Finals: Jacob Neighbors vs. Travis Harrison
“So is this the most bearded finals of all time?” Jacob asked. Both players agreed that, record-breaking beards or no, it would be a fantastic final, as Travis’s U/w Devotion deck butted heads (and beards) with Jacob’s B/W Midrange.
Travis crashes the board with little blue beaters.
Jacob took a mulligan, and began the game with a Temple of Silence. Travis got on the board quickly with a turn 1 Judge’s Familiar, and followed it up with a turn 2 Frostburn Weird after Jacob had no turn 2 play. Jacob’s turn 3 was a little better, though as he took 2 from a Godless Shrine to cast Lifebane Zombie. He saw Detention Sphere, Master of Waves, Prognostic Sphinx, Hallowed Fountain, and Island.
Tidebinder Mage came down next for Travis, and his two beaters came across for two damage, dropping Jacob to 15. Jacob’s next play was Underworld Connections, and the Lifebane Zombie stayed back on defense. When Travis attacked with his team on his next turn, the Lifebane Zombie jumped in front of Tidebinder Mage, and Jacob fell to 13. Post-combat, Master of Waves and his four 2/1 friends joined the party.
Jacob peeked at his top card. He activated his Underworld Connections and peeked at the card below that one, too. Neither of them helped, and he picked up his cards for game 2.
Travis Harrison 1, Jacob Neighbors 0
Jacob had an Orzhov Guildgate to begin, and Travis again had a turn 1Judge’s Familiar. Jacob’s turn 2 was a Pack Rat, which threatened to grow out of control unless Travis found an answer. He played a Temple of Enlightenment, scryed to the bottom, and passed.
With Detention Sphere on his radar, Jacob opted not to make a Rat token immediately, simply attacking for one and passing the turn with three mana up. Travis cast Thassa, God of the Sea on his turn 3, and Jacob pitched Blood Baron of Vizkopa at his end step to make a Rat token. Jacob untapped and exiled the Thassa with Revoke Existence before swinging for 4 with his Rats.
Travis again scryed to the bottom with a Temple of Enlightenment, and cast a Frostburn Weird before passing the turn. At his end step, Jacob cast Devour Flesh, and Travis lost his Judge’s Familiar. Jacob cast Thoguhtseize on his own turn, seeing Cloudfin Raptor, Prognostic Spinx, and two Nightveil Specters. He chose the Sphinx. The Rats attacked for 4 again, and Jacob passed back with three mana up.
Travis found a solution the Rat problem on top of his deck, drawing and casting Detention Sphere. The Pack Rats went away, and Travis followed up with a Cloudfin Raptor. Needing to reestablish some pressure, Jacob tapped out for Desecration Demon and shipped back. Travis cast one of his Nightveil Specters and considered some attacks before simply passing back to Jacob.
The Demon stayed back on defense, and Jacob simply passed the turn with four mana open, representing a trick of some sort. Travis found another Detention Sphere and cleared out the Demon, then attacked with his team. Cloudfin Raptor fell to Bile Blight, and the Frostburn Weird pumped once, as Jacob fell to 11. The Specter stole a Pack Rat from the top of Jacob’s deck, prompting a minor celebration from Travis, but Jacob casually drew another Pack Rat right behind it and cast it before passing with two mana open.
Travis activated his Mutavault and attacked with everything again. Jacob had another Bile Blight to get rid of the Nightveil Specter, and took 3 falling to 8. That Specter was replaced with one from Travis’s hand. Jacob untapped and made a Pack Rat token, attacking for 2 with his previous Rat. Travis attacked with just the Nightveil Specter on his own turn, flipping over the fourth Pack Rat. After combat he emptied his hand, filling the board with blockers by casting a Tidebinder Mage and a second Frostburn Weird.
Now Jacob went into the tank. Given enough time, his Pack Rats would take over the game, but he couldn’t be sure how much time he had. He attacked with just one of his Rats, making another Rat token and activating Mutavault after it went unblocked to knock Travis down to 8. He passed with two 3/3 Rat blockers.
Jacob again attacked with just one Rat. This time Travis blocked, pushing a Frostburn Weird in front. Travis pumped his Weird to a 4/1, and it traded with the Rat. Jacob passed the turn back with four potential blockers, but facing 3 damage in the air.
Now it was Travis’s turn to do some calculations. He ultimately concluded that he could not safely attack with all of his ground-pounders, so he simply came in with Nightveil Specter again, knocking Jacob to 2 and snatching up another Temple of Silence. He filled up his board again with Ephara, God of the Polis and Jacob’s Pack Rat, and passed back.
Jacob needed to find a way to punch through. He drew his card, activated Mutavault, and attacked with everything. Travis carefully pushed a blocker in front of each, and was left with Ephara, God of the Polis, Nightveil Specter, and Judge’s Familiar. Jacob passed, Travis quickly untapped and shoved his team across, and Jacob extended the hand.
Travis Harrison 2, Jacob Neighbors 0