Finals: Chris VanMeter vs. Jesse Grogan
CVM has only lost one match all weekend and he only has one more to go before he and his legion of dragons take the crown! But it won’t be easy, as Jesse and his army of Rhinos and Birds stand in his way! Who will be crowned our Standard Open champion?
CVM, as our top seed overall, chose to play first and mulligans his opening hand to six. His opponent Jesse, on Abzan Aggro, keeps his initial seven cards. The finals of the Syracuse Standard Open are underway!
CVM starts things off with a Rugged Highlands, and Jesse joins him with a tapped land of his own in a Temple of Malady. He keeps on top, and passes back to CVM, who simply plays a Forest and passes. Jesse cracks his Windswept Heath for a Plains, and casts our first spell of the match with a Fleecemane Lion.
CVM deploys a Courser of Kruphix and passes back to Jesse, who starts his turn off with an attack by the Lion. CVM calls his bluff and blocks with his Courser, and Jesse allows this to happen, followed by a post combat casting of Brimaz, King of Oreskos, bringing out all of the Cats to attack CVM.
For his turn, CVM plays a land off the top of his deck and Roasts away the Legendary Cat Soldier, followed by Draconic Roar on the Fleecemane Lion, revealing Thunderbreak Regent. And just like that, there are no more Cats for Jesse.
But Jesse does have a follow-up on his turn, with a Siege Rhino to do some drain-and-gain action. CVM draws for his turn and contemplates his play before attacking Jesse with his Courser of Kruphix, which Jesse declines to block, and casting a Thunderbreak Regent, looking to start the aggression.
But Jesse has a Dromoka’s Command to fight the Dragon with his Rhino and make CVM sacrifice his Courser! After taking the damage from the Thunderbreak Regent’s trigger, Jesse attacks with the Siege Rhino and deploys an Anafenza, the Foremost before passing the turn back to CVM.
Once again, CVM draws his card for the turn and goes into the tank before casting another Courser of Kruphix and playing the Rugged Highlands off the top of his deck, gaining two life and hoping to stem the bleeding from Jesse’s assault.
Jesse starts his turn with an attack with both the Anafenza and the Rhino, putting a counter on the Rhino. After no blocks by CVM, Jesse casts a Raided Wingmate Roc, creating a second 3/4 Flying Bird token before passing the turn back to CVM. CVM plays a land for his turn, gaining a life due to the Courser of Kruphix’s trigger, and attacks with the Courser of Kruphix. After thinking for some time, Jesse proceeds to double block the Courser with the freshly played Wingmate Roc and his Bird buddy. CVM thinks for a minute and then scoops up his permanents, conceding Game 1.
Jesse wins Game 1, and is up 1-0 in the Finals!
Down a game, CVM starts Game 2 on the play, this time keeping all of his initial cards. Jesse also keeps all seven, and CVM begins things with a fetch for a Forest and an Elvish Mystic. Jesse starts off his Game 2 with a Temple of Malady, followed by putting the card on bottom. CVM once again has a fetchland, this time for a Mountain, and a Courser of Kruphix, hoping to start churning out Dragons soon. Jesse once again plays a land and says “go.”
CVM starts out his third turn with a Temple of Abandon, scrying a Crater’s Claws to the bottom. After an attack by both the Elf and Courser, CVM plays a Morph creature, followed by a pass of the turn. Jesse plays his third land, but once again just simply passes the turn back to CVM.
CVM plays a Stormbreath Dragon and swings with his whole team, quickly putting Jesse to just half his beginning life total. Finally, on his fourth turn, Jesse plays a Siege Rhino, gaining back some precious life against CVM’s onslaught of Dragons and Coursers and Elves. However, for his turn, CVM Roasts the Rhino, swings with the team, and points a Crater’s Claws from his hand at Jesse’s head, killing his opponent on Turn 5. And just like that, CVM ties the match up!
CVM wins Game 2, and ties the match at 1-1! One game to decide it all!
Jesse is on the play for the first time in the Finals, right where his Abzan Aggro deck would like to be. After keeping their opening sevens, Jesse leads with a Temple of Malady and CVM follows with a Temple of Abandon.
On Turn 2, Jesse deploys his first threat in Rakshasa Deathdealer. CVM, for his turn, cracks a fetchland, getting a Forest, and Draconic Roars away the Deathdealer, putting a temporary halt to Jesse’s offense. All Jesse can do for his turn is play a Temple of Silence and pass back to CVM.
Another fetchland cracked starts off CVM’s turn, followed by his trusty Courser of Kruphix, revealing a Forest on top of CVM’s deck. Trying to start the offense back up, Jesse casts a Brimaz, King of Oreskos, but CVM quickly Roasts the Cat King, before attacking Jesse with his Courser.
Jesse deploys a Fleecemane Lion, hoping to keep the pressure on CVM, but CVM starts summoning Dragons, this time with a Thunderbreak Regent. However, at the end of CVM’s turn, Jesse casts Valorous Stance to kill the Dragon. An attack by the Fleecemane Lion on his turn by Jesse leads to a block by CVM’s Courser. Jesse thinks for a minute, but ends up activating the Monstrous ability of the Lion to finish off CVM’s Courser.
CVM plays a Strombreath Dragon and attacks, showing that he is ready to race. Another Fleecemane Lion by Jesse seems to indicate that he is willing to accept CVM’s offer to race. However, on his turn, CVM Roasts the newly cast Lion, followed by an attack by Stormbreath Dragon. CVM calls forth more Dragons to help him out, this time with a Thunderbreak Regent.
Jesse draws his card and goes into the tank for a minute. He attacks with the indestructible Lion, which CVM takes. After a minute, Jesse casts two Bile Blights, targeting the Thunderbreak Regent. While this would kill the Dragon, it does deal six damage to Jesse, killing himself in the process. Of course, Jesse had knew this and decided to go out on his terms instead of dying a fiery death to CVM’s army of dragons.
CVM wins Game 3, and the match 2-1! CVM is your Standard Open Champion!