Finals: Matt Hoey vs. Corbin Rudnick
Chicago had already claimed one trophy today, with Caleb Durward’s Standard Open win. This final would make it two, with both players hailing from Chi-town! Matt had defeated Corbin already in the Swiss and considered the matchup favorable—but only one of these players could win on turn 1!
Mulligans for both in the first game. Starting with Polluted Delta, Matt fetched Underground Sea to cast Thoughtseize on turn 1. It revealed Desperate Ritual, Rite of Flame, Pyretic Ritual, Street Wraith, Goblin Charbelcher, and Gitaxian Probe. Pitching the Charbelcher, Matt passed. Corbin spotted Counterspell, Swords, Batterskull, and lands—not bad in this fight. He ended the turn.
Matt dropped a fetchland, then another as Corbin worked to rebuild his hand. He met the cleanup step, shipping Pyretic Ritual. Dust Bowl put Matt to four lands, and Corbin stuck his first spell—Tinder Wall, through Elvish Spirit Guide. Swords to Plowshares killed it, and Matt made it to five mana.
It’s now serious business for Matt Hoey.
Gitaxian Probe revealed the Counterspell, lands, and Brainstorm in Matt’s hand—odds were good three of those cards would be gone soon. Brainstorming and fetching, Matt worked to build some action. Snapcaster Mage for Thoughtseize gave Matt a second look, discarding Simian Spirit Guide to leave Corbin on Desperate Ritual, Pyretic Ritual, Rite of Flame, Elvish Spirit Guide, and Seething Song.
Another Probe for Corbin looked at Matt’s hand, with Counterspell and Force of Will. Matt attacked, and then cast Stoneforge Mystic for Jitte. Removing Elvish Spirit Guide for Tinder Wall, Corbin passed the turn. Matt equipped up his Jitte to Snapcaster Mage and attacked—promptly losing it to Tinder Wall’s “other” ability via Simian Spirit Guide. Awkward!
Corbin Rudnick knows it's all or nothing in the finals.
Batterskull entered play via Mystic now, and then the Mystic grabbed Jitte to begin really attacking.
One more card, and Corbin conceded.
Matt 1, Corbin 0
Corbin kept his seven, while Matt kept a really loose seven cards. Gitaxian Probe revealed Engineered Explosives and Thoughtseize, normally unkeepable—but Matt knew his opponent’s turn 1 Charbelcher potential was much lower due to the lack of Lion’s Eye Diamonds. Removing Empty to Chrome Mox, Corbin followed with some Rituals before landing Empty the Warrens for ten tokens—he’d had a Charbelcher he could’ve played instead, but now he’d have to settle for dealing 10 damage.
Matt, of course, played Engineered Explosives on zero and a land. He took 10 damage, then killed all the Goblins after a Land Grant from Corbin. Thoughtseize pitched Charbelcher from Corbin’s hand, and Stoneforge Mystic found Batterskull for Matt. Chrome Mox removed Simian Spirit Guide, and on the next turn Corbin lost 4 life to cycle twice.
He took 5, falling to 9 as Batterksull and Stoneforge began attacking. Inquisition reduced Corbin to zero cards, and he conceded.
Matt 2, Corbin 0