Quarterfinals: Ben Friedman vs. Brian Liu
Ben checks his sideboard notes.
Ben, as the higher seed, chose to play and started with a mulligan down to six cards. Brian found a satisfactory seven and Ben started things off with a Noble+Hierarch off a Forest. Brian dropped to 17 off a fetch land and a Stomping+Ground to have a Hierarch of his own. Ben had a second Hierarch and attacked for two. Brian followed up his Hierarch with a Birds+of+Paradise and a Wall+of+Roots after adding a Misty+Rainforest to his lands.
Ben, still stuck on one land, powered out a Spellskite and passed with a Hierarch back on defense. Brian fetched up a Steam+Vents at end of turn, untapped, and slammed a Linvala%2C+Keeper+of+Silence. Ben took a draw but couldn’t find a play and passed. Brian knocked Ben down to 16 off the exalted legendary angel and shipped the turn. Ben finally found a second land in a Swamp and tried to use an Abrupt+Decay on the Wall, but Brian had a Restoration+Angel to save the Wall and replenished its counters. Brian untapped for his turn and used Chord+of+Calling for Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker and Ben scooped up his cards.
Brian 1, Ben 0
Brian sends his angels into the red zone.
Both players kept their seven-card hands quickly and Ben led with a Birds+of+Paradise off a Forest. Brian had a Bird of his own off a Grove+of+the+Burnwillows. Ben used his Bird to play a Thoughtseize and fell to 19 to see a grip of Linvala%2C+Keeper+of+Silence, Chord+of+Calling, Deceiver+Exarch, Combust, and two lands. Ben decided on grabbing the angel and ended his turn by playing a Misty+Rainforest. Brian’s second turn consisted of playing a basic Plains and Ben fetched up a Temple+Garden at end of turn. Brian used his Exarch to tap down the Birds+of+Paradise on Ben’s upkeep, but Ben still played a Birthing+Pod after dropping to 16 life via Phyrexian mana.
Brian added another Bird to his board and sent the Exarch in to drop Ben to 15 before shipping the turn. Ben used Birthing+Pod to ditch his Birds+of+Paradise for a Wall+of+Roots and added a tapped Godless+Shrine to his side of the board. Brian played a Hierarch, then used Chord+of+Calling to get a Qsali Pride Mage, which he scarified to destroy Ben’s Pod. Ben played a Gavony+Township and a Scavenging+Ooze before passing. Brian went to 21 off a Kitchen+Finks and passed, Ben went up to 17 after using the Ooze to eat the Linvala and the Pride Mage.
Ben sent the Ooze into the red zone and Brian had a Path+to+Exile for it, but not before Ben used the Ooze to exile the Chord+of+Calling from Brian’s graveyard. Ben had no other play, but a land and passed back. Brian attacked with his Finks and Ben blocked and pumped his Wall with the Township. Brian played a Birthing+Pod after Ben tapped out and activated it to give birth to a Restoration+Angel, who blinked the Finks after sacrificing his Exarch. Ben found his Pride Mage to blow up Brian’s Pod and played a Reveilark. Brian’s next play was another Birthing+Pod. This time Brian podded away a Finks to get another Restoration+Angel and reset the Finks to go up to 27.
Ben cast a Murderous+Redcap to kill off the first half of the Kitchen+Finks and passed. Brian Podded away a Hierarch to put a Scavenging+Ooze into play. Brian used his Combust to kill the Reveilark and ate Ben’s targets with the Ooze to keep Ben from rebuilding. Brian attacked Ben down to 11 and passed. Ben drew for the turn and shipped it back with his Redcap and Wall+of+Roots slightly larger thanks to an end of turn Township activation.
Brian sent in his two Restoration+Angels to knock Ben down to 5 then sacrificed a Bird to Pod out another Ooze before passing. Ben again had no play on his turn and awaited the attack from his opponent. Brian went up to 31 at end of turn after eating two creatures in Ben’s graveyard with his Oozes. Brian sent in his angels again for a potential lethal attack, but Ben used Chord+of+Calling to flash in a Linvala to block a Restoration+Angel and drop to 2. Brian showed a Murderous+Redcap and Ben extended his hand.
Brian 2, Ben 0