Quarterfinals: Milton Figueroa vs. Michael Braverman
Drowned+Catacomb, Michael revealed his hand to Milton’s Gitaxian+Probe at the cost of 2 life. It sported two Glacial+Fortress, Plains, Grave+Titan, Think+Twice, and Day+of+Judgment. Milton cast Delver+of+Secrets off an Island afterward, and passed the turn content to dodge spot removal off the top. Michael played his Plains and passed, while Milton’s Delver whiffed and attacked for a point. Playing Seachrome+Coast, Milton again paid 2 life for Gitaxian+Probe, seeing Dissipate and failing to draw the Mana+Leak that would tell him whether he could safely play Phantasmal+Bear or not. He decided to hedge his bets with Snapcaster+Mage on Gitaxian Probe—drawing the Mana+Leak!
Michael Braverman quickly moved into the elimination rounds today.
Think+Twice during the end step for Michael, and he played Glacial+Fortress before passing the turn. Milton had the beats, and wouldn’t be likely to cast much beyond the Phantasmal+Bear into the Dissipate. He did play the Bear, and Michael burned his counter.
Playing Drowned+Catacomb, Michael didn’t even try the Day into Milton’s well-represented Mana+Leak. The next attack put Michael to 13 life, and Milton cast Lord+of+the+Unreal with two mana untapped. Michael flashbacked Think+Twice, and then played his Fortress before passing the turn. Milton hit Ponder with his Delver, generating a two-turn clock immediately. That merited a White Sun’s Zenith for two from Michael, which resolved and traded with both of Milton’s ground guys. Casting Ponder, Milton grabbed a Delver+of+Secrets and left Vapor+Snag on top of the deck, casting his Delver and passing.
Did Michael have the requisite Mana+Leak to stick Day? Nope—but he did have Gideon+Jura to bait out the Leak, followed by a Seachrome+Coast. Milton flipped his Delver and attacked Michael to 4 life. Michael tried the Day+of+Judgment on the following turn, and Milton decided to let it resolve rather than cast Snapcaster+Mage for Mana+Leak, as that play would leave him far behind if Michael had his own Mana+Leak . He made a Spirit token during the end step, and attacked with it on his own turn before passing with five mana untapped, in a commanding position against an opponent on 3 life.
Forbidden+Alchemy on his own turn dug for help, Michael risking going down to “dead to Vapor Snag” if he didn’t handle the token threat one way or another. He binned Day and Pristine+Talisman, along with a land, before using Ghost+Quarter on Moorland+Haunt. Milton replied with a Spirit token, and then searched up his Island. He declined to end step the Snapcaster, continuing to grind it out and conserve his cards for value—Milton just untapped, attacked Michael to 1 life, and passed the turn.
Michael really needed Timely+Reinforcements, and little else, to survive this turn. He cast Day+of+Judgment, and Milton picked up his tokens. During the end step, Milton cast Snapcaster+Mage, and he attacked with it on the following turn for the kill.
Milton 1, Michael 0
Beginning with Plains, Michael nodded as Milton again began with Probe. Revealing Island, Phantasmal+Image, Gideon+Jura, Divine+Offering, Day+of+Judgment, and Go+for+the+Throat, Milton was happy to see a dicey keep on Michael’s side as he played Delver+of+Secrets as well. Michael played Island, and passed the turn. Milton’s Delver stayed a 1/1, and another Probe revealed Think+Twice. Milton attacked for 1, and then cast Snapcaster+Mage as Silvergill+Adept, passing afterward. Michael cast his Think+Twice, hitting Seachrome+Coast and sending turn back to Milton. His Delver again missed, and he swung Michael to 16 after playing Moorland+Haunt, passing.
Milton J. Figueroa bested fellow Floridian Bret Farrell in the final round for his slot.
The Think+Twice flashbacked and Michael untapped, playing Drowned+Catacomb as he continued to find lands awaiting him on top of the deck. He passed with four mana up—when Milton attacked, Go+for+the+Throat on Delver merited no reply. Milton cast Phantasmal+Bear during the second main, rather than Phantasmal+Image for an Adept, and passed after playing a second Moorland+Haunt.
Mana+Leak countered Michael’s Phantasmal+Image, and he played Think+Twice to find his fifth land on the top, immediately playing it. Milton attacked him to 10 and now cast the Image, copying Snapcaster for the Probe’s effect once again. It revealed Elspeth+Tirel and Grave+Titan as the new cards in Michael’s hand, and Milton passed with Mana+Leak still available afterward.
Drawing, Michael knew he was up against a wall—or at least a Mana+Leak. He jammed Elsepth Tirel, his least incredible card, but Milton Mana Leaked her regardless. His attack for 6 put Michael to 4 and very close to dead—in fact, if Milton had drawn a land, Sword+of+War+and+Peace would’ve won the game! It didn’t matter much. Snapcaster+Mage on Mana+Leak countered Michael’s Gideon+Jura on the following turn, and that wrapped up the game.
Milton 2, Michael 0