Finals: Aaron Barich vs. Woodrow Bogucki
Aaron was the lone loss for Woodrow in the Swiss rounds, which meant he’d need to avenge himself in the finals for the trophy. It wouldn’t be easy—Aaron had the play and an aggressive deck capable of putting on the pressure.
Aaron's looking for a trophy after this time around in the Top 8.
Aaron took 2 damage to start with Experiment+One on the first turn, and Woodrow did the same but for Avacyn’s Pilgrim. Aaron’s Rootbound+Crag gave him a second Experiment before Dryad+Militant evolved each to 2/2, and he attacked Woodrow down to 16. Putting in Loxodon+Smiter, Woodrow hoped he’d be able to start blocking.
A third Experiment+One... and a pass meant Woodrow got his wish! He didn’t rest on his laurels, however. Playing Unflinching+Courage onto the Smiter and adding a Rancor, he attacked with the 8/6 lifelinker to put Aaron in a bind. “That really sucks,” Aaron admitted, trading off two Experiments and Dryad+Militant while Woodrow leaped to 24 life and lost his Elephant.
“Please don’t have any more spells that do anything?” Aaron asked, adding another Dryad+Militant to the board, evolving his remaining Experiment and attacking. Voice+of+Resurgence and Geist+of+Saint+Traft were certainly good spells, but Sacred+Foundry gave Aaron a good spell of his own in Boros+Reckoner.
A second Unflinching+Courage suited up Geist before being joined by Rancor, and Woodrow attacked for 6 with an Angel token in tow. Another gang block for Aaron sent him to 7 life with Boros+Reckoner eliminating the Avacyn’s Pilgrim while Woodrow went to 25. The Experiment attacked, with an Advent+of+the+Wurm growing it to 4/4 and putting Woodrow to 21.
Aaron drew and then debated his attacks before swinging with the Experiment all by itself. Woodrow, meanwhile, drew Rancor. He played another Unflinching+Courage onto his Voice and then added the second Rancor, attacking for 8. Aaron had Boros+Charm to give his Wurm double strike, eating the Voice as Woodrow neglected to put a second Elemental token into play—a costly error at the end of a long day.
Strangleroot+Geist for Aaron could put Woodrow on a stern clock, and he made no blocks in the hopes of drawing any buff to win—but he missed.
"Nobody wants Bant Hexproof to win... not even me!"
Aaron 1, Woodrow 0
Woodrow found himself going to five on the play, an in auspicious start to his comeback in the match. Woodrow kept his five blind with a laugh, starting on Hallowed+Fountain and making the first creature in Nearheath+Pilgrim. Strangleroot+Geist swung for 2, and Woodrow countered with a second Nearheath+Pilgrim to reverse the race.
Aaron played a second Strangleroot but kept one on defense, warding off the Pilgrims. Woodrow didn’t attack, tapping out for Geist+of+Saint+Traft. Losing one Pilgrim here probably wouldn’t have been so bad, since his Angel token would be hitting a lot harder where lifelink is concerned. Aaron’s board became significantly more complicated, however—Voice+of+Resurgence and a third Strangleroot before all three swung for 6 damage.
Woodrow declined any blocks, untapping into Unflinching+Courage on the Geist. He sent the team, trading one Pilgrim for the Voice and gaining 8 life while dealing 10 damage and generating an Elemental on Aaron’s side. After combat, Avacyn’s Pilgrim hit the board. Woodrow was on 20... but far from safe.
Everything except for 1 Strangleroot+Geist attacked, putting Woodrow to 16 when he threw his Pilgrim under the bus on the Elemental... except that Ghor-Clan+Rampager gave it trample to leave Woodrow on 9 life instead. Attacking with Geist and pairing the Angel, Woodrow gained only 4 life as Aaron had Ray+of+Revelation at the ready for Unflinching+Courage.
Aaron 2, Woodrow 0