Finals: Derrick Sheets vs. Jessy Hefner
Jessy Hefner started this tournament 1-3. From that point on, he hasn’t lost a match, marching straight to the finals with the help of his RUG Delver deck. Derrick Sheets has had quite the run this morning as well, and now these two grinders sit down to battle it out for a seat in the Players’ Championship!
Derrick fired things off on turn 1 by fetching a Swamp and casting Deathrite+Shaman. Jessy had a threat on turn 1 as well, laying a Tropical+Island and casting Nimble+Mongoose. Using his Deathrite+Shaman for mana, Derrick cast Umezawa’s Jitte, then Wastelanded Jessy’s land away.
Jessy played another Tropical+Island and cast Ponder, looking for a way to keep the Jitte from running away with the game. He found a Lightning+Bolt, but couldn’t cast it just yet. Derrick played the second land he needed to equip the Deathrite+Shaman with Umezawa’s Jitte, and got through for damage, putting the all-important first two counters on.
Jessy drew his card and went into the tank. He ultimately decided to play a Tarmogoyf, a meager 2/3, and pass back to Derrick. Derrick pushed his advantage even further by casting True-Name+Nemesis, announcing “I choose you!” Deathrite+Shaman attacked again, putting two more counters on his equipment.
Jessy knew that the combination of machine-gun equipment and unblockable, untargettable threat would be too much to overcome. He took his next draw step and packed up his cards for game 2.
Derrick Sheets 1, Jessy Hefner 0
Derrick agonizes over a Thoughtseize
Both players took mulligans to five to start the second game, and Jessy began by fetching up a Tropical+Island and casting Nimble+Mongoose. Derrick had only an Island, and the Goose came over for a point of damage for Jessy before he cast Ponder and played a Misty+Rainforest. Derrick had a tapped Creeping+Tar+Pit on his next turn, but still no other play, and Jessy Pondered again and got in another attack.
Thoughtseize was the first play for Derrick, revealing Force+of+Will, Brainstorm, Spell+Snare, and Lightning+Bolt. Derrick took a moment before settling on Force+of+Will as the card to take. He then cast Stoneforge+Mystic, drawing Spell+Snare from Jessy.
Brainstorm put the seventh card in Jessy’s graveyard, and Nimble+Mongoose came across for 3. Jessy passed, and Derrick attempted a True-Name+Nemesis, but Jessy was ready with a Pyroblast. He followed up with a 4/5 Tarmogoyf, and attacked Derrick down to 9.
The Tarmogoyf went farming, as Derrick had a Swords+to+Plowshares to answer it. Nimble+Mongoose bashed Derrick down to 6, and Jessy played a Sylvan+Library before passing. Derrick untapped and played Lilliana of the Veil, downticking to kill off the shroud threat. Jessy drew two extras off of his Sylvan+Library, then stuck another Nimble+Mongoose and played a Lightning+Bolt to dispose of Liliana+of+the+Veil.
Derrick needed a big swing to stabilize, and he found it, casting Stoneforge+Mystic and fetching up Batterskull. He passed the turn, needing to keep his Stoneforge+Mystic alive for a turn. Jessy attacked past it with Nimble+Mongoose, then cast Vendilion+Clique, sending the Batterskull to the bottom of Derrick’s library.
Once again Derrick needed a big turn to stabilize. He cast Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor, used it’s -1 ability to bounce Vendilion+Clique, then Thoughtseized it into his graveyard, seeing Force+of+Will as the last remaining card. He passed back at 1 life. Jessy attacked with his Nimble+Mongoose, forcing Stoneforge+Mystic to assume chumpblock duty, and passed with no play.
Derrick Brainstormed with Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor to set up his defenses and ended his turn. Nimble+Mongoose came knocking. Creeping+Tar+Pit was activated, but Jessy had Pyroblast to destroy it before blockers. Derrick tried a Swords+to+Plowshares on his Tar Pit to gain life, but Jessy countered it with Force+of+Will, and it was on to game 3.
Derrick Sheets 1, Jessy Hefner 1
Derrick tries to plow his own creature to stay alive.
This time Derrick took a mulligan, but Jessy was fine with his seven. Derrick led with Tropical+Island into Deathrite+Shaman, but Jessy said no, pitching Brainstorm to cast Force+of+Will. He then Wastelanded the Tropical+Island away, and Derrick revealed that he had kept a one-lander, as he passed back on his next two turns without a play.
