Elimination Match: Kevin Jones vs. Joe Lossett
These two players came into the tournament as Leaderboard leaders, earning their spots in Seasons 3 and 4. Now one of them was going home. Would Joe's W/U Heroic carry the day, or Kevin's Jeskai Tokens?
Joe had the Favored Hoplite to get things started, but was missing an aura to attach to it on turn 2 for the “nut” draw, simply attacking for 1 and passing the turn. Kevin dropped Seeker of the Way into play on turn 2, but declined to block when Joe again came knocking for a single point of damage with his Favored Hoplite. Joe followed up after combat with a Battlewise Hoplite, which was able to block the token when Kevin untapped and added Goblin Rabblemaster to his board.
The Hoplites came in again, dropping Kevin to 14, but Joe had no effects, and no plays after combat, simply passing the turn with mana untapped. Kevin seemed wary of tricks, but ultimately decided to attack anyway, and Joe showed him his 1-of Triton Tactics. The Hoplites untapped and jumped in front of Seeker and Rabblemaster. Kevin had Jeskai Charm to prevent it from being a complete blowout, putting the Battlewise Hoplite back on top to prevent it from killing off his Rabblemaster. Joe fell to 18, untapped, and plopped his Hoplite right back into play from the top of his library.
Kevin got in another attack, dropping Joe to 12, and Joe went for a healthy attack of his own by stringing together a pair of Defiant Strikes on his Battlewise Hoplite. Kevin had Raise the Alarm for a chump blocker, falling to 12 from the Favored Hoplite. He untapped and added Jeskai Ascendancy to his board, threatening a big turn upcoming. Joe found Heliod’s Pilgrim to retrieve Ordeal of Thassa, putting it on his Battlewise Hoplite to net two new cards, and drawing a chump block from Kevin’s other Soldier token.
Kevin untapped and sent everything but the Rabblemaster into the red zone. Joe moved to block with his Heliod’s Pilgrim, and Kevin had a Raise the Alarm to buff up his team, sending the Pilgrim to the bin and dropping Joe down to 4. He passed with a board of untapped tokens, and Joe didn’t have a way to push damage through them. He attacked with his 7/7 Battlewise Hoplite, Kevin chump blocked, and Joe passed back. A Treasure Cruise and a Hordeling Outburst later, Kevin was attacking with an army of 4/4s, and we were on to game 2.
Kevin Jones 1, Joe Lossett 0
Joe again had the turn 1 Favored Hoplite, but this time he was able to follow it up with the second part of the 1-2 punch, adding Ordeal of Thassa on turn 2 to connect for 3 damage. Kevin had a pair of taplands, so he was without a defense as Joe cast a second Ordeal of Thassa and then cracked in for 6 more damage, triggering both Ordeals to draw four cards. Kevin got on board turn 3 with a Mantis Rider, but it was outclassed already by the enormous Favored Hoplite on Joe’s side of the table.
It wouldn’t even get a chance to chump block, as Joe had Glare of Heresy to send it into exile, then cast Ordeal of Heliod and swung again, dropping Kevin to 2. Kevin passed the turn again, and had Raise the Alarm on Joe’s next attack to buy some chump blockers, and used one immediately. Joe added Seeker of the Way to his board to make it two lethal attackers.
Kevin passed again, and when Joe attacked, he pushed his last blocker in front of the Favored Hoplite and attempted to Lightning Strike the Seeker of the Way. A pair of Defiant Strikes from Joe made the Seeker a 4/4, and it pushed through for the win.
Kevin Jones 1, Joe Lossett 1
Joe again had the Favored Hoplite, but it didn’t show up until turn 2 thanks to a series of Temple of Enlightenment. By that time Kevin had two 1/1 Soldiers in play thanks to a Raise the Alarm, and the Hoplite stayed home on turn 3, as Joe added Hero of Iroas to his board. Kevin flashed in two more Soldiers with another Raise the Alarm, then passed back to Joe with four soldiers and four lands untapped.
When Joe moved to put Aqueous Form on his Favored Hoplite, Kevin tapped two Soldiers and two lands to cast Stoke the Flames on it. Joe tried to use Defiant Strike to trigger the Hoplite and prevent damage, but Kevin tapped all of his remaining permanents to cast a second Stoke the Flames to finish the job. Kevin attacked with four 1/1s to drop Joe to 17 and passed again. Joe found Ordeal of Thassa with a Heliod’s Pilgrim, but Kevin wasn’t out of tricks just yet, and cast Erase on the Ordeal before Joe could attack with his Hero of Iroas. Joe opted to attack anyway, bringing Kevin down to 10.
Kevin swung in with his tokens, and Joe blocked with his 1/2 Heliod’s Pilgrim. Jeskai Charm’s +1/+1 mode saved the token, swinging life totals around, as Joe fell to 11 and Kevin jumped back up to 15. Joe added Battlewise Hoplite to his board and attacked for another 3, which Kevin took and then attacked for 4 right back. Seeker of the Way came down post-combat as a blocker, but Joe’s Glare of Heresy cleared the way, and Joe’s heroes attacked Kevin down to 8.
Joe had a Favored Hoplite before passing, which meant that Kevin would lose a token if he attacked. He decided to leave everyone back on defense, and added still more tokens to his board, drawing and casting a Hordeling Outburst. When Joe attacked all out, Kevin apprehensively pushed some tokens into the red zone to gang-block. Joe showed him Defiant Strike to pump his Battlewise Hoplite, keeping his biggest threat and dropping Kevin to 5.
Kevin was down to a pair of tokens, and he found air on top of his library. The two Heroes came attacking, and Kevin was forced to chump block one of them, falling to 3. He drew another land, and extended the hand in defeat.
Joe Lossett 2, Kevin Jones 1