Finals: Manny Orellana vs. Gonzalo Velasquez
Would Goblin Rabblemaster get a three-peat on the Open Series to close out this Standard season? Manny Orellana hoped to make it so with Rabble Burn, while Gonzalo Velasquez was hoping to earn one last trophy for Vraska the Unseen and company.
Gonzalo and his pal Chandra.
Manny led off with a Mutavault, and sent it swinging for 2 on his second turn, while Gonzalo developed his mana with Elvish Mystic into Sylvan Caryatid. Young Pyromancer and Shock on turn 3 for Manny killed off the Elvish Mystic and left him with a 1/1 Elemental token for his troubles. Gonzalo used Mizzium Mortars on the Pyromancer before it got out of control, and sat behind his Caryatid.
Course of Kruphix looked to help Gonzalo stabilize, as it found him a land and a valuable life point. Manny fired off an end-step Lightning Strike to the face, dropping Gonzalo to 15, then untapped and cast Goblin Rabblemaster, then tapped all of his remaining lands and creatures to convoke a Stoke the Flames, killing off the Courser. Gonzalo had a second Mizzium Mortars to kill off the Rabblemaster, and added Xenagos the Reveler to his board as well, making a 2/2 Satyr Token to hold off Manny’s 1/1s.
After some deliberation, Manny committed his resources to keeping Gonzalo’s planeswalker off the board. He used Magma Jet to kill the 2/2 blocker, then attacked with his two 1/1s and a Mutavault, finishing off Xenagos, the Reveler and dropping Gonzalo to 12. Gonzalo wasted no time replacing his fallen planeswalker with another, casting Chandra, Pyromaster and ticking it up to kill the Goblin token. Manny sent his army at the Chandra, dropping it to 2, but had only Firedrinker Satyr as a follow-up. It quickly fell to the planeswalker as well, but Manny’s next attack was able to punch through Sylvan Caryatid and finish off the Chandra.
With both players out of gas, Manny’s Mutavaults went to work, dropping Gonzalo to 9. Gonzalo found Courser of Kruphix next, and jumped back up to 10, but it died to a Shock the following turn after it blocked one of Manny’s Mutavaults. Gonzalo drew and found a Rakdos’s Return, which wasn’t at its best against Manny’s empty hand. He shrugged and fired it off for 5, dropping Manny to 12. Manny’s Mutavaults kept on plugging, dropping Gonzalo to 5 and then 3. He plucked a Lightning Strike and showed it, and it was on to game 2.
Manny Orellana 1, Gonzalo Velasquez 0
This time it was Gonzalo with the first action of the game, casting a turn 3 Courser of Kruphix. Manny had an end step Magma Jet at Gonzalo’s face, then a pair of Shocks on his own turn to kill off the Courser, but Gonzalo just shrugged and replaced it with another copy from his hand, gaining one off of a land for his efforts.
Manny found Young Pyromancer on his next turn, but it died immediately to a Mizzium Mortars. When Manny attacked with Mutavault on his next turn, Gonzalo blocked with his Courser, and had Golgari Charm to regenerate in response to Manny’s Shock to finish it off. Manny used the last card in hand, a Lightning Strike, to finish it anyway, but it left him completely out of resources. Gonzalo untapped and cast Scavenging Ooze, eating three creatures immediately to gain 3 life, passing the turn in a commanding position.
Boros Reckoner looked capable of holding off the Scavenging Ooze, but another Mizzium Mortars from Gonzalo cleared it away, and the now-6/6 Ooze went to work knocking away Manny’s life total in chunks. Manny drew some lands and a Stoke the Flames, but it wasn’t enough damage to solve the Ooze problem, and he fell to the beatdowns in short order.
Manny Orellana 1, Gonzalo Velasquez 1
Manny throws around some fire.
Magma Jet into Chandra’s Phoenix led the charge for Manny in the decider, and Gonzalo fell to 16 before using a Mizzium Mortars to send the Phoenix to the graveyard. It didn’t stay there for long, as Manny had a Shock to return it to his hand and a fourth land to recast it, dropping Gonzalo to 12. Gonzalo cast Sylvan Caryatid and passed the turn with two mana up, and used Ultimate Price in Manny’s attack step when the Phoenix came knocking again.
Manny cast Young Pyromancer with one mana up, and Gonzalo untapped and quickly moved to kill it with Dreadbore. Manny responded with a Shock, making a token and regrowing his Chandra’s Phoenix a second time. Boros Reckoner showed up next for Manny, and Gonzalo hoped to stabilize behind a Courser of Kruphix, but Manny was ready with a Mizzium Mortars to keep on swinging. Gonzalo unloaded with Xenagos, the Reveler and Sylvan Caryatid, and had Magma Spray waiting in hand to get rid of the Chandra’s Phoenix for good when it Manny cast it again. The Boros Reckoner dropped Gonzalo to 6, and Manny flashed a Stoke the Flames. Combined with the Boros Reckoner, Gonzalo could see that it was enough, and extended the hand.
Manny Orellana 2, Gonzalo Velasquez 1