Finals: Chris Boozer vs. Andrew Schneider
A near-identical mirror match featured Andrew Schneider, an Open champion thanks to his last effort with U/R Delver, playing Chris Boozer (in his second Top 8 of Open Series: Birmingham). Eager to catch up on trophies with Tony Chu, Andrew was eager to take down the tournament.
Andrew's experience with the matchup gives him an edge in the finals.
Volcanic Island and Goblin Guide (revealing Goblin Guide) started the game in Andrew's favor, and Chris fetched for Mountain prior to casting Chain Lightning on the Goblin. Turn 2 Delver of Secrets and fetchland for Andrew kept the pressure on, but Chris had Lightning Bolt—Andrew had Spell Pierce to defend. Fetching with Arid Mesa for Mountain, Chris swung with Goblin Guide and revealed Force of Will.
“Of course, best card in the matchup,” Andrew said. He at least got to reveal it to Delver, and after flipping cast Ponder to keep his top three. Arid Mesa and an attack followed before Andrew passed the turn. Chris pointed his second Chain Lightning at Aberration, and Andrew considered Chaining it back. He responded with a fetch for Mountain, and Chained it into Goblin Guide which let Chris Chain it back into Andrew.
Andrew Brainstormed on the next turn, shipping back a pair of Forces and playing Arid Mesa, then Delver of Secrets. Chris had Snapcaster Mage to Chain Lightning Delver—he lost his Snapcaster Mage due to that error when Andrew Chained it back after fetching. Should've used the Bolt—he realized it instantly after the error.
Chris was lucky that Andrew had no more gas, and he cast two Delver of Secrets on the next turn to seize the lead. Lightning Bolt slew one, Andrew finding Ponder on top to deliver him Chain Lightning, which Andrew Chained back to him. The life totals were 8 apiece.
Another Ponder from Andrew, this one shuffling him to Grim Lavamancer. Chris passed, giving Andrew an active Lavamancer—the second one he drew made it all the sweeter. Far behind against that, Chris passed with plenty of cards in his hand. When Andrew drew Lightning Bolt, Chris Spell Pierced and Dazed it just to stay alive through Lavamancer activations.
He died on the following turn instead.
Chris is down a game and frowny.
Andrew 1, Chris 0
Chris kept his starter while Andrew mulliganed to six, and Chris began with Island and Delver of Secrets, which died to Chain Lightning. Misty Rainforest and pass for turn 2, while Andrew played his own fetchland and resolved Grim Lavamancer. Surgical Extraction on Chain Lightning during the end step revealed Snapcaster Mage, Force of Will, Lightning Bolt, and Spell Pierce.
The makeshift Probe also told Chris how he needed to play to kill that Lavamancer, so he remained patient and just played another fetchland on turn 3. Andrew drew Goblin Guide to add a more significant threat, revealing Chain Lightning on top of his deck.
Chris drew the Chain and fetched with Arid Mesa for Mountain before casting it on Guide. Andrew immediately replied with Force of Will removing Spell Pierce, and Chris fetched Volcanic Island in order to Red Elemental Blast the Force. Andrew fetched Volcanic Island during the end step and sent 2 damage into Chris with Lavamancer.
Still during his own end step, Chris Extracted Goblin Guides—he was very actively trying to run Andrew's deck low on spells, but Andrew already had a great pair with Lavamancer and Snapcaster around. He drew Misty Rainforest and attacked Chris to 9 with Lavamancer. Chris passed, and fell to 6 when Andrew cast Lightning Bolt before fetching Island.
Andrew 2, Chris 0