Evil Dead: Semifinals, Richard Nguyen vs. Jon Goss
Both of these players drove up together from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, both are members of Team Panda, and both players are playing some interesting meta-calls.
“Wow, look at all these cards I told you to put in. What does Undying Evil even do?”
The Dark Ascension common is a two-of in both players deck. Joey Pasco made the claim that it’s a one mana Restoration Angel, but in some situations (like against Mizzium Mortars overload) it’s even better. Hopefully we’ll see some fireworks with it in the semis!
Richard had the play and after Jon mulliganed to six, and he led things off with Temple Garden to Jon’s Godless Shrine. Richard has turn two Farseek for Blood Crypt, and Jon’s Farseek found Temple Garden. Huntmaster of the Fells turn three is not too shabby in a midrange matchup, and Richard had it on the play. Jon followed that up with Centaur Healer and Arbor Elf, setting life totals at 22-23. Searing Spear cleared the way for the pair of 2/2s to get through. Sacred Foundry after combat led to a passing of the turn.
Richard is hoping his Dark Naya can gain five more from Thragtusk!p>
Jon cast Thragtusk (or Thraggles, as Jon calls it) to go back up to 24, then played Overgrown Tomb tapped. Richard had another Huntmaster to grow his army, but did not attack. Thraggle Rock attacked, and the pair of tokens blocked it… but Undying Evil brought the now 6/4 ‘Tusk back, gaining another five life and making Brad Nelson token enter under Jon’s side of the board as well. Loxodon Smiter also came into play. Richard drew and passed, and as night fell Ravager of the Fells triggers dropped Jon to 25 and Thragtusk, “goes splat.”
Loxodon Smiter entered the red zone to make life totals 20 for Richard to 25 for Jon, after which Lingering Souls made two tokens. Richard drew, played a land, and passed. Jon, despite facing down two 4/4 Ravagers, was the aggro and attacked with both 1/1 Spirits and the Smiter. Richard declared no blocks, and another Thragtusk (using Avacyn’s Pilgrim and keeping a black mana untapped) threatened to put things out of reach.
Richard cast Farseek and Avacyn’s Pilgrim on his turn to reflip Huntmaster of the Fells one and two, going back up to 18 as a result. Jon, unfazed, swung with the whole team (except Pilgrim): two Beast tokens, Thragtusk, Loxodon Smiter, and two Spirits. Pilgrim went under the Thragtusk’s tires and Wolves double blocked a Beast token. Richard took nine and fell to 9.
“How many cards in your hand?”
Richard had three.
“You should play more cards!”
That's quite the cluttered board there...
Tragic Slip gave one of the Huntmasters -13/-13 to bury it in the ground, and the Jon passed. Richard cast Mizzium Mortars with overload, to which Jon responded by casting Undying Evil on Thragtusk. At that exact moment, Jon’s phone went off and played the ‘Level Up’ theme from Mario… quite fitting.
Wolf token chump blocked Thragtusk and the Beast token that also attacked dropped Richard to 6 (with Jon at 35). Lingersing Souls flashed back for Jon, and also Lingering Souls from hand. Richard drew and passed, which allowed Ravager of the Fells to knock off a Spirit, but by attacking with all five guys (otherwise known as ‘burgers and fries’) Richard had to flash in Restoration Angel to make a new Beast. Angel blocked Spirit and Wolf blocked ‘Tusk, and Richard fell to 3. Loxodon Smiter post-combat along with flashback on Lingering Souls was the follow-up.
Richard flipped Ravager again to take out another Spirit, and once more Jon swung with the team. After some quick math, Richard scooped.
Jon 1, Richard 0.
“Drew a lot of lands at the end there at the end.”
“Yeah, I noticed. I guess a second Mizzium Mortars overload gets me, but if I’m playing around a second one of those I guess you got me.”
“Yeah, I guess that’d be like playing around the second Undying Evil.”
Rootbound Crag started things off, and Jon said, “shock myself,” in order to cast Avacyn’s Pilgrim with Temple Garden. Rootbound Crag two came in tapped for Richard, and Jon continued with Farseek. Richard finally was able to cast Farseek (to fetch Temple Garden) before passing, unable to play a land from hand. Thragtusk turn three from Jon was a much better third turn, I do believe.
Clifftop Retreat allowed Richard to leave up a red mana for a freshly cast Boros Reckoner though, so Jon wasn’t in the greatest shape so he just drew, played a land, and passed. Richard said, “I’ll shock myself.” (“very nice”) and pondered.
“I have a playset of cards in my hand…”
Huntmaster of the Fells would be a pretty nice one to have a playset of, though.
“I’ll gain two life…”
“That’s like the opposite of shocking yourself!”
Jon couldn’t complain though, with a bigger life gain swing and bigger token with Restoration Angel. He untapped and complained about Boros Reckoner holding him off before swinging with Angel. Richard fell to 17 (Jon at 28) before playing Sunpetal Grove and casting another Restoration Angel and once more blinking Thragtusk. Richard untapped and was facing quite the military force, but began by adding Kessig Wolf Run to his board and passing. Ravager of the Fells dealt two to Avacyn’s Pilgrim and two to Jon in Jon’s upkeep, then Jon drew.
“That’s a decent card. Goodness…”
Jon is glad to be here with his pile of Junk!
Vault of the Archangel before combat for Jon led to the pair of 3/4 fliers coming in, and Richard took six. Life totals sat at 31-11. Obzedat, Ghost Council did a Blind Hunter impression, but Restoration Angel from Richard gained those life right back at end of turn. Restoration Angel attacked Jon, who fell to 30. Ravager of the Fells reared its ugly head again, and ‘Dat Ghost Dad also returned to the battlefield. Jon’s Angels yet again entered the red zone, but Richard had at least one more Angel (blinking Huntmaster of the Fells) to block. Vault of the Archangel activation meant Richard’s Angel died and Jon went to 36. Not good for the leader of Team Panda.
Blood Crypt (tapped) and Thundermaw Hellkite entered play for Richard on the defense, alongside many Wolf tokens and a smattering of other Nayasmen. Once more, Restoration Angels went Through the Breach, and after one Angel blocked one and Thundermaw blocked another, Undying Evil saved the one that died to a 5/5 Dragon. The now 4/5 Angel blinked Thragtusk, setting life totals at 49 to 6. Obzedat came and went in the process, continuing its Funeral March…
Richard drew and passed, Ravaging the 4/5 Angel on the flips. Obzedat drained two more life, and after some quick calculation he attacked with a pair of Angels. Restoration Angel (thanks to Wolf Run) traded with 4/5, and Richard fell to 3. Post-Vault activation, Jon went to 56(!). Richard, squarely behind the eight-ball, died to Jon’s Obzedat and Restoration Angel. Richard revealed Bonfire of the Damned, showing that if he had found a land he could’ve dealt with the Angel. But then there’s the matter of 56 more life points…
Jon 2, Richard 0.