Finals: Jack Fogle vs. Lauren Nolan
Lauren made it here as the 8-seed on the back of some pretty tight play, and a little Notion+Thief magic along the way. Can Jack stop his tear through the tournament?
“I don’t even see Notion+Thief in your sideboard…”
“That’s because it’s not there! Let’s get real, bro.”
Jack, as the 2-seed, got the play and used it to start things off with… a mulligan, and Lauren had some of the same.
“Didn’t have Notion+Thief. Gotta mulligan.
Once the game got underway, Jack led with Thoughtseize, revelaing Dark+Confidant, Stoneforge+Mystic, Swords+to+Plowshares, and lands. Bob hit the bricks, and Jack passed. Lauren played a fetchland and passed, and Jack had no follow-up turn two play. Lauren dropped Stoneforge+Mystic turn two, and grabbed a tasty deep-fried Batterskull.
Jack played draw-go some more, which allowed Lauren to untap with his Kor Artificer in play and Living Weapon in hand. Jack dropped Deathrite+Shaman, and at end of turn the 1/2 AEther Vialed in Batterskull. Lauren also used his Swords+to+Plowshares to remove Deathrite+Shaman from the game. Lauren was able to untap with impunity, able to Wasteland Karakas, then getting in there with Batterskull to set life totals to 13-22.
Land four from Jack (Polluted+Delta, lose one life) brought Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor, which bounced the Germ token to slow Lauren’s Roll. Umezawa’s Jitte entered the battlefield at end of turn thanks to Stoneforge+Mystic, and an equipt Mystic took Jace down to one counter. Another Stoneforge+Mystic joined the fray as well before Lauren passed. Jace used Brainstorm (it’s somewhat effective!) to try to dig into an answer to the current predicament, and Jack found a decent answer in the form of Thoughtseize (taking Swords+to+Plowshares) and Vindicate on Lauren’s Batterskull.
Lauren's got a Notion he's gonna win!
This did allow Lauren to kill Jack’s Jace though, and after Brainstorm netted some cards Lauren’s team was able to do just that as well as deal some damage to Jack. Jack fell to 4, and Lauren passed… but in Jack’s draw step Vendilion+Clique came in and made Jack’s hand of Stoneforge, Brainstorm, and Batterskull less impressive. Jack decided to cast Brainstorm to see if there was a way out of the hole he found himself in, and only showed Ponder, another Brainstorm, and Tundra. Lauren allowed him to keep those, and after Ponder found nothing of use and neither did Brainstorm Jack scooped.
Lauren 1, Jack 0.
Jack’s slow start without disruption put him in a defensive position early, allowing Lauren to develop the Stoneforge+Mystic advantage from which Jack could never recover. Even The Great One Dark+Confidant and The Greatest One Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Jack once more had the honor and the privilege of the play, and began by Thoughtseizing Lauren. He took Lauren’s Jace from a hand of Swords+to+Plowshares, Vindicate, and many many lands. Lauren used his turn one to play Scrubland (a very befitting land, if you don’t mind me saying so). Jack played a land and passed on turn two, and Lauren tapped out for Umezawa’s Jitte on his second turn.
Jack was content to play draw-go, but Vendilion+Clique threatened Lauren’s hand once more. He decided to flash in Snapcaster+Mage as Ambush+Viper, and Jack chose to remove neither Swords nor Vindicate from Lauren’s hand. Lauren passed after a land drop, and Brainstorm built up Jack’s hand before Vendilion+Clique set life at 17 apiece. Jack fell to 14 to take Vindicate with Thoughtseize as well as utilize a fetchland to help cast Stoneforge+Mystic for Umezawa’s Jitte.
Land four for Lauren was the Tropical+Island, and Umezawa’s Jitte equipt up to Snapcaster+Mage, which upon attacking was quickly blocked by Stoneforge+Mystic. Jitte knocked out the Clique before Lauren passed. Jack cast Snapcaster+Mage targeting Thoughtseize, but Swords on Snapcaster+Mage in response meant that Lauren only had lands remaining. A land drop from Jack meant that Lauren was left with only lands post-legend rule.
Not looking very good for the former Invitational champion, until...
“Uh… I drew Jace.”
Not a bad draw step for Lauren, who cast the four-drop ubiquitous planeswalker and proceeded to use the +0 ability to Reshape his hand into something more suitable. Jack, despite leaving Lauren with naught but mana last turn, played Dark+Confidant and Creeping+Tar+Pit on his turn into Lauren’s nigh-unbeatable board.
Jack is hoping his deck is the 'Blade in the finals!
Snapcaster+Mage recast Swords+to+Plowshares to get rid of Dark+Confidant, then Stoneforge+Mystic also joined the party (fetching Batterskull), and Jace used +2 to fateseal Jack… and he let Jack keep the top card. You know what that means.
Creeping+Tar+Pit dropped Jace to two counters, but Lauren was still in control. +0 and Braisntorm activation further sculpted his mind and his hand. Thoughtseize forced Jack to use Swords+to+Plowshares, and in response Mystic snuck the Batterskull into play. 16-15 now, but with Lauren much further out in front than that. Creeping+Tar+Pit destroyed Jace finally, and Deathrite+Shaman came into play for Jack… but having already foreseen the death of his planeswalker Lauren was already way out in front. Snapcaster+Mage into Vindicate took down Deathrite, and at 5-18 Jack could only hope to find Supreme+Verdict at this point.
He did not (probably did not have them in his deck), but did find a Jace of his own… but way too late. Jack did not find the droids he was looking for, and Lauren took the match.
Lauren 2, Jack 1.
This game proved that… well, that topdecking Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor is good. Who knew?