Finals: Chris VanMeter vs. Owen Turtenwald
It sure didn’t take long for CVM to make it into an Open Series final following his return to the circuit! If he wants another trophy, he’ll have to go through one of the toughest players of the tournament—the unbeaten Blood+Crypt while Chris played a turn 1 Avacyn’s Pilgrim off Temple+Garden. Owen had Farseek to keep the initiative of the play, but Chris was first to the board with a threat in Sin+Collector. Revealing Thragtusk, Rakdos+Keyrune, Bonfire of the Damned, Putrefy, and a land, Chris exiled the Bonfire.
Owen dropped Keyrune and his shockland on the next turn, sending back to Chris with Thragtusk imminent. Chris swung for 3 damage and played another Avacyn’s Pilgrim—but Owen found Olivia waiting atop the deck to start eating all these little mana dorks. Chris drew in need of help, knowing Fiend+Hunter wouldn’t do it due to the Putrefy Owen still had. He was stuck on two lands, and losing his Arbor+Elf would be a heavy blow.
He cast the Fiend+Hunter and attacked, ending the turn with Owen on 13. Owen did Putrefy and zap both creatures on his next turn, tapping out to reduce the board to just two lands for Chris. Arbor+Elf from Chris built a Battlegrowth for Owen, and he attacked Chris to 12. Thragtusk jumped Owen to 18, and the game appeared out of reach from there.
Owen evaluates his first hand of the match.
Owen 1, Chris 0
Mutual keeps, and Chris started with Temple+Garden tapped while Owen had Overgrown+Tomb. Isolated+Chapel for Chris but no turn 2—at least not on his turn. Once Owen Farseeked, Chris cast Grisly+Salvage to reveal a land, Thragtusk, Sin+Collector, and two mana guys—he took Godless+Shrine.
Paying 2 life to play it, he cast Sin+Collector to see Bonfire, Mizzium+Mortars, and Farseek alongside a land, Olivia+Voldaren, and Sire+of+Insanity. That’s a lot of action! Taking the Farseek, Chris hoped to strand Owen on the mana he’d need to play all those spells. Olivia hit play immediately after, and Chris had Sever to exile her before attacking with Sin+Collector.
Owen had drawn running lands, meaning he’d want to start chucking spells in order to maximize his Sire. Bonfire for 2 cleared Sin+Collector from the battlefield and zapped Chris, who knew he’d need a play this turn. Otherwise, Owen would Sire him straight out of the game! Grisly+Salvage during the turn revealed an Unburial+Rites and a Fiend+Hunter alongside lands and Restoration+Angel.
Now, Chris could threaten to restore parity following Sire’s trigger with his Human 1/3. Owen decided to go for it, and when Chris discarded Angel+of+Serenity he winced. Now the Unburial+Rites was a much bigger game, exiling the Sire and also giving Chris the power to grab back Restoration+Angel and Fiend+Hunter.
Rakdos+Keyrune for Owen, while Chris drew Obzedat and slammed it after attacking. Owen was on 11 as he Ground Sealed into Olivia on the next turn, but when Chris attacked for 10 he was forced to use her for chump blocking, conceding shortly after.
Owen 1, Chris 1
Back on the play, Owen picked up an opener with Ground+Seal and Olivia but only two lands and no Farseek—a solid keep, but definitely had the potential to wind up not working out. He opened on the Seal while Chris simply played lands, and made no moves on turn 3 except for a third land. Sin+Collector revealed Bonfire, two Putrefy, Mizzium+Mortars, and an Olivia alongside a shockland.
Chris exiled a Putrefy, and Owen cast his Olivia at the cost of 2 life. Garruk+Relentless took her out of the fight, and Sin+Collector attacked once more. Owen played Blood+Crypt and passed, falling to 12 life as Sin+Collector attacked. Chris had no fifth land, and tried Restoration+Angel once Owen ended his next turn—Putrefy took out the 2/1 in response.
Restoration+Angel was still a threat, attacking Owen to 9 and likely strong enough to earn Mizzium+Mortars on the next turn. Chris Salvaged up a land and passed the turn, prepared to lose his 3/4. Owen blasted it and made his land drop—he’d done nothing but draw them for several turns.
Chris drew one as well, but he only needed the five already in play to cast Obzedat%2C+Ghost+Council. Owen drew a useless miracle Bonfire, and conceded the game to the lethal 5/5.
Owen 1, Chris 2