Finals: Jake Xu vs. Kenny Dungar
Kenny was the only player Jake could take the play from as the seventh seed, but he was one of the most relevant—Thalia%2C+Guardian+of+Thraben was much more threatening from the play!
Kenny's Goblins face one of their natural predators in the finals.
Turn 1 Underground+Sea and Ponder kept the top three for Jake, while Kenny started with an Arid+Mesa for Plateau and Tarfire, targeting Jake. An Ad Nauseam on 17 with zero floating but a land drop available followed, and Kenny was probably dead!
“I had the turn 2 Thalia!”
Jake 1, Kenny 0
Land and pass for Kenny, while a Gitaxian+Probe from Jake revealed Thalia, Ethersworn+Canonist, Krenko, Cavern+of+Souls, and two Wear. Jake fetched to 17 life and grabbed an Island, casting Ponder before passing.
Cavern for Human deployed Thalia, and Jake paid two mana for another Ponder on the next turn. Things would get much more difficult once that Canonist joined the party... did Jake have a plan?
The Canonist landed and Thalia begun the offensive. Cabal+Therapy stripped Krenko and Jake ended the turn with an uncracked fetch in play. He took 4, falling to 11, and Kenny made no other plays. Jake fetched his third basic land and drew, playing Karakas to bounce Thalia before Slaughter+Pact took out the Ethersworn+Canonist.
Jake messed up his sequencing here, casting Lion’s Eye Diamond before playing Dark+Ritual and allowing Wear to catch his Diamond. “I’m really tired,” he admitted with a laugh, then started doing math. “Do I still win?” Apparently not—he just cast Duress and ended the turn after discarding that second Wear.
Jake's paid the ultimate price for this particular Pact.
Thalia rejoined the party, and Kenny passed the turn... before Jake then died to missing his Slaughter+Pact trigger.
“I’ve never had to pay for Slaughter+Pact before!”
Jake 1, Kenny 1
Jake kept his six and cast Ponder... via Lotus+Petal! Keeping the three, he put Island into play and then shuffled up his second Ponder of the turn. Kenny had kept a hand with no hate, but conveniently peeled Thalia on the second turn—would it be enough? He led Goblin+Lackey.
Cabal+Therapy via Gemstone+Mine said no, discarding the 2/1 and revealing Goblin+Matron alongside Goblin+Chieftain and two Cavern+of+Souls. Goblin+Matron entered via Lackey’s trigger, searching up Piledriver which Kenny cast.
Jake laid a land and ended his turn, while Kenny played Chieftain to threaten an attack for 14 damage, but Chain+of+Vapor reduced it to just 7. Ringleader landed for the Lackey... finding no Goblins. It would be a sweat...
Flipping over Ponder, Jake revealed the three and then shuffled up... into another Ponder! He broke his fetchland to cast it, shuffling the top three away one more time—and finding some really good rub-ins with a Slaughter+Pact on top.
Jake 1, Kenny 2