Finals: Ben Friedman vs. Reid Duke
“Are you going to be the one to end my Legacy undefeated streak?” Ben asked. “I guess I’m the only one who can,” Reid replied. Ben’s take on U/W/R Delver was matched against Reid’s Bant Stoneblade deck in a fight to the finish.
Reid started on Misty Rainforest and sent turn to Ben, who had turn 1 Delver of Secrets via tundra. Reid fetched Tundra in order to Swords to Plowshares the Delver, and Ben had no reply. Fetching on turn 2, Reid cast turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic and fetched up Umezawa’s Jitte. Ben had a Mystic of his own but Brainstormed instead, fetching and passing the turn.
Fetching after Reid played Noble Hierarch, Ben grabbed Volcanic Island. Tapping out on turn 3, he jammed down Geist of Saint Traft and let Reid have access to an uncontested Umezawa’s Jitte. Knight of Reliquary hit the battlefield on Reid’s turn as well, and Ben was in a bind. He started by casting Swords on the Knight to get in 6 damage, breaking about even there, and then fetching Tundra. Casting his Mystic, Ben searched for Umezawa’s Jitte.
Reid Pondered to start his turn, shuffling the deck up afterward. Attacking with his equipped Mystic, Reid was content to let the Jitte grow rather than push in damage. He cast another Knight of the Reliquary, and that gave Ben some bigger problems. The 5/5 would stand in the way of his Geist, Jitte or no, and he had no way to remove it.
Brainstorming back the Jitte, Ben Pondered and shuffled in search of Swords to Plowshares. When he failed to find one, the game was basically Reid’s on the spot. Ben chucked his Geist into the Knight, combining it with Lightning Bolt to kill the creature and leave Reid on 11 lif but with the Jitte still running rampant.
Going for Batterskull with another Mystic, Ben ended his turn. Jace, the Mind Sculptor for Reid was another heavy blow to Ben’s position, and his Mystic died to Jitte again as the planeswalker fatesealed him again. Ben kept at it, jamming down Mystic and Delver of Secrets but losing both to the Jitte again.
Reid added Scavenging Ooze to the board, and Ben conceded after drawing another card.
Reid 1, Ben 0
Ben’s hand was ideal for the play, featuring a pair of removal spells to support Stoneforge Mystic and Geist of Saint Traft. He burned the first one, Lightning Bolt, on Reid’s turn 1 Noble Hierarch in order to keep Reid’s mana constrained for the time being. Tundra into Stoneforge Mystic searched up Jitte, and Ben passed back to Reid.
Reid simply cast his own Jitte, and Ben wound up playing Delver of Secrets in order to give him the most aggressive potential with his equipment. Forging it in on Reid’s end step, Ben became a health favorite facing no opposing creatures but had to assume Reid was working with removal. He failed to flip Delver, and planted Jitte on it before sending both creatures into combat.
Fetching for Dryad Arbor, Reid blocked the Delver and took 1 damage. Ben shifted his Jitte to Mystic, and sent the turn back. Swords from Reid killed the Mystic, but Reid would need bodies in order to beat the Geist that followed. It picked up Jitte, and Ben ended the turn with Reid in trouble.
Green Sun’s Zenith for two from Reid found Qasali Pridemage, solving his Jitte problem and buying him a potential chump block, depending upon how Ben played. He started with Probe, seeing Knight of the Reliquary, Noble Hierarch, and Swords to Plowshares—he had that beat so far. Brainstorm opened up his options, and he had to fire Swords at Reid’s Knight on the next turn.
With another Swords in reserve, it appeared likely that Geist would go the distance here. The Jitte merited a Tear when Reid put it on Noble Hierarch, and Ben attacked Reid to 4 before ending his turn. Casting Batterskull, Reid had a hail mary available... it resolved!
But Ben had the wrap. He used Swords on his Geist when Reid blocked, and Reid tried to fetch up Swords to kill the oncoming Angel—but Lightning Bolt to his dome ended the game.
Reid 1, Ben 1
Reid kept and Ben did as well—turn 1 Noble Hierarch once more jumped Reid ahead on mana, and Ben couldn’t answer the mana dork. He had a fetchland, and passed. Reid played Wasteland and then cast Zenith for one, offering a Spell Pierce target if Ben was willing to take one but at the cost of the land he fetched.
Ben took him up on it, losing his only permanent. He replaced the Tundra in order to Swords that Noble Hierarch, restoring some level of parity to the mana situation here. Zenith for one found another Noble Hierarch, and Ben had a decision to make. He could Waste Savannah and continue to sit on one land, or cast Stoneforge Mystic and hope it was beating whatever Reid was threatening.
Starting with Ponder, Ben found Geist on top of his deck with some lands. That would most benefit the Wasteland plan, but running Reid out of mana was a tall order. He decided to go for it, passing the turn after reducing Reid to Hierarch and Forest. Reid fired back with his own Wasteland and then a stomach-turning Life from the Loam.
“I tried a game plan... that did not seem to work,” Ben decided. He couldn’t even play his lands now, with Reid capable of blasting them out of the game. This would be a slow, long death... but it would be death for Ben. There was no escaping the Loam-Wasteland lock from this position, as Ben would need running fetchlands just to threaten spellcasting.
He found one, and Reid committed a Wasteland to the board in order to help him break ahead of Ben’s climb. Green Sun’s Zenith for three found Reid Knight of the Reliquary, and he ended the turn. Ben cast Ponder and found nothing useful there. He Bolted down Reid’s Knight and then went back to zero permanents again. There weren’t very many lands that made colored mana left in his deck!
Reid 2, Ben 1