Jessy attempted to apply some pressure with a turn 2 Scavenging+Ooze, but Derrick pitched Vendilion+Clique to cast Force+of+Will. Tarmogoyf on the next turn stuck, however, and Derrick continued to miss his land drops as the 4/5 Goyf went to work. Nimble+Mongoose showed up to bring the beats as well.
At a precarious 8 life, Derrick found another land. He fetched up a Tundra with Polluted+Delta, falling to 7, and passed, playing a Swords+to+Plowshares in Jessy’s upkeep on the Tarmogoyf. Nimble+Mongoose stuck around to knock him down to 4, and a combination of Lightning+Bolt and Fire/Ice finished things off.
Jessy Hefner 2, Derrick Sheets 1
Jessy sends his Nimble+Mongoose into battle.
On the play again, Derrick fetched up an Island and passed the turn. Jessy got things started with Volcanic+Island into Delver+of+Secrets. Derrick dug for action on his second turn, casting a Brainstorm, then played a Bayou and passed. The Delver+of+Secrets failed to flip, and Jessy used a Brainstorm to set it up next turn, then Wastelanded the Bayou away.
Derrick went for another Brainstorm, and then shuffled the top cards away with a Marsh+Flats, fetching up Scrubland and exiling the Delver+of+Secrets with Swords+to+Plowshares. Jessy simply replaced it with another Delver from his hand on his own turn, and passed back. Derrick played Underground+Sea and attempted a Liliana+of+the+Veil, but Jessy answered it with Force+of+Will pitching another Force.
The Delver+of+Secrets revealed Destructive+Revelry on Jessy’s turn, and Insectile+Aberration swung across. Jessy had no further play, and Derrick untapped and dropped Stoneforge+Mystic, fetching up Batterskull. He passed, fell to 11 from attacks, and Jessy had a post-combat Chain+Lightning to get rid of the Stoneforge+Mystic.
Derrick had another Stoneforge+Mystic to replace it, this one fetching up Umezawa’s Jitte. He fell to 8 from another attack. And Jessy tried a Lightning+Bolt on the Mystic, but Derrick protected it with Force+of+Will pitching Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor, he untapped and Thoughtseized away the Destructive+Revelry, clearing the way for his Batterskull. After another swing from the 3/2 flier, Derrick got to put the Batterskull into play and cast Abrupt+Decay to stabilize.
Jessy had Nimble+Mongoose, but it was too late. Derrick put Umezawa’s Jitte into play, equipped it to his Germ, and connected. Jessy cast Brainstorm looking for Ancient+Grudge, didn’t find it, and started preparing for game 5.
Derrick Sheets 2, Jessy Hefner 2
Both players kept their sevens in the decider, and Jessy initiated proceedings by fetching up Volcanic+Island and casting Ponder. Derrick had Swamp into Deathrite+Shaman, which Jessy promptly untapped and fried with Lightning+Bolt. Jessy played a Wasteland and passed, and Derek spent his turn Wastelanding Jessy’s one source of colored mana. Jessy’s next turn was simply another Wasteland, passing right back.
Derrick looked to slam the door shut on his next turn, fetching up a Plains and casting Stoneforge+Mystic, fetching a Batterskull. Jessy found a Misty+Rainforest and passed the turn back, sitting on Ancient+Grudge. When Derrick put the Batterskull into play, Jessy fetched up a Volcanic+Island and destroyed it.
Jace%2C+The+Mind+Sculptor was Derrick’s next attempt to stabilize. He played it, +2’d one card away, then lost it to Jessy’s Pyroblast on his own turn. The next threat from Derrick was an Umezawa’s Jitte, which he cast from hand to speed up his clock, and exposed to Force+of+Will pitching Brainstorm in the process.
The lone Stoneforge+Mystic was Derrick’s only source of pressure, but it went to work anyway, slowly whittling Jessy down to 12. Derrick found another Stoneforge+Mystic, but had no other equipment to fetch. Jessy found Wasteland, but was still unable to cast his green threats in hand. The pair of 1/2s knocked Jessy down to 10, and then they swung again, drawing a Bolt on one of them.
Jessy couldn’t find a green source, and Derrick drew Deathrite+Shaman, speeding up his clock considerably. Jessy drew and cast Ponder, looking now for a Lightning+Bolt to stay alive. It wasn’t in his top three, he shuffled, and still didn’t find it. Jessy extended the hand in defeat.
Derrick Sheets 3, Jessy Hefner 2