Finals: Chi Hoi Yim vs. Robbie Cordell
The finals featured a Delver mirror, which was what Robbie Cordell had played all Top 8 long. He was 2-0 so far, and the hat trick here would earn him a trophy. Of course, Chi Hoi Yim wasn't going to let the cup go without a fight!
Chi Hoi prepares for his last Standard match of the weekend.
Naturally, Robbie took the play. He led Seachrome Coast while Chi Hoi had just Glacial Fortress, and Thought Scour during Chi Hoi's end step milled a land and a Vapor Snag. Robbie played Island and passed on turn 2, nodding as Chi Hoi cast Delver of Secrets before playing another Glacial Fortress.
He Thought Scoured again, hitting the same cards, and then untapped for Ponder after playing Glacial Fortress himself. Replacing the three cards, he drew before paying 2 life for Gitaxian Probe. Two Gut Shots, two Ponders, Geist of Saint Traft, and Invisible Stalker meant Chi Hoi had some game—Robbie passed with no other plays.
He took 1 when Chi Hoi drew Island, and Chi Hoi followed with Ponder, spotting Seachrome Coast, Snapcaster Mage, and Geist of Saint Traft. Shuffling those away in search of spells, he cast Invisible Stalker but found Mana Leak waiting from Robbie. No plays from Robbie followed on turn 4; Chi Hoi Pondered again, attacked, and played a land prior to passing the turn.
During the end step, Robbie appeared to consider Snapcaster on Vapor Snag or Scour, but decided to just untap. He cast Ponder and then played Moorland Haunt, continuing to pass the turn. Chi Hoi revealed Thought Scour during his upkeep, and attacked for 3. Robbie fell to 13, and Chi Hoi played a land before ending the turn. He Thought Scoured twice in response to Robbie's Snapcaster Mage during the end step, but no Mana Leak meant the Mage retrieved Vapor Snag successfully, although Chi Hoi cast Gut Shot afterward.
Paying three for Geist of Saint Traft, Robbie passed, and Chi Hoi traded Geists after playing a sixth land. That gave Robbie the edge, as his Moorland Haunt now had plenty of Spirit food. He untapped into a second Geist, and Chi Hoi Thought Scoured his way into more lands. He cast Dungeon Geists with three up, locking down a Spirit, followed by Delver of Secrets.
Not eager to attack his Geist into the Dungeon Geists, Robbie cast Vapor Snag and slammed in 7 damage. Chi Hoi fell to 8 and drew for turn before recasting his Dungeon Geists. Another Snapcaster Mage from Robbie dropped Chi Hoi to 7 when it flashbacked Vapor Snag on the Geists.
Robbie double-checked his status with Gitaxian Probe, spotting the Snapcaster Mage Chi Hoi was holding. He flashbacked Thought Scour and took 6, killing Geist and Snapcaster with his own creatures. When his draw step failed to yield kindness, Chi Hoi conceded.
Robbie 1, Chi Hoi 0
Chi Hoi had the play this time and kept a land-light hand heavy on Ponders with Mental Misstep available. His first Ponder missed land but had some sweet spells—he decided to shuffle it away in favor of being more cautious. Robbie started with Glacial Fortress, nodding as Chi Hoi Pondered again. He shuffled those as well, having found Glacial Fortress during his draw step already. He paid 2 life for Gitaxian Probe to see three Ponders, Timely Reinforcements, Phantasmal Image, Batterskull, and Snapcaster Mage. His Mental Misstep would likely find its mark next turn!
Chi Hoi used his Fortress to ponder again on turn 2, and then predictably Misstepped Robbie's Ponder. He played another land and passed, Snapcastering Misstep on the next Ponder but frowning when Robbie revealed he'd drawn Plains.
Chi Hoi attacked for 2 damage and added Invisible Stalker to the board, allowing Robbie to finally Ponder when he cast his third copy on turn 4. Leaving his three cards in place, Robbie played Seachrome Coast and ended the turn. Chi Hoi attacked him to 15 before casting Thought Scour, milling two lands and drawing a third—ouch!
The expected Timely Reinforcements from Robbie came on the next turn, but Chi Hoi kept him off the life with Vapor Snag targeting Snapcaster Mage, evening their life totals. Recasting his Snapcaster to Ponder on the following turn, Chi Hoi kept his top three in place and drew the Steel Sabotage, protecting himself from Sword to an extent. Robbie attacked with his three Soldiers, and Chi Hoi took the damage with a nod. When Robbie tried to Image Snapcaster Mage, Chi Hoi Snagged it again, leaving him with a Stalker.
