Finals: Chris VanMeter vs. Ali Aintrazi
It's showtime! Both players are playing decks that explode out huge spells as fast as possible due to their manabase. Who will win the trophy, the money, the points, and – most important – the spot in the Players' Championship?
CVM and Ali fight it out in the finals!
CVM begins with Mana Confluence to start the match, but no Turn 1 play. Ali also has a land for his turn, in Urza's Mine, but he doesn't have a one-drop either. Another turn of land-go all around, with CVM playing Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion and Ali playing a Grove of the Burnwillows. So much for those explosive starts!
CVM has our first play of the game with a Summer Bloom, putting in a Simic Growth Chamber, bouncing back the Mana Confluence, and then replaying the Mana Confluence. Ali still just has land-go, as he plays Ghost Quarter for the turn and passes.
On CVM's draw step, Ali Ghost Quarters the Simic Growth Chamber, trying to keep CVM off of any kind of big plays this turn. After getting his Forest from the Ghost Quarter, CVM plays a second Summer Bloom, playing a Gruul Turf, bouncing the Forest, and then replays the Forest. Ali finally plays a spell this game in the form of Expedition Map, but only has another Grove of the Burnwillows for the turn. CVM once again has another bounceland, a Simic Growth Chamber, bouncing the Forest to his hand and a pass of the turn back to Ali, trying to position himself for a big turn here soon. Ali cracks his map in order to find another Ghost Quarter.
Ali uses the Ghost Quarter on the Simic Growth Chamber and passes back. CVM has an Amulet of Vigor and the Forest we already knew about and says "go." Land-go from Ali, but with a Urza's Power Plant, bringing him one step away from Tron. He nervously passes back to CVM, but CVM can only draw his card and pass the turn.
Ali knocks the top of his deck and finds an Ancient Stirrings, which finds him the Uzra's Tower he needed for Tron to be online. He casts a Karn, Liberated and exiles CVM's Gruul Turf, leaving him with zero two-mana lands. CVM can only cast a second Amulet of Vigor and pass the turn back.
To start his turn, Ali plays and cracks an Expedition Map, finding another Urza's Tower. Playing the Tower, Ali starts doing some math before exiling one of CVM's Amulets with Karn, killing off the Planeswalker, but slowing CVM down even more. He then casts a Wurmcoil Engine and passes the turn.
CVM starts with a Serum Visions, but still doesn't find another land, and can only pass the turn back to Ali, hoping to live one more turn. An Ancient Stirrings for Ali finds an Oblivion Stone. An attack from the Wurmcoil Engine, followed by casting the Oblivion Stone, and playing an Eye of Ugin, and Ali looks ready to go for the kill next turn, finding an Emrakrul, the Aeons Torn.
Once again, CVM is forced to just draw his card and pass turn, so Ali fetches the flying spaghetti monster himself at the end of CVM's turn. Ali shows CVM that he can cast the Emrakrul the next turn, so CVM scoops up his cards, and we're going to Game 2.
Ali wins Game 1, and leads the finals, 1-0!
CVM will be on the play, looking to even things up after sideboarding. Both players keep their opening seven, and CVM starts with a Gemstone Mine into a Serum Visions, hoping to get a little velocity on his draws compared to last game. Ali runs out an Expedition Map due to his Urza's Power Plant, also looking to accelerate this game.
To start his turn, CVM plays an Ancient Stirrings, but accidentally looks at the top six cards instead of five. But the judges fix it right up, and we move on, as CVM takes a Simic Growth Chamber. He then plays another Gemstone Mine, followed by an Amulet of Bloom. Ali starts his turn with a Grove of the Burnwillows, into a Chromatic Sphere, popping it for green to cast Nature's Claiming, destroying CVM's Amulet of Vigor, in hopes of slowing him down.
But CVM has no intentions of slowing down, as he plays a Slayers' Stronghold, followed by a Summer Bloom. His land drops are Golgari Rot Farm (returning a Gemstone Mine), Simic Growth Chamber (returning the other Gemstone Mine), and playing one of the Gemstone Mines he had bounced. So much for slowing him down! All Ali can do is play an Urza's Tower and pass back to CVM, crossing his fingers he doesn't die this turn.
CVM starts with a Transmute of Tolaria West, finding a Pact of Negation, and plays his Gemstone Mine. At the end of CVM's turn, Ali sacrifices his Expedition Map to find the missing Tron piece – Urza's Mine. Ali plays the Mine on his turn, followed by an Ancient Stirrings. He finds a Karn Liberated and casts it, but CVM uses his Pact of Negation on it.
Serum Visions, where puts one of his scry cards on top and one on bottom. He then plays a Boros Garrison, returning a Gemstone Mine to his hand, and passes the turn to Ali. Ali starts with an Expedition Map for a Ghost Quarter, and then plays a Chromatic Sphere and Chromatic Star, followed by using his Ghost Quarter on CVM's Simic Growth Chamber. CVM goes and finds his Forest, and Ali passes the turn after all that.
A draw followed by a Summoner's Pact for Primeval Titan starts the turn for CVM, followed by an Amulet of Vigor and casting the Primeval Titan. But while the Titan's trigger is on the stack, Ali uses a Nature's Claim on the Amulet, making sure that the lands the Titan finds stay tapped this turn. CVM finds a Simic Growth Chamber and a Ghost Quarter, returning the Ghost Quarter back to his hand. Since he has not played a land this turn, CVM plays the Ghost Quarter and passes turn.
On Ali's draw step, CVM uses his Ghost Quarter to get rid of Ali's Tron, destroying the Urza's Mine. After getting his Forest, Ali casts Ancient Stirrings by cracking his Chromatic Star, finding a Wurmcoil Engine. He then cracks his Chromatic Sphere to cast another Chromatic Sphere, which he cracks and then plays an Urza's Tower. No Tron this time, so Ali passes his turn.
