Round 9: Harry Corvese vs. Chris Jordan
A classic matchup of ramp against control would decide which of these two players earned the right to draw into Top 8. Harry's U/W build has the edge, but Chris is championing a tweaked version of Conley's winning decklist from Grand Prix Orlando.
Chris won the roll and kept his seven, while Harry thought his over before staying pat. Forest, pass for Chris on turn 1, and Plains for Harry got the game started slowly. Woodland Cemetery from Chris earned a nod of recognition from Harry, while his own Glacial Fortress gave away less.
Adding another Forest to the field, Chris passed, and Harry spent turn 3 on Ponder before playing Glacial Fortress. Turn 4 Rampant Growth after a Swamp resolved, and Chris searched for Mountain. Think Twice proved Harry to be on U/W Control, and he untapped into Island and Ratchet Bomb.
Chris Jordan has been proving that Conley's success was no fluke this weekend with Wolf Run Rock.
Developing slowly to this point, Chris played Dragonskull Summit and attempted Acidic Slime. Mana Leak countered the 2/2, and Chris ended his turn. Playing a fifth land after ticking his Ratchet Bomb up, Harry passed the turn. A seventh land for Chris Jordan, and he played Ratchet Bomb. Harry ticked his up to two and flashbacked Think Twice. On his own turn, he played Seachrome Coast.
Now Chris moved his Bomb to one counter and tapped out for Green Sun's Zenith on six. “All right,” Harry said, popping his Bomb in response to kill the opposing Bomb, flashbacking Mana Leak with Snapcaster Mage afterward. Chris passed the turn after that, and Harry swung for 2 damage and played Ghost Quarter.
Solemn Simulacrum resolved on the next turn, Chris searching for another Swamp to go up to eight lands. During the end step, Harry burned Blue Sun's Zenith for four cards to fill up the grip. Playing his own eighth land, Harry cast Ponder to keep three cards on top. He attacked into Solemn Simulacrum, trading for the 2/2, and binned Think Twice during the cleanup step.
Chris drew, played his ninth land, and cast…Solemn Simulacrum, keeping his Primeval Titan in the grip, for now. During the end step, Harry cast White Sun's Zenith for four Cats, putting some pressure onto the board. Chris blocked one of those Cats with Solemn, taking 6 damage and falling to 12 life. Gideon Jura followed, boosting loyalty, and Harry passed with four mana up.
Primeval Titan earned Dissipate from Harry, and Black Sun's Zenith cleaned up the kittens, tapping Chris out. Harry seized that opportunity to thwack with Gideon, no doubt certain that Chris was sitting on some dead Doom Blades, Geth's Verdicts, or Go for the Throats at the moment—and he was.
Another Solemn Simulacrum resolved, Harry shrugging. During the end step of that turn, Chris drew seven more cards with Blue Sun's Zenith, burning through the deck. He played Buried Ruins and cast Karn Liberated, exiling Solemn Simulacrum. He tried to squeeze through an attack with Gideon, and his Negate alongside his Mana Leak were enough to counter both of his opponent's removal spells—Chris was dead.
Harry 1, Chris 0
Forest for Chris met Island from Harry, and Chris made Swamp and Rampant Growthed into another one. Seachrome Coast on turn 2 for Harry, while Chris added Forest to the board on turn 3. Harry's Plains concluded his own third turn.
Chris made his fifth land drop a Mountain and cast Batterskull—that's a real threat, ladies and gentlemen. Harry nodded, allowing it to resolve, and cast Pristine Talisman, ending the turn with two mana available. Swinging for 4 damage, Chris played Inkmoth Nexus and cast Primeval Titan into Mana Leak.
Ponder dug deeper into the deck for Harry, and Divine Offering took care of the Batterskull. Harry played Seachrome Coast and passed, two mana available once again. Chris cast Acidic Slime with two mana up, and Harry considered his choices before letting it resolve. The trigger aimed at Pristine Talisman, and Chris followed with an attack from Inkmoth Nexus. Playing Ghost Quarter, Harry cast Phantasmal Image on the Slime and destroyed the Nexus, ending his turn afterward.
Chris played Kessig Wolf Run, and debated how to use it best. He eventually decided to attack with Acidic Slime and pump his Slime up two, trampling in for some damage but trading creatures, which seemed strictly inferior to using the Wolf Run on the Image unless he really, really feared another Image. Tapping out, Chris played Sphere of the Suns and ended his turn. Harry had Think Twice before untapping, following with Ratchet Bomb and a pass of the turn.
Land and Primeval Titan gave Chris a Mana Leak-proof 6/6, searching for Inkmoth Nexus and Inkmoth Nexus before aiming his Ghost Quarter at Harry's tapped Ghost Quarter. Ticking up that Ratchet Bomb, Harry cast Think Twice and then moved to take his next turn. Ponder kept the top three cards, Harry casting Phantasmal Image on Primeval Titan and passing the turn with four mana up after finding two more Ghost Quarters.
“That's a card,” Chris said, drawing a live one. He used the Wolf Run now to clear the way, animating his Nexuses and attacking with Primeval Titan. The Titan fetched Kessig Wolf Run and Inkmoth Nexus, leaving Chris vulnerable to Ghost Quarter on Mountain and Ratchet bomb on his Sphere from Harry, locking him out of red mana without a second Mountain, but he'd still have three Nexuses cooking. Harry did some math prior to casting Karn Liberated, exiling Primeval Titan and passing with two Ghost Quarters and his Ratchet Bomb on two counters.
“I'm about to live a dream,” Chris announced, casting Army of the Damned into his opponent's colorless mana. He animated two Inkmoth Nexuses after that, attacking Karn down to one loyalty. Harry drew, examined his graveyard, and exiled the Grave Titan in his opponent's hand. Snapcaster Mage flashbacked Ponder, searching for a sweeper that would help him to survive this situation.
Harry was a little surprised to find a damned army staring at him in game 2...
Harry 1, Chris 1
Beginning game 3 short on time, Harry kept his seven and Chris dropped down to six cards. Seachrome Coast into Nexus, Island into a second Nexus—this game was off to a rocket start, as Chris swung in for poison damage.
Harry played Island and Ratchet Bomb, taking another ping from the Nexus as Chris dropped Kessig Wolf Run, sitting on zero colored lands. Casting Ponder, Harry kept his top three in place before laying Ghost Quarter—would he blow it, or take more damage to keep Chris from developing? He took just one poison and declined to end step the Quarter when Chris missed his land drop.
Playing Island, Harry passed again. He took another poison and then cast Blue Sun's Zenith for two cards. During the cleanup step, Chris pitched Garruk, Primal Hunter. Another land, go from Harry, and he went to four poison as Chris attacked and passed. Tapping out for Karn Liberated, Harry exiled an Inkmoth Nexus.
Too little, too late—Chris drew a Swamp and sent his Nexus into Harry, but the planeswalker changed gears, now going after the hand—an Army of the Damned met the exiled zone. Chris saw his Rampant Growth cast via a new Woodland Cemetery Mana Leaked, and then his second Nexus hit the exiled zone as well, Karn sitting on three loyalty.
Birds of Paradise and Ratchet Bomb joined the three lands Chris had in play, and Harry now ticked up his Bomb. Blue Sun's Zenith drew him a fistful of cards, and the Bomb killed that Birds before Karn came in for a Titan from the hand, now on seven loyalty. Chris played an Inkmoth Nexus, gamely offering some offensive, but Karn exiled that one too.
Staring at his hand, Chris contemplated what he could possibly do before deciding there was nothing—he conceded.
Harry 2, Chris 1