Finals: Harlan Firer vs. Shaheen Soorani
Harlan Firer has sliced through right through the tournament with his Jeskai Token Combo deck. The only thing standing between him and a Trophy was the Esper Control stylings of career blue mage Shaheen Soorani, in the hunt for his first Open Series trophy since 2012.
Shaheen goes Digging through Time.
Both players were patient to develop their boards in the early game. Harlan had a Hordeling Outburst on his third turn, which traded with an end-step Bile Blight from Shaheen. Harlan used an end-step Jeskai Charm to drop Shaheen to 14 on his next turn, then cast Seeker of the Way on his fifth turn. Shaheen went Digging Through Time on his end step, and found another Bile Blight to keep the Seeker of the Way from causing any further trouble.
Another end-step Jeskai Charm from Harlan dropped Shaheen to 10, then Monastery Swiftspear came the main phase follow-up, and he poked Shaheen down to 9. Shaheen his 6th land drop on his next turn, and cast Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, stabilizing the board with 1/1 Soldier tokens. Harlan had only Springleaf Drums and Retraction Helixes in his hand, and had to pump the breaks, passing the turn right back to Shaheen without an attack.
Shaheen made another 3 tokens, and Harlan drew and passed the turn again. At Harlan’s end step, Shaheen fired off another Dig Through Time, and liked what he saw.
Shaheen: “There it is! The combo.”
Sorin, Solemn Visitor entered play and ticked up, and the six soldier tokens came crashing in as 2/1 lifelinkers. Shaheen’s life total shot back up above 20, and he made three more tokens with his Elspeth and threatened a lethal attack next turn. Harlan untapped and attempted a Dig Through Time, but Shaheen put a stop to those shenanigans with Dissolve, and Harlan scooped up his cards.
Shaheen Soorani 1, Harlan Firer 0
Harlan rallies the goblin hordes.
Harlan had a Monastery Swiftspear on his first turn, which got in 2 attacks for one before he met a Hero’s Downfall. With Shaheen tapped out on his third turn, Harlan took the opportunity to stick a Jeskai Ascendancy into play. He cast a Hordeling Outburst on his next turn, leaving up one mana, and when Shaheen tried a Bile Blight to clear them out, Harlan used Gods Willing to protect his tokens.
Shaheen passed the turn again with a Hero’s Downfall in hand, but it wouldn’t save him, as the three 1/1 Goblin Tokens in conjunction with Jeskai Ascendancy allowed Harlan to chain off a series of Stoke the Flames and conclude with a Jeskai Charm, then attack with his 4/4 tokens to win the game out of nowhere.
Harlan Firer 1, Shaheen Soorani 1
Mantis Rider on turn 3 was the first play of the game from Harlan, and it met a Dissolve from Shaheen. Shaheen missed his fourth land drop, and passed with mana up again. He used a second Dissolve on a Monastery Swiftspear, which allowed Harlan to get Jeskai Ascendancy into play.
Shaheen looked to hold the fort with a Nyx-Fleece Ram, but Harlan played another Swiftspear then used Glare of Heresy. To clear the Ram out of the way. A Hordeling Outburst on his next turn looked to take the game away. Shaheen had Bile Blight and End Hostilities in hand, but was stuck with four lands, only one of which could make black mana. He passed the turn back to Harlan, who had a pair of Stoke the Flames and a Jeskai Charm to close things out.
Harlan Firer 2, Shaheen Soorani 1