Finals: Jonathan Job vs. Will Craddock
Each of these players had made quite the trek to Kansas City, with Will coming from Missouri and Jonathan a Las Vegas resident. Could Jonathan derail the Reanimator train that has been doing so much winning in Standard lately?
Will's searching for a Standard Open to add to his Draft and Legacy Open wins.
Will took a mulligan to six and opened on Temple Garden, while Jonathan had Hallowed Fountain and a nod. Will’s second turn brought an untapped land but no mulch or Grisly Salvage, with turn 3 Centaur Healer his initial action. Essence Scatter dispersed that threat, however.
Cavern of Souls for Angel on turn 4 from Will, but he cast nothing and kept Jonathan guessing. The Restoration Angel did come down during Jonathan’s end step on turn 4 however, and that drew first blood to put Jonathan on 17. Will passed with no fifth land after the attack, while Jonathan continued to make land drops. Rewind on Grisly Salvage in the end step freerolled his open mana, but the Angel was still the threat.
Jonathan went to 14, and Will tried another Salvage during his upkeep—Counterflux kept it at bay, with Jonathan playing tapped land afterward. While the Angel continued to attack, Will appeared to be out of gas as he dropped just Avacyn’s Pilgrim on the next turn. Either that, or all of his gas cost five mana like Thragtusk and Rites.
Pillar of Flamr kept him stranded on four lands before an Azorius Charm bounced the Angel shortly after. Tired of waiting for a second black source, Will cast Lotleth Troll into Searing Spear, discarding Craterhoof Behemoth before it died. The Angel returned, and Will’s draw step after that yielded the land he needed to cast Unburial Rites targeting the Craterhoof Behemoth.
Snapcaster Mage for Counterflux countered the front end, and Restoration Angel for Snapcaster Mage on Rewind countered the back. Jonathan had stabilized, but another Rites would be enough to break things open once more.
That’s exactly what Will had, and an attack for 12 against Jonathan’s 5 toughness made his 8 life just good enough to live at the expense of his entire board. He had Supreme Verdict, but with no answer to the flashback of Unburial Rites he was dead to the Craterhoof on the next turn.
Will 1, Jonathan 0
Jonathan's the last man standing against Reanimator in Standard.
Using Lotleth Troll as a discard outlet had really paid off for Will in that game, creating the opportunity for a game-winning series of Unburial Rites that overwhelmed Jonathan’s defenses. The sideboarded games would be a bit more difficult for Will, but Jonathan would need to break serve and win two in a row to take the match.
On the play, Jonathan had Hallowed Fountain while Will missed Arbor Elf and just played Temple Garden. Tapping out for Augur of Bolas was an ideal turn 2 for Jonathan, though it failed to dig up much help. Will’s Grisly Salvage was better, finding Lotleth Troll and tossing Thragtusk into the graveyard alongside some lands. The Augur attacked, and Jonathan passed the turn with three mana ready.
Centaur Healer wasn’t the beater Jonathan was expecting, but Will only had one black mana and thus wouldn’t risk the Troll. The 3/3 held off Augur of Bolas while Jonathan began to Think Twice, representing countermagic while drawing cards. He let Mulch resolve, putting Craterhoof Behemoth and Angel of Serenity into the graveyard while finding two lands—not bad!
Now Jonathan was on the defensive against Centaur Healer and Will’s growing graveyard. Will’s Healer earned an Augur of Chumps on the next turn before Counterflux stopped Acidic Slime from hitting the board, but getting attacked while trading card-for-card was not Jonathan’s plan. When Cavern of Souls for Spirit made an Obzedat uncounterable, that created a whole new kind of clock!
Desolate Lighthouse started digging for help, Jonathan on 12 life and thus under a significant clock from the Spirit Advisor whether it attacked or not. Will decided to send the 5/5 in without fear, knowing Jonathan lacked Restoration Angel and probably would’ve used Azorius Charm before tossing his Augur of Bolas away. This did give Jonathan access to Searing Spear and Snapcaster Mage, which combined to clear out the board.
Will’s attack seemed much less risky when he calmly played a second Obzedat after combat, once more putting Jonathan into a do-or-die situation. On 8 life, Jonathan could survive one more turn—he decided to cast Aurelia, the Warleader and start racing as best he could with that advantage, but Will once more cast Craterhoof Behemoth for the win.
Will 2, Jonathan 0