Quarterfinals: Caleb Durward vs. Chris Funk
Caleb hoped to lock up two trophies this weekend, but he faced an intimidating Top 8. Chris and Caleb had fought a tough match in the Swiss rounds, and the Pernicious Deeds and Darkblast available to Chris had Caleb wary enough to consider himself the underdog.
Chris took the play thanks to his seed, but also wound up taking a mulligan. On seven, Caleb kept. Creeping Tar Pit for Chris and Fyndhorn Elves for Caleb, while Chris restored parity to their hands with Hymn to Tourach on turn 2. Hitting Wirewood Symbiote and mirror Entity, Chris sent the turn to Caleb.
The Elves attacked—just kidding, Caleb cast Elvish Visionary, then played Gaea’s Cradle to Visionary a second time. Nice Symbiote discard! Thoughtseize pitched Green Sun’s Zenith to leave Caleb with just Nettle Sentinel, and Chris played Underground Sea before passing. Flooding the board, Caleb cast Nettle Sentinel and then Scavenging Ooze, growing it immediately to 4/4. Attacking for two, Caleb left his Fyndhorn back to let him Ooze as necessary.
Caleb’s Elves have served him well in his last two Legacy Opens.
Paying 2 life to Dismember, Chris slew the Ooze—Caleb didn’t remove any cards in response. He swung 5 damage on the next turn, and Chris used Snapcaster Mage to flashback Dismember, falling to 10 as he blocked nettle Sentinel and Dismembered a Visionary. On his own turn, Chris drew and passed.
Knowing Chris had two in his hand, Caleb fetched Dryad Arbor in the end step, but declined to press onward with his meager attack force due to Tar Pit. Casting a second Visionary before combat, Caleb found nothing with which to break through. Diabolic Edict took the Arbor out in the end step, but on his own turn Chris remained on four lands, and passed in turn.
Green Sun’s Zenith for one from Caleb searched up Wirewood Symbiote. “Everyone’s favorite Insect,” he declared. Attacking for 2 with both Visionaries, Caleb nodded as Snapcaster Mage and an Edict killed his Fyndhorn Elves. He let the Snapcaster trade in combat, putting Chris to 9 and then going about his bouncing Visionary shenanigans in the second main.
Fetching to fall to 8, Chris grabbed Tropical Island, his first green source, and cast the last card in his hand: Tarmogoyf. Wasteland on Cradle ended his turn, but Caleb had another. He bounced Visionary in the end step to draw on his turn, then considered whether to jam Priest or wait until he could cast his Glimpse for better value—he elected to drop his Cradle and Visionary again.
Chris sent Tar Pit in and passed, Caleb bouncing Visionary during the end step once again. Glimpse, Birchlore Rangers, Nettle Sentinel, Heritage Druid, tap those for Birchlore Rangers, then tap for another Symbiote—Caleb had no mana floating but he did have an untapped Sentinel and an untapped Cradle, with six men in play and two unused Symbiotes. Tapping Cradle, he cast Birchlore, Llanowar Elves—and Chris conceded in reply.
Caleb 1, Chris 0
A quick Tarmogoyf after fetching for Chris to match Caleb’s Llanowar Elves, while Caleb spent turn 2 on Elvish Visionary and then followed with another Savannah, Quirion Ranger, and Heritage Druid through the Ranger on Elves. Tapping those, he cast another Visionary and then another Heritage Druid!
Facing six 1/1s, Chris declined to attack with his Squire Tarmogoyf. Caleb had only Savannahs for lands, it seemed, but had Mirror Entity in hand... it might be “time” soon. Casting another Nettle Sentinel, he made seven mana to play the Entity and untapped his Druid with Ranger. Making his creatures into 4/4s, Chris responded to Caleb sinking the mana with Brainstorm.
That found Ghastly Demise, and Caleb only got his single attack for 8 damage. Fetching in his upkeep, Chris shuffled up the deck and fell to 10 life. “Halfway there,” Caleb noted. Pernicious Deed for one mopped everything but the Visionaries, and Chris swung for 4 damage. Zenith for one after an attack from Caleb found Wirewood Symbiote, and threatened to brick wall the Tarmogoyf.
Attacking anyway, Chris followed with Thoughtseize to discard Scavenging Ooze, leaving the Visionary to be replayed. Fetching again, falling to 6 life, Chris cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor to brainstorm. Caleb lacked the offense to attack it to death or to put Chris on a two-turn clock—perfect. Drawing land, Caleb tried to improve with an attack on Jace and the second Visionary after fetching.
Chris puzzles out the win in game 2.
“Awkward,” Caleb said of his draw, then ended the turn. He fell to 10 when Chris attacked, and a resolved Pernicious Deed made things awkward. The Jace had again only brainstormed, but the Deed would protect it—Caleb gamely attacked anyway, to force the activation. Bouncing Visionary, Caleb replayed it after combat and added Llanowar Elves and Fyndhorn Elves to his position.
Fetching to 5 life, Chris found his sixth land and had another Pernicious Deed after he attacked to leave Jace alone on the board.
“I want to go eat soon,” Caleb said. “Let’s go to game 3.”
Caleb 1, Chris 1
Caleb 1, Chris 2