justin to 2.
Justin found a Shardless Agent that cascaded into an Aburpt Decay to kill the Tarmogoyf, then passed back clinging to life. Stephen had another Dismember for the Agent. Justin ripped a Baleful Strix off the top and drew before passing. Stephen deployed a would-be-lethal Grim Lavamancer and passed the turn. Justin drew for the turn and didn’t find the answer to the Lavamancer and extended the hand.
Stephen 2, Justin 0