Finals: Jordan Judson vs. Michael Nixon
Reanimator had one more week to exert its dominance before Dragon’s Maze would be offering everyone a lot of new goodies. Jordan’s U/W/R Flash list was all that stood in its path.
Jordan's making a last stand with U/W/R Flash.
Avacyn’s Pilgrim met an early demise via Pillar of Flame, and a turn 2 Mulch for Michael dug up three lands—he discarded one of them. Jordan’s turn 3 came and went without incident, just a land drop, and Michael cast Mulch once more. Revealing only one land, Gavony Township, he binned Lingering Souls and Unburial Rites.
Not a bad start for Michael. He added a shockland to the battlefield and ended the turn. Jordan’s turn 4 saw him cast Augur of Bolas, taking Azorius Charm and with the mana up to cycle it if he so desired. Michael flashbacked Lingering Souls against Jordan’s two open mana, and played another tapped shockland.
The Charm cycled, and Jordan attacked for 1 damage before playing his fifth land and ending the turn. He had Dissipate at the ready for Michael’s second copy of Lingering Souls, and Searing Spear for the Avacyn’s Pilgrim that followed. No played from Jordan on turn 6, while Michael sent in some Spirit tokens and used Township to double the damage. In his end step, Sphinx’s Revelation for three healed most of the harm done for Jordan.
Augur knocked Michael to 17, and Jordan considered his options with a full grip of cards before ending the turn. Grisly Salvage revealed Restoration Angel for Michael, tossing another Unburial Rites into the graveyard. The Township grew those tokens up to 3/3s, knocking Jordan into the single digits, but a Revelation for four took him back to 13 life and gave him even more cards.
That Augur of Bolas was doing a pretty nice job of evening the odds in this race, but Jordan would be making a move soon at this point, likely for Supreme Verdict with counterspell backup or a Restoration Angel followed by Aurelia. It wasn’t the former this turn, though—he discarded a land in the cleanup step. No Gavony Township from Michael on his next attack, Jordan dropping to 6 life. Essence Scatter burned the Thragtusk that Michael attempted, and Jordan made his move.
Michael turned to Obzedat in the sideboarded games.
Jordan 1, Michael 0
Deathrite Shaman hit on turn 2 for Michael due to a buddy land, while Jordan spent turn 2 casting nothing. Michael declined to Grisly Salvage, instead casting Avacyn’s Pilgrim and missing a land drop but keeping Deathrite Shaman’s activation available.
Electrickery handled the Pilgrim while a Cavern of Souls named Angel for Jordan, and the Deathrite Shaman zapped Jordan for 2 life. Cavern naming Spirit gave Michael a third land, and after playing that he decided to Grisly Salvage, apparently trying to avoid Syncopate—perhaps a little too aggressively, considering he had a Cavern and would be giving Jordan Think Twice in the process. The Salvage offered land or Thragtusk, and Michael decided on the land, sending Unburial Rites to the graveyard in the process.
Think Twice helped Jordan to keep making land drops, which is all he did. An uncounterable Obzedat joined the part on the following turn, and now there was some real pressure on Jordan. Michael didn’t need combat to hit him for 4 damage a turn!
Flashbacking Think Twice, Jordan considered his options. Mizzium Mortars eliminated the Shaman, and he added a shockland to the board. Obzedat swung in for Michael, no fear of Azorius Charm, and he resolved Acidic Slime in the second main before exiling Obzedat once more. The two Restoration Angels in Michael’s hand were very big problems now...
Clone for Jordan took out Michael’s only white source, Sunpetal Grove, and also provided him with a strong blocker for Obzedat. Michael’s Mulch failed to turn up a white source, and he cast the sorcery again to grab a Sunpetal Grove. This did expose him to a potential Restoration Angel on Acidic Slime, but the Obzedat might be more pressing for Jordan. Michael exiled Obzedat once more.
Jordan passed, likely relying on Restoration Angel to turn his Clone into Obzedat and stem the bleeding, but Michael had a lot of pressure. Unburial Rites targeting Craterhoof Behemoth resolved, and Michael attacked with just the Behemoth and Acidic Slime, keeping Obzedat out of harm’s way.
Restoration Angel turned Clone into Craterhoof Behemoth, giving Jordan 13 toughness against 15 power. He dropped to 3 life, and Obzedat hit exile once more. Jordan’s position was precarious—but Angel of Serenity gave him hope. Solving the creatures on the board, he was now dead to basically just Restoration Angel—which Michael had waiting in the wings.
Jordan 1, Michael 1
The decider began with a mulligan from Jordan. His six were fine, and he opened with Sulfur Falls. Temple Garden for Michael, and another Sulfur Falls on Jordan’s side seemed to indicate he had mana problems. Mulching for Forest and Overgrown Tomb solved Michael’s lack of black, and he discarded Unburial Rites during the end step.
Think Twice dug Jordan into Glacial Fortress, which he played. Michael couldn’t capitalize on his tapped out opponent, simply making a land drop on turn 3. He did the same on turn 4, and Think Twice got flashbacked in his end step. Jordan passed on just four lands, having hit the wall on mana.
Michael’s first threat was Thragtusk, which resolved. Jordan cycled Azorius Charm for a card, indicating he had a probable Dissipate by his refusal to dig for mana on his own turn as he had with Think Twice. Clone gave Jordan a Thragtusk for himself, and he played Sacred Foundry.
The coast clear from counterspells, Michael played an Obzedat before swinging with Thragtusk—he likely should’ve waited to cast the Obzedat. Restoration Angel on Clone was one of the few ways Michael could ever beat the Ghost Council, and once it was in play Jordan had no incentive to trade the front end of their Thragtusks at all—he would need to preserve that avenue of defense. Avacyn’s Pilgrim landed, and Michael passed.
Jordan drew, played a land, and sent the turn back to Michael. Gavony Township offered Michael some defenses, and when Jordan tried Searing Spear Michael decided to Gavony Township. Izzet Staticaster killed Avacyn’s Pilgrim in response, and Jordan elected to take the 6 damage from the growing Thragtusk. Deathrite Shaman entered play, and Obzedat left it once more.
Detention Sphere cleared a Thragtusk from both sides, a likely misstep for Jordan as he needed access to an in-play Clone. Jordan dropped to 8 life when Obzedat landed again, and Michael cast Grisly Salvage for Thragtusk before entering combat with just his Beast token. Gavony Township couldn’t save it from Izzet Staticaster, so Michael spent the mana on Thragtusk instead.
Essence Scatter stopped the 5/3, and Michael kept the pressure on via Obzedat and Deathrite Shaman. Jace, Memory Adept didn’t draw Jordan into anything good enough, and he was dead to Obzedat and Deathrite Shaman as soon as Michael untapped.
Jordan 1, Michael 2