Finals: Reid Duke vs. Gerard Fabiano
These two close friends and titans of the Open Series have a whopping eight SCG Open trophies between them. Would it be Reid Duke and his Mono-Blue Devotion or Gerard Fabiano with Esper Control that adds another cup to their mantle?
Reid got the party started with a turn 1 Cloudfin Raptor, while Gerard simply played a Temple of Deceit and passed the turn. Reid had no turn 2 play, and a Thoughtseize from Gerard exposed what was going on: Nightveil Specter, Nyxthos, shrine to Nyx, and a pair of Thassa, God of the Seas sitting in Reid’s hand. After some deliberation, Gerard cleared out the Nightveil Specter. Thassa predictably came into play on Reid’s next turn, and Gerard untapped and Thoughtseized away the backup copy, leaving Reid with just an Island in hand.
Reid scryed with his Thassa and found a threat, a Tidebinder Mage, which grew his Cloudfin Raptor to ½ and allowed him to start attacking. Gerard untapped and cleared away the Thassa with a Detention Sphere. He took 3 from Reid’s creatures on his turn, falling to 10, then cast Supreme Verdict. Reid had no play, and Gerard fired off a Sphinx’s Revelation for 4 on his next main phase, finding a land to play and passing the turn in commanding position, with a full hand against Reid’s empty board.
Nightveil Specter showed up for Reid, but Gerard had a pair of Azorius Charms, so it showed up two more times over the next few turns. On its third try, Gerard cleared it away with a Devour Flesh. Gerard responded to Reid’s Judge’s Familiar with a Sphinx’s Revelation for 6. Gerard untapped and played Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, and went to work making 1/1 tokens.
Reid had no plays over the next several turns, and Gerrard slowly accumulated Soldier tokens. When Gerard swung in for the kill with his Soldier army, Reid tried for an overloaded Cyclonic Rift, but Gerard was ready with Dissolve, and Reid picked up his cards for the next game.
Frostburn Weird on turn 2 was the first play of the game for Reid, and Nightveil Specter came right behind it on turn 3. When the Frostburn Weird attacked, Gerard put it back on top with Azorius Charm, then untapped and cast Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, exiling it along with two lands. The Nightveil Specter attacked Gerard, and netted another copy of Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver.
Gerard: “Ooh, dueling Ashioks. THAT’S what the crowd wants to see!”
It wasn’t to be, however, Devour Flesh cleared away the Specter after Reid cast a Thassa, God of the Sea. Gerard’s Ashiok continued to tick up, and Reid, with no threats in play, could do nothing to pressure it. Within a few turns, Gerard was able to Ultimate the Ashiok, exiling a handful of Gainsays and Dissolves out of Reid’s hand. He cast a Nightveil Specter and, on his next turn, cast a Master of Waves off of it. He passed the turn with a rapidly growing planeswalker and a board of Elemental Tokens.
Reid had some tricks left up his sleeve, however, and cast an overloaded Cyclonic Rift when Gerard next attacked. Not wanting to give Reid a Master of Waves, Gerard targeted himself with Devour Flesh in response to kill it off, but he was forced to pick up his cards. Gerard began the process of rebuilding, however, recasting his Nightveil Specter, his Ashiok (which met Dissolve) and then slamming Archangel of Thune into play. Reid had no threats of his own, however, and an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion sealed the deal for Gerard.