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