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, 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, 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, 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, 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