Finals: Michael Rooks vs. Todd Anderson
Most of you know Todd Anderson, but Michael Rooks is a name you should get more familiar with. Known for brewing up a variety of interesting archetypes, including R/G Furnace Celebration during a Standard Open last year, Michael's rogue R/B strategy is a unique take on red—and it might just win the Standard Open today!
Michael Rooks made it all the way to the finals with R/B.
Seachrome Coast and Ponder for Todd left the top three in place, and ended his turn. Michael had just Dragonskull Summit to start the game, and Todd fell to 18 for Porcelain Legionnaire in short order. Blackcleave Cliffs enabled Shrine of Burning Rage on Michael's side, but that meant he'd be losing some life this turn.
Legionnaire thunked in for 3 damage, and Todd added Geist of Saint Traft to the board. “Don't Slagstorm me, bro!” Todd chanted, and all Michael had was another Shrine plus Galvanic Blast on Legionnaire. Unfortunately for Michael, Mental Misstep defended the 3/1 and that meant a ton more damage.
Todd attacked Michael for 9, leaving him on 8 life and dead to these threats without some interaction. Gitaxian Probe after a Ponder revealed Mortarpod, Go for the Throat, and two Brimstone Volley. Shrugging, Todd added Delver of Secrets to his board and passed, not quite lethal yet. Michael dropped Mortarpod and crossed his fingers, but Todd flipped Vapor Snag off the top of his library. “I'm pretty sure you're dead…” Todd said, and Michael agreed.
Todd 1, Michael 0
"Do you mind if we pause for a chocolate milk break?"
Now Michael had the play, and plenty of sideboarded cards to boot. Todd's turn 1 Delver of Secrets on the draw was quickly trumped by Michael Mortarpod on the second turn, and Todd's pass on turn 2 gave Chandra's Phoenix free reign of the board. He tapped out to land Geist of Saint Traft after taking 2 from the Phoenix, but was already in an awkward spot.
Michael swung with the Phoenix and cast Whipflare, passing the turn with a single mana up—he'd definitely hoped for an untapped land to enable Mortarpod's equip! Todd shrugged, casting a second Geist. Michael had the immediate reply in Whipflare the second ,killing Geist. His Galvanic Blast to the face resurrected Chandra's Phoenix, and Michael swung in for 2 damage.
Todd created a Spirit token during that end step and untapped into Oblivion Ring on the Phoenix, removing it from the game and reversing the race. He added Delver of Secrets to the board and passed, hoping Michael was out of sweepers.
Devil's Play removed the Delver, and Ghost Quarter destroyed Todd's tapped Moorland Haunt, reducing him to just the 1/1 Spirit token. Of course, Sword of War and Peace off the top made that threat far more imposing! Todd swung in for a bunch of damage, and Michael found himself forced to Brimstone Volley Todd in order to get something going. He wasn't going to race that Sword with a grip full of burn, so dumping it became a priority.
The next attack from Todd left Michael on 8 life, and Delver of Secrets picked up the Sword this time. Casting another Mortarpod, Michael appeared open for business—Todd moved his Sword to a Spirit token to bait out the Pod pop, and then swung through with Delver before casting Geist of Saint Traft. That represented a lethal clock plenty of times over!
Slagstorm off the top of the deck couldn't stop that Delver of Secrets—Sword of War and Peace had single-handedly turned this game on its ear.
Todd 2, Michael 0