Finals: Brad Nelson vs. John Spires
Brad had bested Naya to make it into the semifinals, and he’d have to do it one more time in order to clinch his first Open Series trophy. Would John Spires shut him down and deliver back-to-back wins for Naya?
John's attempting to repeat Aaron Barch's Dallas performance.
Taking the play, Brad confirmed that his opponent was playing a carbon copy of the Dallas Naya list. “It’s a good deck,” he admitted—John wholeheartedly agreed! Each player kept seven cards, with Brad falling to 18 for Doomed Traveler on turn 1. Dryad Militant also cost John 2 life, and wouldn’t do much against that Doomed Traveler.
The board got much scarier when brad played a turn 2 Skirsdag High Priest, with John simply landing Voice of Resurgence and passing on turn 2. Brad’s Doomed Traveler attacked, and he followed with Cartel Aristocrat. Sacrificing the Doomed Traveler, he made a 5/5 Demon before playing his third land and ending the turn—what a start!
Facing the 5/5, John drew a card and began to think. He needed it gone, but he needed the High Priest gone just as badly... Attacking with both creatures, he lost the Militant to Brad’s block and got in for 2 damage before playing Boros Reckoner.
Brad swung for 6... then played Blood Artist and Voice of Resurgence. “Ouch,” John said. “Yeah, it was a pretty good draw,” Brad said. John took 2 for a shockland and swung the team after playing Strangleroot Geist, but Brad simply blocked with Voice and Aristocrat, sacrificing the Voice and generating another Demon alongside an Elemental token.
Brad Nelson in his first Open Series finals!
John scooped ‘em up.
Brad 1, John 0
John had to ship down to six cards while Brad once more kept seven. Sacred Foundry for John and Temple Garden for Brad, with John also missing a two-drop after playing a land. Brad dropped High Priest, and once John had passed turn 3 as well he knew it was time to play ball. Cartel Aristocrat + Doomed Traveler once more gave Brad a turn 3 Demon.
Playing a fourth land, John passed the turn. Brad swung with his Spirit and Demon, casting Lingering Souls and ending the turn as John made Advent of the Wurm in the end step. Brad soaked 2 damage with Cartel Aristocrat, losing a Spirit, and made another 5/5 in John’s end step.
Brad 2, John 0