Finals: Nic Harlow vs. Nate Anderson
Nic's playing the villain in today's show, with U/W Delver.
The age-old battle between U/W Delver and G/R Aggro tended to favor the green deck, but it could vary depending on play and sideboarding skills. Would Nic have anything up his sleeve, or would Nate’s animals run rampant?
Each player kept their opening hands for the finals, and Nic began the match with Delver of Secrets on turn 1. Llanowar Elves from Nate, and the Delver on Nic’s side immediately flipped, revealing a disheartening Mana Leak. Down to 17, Nate wasn’t surprised when Nic passed after playing a land.
Green Sun’s Zenith for one looked to develop Nate’s mana past the Leak, grabbing Birds of Paradise, and he followed with a second Birds. That would let him threaten a resolved Sword of War and Peace on the next turn! Nic drew, and Pondered. He played Seachrome Coast and attacked for 3 more damage.
Nic allowed the Sword to resolve on the next turn, and Vapor Snagged Llanowar Elves when it tried to attack. Still, the Sword could become a problem... Another attack dropped Nate to 10 life, and Nic passed with four untapped mana. Bonfire of the Damned for 2 off the top earned Mana Leak, but that left Nic vulnerable to a land and Sword of War and Peace, connecting to deal 5 damage and gain Nate 3 life.
Thought Scouring himself, Nic needed to get back ahead. Cavern of Souls for Angel, and Nic put Nate back to 3 life. The Sword undid that damage, and Nic Mana Leaked Daybreak Ranger in post-combat main before a Llanowar Elves resolved. Playing a sixth land, Nic appeared to be flooded on lands.
Nate 1, Nic 0
Nate's Bonfires have been... timely, in this tournament.
A mulligan for Nic wasn’t ideal, and he kept his six without a turn1, just playing Seachrome Coast. Nate also had no one-drop, but he drew Llanowar Elves after Nate passed with just a land, and played the little guy. Third land for Nic, while Nate tried Strangleroot Geist—it resolved. Nate was playing around Leak here by not jamming Huntmaster, debatably correct.
Phantasmal Image copied Strangleroot Geist on Nic’s side, and then did so again. He attacked with both Illusion-Spirits to deal 4, and passed turn tapped out. Now Nate could play whatever he wanted, and he led Huntmaster of the Fells while keeping one up for Galvanic Blast. Nic Pondered, trying to set up this board for his advantage.
He sent for 4 damage once again, putting Nate to14. Nic added Delver of Secrets to the board, but Galvanic Blast slew it quickly. Green Sun’s Zenith for two from Nate gave him Strangleroot Geist, and he swung with his team for 8. Nic replied with Gut Shot on his own Image, bringing it back as a 3/3 Huntmaster and blocking to eat Nate’s when he failed to Wolf Run before blockers. He took 4 damage, and had momentary space to breathe.
Casting Gitaxian Probe, Nic saw Combust and Green Sun’s Zenith. Reasonably large game... Kessig Wolf Run slew the Image that Nic attacked with, and he had no other plays. Nic blocked a Geist with his own on the next turn, bringing Image back as Geist once again. Nate resolved Sword of War and Peace then passed, Wolf Run untapped to kill the Image.
Nic lost his last creature but had Snapcaster Mage for Ponder. Without Divine Offering or similar, soon, he’d be in big trouble. Shuffling the Ponder, Nic played a land and passed with one card in his hand. This didn’t look good... Nate put Sword on his Llanowar Elves then sent everyone. Nic traded Snapcaster for a Geist and Snagged the Elves, while Nate gave his blocked Strangleroot trample to put Nic on 5.
Going to zero cards, Nic bought one more turn—except for the Bonfire of the Damned Nate peeled to deal lethal!
Nate 2, Nic 0