Another Image also copied Stalker—perhaps Robbie's intent all along?—and he passed. Chi Hoi cast his own Timely Reinforcements on the next turn, reversing his disadvantage and attacking Robbie to 13. Robbie held his tokens and just sent the Stalkers before casting Geist of Saint Traft, followed by Delver of Secrets.
Robbie Cordell has been taking down Delver all day.
Chi Hoi considered Snapcaster Mage during the end step but decided to hold onto the little guy instead. Gut Shot took care of Delver, putting Chi Hoi to 13, and he attacked with his Stalker for 1. Robbie likely knew Chi Hoi was setting him up for another Reinforcements, but he hoped Batterskull would break that—Steel Sabotage to the rescue!
On 11 to Robbie's 12, Chi Hoi could now Snapcaster Timely Reinforcements to get three more tokens and six more life. Robbie retaliated with his own Snapcaster for Timely Reinforcements, leaving both players on 17 but with Robbie now way ahead in the race—two Stalkers to one, and a Geist in play.
Needing to find some kind of weapon, Chi Hoi Pondered. He kept the cards, playing and equipping Runechanter's Pike to his Stalker and getting in 8 damage—if he could have one more turn with it, that might be the game. Robbie Snapcaster Maged Ponder, searching for Revoke Existence, but Chi Hoi had Mental Misstep in his hand to counter.
Conveniently, that made Invisible Stalker an 8/1—Robbie could survive at 1 life if Chi Hoi didn't hit anything. He Snapcaster Maged again for Ponder, shuffling the deck, and attacked for 2. Chi Hoi drew, traded Geist for Geist, and attacked him to 1 life. Robbie failed to find an answer and conceded on the following turn.
Robbie 1, Chi Hoi 1
Gitaxian Probe for 2 life from Robbie revealed two lands, Thought Scour, Mental Misstep, Revoke Existence, and two Snapcaster Mages in Chi Hoi's hand—quite the grip! Delver from Robbie earned the Mental Misstep, and Chi Hoi dropped Island before passing on turn 1.
Robbie passed back after a land, and Chi Hoi Scoured a Steel Sabotage into the yard. Ponder gave Chi Hoi a Delver of Secrets, and Robbie had no reply. He played Moorland Haunt and passed, while Chi Hoi flipped his Delver off Gut Shot and attacked. He followed with Snapcaster Mage on Ponder, leaving the cards in place—Robbie just Haunted up a Spirit.
Timely Reinforcements on the next turn prompted Chi Hoi to consider Gut Shotting either himself or his Snapcaster Mage; he decided on the Mage, letting Robbie have 6 life but no men. During the upkeep, Chi Hoi Snapcastered Thought Scour to clear some lands before swinging with his Insectile Aberration. He lacked a fourth land, and passed.
Robbie swung with his Spirit token and cast Delver of Secrets. Chi Hoi attacked with Snapcaster Mage and Aberration, putting Robbie to 13, and cast another Delver. During Robbie's upkeep, Chi Hoi had Gut Shot for his Delver before it flipped, delayed to dodge that Spirit token Robbie could have made during the end step. Robbie made another land, and passed.
Flipping Delver off Thought Scour, Chi Hoi attacked for 8. Robbie tried to Vapor Snag an Aberration, but Mental Misstep stopped him and he fell to 5 life. Chi Hoi Thought Scoured himself and then cast Phantasmal Image to copy Snapcaster Mage, flashbacking Gut Shot. He could also have made another Aberration here—both interesting options.
He seemed punished for picking Snapcaster when Robbie flashbacked Timely Reinforcements on the next turn, but his Abberrations reduced Robbie to 5 life once again on the next turn. Chi Hoi added Geist to the board, requiring Robbie to trade quickly, which he did at the start of his next turn thanks to his own Geist. He attacked with one Soldier, trading with a Snapcaster on Chi Hoi's side.
Finding a live one on top of the deck, Chi Hoi untapped and cast Timely Reinforcements for his own gang of Soldiers, which was good because Robbie had Vapor Snag to prevent lethal damage through Aberrations. Still, he was behind against Chi Hoi's larger token army, and had to draw and pass the turn on 2 life.
Chi Hoi got rowdy with an alpha strike, and Robbie couldn't block well enough to survive.
Robbie 1, Chi Hoi 2