CVM pays for his Pact, and then attacks Ali with his Primeval Titan, fetching a Simic Growth Chamber and a Tolaria West, putting the Tolaria West back in his hand. No blocks from Ali, and a Gemstone Mine into a transmuted Tolaria West for CVM grabs a Pact of Negation. After all that shuffling and fetching, CVM passes the turn back Ali.
Ali tries the Wurmcoil on his turn, but CVM uses the Pact he just found. CVM once again has to pay for a Pact on his upkeep, but after doing so, he attempts to use Slayers' Stronghold on his Primeval Titan. Ali redirects that ability to his Spellskite, but is still attacked by the Primeval Titan, fetching Simic Growth Chamber and Tolaria West. CVM transmutes for another Pact of Negation, and plays a Chalice of the Void on one. He passes back to Ali, who plays another Wurmcoil Enginer, which resolves, and ships it back to CVM.
CVM has a second Primeval Titan, fetching for Vesuva and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion, with the Vesuva copying a Boros Garrison and thus returing the Sunhome. He attempts to give his new Primeval Titan haste and vigiliance and +2/+0 with the Slayers' Stronghold but, once again, Ali uses his Spellskite to stop those antics. He passes back to Ali, who tries to cast an Expedition Map, but CVM remembers his Chalice of the Void trigger and the Map is countered. Once again, Ali is left with no plays and a pass back to CVM.
CVM decides to bash in with his two Primeval Titans, getting a Gruul Turf and a Khalni Garden, getting a 0/1 Plant token, and a Gemstone Mine and a Mana Confluence even before Ali can block. Ali blocks with his Spellskite and Wurmcoil Engine. After activating both the Sunhome and the Slayers' Stronghold, Ali's creatures die, leaving behind two Wurm tokens, but CVM only has one Titan. CVM passes the turn.
CVM hopes for a topdeck, and casts a Serum Visions, but it is countered by his own Chalice of the Void. CVM attacks Karn with a 0/1 Plant token and it is blocked by a 3/3 Deathtouch Wurm token. But due to Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion and Slayers' Stronghold, the two actually trade! CVM plays a Khalni Garden, getting another 0/1 Plant token, and passes.
Ali starts to work on CVM's hand with Karn, and then passes back. All CVM can do is trade with another Wurm token with his Plant token, and pass back. Exiling the Slayers' Stronghold is Ali's first priority on his next turn, followed by fetching an Eye of Ugin with a Sylvan Scrying and playing it.
CVM starts his turn by playing a Seal of Primordium, destroying his own Chalice of the Void, in order to cast a Serum Visions. At the end of CVM's turn, Ali uses Eye of Ugin to get a Wurmcoil Engine from his deck. However, a Chromatic Star is how Ali starts the turn, but follows that up by casting Wurmcoil Engine and taking a card from CVM's hand.
But CVM has many answers in the form of a Primeval Titan and a Summoner's Pact for a Primeval Titan and casting it! He can't even grab four lands out of his deck! But Ali finds the final Tron piece, Urza's Mine, and hardcasts an Emrakrul! In combination with the extra turn, two Karn activations, and Emrakrul damage, CVM decides to concede and go to Game 3!
Ali wins Game 2, and leads the match, 2-0!
Unfortunately for CVM, he has to mulligan down to six cards, but has a Turn 1 Gemstone Mine into Ancient Stirrings, finding a Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion. Ali has an Urza's Power Plant into a Chromatic Star. But CVM comes out the gates with a Summer Bloom, adding a Simic Growth Chamber and another Gemstone Mine to his board. Ali has an Urza's Mine – almost there – and an Expedition Map for his Turn 2 plays.
CVM has a Khalni Garden, making the deceptively powerful 0/1 Plant token, and a pass back to his opponent. Ali cracks his Expedition Map during his turn to find an Urza's Tower, but he plays a Ghost Quarter instead and passes. After CVM draws his card for the turn, Ali uses the Ghost Quarter on the Simic Growth Chamber, keeping CVM down on mana. CVM finds his Forest, but has no other plays for his turn.
Karn Liberated does work for Ali!
CVM draws for his turn and thinks for a bit before casting a Summer Bloom, putting a Gruul Turf into play, bouncing the Khalni Garden, and replaying it, making another 0/1 Plant token. Ali's turn starts with playing and cracking a Chromatic Star and Chromatic Sphere and exiling a card from CVM's hand with Karn. Karn gets a Primeval Titan, and Ali adds an Oblivion Stone to his side of the table, along with Ghost Quartering the Gruul Turf.
A distraught CVM plays an Ancient Stirrings, getting a Boros Garrison, playing it, and returning a Forest to hand. But all he can do pass the turn back to Ali. And what a turn it is! Ali exiles the Boros Garrison with Karn casts an Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Not wanting any sort of tricks to happen to him, Ali uses the exile ability of Ugin to get rid of the Plant tokens. He then passes his turn to CVM, who plays a Selesnya Sanctuary, returning the Sunhome back to his hand and passes again to Ali.
Ali starts by exiling the bounceland with Karn, and shooting CVM with Ugin. He plays an Oblivion Stone and fetches a Spellskite with his Eye of Ugin and plays it. CVM only has another land for the turn and pass.
Ali plays another Urza land and uses his Planeswalkers, taking a card and shooting CVM for some damage. After a quick count of Ali's mana, CVM realizes that a hard cast Emrakrul, the Aeons Torn is coming for him next turn and shakes Ali's hand in defeat.