Finals: Erik Smith vs. Andrew Tenjum
Andrew was the only player against whom Erik would receive the play, but the Top 8’s lowest seeds had done it—they were in the finals. Who would claim ultimate victory, and receive an SCG token of their very own?
A keep from Erik, while Andrew did the same on seven cards. Starting with shocklands, Erik was first to the board with Scavenging Ooze, while Andrew led Voice of Resurgence. No third land and no attack from Erik, but Andrew happily sent in Voice and played a second, also missing his third land.
Finding a land, Erik Dreadbored one Voice but still had his work cut out for him. Andrew played a third Voice and attacked for 5 damage, leaving Erik on 13 life. Erik drew a fourth land, Andrew still on just two, and cast Huntmaster of the Fells to change up the board a bit. Andrew drew, shrugged, and attacked with both Voices and his Elemental.
Erik blocked one Voice with a Wolf token, Andrew passing the turn to Erik and losing a Voice to Huntmaster of the Fells anyway but knocking Erik to 6 life. Mizzium Mortars killed the untapped Elemental, and Erik attacked for 4 damage before ending the turn. He grew his Ooze to 4/4 when Andrew attacked, losing it to a second Ghor-Clan Rampager after blockers and falling down to 4 life.
Peeling Bonfire of the Damned, Erik left Andrew with just an Elemental and ended the turn. Andrew found his fourth land and cast Sublime Archangel, the exalted forcing Erik to trade in his 4/4 Ravager of the Fells. Drawing a card, he was now facing down a lethal flying creature... and had no reply.
That's a lot of Voices...
Andrew 1, Erik 0
It had looked scary at first, but Andrew’s quality draw and his durable Voices had kept him in it long enough to close it out as Erik failed to present a Thragtusk. Erik kept seven while Andrew debated gambling a land-light hand too reliant on buddy lands before deciding to mulligan—the hand wasn’t good enough on the draw.
Turn 1 Avacyn’s Pilgrim for Andrew while Erik played shocklands on turns 1 and 2. Andrew attacked for 1 damage and played Voice of Resurgence, but Lifebane Zombie came down for Erik on turn 3, stealing Scavenging Ooze and leaving Andrew with lands and Mizzium Mortars.
Erik declined to block the attack from Andrew and raced, attacking for 3 damage and passing while Andrew swung back for 3more, having drawn a Township that he began activating. Erik’s turn 5 Thragtusk put him back on the lead, but Andrew had another land to overload Mizzium Mortars with before attacking with Voice of Resurgence and trading it for the Beast token.
The way clear, Erik played Olivia Voldaren with two mana up. Andrew debated his options, casting Voice of Resurgence and attacking with both creatures, which Erik declined to block—he fell to 13. Dropping to 10 life, Andrew cast Burning Earth and passed to Erik, who grew Olivia to 4/4 in response. Could he outrace Andrew’s board? Could he muster a defense under the influence of Burning Earth?
An attack for 4 took Andrew to 6, Thragtusk giving Erik a blocker that didn’t cost him life. Drawing Avacyn’s Pilgrim, Andrew appeared to be locked underneath the Burning Earth himself now. He traded an Elemental for Thragtusk and passed, daring Erik to try and make the Olivia into a lethal 6/6. Erik sent in his Beast and his Olivia, drawing a block from Andrew with the Voice of Resurgence.
Erik decided to risk Selesnya Charm... and was rewarded with a game win.
Erik evaluates the state of the race.
Andrew 1, Erik 1
A one-lander for Andrew with three Elves and some Dragons drew a sigh—maybe if the land was Stomping Grounds, but Temple Garden was not going to cut it. Erik joined Andrew on six cards. Andrew kept his six while Erik continued mulliganing, falling to five cards. Each player started with lands until turn 3, when Andrew played Domri Rade and boosted its loyalty to grab Avacyn’s Pilgrim.
Just Scavenging Ooze and no third land for Erik, with Loxodon Smiter fighting it down on Andrew’s turn. Erik was in trouble, and he dropped to 18 for an untapped Blood Crypt which he left untapped alongside a second Scavenging Ooze, representing Tragic Slip. Andrew attacked after Domri found him Boros Reckoner, Erik declining to block and the Reckoner landing on the board.
No plays for Erik, Andrew extending his advantage with Voice of Resurgence before attacking with Loxodon Smiter and Boros Reckoner. Erik blocked Smiter and gained a life before taking 3 damage, now on just three lands against Andrew’s six lands, four creatures, and planeswalker. Farseek caught him up on mana, but with only 12 life left he’d be needing more help than that.
Ghor-Clan Rampager finished the job on the next turn.
Andrew 2, Erik 1
Erik had turn 2 Farseek on the play, a strong start while Andrew failed to make a one-drop or w two-drop. Lifebane Zombie came down on turn 3 for Erik, stripping Ghor-Clan Rampager and leaving Andrew with Thundermaw Hellkite, Domri Rade, two lands, and two Loxodon Smiter. One Elephant landed, and Erik passed back.
The Zombie attacked for 3 damage before Erik passed on five open mana, likely holding removal to keep Domri off his back. Andrew attacked with his 4/4 then cast a second one, which Erik used Putrefy on. Thragtusk followed, putting Erik to 21 and giving him the lead in the race. Andrew attacked for 4 and added Ghor-Clan Rampager to the battlefield once Erik declined to block.
Swinging back for 8 damage, he got a Beast token once Andrew blocked the 5/3 and replaced it with another Thragtusk. On 11 and facing 11 power, Andrew was in trouble. He used Domri Rade to clear out the Lifebane Zombie and then played a land tapped and passed the turn with his 4/4 on defense. Doom Blade left him too far back to recover, with Erik swinging for 9 damage thanks to Kessig Wolf Run and leaving Andrew on 2 against two creatures.
Andrew struggled in the last two games of the match.
Andrew 2, Erik 2
On the play, Andrew mulliganed to six cards while Erik kept his seven. Staring at a weak six, Andrew had a tough decision—and elected to go for five cards. Keeping just Forest and Arbor Elf for mana, Andrew led the one-drop—and peeled Sacred Foundry, boosting Domri Rade into Thundermaw Hellkite on turn 2! Now, it was going to be a game.
Pillar of Flame took out the 1/1 and Andrew pumped Domri again before drawing and passing, stuck on two mana for the next two turns as Domri revealed just a spell. Selesnya Charm in the end step made a 2/2 Knight token to start attacking with, and that’s what Andrew did as Erik cast Farseek.
Turn 4 brought just another Farseek from Erik, Andrew no doubt very excited at the prospect of getting Domri to seven loyalty. Could he actually get there, or would Erik have an answer? Dreadbore took out the planeswalker, Andrew sighing as Huntmaster of the Fells hit the board. The Knight token swung into Erik’s life total and Andrew played his third land—better late than never—before sending Mizzium Mortars at Huntmaster of the Fells.
Bonfire of the Damned for three cleared the Knight and Erik’s Wolf token chipped in for damage as well, but it was a game now for Andrew at least. He cast Loxodon Smiter but lost it to Putrefy, a second Huntmaster giving Erik the lead. With his Forest in play, Andrew couldn’t cast Boros Reckoner—he had to settle for Domri Rade, drawing an Avacyn’s Pilgrim.
Erik sent 6 damage at Andrew and then passed, flipping Huntmaster into Ravager of the Fells. That left Andrew on 3, but Boros Reckoner threatened to stabilize with Domri’s fight ability clearing out both Wolves—but Erik had another Bonfire of the Damned to lock up the win.
Andrew 2, Erik 3