Finals: Reid Duke vs. Matt Costa
“You have the Scavenging Ooze,” Reid noted, each player looking over the other’s list. “You have the Hapless Researcher!” Matt replied. Looking deeper, Reid noticed that Matt’s deck was about as good against him as it could reasonably get. “I guess the Forked Bolts could be Lava Spikes or something.”
Reid's shuffling up for a final match, with the advantage of going first.
Reid had the play for the third time in the Top 8, while Matt was pretty used to fighting on the draw. Each player kept, and Reid started with Polluted Delta. Matt played Volcanic Island and Delver of Secrets, passing the turn with his ideal one-drop. Reid played another fetchland and then jammed Entomb during his mainphase after fetching Underground Sea.
The players traded Force of Wills, removing Careful Study and Delver of Secrets respectively, and Reid put Griselbrand into the graveyard. He then fetched Underground Sea and tried Reanimate, content to lose it to Daze if he had to. Falling to 9, the spell resolved—Matt was in a bad place quickly!
Revealing Force of Will flipped his Delver, and Matt cast Ponder to dig for some manner of solution to the giant lifelinking Demon. He didn’t just lack a solution—he lacked a second land, and sent the turn. Reid attacked for 7 damage, putting Matt to 12 and drawing seven cards afterwards, still on 9 life. He then resolved Careful Study to discard Angel of Despair, and cast Exhume, but Matt Dazed.
Replaying Volcanic Island, Matt attacked Reid to 6 and passed the turn. Reid returned fire, putting Matt to 5 and himself to 15, before trying to Exhume the Angel again. Reid destroyed Volcanic Island, and that was the game.
Reid 1, Matt 0
“Is that pretty much every game with this deck?” Matt asked. “Well, sometimes you have Daze,” Reid replied. “I really wanted to play around it, but too much can go wrong.” Matt had the play this time, keeping his seven while Reid thought it over and kept. Volcanic Island and Delver of Secrets for Matt, and Reid passed turn 1 without a land.
That put Griselbrand into the graveyard, but Matt flipped his Delver via Spell Pierce and played another land, mounting pressure. Reid fetched on the next turn for Swamp, and cast Thoughtseize to see what sort of permission he’d need to go through. Matt responded with Thought Scour, drawing Tormod’s Crypt, and then Dazed.
Replaying his land, Matt attacked Reid to 13 and played the Crypt, Reid visibly wincing. Nimble Mongoose joined the party, and Reid was on a virtual two-turn clock. He played Island and cast Reanimate into the Spell Pierce and the Crypt, knowing he’d trade with at least one of them—maybe both, if he had his own counter. Matt got tricky with him by Forcing, removing Spell Pierce and leaving a mana up to keep Reid from using Daze!
Brainstorm in response to the Force from Reid, and he Forced back by removing Daze. That broke the Crypt, and Reid passed. Matt attacked for 6 after using Ponder to achieve threshold, and Reid was on 6 with one more turn to try and bin a fatty and bring it back... or Show and Tell, perhaps.
Matt's got the tools he needs, but can he stave off Griselbrand long enough?
He drew, played Ponder, and immediately shuffled. A third game appeared likely... and when the top of the deck failed to deliver, Reid started shuffling up.
Reid 1, Matt 1
With the play back on his side, Reid hoped to turn out a quick Griselbrand and take the deciding game. He kept, and started with Polluted Delta, no Entomb. Matt fanned a hand filled with blue spells, eager to pick the right one. He started with Volcanic Island and Delver of Secrets, and Reid decided to end step the Entomb after fetching Swamp—it met Daze.
That was fine by Reid, who followed with another Entomb on his own turn, followed by Flooded Strand. Matt triggered Delver with Ponder, replayed Volcanic Island, and passed the turn. Reid considered his plays during Matt’s end step, deciding to fetch during the upkeep for an Island. Reid Exhumed, and had Daze for Matt’s Spell Pierce to drop Griselbrand into play on 15 life—not bad at all. He replayed the Island, and passed the turn.
Matt was in a bad way, with a hand full of Ponders against the power eight-drop. Reid drew and attacked, going to 22 as Matt fell to 13. That didn’t last, as Reid drew seven cards to protect his position. He played Polluted Delta and then Careful Study, discarding Elesh Norn and a land. During the end step, Matt Thought Scoured himself, and Reid pitched land plus Blazing Archon to the cleanup step.
Ponder for Matt found Red Elemental Blast, and he fetched before casting Nimble Mongoose. Reid untapped and decided to Exhume, going for the Elesh Norn, no doubt. Matt Forced, removing Ponder, and Matt tapped out to Red Blast—leaving him vulnerable to Daze, which earned the concession.
Reid 2, Matt 1