Finals: Nathan Fabilenia vs. Jon Lim
Nathan has already beat Abzan Aggro on his way to the finals. Can he also beat Abzan Control? Or will Elspeth and company lift Jon to a Standard Open Championship?
Our first seed, Nathan, will be on the play, and kept his opening seven. He leads with his preferred opening of Forest into Elvish Mystic. Jon, on six cards, starts with a Temple of Malady, scrying his card to the bottom. A Rugged Highlands an attack by the Elf is all Nathan can muster up for Turn 2. So Jon decides to Thoughtseize his opponent to see what is going on…and he sees a grip of Dragons and a Xenagos, the Reveler. After some thought, he takes the Xenagos from Nathan, plays a Forest, and passes the turn. Nathan draws his card and plays it – a Genesis Hydra for two, hitting another Elvish Mystic!
Jon, shaking his head in disbelief, only has a Den Protector face up, and no land drop. Putting the pressure on, Nathan casts a Strombreath Dragon and attacks, trading his Hydra for the Den Protector. Jon has a Plains and a Fleecemane Lion for his turn, and a sheepish look on his face as he passes the turn back.
Nathan attacks again with the Stormbreath Dragon, followed by playing a Courser of Kruphix, getting a Forest. For his turn, Jon starts to count Nathan’s mana, realizes that his opponent has enough mana to cast Dragonlord Atarka next turn, and scoops up his permanents.
“I know how this works…”, says Jon as he reaches for his sideboard.
Nathan wins Game 1 and is one game away from the championship!
Jon, hoping for a better start this time, keeps his opening seven. This time, it is his opponent, Nathan, who mulligans to six. Jon leads with a Temple of Malady and bottoms his scry once again. Nathan has the Forest, but no Turn 1 Elvish Mystic this time. Another scryland from Jon, this time keeping his card at top, and another “land, go” from Nathan.
A Thoughtseize starts the party from Jon, taking Nathan’s Courser of Kruphix, and pass of the turn. Another “land, go” from Nathan leads to a Fleecemane Lion and pass from Jon. One more “land, go” from Nathan, and an attack from Fleecemane Lion is all Jon has.
Nathan finally pulls the trigger on a Genesis Hydra for X = 4, netting an Elvish Mystic as well. However, Jon makes his Fleecemane Lion indestructible at the end of Nathan’s turn and then plays a Crux of Fate, killing all of Nathan’s board, but leaving the Lion alive to attack for four. Nathan plays another land and passes, leading Jon to play a Siege Rhino for the turn. Nathan kills it with Roast, but has to pass again. Undeterred, Jon plays an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion. Seeing the writing on the way, even with a Thunderbreak Regent, Nathan scoops up his permanents, ready to play one game for the whole tournament.
Jon ties the match at 1-1. One game for the championship!
A handshake before Game 3, with both players keeping their opening seven.
Nathan leads with a Turn 1 Forest and a pass of the turn. Jon, going three-for-three, starts with Sandsteppe Citadel. A Mountain and a pass by Nathan is followed by a Temple of Malady and a keep on top by Jon. Haven of the Spirit Dragon for Nathan. Windswept Heath for Jon. I thought these decks were supposed to be attacking?
Nathan finally leads with a Turn 4 Elvish Mystic, which is very soon Bile Blighted by Jon. And then the haymakers start – Siege Rhino by Jon. Thunderbreak Regent by Nathan. An attack with a Siege Rhino by Jon, followed by exiling the Thunderbreak Regent with Abzan Charm (taking three damage in the process).
Nathan tanks on his next turn, slowing the game down a little bit. He decides to play a Xenagos, the Reveler and make a Satyr token in the face of the Siege Rhino. When Jon attacks the Xenagos next turn, Nathan tries to mitigate some damage by blocking with the token, but Jon has a Hero’s Downfall for the token, killing the Xenagos as well. Nathan follows up with a Stormbreath Dragon, but holds back to block the Siege Rhino.
But Nathan is playing around anymore. He plays a Dragonlord Atarka, killing the Siege Rhino. Jon responds by playing an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, using its minus ability to kill the Dragonlord. But Nathan has another Atarka to kill that Elspeth. But then Jon has another Elspeth to kill that Dragonlord Atarka. But then Nathan gets back his Stormbreath Dragon and casts a Crater’s Claws killing the Elspeth and attacking Jon.
A draw and a pass by Jon. An attack with a Stormbreath Dragon puts Jon down to three turns. A draw and another pass by Jon, staring down his fate. A second Stormbreath Dragon joins the party, putting Jon dead in a turn if he finds nothing. Jon draws again. And passes. Attacks with both Stormbreath Dragons…and Jon Bile Blights one. Nathan decides to Monsterous the other Dragon, which then gets promptly Bile Blighted. Jon gets to live another turn. His draw from the turn is an Abzan Charm, and he draws a land and keeps another card in hand. Maybe he can get out of this Dragon madness?
Nathan wins Game 3 and is your Standard Open champion!