Finals: Jared LaCombe vs. Hal Brady
Mostly red Boros versus mostly green Gruul. Stormbreath Dragon and Boros Reckoner versus Garruk, Caller of Beasts and Xenagos, the Reveler. Heavy hitters all around! Which mythic-fueled deck will win in this finals slugfest?
Jared mulliganed to six and labored over his half dozen before keeping, leading off with Temple of Triumph and scrying to the bottom. He did not find a second land on turn two, as we see why his decision was so tough, while his opponent exploded: turn one Elvish Mystic, turn two Burning-Tree Emissary into Voyaging Satyr, turn three Arbor Colossus. The second land was a bit late, but Jared cast Frostburn Weird nonetheless. Nylea, God of the Hunt entered the battlefield and Arbor Colossus trampled for two over the 1/4. Another copy was all Jared could muster.
Many giant green animals attacked for Hal, and Jared quickly scooped.
“I can’t believe that went so long.”
“It was a nail biter.”
Hal 1, Jared 0.
Jared led off with Sacred Foundry while Hal began once again with a one mana creature, but this time it was Wasteland Viper. Jared played Burning-Tree Emissary to cast Mizzium Mortars on the troublesome 1/2. Another troublesome 1/2 also came down turn two for Hal, this time Voyaging Satyr. Boros Reckoner turn three entered play for Jared after attacking for a couple damage, while Hal dropped Scavenging Ooze.
Scavenging Ooze grew to 3/3 size to block the Emissary, and Reckoner dealt three to drop Hal to 16. The Return to Ravnica sorcery removed the Ooze post combat. Arbor Colossus came down the next turn for Hal, and the 6/6 for five with reach put a real damper on Jared’s plans. While Stormbreath Dragon was an integral part of Jared’s wins in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, it was going to be tough to outmaneuver the jolly green Theros giant! Burning-Tree Emissary was all Jared had the next turn, leaving Boros Reckoner back on defense.
A Satyr and Nykthos-fueled fire allowed Hal to resolve Garruk, Caller of Beasts the next turn. He drew three cards off of the +1 ability before passing, and that engine could quickly put this game out of reach. Boros Reckoner attacked to drop Garruk down to two loyalty, but without a fifth land to be able to cast any of his truly big threats Jared was quickly falling behind. Garruk added more fuel to the Forest fire, Nykthos added even more mana (up to fourteen now, thanks to Voyaging Satyr) to drop Arbor Colossus, monstrous the first giant, and play Sylvan Caryatid before attacking for nine.
Temple of Triumph was the fifth land for Jared, which isn’t exactly what he was looking for. Hal simply continued to draw creatures with big papa Garruk, add Gaea’s Cradle-like amounts of mana (over twenty now!) with Nykthos, spew animals onto the board, and apply pressure to Jared. Eventually, Jared succumbed to the pressure thanks to Domri Rade using its -2 to start a fight between a freshly played Wasteland Viper and Jared’s last remaining Boros Reckoner, sadly ending the game with both a pair of Stormbreath Dragons and the incredibly potent Assemble the Legion in hand. Oh what could have been!
Hal 2, Jared 0.