Finals: Adam Cai (Fauna Maverick) vs. Todd Anderson (Maverick)
Todd Anderson has to beat a potential Elesh Norn in the finals of the Legacy Open.
The finals came down to a Maverick mirror, but Adam Cai’s list had a little bit of spice. Featuring Fauna Shaman and Elesh Norn plus Loyal Retainers, he could really break open these grindy Mother of Runes fights. Would Todd be able to overcome the looming Praetor?
“Die roll?” Todd asked before breaking into a grin. “Psych!” These new play/draw rules were going to take a little getting used to, but Todd certainly seemed to like them. Todd kept his seven, but Adam had to ship to six. Forest and Zenith for Dryad Arbor started the game on Todd’s side, and he passed to Adam. Fetching Plains for Mother of Runes, Adam passed the turn back to Todd.
Would Todd follow his acceleration with a power play? Plains and Aven Mindcensor wasn’t the best he could have had there, but it was pretty good. Tropical Island and pass on Adam’s side, hoping he’d snare the Aven with Scryb Ranger thanks to Mother of Runes.
Todd swung, and Adam tried the Ranger—not much Todd could do now. “That’s bad,” he admitted, but the Ranger hit play and blocked successfully. Adam gave it protection from white, and Todd followed with Misty Rainforest to fetch Savannah, casting Green Sun’s Zenith for three to get Knight of the Reliquary.
Adam drew his own Knight and fetched Forest to play it, ready to square off against Todd’s. He attacked Todd to 18 with the Ranger, and passed. Todd’s Scavenging Ooze gave him a way to equalize the Knight disadvantage, although Todd leaving Plains untapped was very telling regarding his ability to Swords Mother of Runes—Adam would likely pick up on that.
He used his own Swords on the Ooze, prompting Todd to reply by activating his Knight for Gaea’s Cradle to exile one land and leave a mana floating. Adam had Wasteland, which he played, and then he tried to Knight—Todd used his floating mana to cast Aven Mindcensor, and the Knight only hit Savannah. That was enough, as Adam could now cast and equip Umezawa’s Jitte, forcing a block from Todd with Mindcensor on Scryb Ranger…which did nothing due to that Mother. Adam untapped her with Ranger and passed turn.
“You might beat me,” Todd said, “but it’s going to be tough!” Qasali Pridemage for Todd before he used Knight to search up Horizon Canopy, tapping Cradle to break it before using Pridemage to kill Jitte and give Adam 4 life. Noble Hierarch followed, and then Wasteland on Wasteland from Todd. Adam, unfortunately for Todd, drew the other Jitte immediately—in spite of that 6/6 Knight, Todd was way behind against Adam’s position with a superior Knight and Mother of Runes both protected by a Jitte-wielding Scryb Ranger.
Another Knight for Todd, and he passed the turn. Adam played another Mother of Runes and attacked with his Ranger, dealing Todd 1 damage as he kept his Maze in the deck, safe from Wasteland… for now. Adam Wasted Cradle and searched for his own Cradle, then using Green Sun’s Zenith to find a two-drop: Scavenging Ooze, which removed Dryad Arbor. Turning his Forest into Misty Rainforest and then Savannah.
Todd floated a green with Savannah and then grabbed another one, floating a green and grabbing another one… finally using Green Sun’s Zenith to get Qasali Pridemage and kill the Jitte. Still, Adam had six Ooze activations available, able to considerably shrink Todd’s Knights. He floated a green and fetched into fetchland and Savannah, casting Mother of Runes and then removing seven lands from Todd’s graveyard. He attacked for 4 damage, and passed.
Adam 1, Todd 0
Adam Cai's Fauna Shamans give him extra search power in his G/W/u Maverick deck!
Mulliganing, Todd went to six as Adam shipped a four-lander with no green sources on his side. Todd fell to five cards, while Adam kept six. “My five is going to be real good,” Todd warned. Savannah on turn 1 for Todd, then Forest and Noble Hierarch from Adam. Todd then missed his second land, praying to dodge Wasteland after using Swords on the Hierarch.
Mother of Runes on Adam’s side after he fetched up Plains, but Todd drew a fetchland of his own for Forest and passed the turn. Adam played Forest and Knight of the Reliquary, but Todd had Scryb Ranger to protect his Savannah from Wasteland. He played Wasteland on turn 4, tapping out for Knight of the Reliquary and passing the turn afterward.
Adam played another Mother of Runes and then Fauna Shaman, prompting a sigh from Todd. Adam searched for Wasteland and was about to use it on Savannah… and then he saw the Scryb Ranger. Sighing, he shrugged and played Maze of Ith before passing, declining to Waste Todd’s Wasteland.
Todd popped his Savannah to Knight and in response used Wasteland on Wasteland, searching for another Savannah. He cast Scavenging Ooze, and then attacked before exiling Wasteland. Adam played Scryb Ranger and gave his Knight pro: green before attacking. Todd exiled Forest and then Knighted for fetchland and Savannah to exile another card and fall to 15 from the attack, his Ooze slowly shrinking Adam’s big man.
Adam untapped the Knight and then replayed the Forest, passing the turn. Todd shook his head, searching for a way out with an active Knight and Fauna Shaman both backed by Scryb Ranger. Todd floated mana and turned Savannah into Forest before tapping out to drop Elspeth, Knight-Errant, making a Soldier and complicating the board significantly.
Tutoring up Linvala during the end step, Adam untapped and drew Swords to Plowshares, which he aimed square at Todd’s Knight. Todd used the Knight in response to find a fetchland, and gained 9 life to hit 24. Adam then attacked Elspeth with Knight and Fauna Shaman after using both Mother of Runes on green, although he did not Maze either of those creatures to get an activation on Todd’s turn.
Todd just had Noble Hierarch and another Soldier, ending the turn. Adam made enough mana to Linvala and then used his Mother of Runes to force Knight in for lethal on Elspeth. Drawing blanks, Todd played Pridemage and shipped the turn. Adam attacked him to 17 and used Scryb Ranger to let himself cast another Knight—that earned the concession.
Adam 2, Todd 0