Finals: Chris Vanmeter vs. Charlie Rinehart
Almost a year ago, Chris Vanmeter made a promise. No trophy, no shave. Jund Monsters has carried him all the way to the finals, but now he and his mountain-man beard faced one final obstacle: an upstart Charlie Rinehart with his Black/White Midrange deck.
CVM hopes to stabilize with Xenagos the Reveler
Both players initiated proceedings with Temples, and CVM had the first play of the game with a turn 2 Sylvan Caryatid. Charlie had a turn 2 play of his own, a Pack Rat that threatened to grow out of control. Chris played a Xenagos the Reveler, made a 2/2 Satyr token, and thought for a moment before deciding to attack. Charlie took the opportunity with Chris tapped out to animate his Mutavault and attack away Chris’s Xenagos.
The Satyr token came swinging again, dropping Charlie to 16, and Chris followed up with a Polukranos, World Eater. Charlie dispatched it with a Banishing Light, and sent his Pack Rat swinging. Chris slammed Stormbreath Dragon, attacking with his team to drop Charlie to 10, but Charlie again had the answer for Chris’s monster, this time with a Hero’s Downfall.
Chris attacked with his 2/2 Satyr on his next turn, and Charlie placed his Pack Rat in front then activated two Mutavaults to make it a 3/3. Chris used Ghor-Clan Rampager to trample over for 3, dropping Charlie to 7, then played Domri Rade post-combat and and used it’s -2 ability to fight off one of the Mutavaults. Charlie had Banishing Light for the Domri Rade.
The Satyr token swung again, and Charlie traded off his Mutavault for it. He then cast a Desecration Demon. CVM had another big turn, killing off the demon with Dreadbore then playing a Scavenging Ooze. Charlie played a second Desecration Demon, but it wasn’t enough to stabilize.
Chris ate three creatures with the Scavenging Ooze at Charlie’s end step, then untapped and ate the last creature to grow it to 6/6. He moved to combat, sacrificed his Sylvan Caryatid to tap down the Demon, then exiled it from his graveyard to grow the Ooze to a lethal 7/7.
Chris Vanmeter 1, Charlie Rinehart 0
Charlie began the game with a turn 1 Thoughtseize, sniping Chris’s Elvish Mystic and leaving him with Dreadbore, Stormbreath Dragon, two Temple of Abandons, and two Blood Crypts. His turn 2 was Abrupt Decayed, but Charlie had another Pack Rat on his third turn. This one fell to a Dreadbore, and Charlie was out of threats, simply playing a land and passing.
Chris: “Alright, no Demon!”
Chris played his fourth land and passed, and then Charlie rained on his parade by casting a turn 5 Desecration Demon.
Needing to find an answer, Chris played Domri Rade and ticked it up, netting a Polukranos, World Eater. The Demon swung across, and Chris played an Elvish Mystic, hoping to appease the Desecration Demon with it, but Charlie Doom Bladed it before attacking. Chris tried Xenagos the Reveler next, making a 2/2 Satyr, but Charlie killed it off with another Doom Blade, and Chris had seen enough, picking up his cards and moving on to game 3.
Chris Vanmeter 1, Charlie Rinehart 1
Charlie feels the pressure of the finals.
On the play, Chris led with a Mutavault, then shocked himself with Stomping Ground on his second turn to cast a Sylvan Caryatid. When Charlie again had no play on his second turn, Chris cast Domri Rade, ticking up without finding a creature. Charlie exiled it with Banishing Light, and Chris’s next planeswalker, Xenagos the Reveler, showed up next turn, making a Satyr and knocking Charlie to 18.
Charlie played a Lifebane Zombie, exiling a Polukranos, World eater from CVM’s hand and seeing Stormbreath Dragon and Vraska the Unseen as his other two cards. He took a moment in the tank before playing a Thoughtseize as well, getting rid of the Vraska. Chris emptied his and went aggro on his own turn, casting the Stormbreath Dragon and making another Satyr Token, attacking Charlie down to 8.
The Lifebane Zombie took care of Xenagos on Charlie’s Turn, and a Doom Blade dispatched the Stormbreath Dragon. Charlie passed the turn with a Mutavault up. Chris came swinging with two 2/2 Satyr tokens and Mutavault on his turn, and Charlie blocked one token with Mutavault and Doom Bladed the other, falling to 6. CVM had Domri Rade post-combat, which ticked up but didn’t find a threat.
Charlie’s Lifebane Zombie attacked Domri down to a single Loyalty, and a Desecration Demon showed up post-combat to cause trouble for CVM. Chris again missed on his Domri Rade activation, and simply played a tapped Blood Crypt and passed the turn. Charlie killed off the Domri Rade on his next attack step, then shocked himself to 4 to cast Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.
CVM was in a tight spot, and he knew it. He plopped the Temple of Malice from the top of his deck directly into play, peeked at his top card, and quickly put it on the bottom. He fed his last creature, a Sylvan Caryatid, to Charlie’s Desecration Demon, and took 5 from Charlie’s Lifebane Zombie and Soldier tokens. Blood Baron of Vizkopa was Charlie’s next play, and it was now or never for Chris.
“Five outs!” CVM announced, looking for one of his two Rakdos’s Returns or one of his three remaining Stormbreath Dragons. Instead he found Scavenging Ooze, and extended his hand, stuck with beard a little while longer.
Charlie Rinehart 2, Chris Vanmeter 1