Finals: Alex Gonzalez vs. Derrick Roper
Ah, the Reanimator mirror. Buckle up folks, we’re gonna be here a while.
As this will be the 8 vs. 6 seed, Alex took the play… although in this matchup, being on the play isn’t nearly as important in the last round, where both players defeated Naya Blitz. Alex had to take a mulligan though, and that is much more significant in this Attrition battle of Slimes, Sin Collectors, and various Angels. Luckily he was able to keep his six card hand, and they were underway.
Alex led with Temple Garden tapped, while Derrick played Forest with Arbor Elf. Alex dropped a Forest of his own and passed, while Derrick got the beats underway to drop his opponent to 19, then added another mana guy (Avacyn’s Pilgrim). Sin Collector from Alex snagged Grisly Salvage and left Derrick with Fiend Hunter, Thragtusk, and lands... But Derrick’s turn three Thragtusk was pretty good all the same.
Alex played land number four and passed. In came Thragtusk, who became blocked by Sin Collector and then blinked momentarily by Restoration Angel. In response, Grisly Salvage garnered Derrick Thragtusk and Derrick showed his hand of Hunter, ‘Tusk, and two lands. Derrick, able to play the Hunter if he so chose, did so and took down Alex’s Angel. Good move, as Alex just drew and passed without a fifth land.
Derrick has his eyes on the big prize!
Once more, Thragtusk entered battle, this time joined by Avacyn’s Pilgrim. Collector blocked, and the two Human Monks died. Another Thragtusk entered the battlefield, and after Alex did not find land five on top of his library he scooped.
Derrick 1, Alex 0.
Junk Reanimator is a mana-hungry beast. With so many five drops, not to mention Angel of Serenity, it’s no wonder it has evolved into a battle of Acidic Slimes over that past few weeks. Curse you, BBD! Alex’s mulligan increased his odds of a stumble, and he paid the price.
Alex kept his seven this time, and led with Deathrite Shaman off Temple Garden. Derricl decided he liked that, and had some of the same (off Tomb)! Grisly Salvage mainphase from Alex turned up a pair of Deathrite Shamans and Angel of Serenity as choices (plus Sever the Bloodline). Alex selected Angel of Serenity and then passed the turn. Derrick dropped Arbor Elf and passed with both black and Green mana available, then used that land to remove Sever from Alex’s path of temptation.
Deathrite Shaman for Alex ate his own on his mainphase to make sure he gained the life, and he passed. Derrick’s Shaman took out the other, and Arbor Elf attacked. Life totals: 17-20. But Alex had a big bad planeswalker in Garruck Relentless. Garruk fought Derrick’s Shaman and became Veil-Cursed in the process. Derrick was on a different plan, with Acidic Slime on Alex’s Temple Garden. Which strategy will emerge victorious?
Garruk ticked up and garnered a Deathtouch Wolf token before Alex passed.
“Don’t do it again! Don’t be so mean!”
Alex is excited to be here in the finals!
“Well, I’m gonna.”
Woodland Cemetery hit the bricks thanks to Restoration Angel’s Cloudshift impression. Alex played Godless Shrine untapped (life now 15-18 in favor of Derrick) and used Garruk’s -1 to grab Restoration Angel from his deck. With four mana up, he passed to Derrick. The man in the Avengers shirt crashed into the red zone with his two value creatures (leaving Elf back), and Alex dropped an Angel of his own. He blocked the 3/4 with 3/4 and the Slime killed Garruk. Grisly Salvage dumped Mulch, Garruk, Restoration Angel, and Angel of Serenity into Derrick’s bin by selecting Temple Garden.
Derrick 2, Alex 0.
Slime beats all, apparently! Even with Deathrite and Garruk Advantage, the 2/2 deathtouch Creeping Mold came to play. In fact, Derrick told me in our post-match interview he put other plans on the backburner and focused solely on the Slime plan. And it paid off! Congrats, Derrick!