Finals: Kennen Haas vs. Josh Guibault
If you had told Josh that he would play against two Dark Depths decks in this top 8, I don’t think he would have believed you. But here we are! Can Kennen keep up his hot streak all the way through the finals?
Kennen kept his opener, but Josh had to mulligan to five! Against a deck with both Liliana of the Veil and Raven’s Crime? What could go wrong?
Kennen's so close to the trophy he can taste it!
Wasteland took out Josh’s first land, then Entomb at the end of Josh’s third turn led to the Life from the Loam engine. Kennen cast that sorcery on his next turn to return the lands placed there so far this game, and he passed. Josh fetched and cast Brainstorm on the end step, setting up his next turn’s play of True-Name Nemesis. But Smallpox threatened to answer that pretty much immediately, and then each player got rid of a card in their hand as well as a land, and after that Wasteland knocked off Josh’s Tundra.
Well, Kennen’s deck had all the little tricky interactions this game: he discarded Squee, Goblin Nabob to the Smallpox, so he got it back on his upkeep. He then dredged Nether Spirit into the ‘yard with Loam, so the 2/2 entered play on the turn after. Liliana of the Veil plus Squee is incredible as well, but Kennen did not play the Innistrad bad girl just yet. The Wasteland lock was more important to him, and Josh sighed heavily as the lock closed in. Josh pondered his decisions for a moment before he decided to move to game two.
Kennen 1, Josh 0.
“I will almost always keep this kind of hand.”
Josh has his eyes on the prize!
Kennen played Mox Diamond, discarding Taiga, and then used Wooded Foothills to find Badlands and cast Punishing Fire targeting the 1/1. The Delver died, and Josh used Ponder and dropped Wasteland. Kennen used his own Wasteland to get rid of Josh’s Tundra before casting Faithless Looting, discarding a land and a second copy of Punishing Fire. Josh used his next turn to cast Stoneforge Mystic, grabbing Batterskull, and Kennen elected to let the Stoneforge Mystic stick around for a bit because he returned two Punishing Fires with Grove before casting Faithless Looting and discarding them again, a sort of makeshift red Ancestral Recall.
Josh’s Stoneforge was no longer summoning sick, so he was able to pass with impunity and ready to vial in the Batterskull. Mox Diamond came down before a pair of Punishing Fires returned to his hand. Punishing Fire took down the mystic, but not before Batterskull made its way into play. The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale taxed Josh’s resources further, but Josh cast both Brainstorm and Ponder to try to dig out of this hole he was getting into.
Batterskull got in once, then Smallpox tried to get rid of it but Force of Will countered it. Josh did not pay the Tabernacle trigger, and then Rest in Peace came down for Josh. But Kennen brought back the second copy of Punishing Fire before it could be removed so it was still not going to be the easiest game ever. Stoneforge Mystic a turn later for Sword of Fire and Ice netted a card, but the 1/2 died a fiery death immediately.
And so went the next several turns, with no one really doing anything for a while. Nether Spirit got countered by a Force of Will along the way, and later Batterskull got returned and recast but was parried by Maze of Ith (even a Crop Rotation for Maze of Ith countered a Wasteland activation!). But eventually Josh found another Wasteland, and the now 6/6 Germ carrying a Sword and a Batterskull finished the job.
Kennen 1, Josh 1.
Kennen, on the play, led with Faithless Looting off Badlands. Kennen attempted a Smallpox on his turn two but that was met with Daze. Delver did not blind flip, so only one damage entered the red zone for Josh. Kennen Wastelanded Josh’s land on turn three, to which Josh responded with Brainstorm, then let the Delver live for a moment. That Delver became a 3/2 thanks to another Brainstorm, and Kennen fell to 15.
Kennen went for Liliana of the Veil, which resolved and forced the 1/1 to hit the bricks. It also basically gained him three life, as the Human Insect was forced to deal with the planeswalker… But Josh had a third copy of Delver of secrets waiting in the wings (so to speak)! Kennen Wastelanded Josh to keep him manaless, and the Delver didn’t flip either. The Life from the Loam dredge turned up The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale and after Life from the Loam targeted the Tabernacle Josh extended his hand.
Kennen 2, Josh 1.