Finals: Joe Lossett vs. Matt Anderson
Joe Lossett is looking to add to his Open Series trophy collection with W/U Heroic, while an upstart Matt Anderson hopes to start a collection of his own with R/W Aggro.
Joe started off slow, playing his first two lands and passing without playing a creature. Matt had Seeker of the Way on his second turn, and Joe got on board turn 3 with Battlewise Hoplite and an Aqueous Form in the same turn to make it a 3/3. Matt had a second Seeker of the Way to follow up the first, and had no recourse when Joe cast Defiant Strike and sent his Battlewise Hoplite in for 5 damage.
Matt went for a big life swing on his turn 4, casting Hordeling Outburst to grow his Seeker of the Ways to 3/3 Lifelinkers. He attacked, and Joe attempted to ambush him with a Triton Tactics. Matt tapped all of his tokens and his fourth land to cast Stoke the Flames on the 4/4 Battlewise Hoplite, but Joe wasn’t out of tricks, using Gods Willing to grow it out of range. The Triton Tactics resolved, and Joe’s Battlewise Hoplite ate a Seeker. He untapped and unloaded some more, casting Defiant Strike and Feat of Resistance to send his Battlewise Hoplite through for 9, dropping Matt to 6.
Matt went through the motions, adding Goblin Rabblemaster to his board and attacking for 6, but he had no answer to the unblockable Battlewise Hoplite. Joe took his six, untapped, and came cracking in for the win.
Joe Lossett 1, Matt Anderson 0
Matt took a pair of mulligans to start off game 2, but he was still the first to the board with a turn 3 Heliod’s Pilgrim, retrieving Chained to the Rocks. Joe cast Hero of Iroas on his third turn, leaving up a Flooded Strand to threaten instant-speed shenanigans. Matt was unfazed, and cast his Chained to the Rocks, which exiled Hero of Iroas without any fuss. Joe replaced it with a Favored Hoplite and passed.
Stormbreath Dragon showed up for Matt on turn 5, increasing his clock significantly. With no way to get the Protection from White Dragon off the table, Joe’s only plan was to race, and he set about trying to do so, casting Defiant Strike and, Ordeal of Thassa, and Mortal Obstinacy on his Favored Hoplite before attacking for 6. The attack prompted a chump-block from Heliod’s Pilgrim, and Joe tapped out for Seeker of the Way before passing back.
Matt still had some removal in store, and used Glare of Heresy to exile the huge Favored Hoplite, sending Joe more-or-less back to square one as the Stormbreath Dragon cruised over and dropped Joe to 10. He cast his last card, Seeker of the Way, and passed back with a strong lead on-board. Joe wasted no time battling back, however, as he cast another Defiant Strike on his Seeker, then found and cast Hero of Iroas followed by Ordeal of Thassa to make it a 3/3. The Seeker came swinging bringing him back up to 15, and he passed.
The seventh land off the top for Matt allowed him to monstrous his Stormbreath Dragon. Joe took 2 damage, dropping to 13, and Matt send the dragon over for 7 more damage to put Joe at 6. Joe wasn’t done fighting, though, as he cast Spectra Ward on his Seeker of the Way and attacked with it, gaining 5 life to go back up to 11. Matt had Hordeling Outburst off the top to pump his Seeker, and he attacked with it and his Stormbreath Dragon. Joe had Feat of Resistance on his untapped Hero of Iroas to give it protection from White, effectively fogging the Seeker, but he still fell to 4 from the Dragon.
Joe swung back with both creatures, cashing in his Ordeal of Thassa, and he found Triton Tactics to use after blockers, untapping Hero of Iroas and crucially giving his Seeker of the Way lifelink. He jumped back up to 9, and passed the turn hanging on by a thread, with 2 life to give on top of the 7/7 dragon, and a blocker back to stop the two 1/1 Goblin Tokens still in play.
Matt quickly crushed that particular dream with a second Stormbreath Dragon off the top. His dragons attacked for 11, and it was on to the decider.
Joe Lossett 1, Matt Anderson 1
Favored Hoplite got the party started for Joe, and its pal Battlewise Hoplite showed up right behind. Matt tried Lightning Strike to kill off the Battlewise Hoplite, but Joe shut it down with a Gods Willing. Hordeling Outburst gave Matt three 1/1 Goblin Tokens, and he cashed one in as a chump blocker on his next turn as Joe used Ordeal of Thassa to grow his Battlewise Hoplite to a 5/5 attacker. Matt cast Heliod’s Pilgrim next, grabbing Chained to the Rocks, but he had only Temples of Triumph as red sources, and was without a Mountain to put it on.
A second Ordeal of Thassa made the Battlewise Hoplite a 7/7 monster, and it gobbled up another 1/1 Goblin Token in combat. Joe drew his two new cards, and added Seeker of the Way and Favored Hoplite to his board. Matt had some bad news for him on his turn 5, as Stormbreath Dragon came down, but after crunching the numbers Matt decided he needed to leave it back on defense.
Joe had some bad news of his own to deliver: Spectra Ward came off the top, making his Battlewise Hoplite an enormous and unblockable 10/10. Joe turned it sideways, putting Matt a turn away from defeat. Matt gamely played a Mountain, used his two Chain to the Rocks to exile Joe’s non-10/10 creatures, played Goblin Rabblemaster, and attacked for 6. He passed with one mana open, representing a blowout Erase to get rid of the Spectra Ward in combat.
Joe surveyed his position, decided there was no way of playing around it, and attempted to swing for the win. Matt laughed and extended the hand.
Joe Lossett 2, Matt Anderson 1