Finals: Craig Krempels vs. James Rynkiewicz
Two members of the old school sat down for the finals, as two time Grand Prix top 8 competitor Craig Krempels faced off against Grand Prix Providence champion James Rynkiewicz.
Craig has some tough sideboarding decisions.
Craig: “We got ‘em stuck? Luuuucky.”
Craig Krempels 1, James Rynkiewicz 0
Craig had the first play of the game, a Delver of Secrets, and James wasted no time killing it with Abrupt Decay when Craig attacked with it on his following turn. Craig had a Ponder post-combat, but failed to find a second land. James Wastelanded away Craig’s Volcanic Island, and cast a Deathrite Shaman. Craig found Misty Rainforest on top of his deck, but passed back with no further play.
When James went for Hymn to Tourach on his next turn, Craig responded by fetching up Volcanic Island and casting Brainstorm, then losing a Delver of Secrets and a second copy of Brainstorm. He played a second Deathrite Shaman and shipped the turn.
Craig had the answer to any Deathrite shenanigans, however, playing a Tundra and casting Rest in Peace. The Deathrite Shamans, now simply 1/2s, attacked for 2, and James passed with two mana up. Craig’s next play was a Stoneforge Mystic, which retrieved Batterskull before it was killed off at James’s end step with Disfigure. He untapped and cast a Shardless Agent, finding a third Deathrite Shaman, then continued the 1/2 beatdowns.
Pyroblast dispatched the Shardless Agent, but the Deathrite Shamans attacked Craig down to 12, and James passed again. Craig played a Delver of Secrets, then a Lighting Bolt on one of the Deathrites when they attacked, and he fell to 10. Gitaxian Probe was revealed on Craig’s upkeep, which he promptly cast by paying 2 life, seeing the two Liliana of the Veils in James’s hand. He cast Umezawa’s Jitte, but James drew Shardless Agent on his own turn, cascading into Abrupt Decay to clear a path, and Craig conceded the second game.
James Rynkiewicz 1, Craig Krempels 1
James shows Craig his gameface.
Both players had no turn 1 play, and it was Craig who got on the board first, casting a turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic and fetching up Batterskull. James killed it off with an Abrupt Decay, then went for a Deathrite Shaman, which Craig sent farming with a Swords to Plowshares. Tarmogoyf was the next threat from James, and Craig Brainstormed to find an answer, then cast Rest in Peace, keeping the Tarmogoyf a permanent 0/1.
James cast a Thoughtseize, taking away Craig’s Batterskull and leaving him with two Spell Pierces and a Ponder in hand. He passed the turn, and Craig drew his card and found a True-Name Nemesis. It resolved, but James killed off both it and his 0/1 Tarmogoyf on his own turn with a Golgari Charm.
Looking to find some pressure, Craig cast Ponder, and chose to shuffle with it. He was rewarded with a Stoneforge Mystic, which he used to find Sword of Feast and Famine. James untapped and cast a Shardless Agent, cascading into Disfigure to clear away the Stoneforge Mystic.
Craig had a big turn in store. He cast Brainstorm to find some gas, then cast Delver of Secrets and Sword of Feast and Famine. James cast a Thoughtseize, seeing a hand of Ponder and Delver of Secrets from Craig, and took a moment in the tank before deciding to snipe the Ponder. Craig found Gitaxian Probe on top of his deck, flipping up an Insectile Aberration, and then used the Probe to see the Liliana of the Veil and Abrupt Decay sitting in James’s hand. He attempted to equip his Sword to the 3/2, but James killed it off with Abrupt Decay, and Craig dropped two more threats into play post-combat, a fresh Delver of Secrets and a freshly drawn Stoneforge Mystic, which grabbed Umezawa’s Jitte.
James drew a land for the turn, and knew he was in a tough spot. He cast Liliana and ticked it up, getting rid of the Jitte. He passed, and Craig again flipped his Delver immediately, revealing a Daze. The 3/2 picked up the Sword and killed off Liliana, while the Stoneforge Mystic dinged James for 1, dropping him to 13. James could only fire back with his Shardless Agent and Creeping Tar Pit, dropping Craig to 8 and passing back.
James fell to 8 himself when the Insectile Aberration attacked, and Craig shipped back. This time James attacked with just the Creeping Tar Pit, knocking Craig down to 5. Craig simply swung right back, dropping James to 3, and James had one turn to find an answer.
Craig Krempels 2, James Rynkiewicz 1