Finals: David Sharfman vs. Andrew Wilson
Andrew's got a unique Zombie list for this event, and it has taken him far.
Pro Tour Nagoya and Grand Prix Paris champion David Sharfman hadn’t dropped a game in this Top 8, even dodging death against Tempered+Steel with Go+for+the+Throats in his deck over Doom+Blades. That decision would pay off here, as he faced Zombies with nearly no non-black creatures!
Andrew won the die roll but took an immediate mulligan, while David kept his seven. Darkslick+Shores from Andrew and Island from David, followed by Swamp and then Drowned+Catacomb—this looked more like a Diregraf+Captain—David deliberated before allowing it to resolve, then cast Think+Twice. Playing another land, he ended the turn. Andrew cast Fume+Spitter and then attacked, playing around potential Snapcaster shenanigans.
David continued to play land, go. He took 3 damage on the next attack and then allowed Mortarpod to resolve. Forbidden+Alchemy during the end step dug him to a land, discarding Mana+Leak, Blue Sun’s Zenith, and another Alchemy. Playing a fifth land, David passed his turn.
Andrew tried a second Captain with two mana up, and David decided to burn his Mana+Leak while he could. He took 3 damage, then 4 via Mortarpod, and Andrew equipped his Fume+Spitter. David flashbacked Think+Twice, played his sixth land, and cast Black Sun’s Zenith for two. He could’ve waited another turn to potentially have Dissipate on the back end, but had decided to preserve his life total instead.
The maindeck Nihil+Spellbomb generated some value for Andrew, but he didn’t pop it now, just passing without a threat. That was music to David’s ears. He played his seventh land and ended the turn. David had no plays, just nodding as David flashbacked Forbidden+Alchemy. Eighth land, and pass.
On six lands himself, Andrew passed the turn, and David flashbacked another Alchemy. His hand filled with spells, David pitched Think+Twice and ended the turn. Andrew played his seventh land, and David began to activate Nephalia+Drownyards, milling six of Andrew’s cards. He untapped into Curse of Death’s Hold, with enough mana left over to activate Drownyard again.
Andrew used the Spellbomb now, untapping with five cards—no doubt he had several removal spells gumming up the grip. David milled three more cards. He untapped and cast Think+Twice, finding a land. David milled six more cards on Andrew’s turn, and in his own cleanup step started discarding real spells—Tragic+Slip, for starters. That sounded the death knell for Andrew.
He had about twenty cards left as he passed the turn, losing six during each end step. David’s hand boasted Dissipates and Snapcasters aplenty, and he burned one of the former on Geralf’s Messenger during the next turn. Another three cards, David lacking the mana to Drownyard twice.
Andrew tried Diregraf+Captain now, followed by Phyrexian+Metamorph paying 2 life. David responded with Tragic+Slip to keep the Captain duo off the board, and milled six more cards during the end step. He did nothing on his own turn, shrugging when Andrew resolved Phyrexian+Obliterator on the next turn, with exactly eight cards in his deck. Tribute+to+Hunger killed it, and David milled those cards over Andrew’s end step and his own turn.
David 1, Andrew 0
David's representing Gravecrawler. David had Nihil+Spellbomb on turn 1 to make the little guy scared, but Andrew attacked for 2 and used Phantasmal+Image to copy the Zombie. Beats! David played a land and passed, falling to 14 when Andrew attacked.
A third Gravecrawer spelled trouble for David, but Andrew made no other plays—just passed with two Drowned+Catacombs available. David played his third land and decided to Zenith for one, wiping the board clear and tapping out to do so. Would Andrew hae another Zombie?
Nope. He passed after playing a fourth land, lacking anything to capitalize with. David passed right back on four mana, and had Mana+Leak for the late Geralf’s Messenger that Andrew cast. During the end step, Spellbomb cantripped and got rid of all those Zombies, David untapping for a big threat: Batterskull.
Andrew ended his turn with five mana, David going on the offensive. Reversing his life total disadvantage, he cast a second Batterskull and ended the turn with one mana up. This game looked like it would be a lot shorter than the last, with no Obliterator in sight to ward off the Germs.
Andrew cast Diregraf+Ghoul and then Metamorphed a Batterskull, passing. Go+for+the+Throat killed the Germ and David attacked Andrew down to 8, holding Tribute+to+Hunger for the attempt to equip Diregraf+Ghoul if Andrew made it. If he didn’t, he’d be in The+Abyss mode anyway!
When Andrew attempted to equip his Ghoul, David allowed that to resolve—when no land for Tragic+Slip was forthcoming, David had no qualms about Tribute+to+Hunger during the end step to seal the game on the next turn, completing a clean sweep of the Top 8.
David 2, Andrew 0