Finals: Riley Curran vs. Joe Bernal
Both of these seasoned veterans of the Open Series are well practiced with their chosen weapons. Riley has a previous Legacy Open win with Combo Elves, while Joe has multiple top 8s with his innovative take on Esper Stoneblade.
Joe stays calm and Stoneforges.
Riley kicked things off with a Birchlore+Rangers, and Joe simply played a land and passed. Riley considered his turn 2 plays before ultimately deciding to just attack for one, play a Misty+Rainforest, and pass back. When Joe simply had land-go again, Riley fetched up a Dryad+Arbor at his end step.
Riley went for something a little more degenerate on turn 3, laying Gaea’s Cradle and casting Glimpse+of+Nature. Joe was ready with a Counterspell. Riley followed up with a Quirion+Ranger and simply attacked for 2.
Joe simply played his third land and passed. Now Riley needed to consider the possibility of a Supreme+Verdict, so he simply attacked for 3 and passed, and Joe did not disappoint with a Supreme+Verdict to clear away the three elves,a lthough Riley did manage to save his Dryad+Arbor with Quirion+Ranger.
Deathrite+Shaman and Dryad+Arbor were the follow-ups for Riley, but Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor came down for Joe to bounce the Deathrite+Shaman, and Swords+to+Plowshares disposed of the Dryad+Arbor. Riley simply recast the Deathrite+Shaman as well as a Nettle+Sentinel. Joe looked to close the door on his next turn, fetching up Batterskull and Umezawa’s Jitte with two Stoneforge+Mystics and using a second Swords+to+Plowshares to exile the Deathrite+Shaman.
With the window for a comeback closing, Riley needed a big play this turn. He cast Quirion+Ranger, tapped his Gaea’s Cradle for mana, then played another to replace it and tapped it too, casting Green Sun’s Zenith for 2, but Joe put a stop to it with Force+of+Will. Joe untapped, Bounced the Nettle+Sentinel with Jace, and equipped Umezawa’s Jitte to one of his Stoneforge+Mystic. It swung in, and the Jitte was able to send Riley back zero creatures.
The Jitte did quick work from there, and within a few turns, Riley picked up his cards and moved on to game 2.
Joe Bernal 1, Riley Curran 0
Riley looks for a way out.
Green Sun’s Zenith for Dryad+Arbor started things off this time for Riley, and after Joe played a Tundra and passed back Riley cast an Elvish+Visionary and played a land, passing right back. Joe again simply played a land, and on Riley’s third turn, the fun began.
He led off with a Cabal+Therapy. It resolved, and he named Flusterstorm, and missed, as Joe revealed a hand of Counterspell, Island, Batterskull, Enlightened+Tutor, two Force+of+Wills, and Jace%2C+the+Mind+Sculptor. He played a Gaea’s Cradle, tapped it for two mana, then flashed back Cabal+Therapy, which drew the Counterspell out from Joe. He then cast Glimpse+of+Nature with one green mana in the pool, and Joe pitched Force+of+Will to cast his other Force, putting a stop to the combo for at least a turn.
Joe simply played his Island and passed the turn, and Riley cracked a fetchland at Joe’s end step to retrieve a second Dryad+Arbor. He untapped, cast a Viridian+Shaman, then sacrificed it to Natural Ordered up a Crafterhoof Behemoth and attacked for the win.
Riley Curran 1, Joe Bernal 1
Riley once again had the first play with a turn 1 Deathrite+Shaman, but this time Joe tried to put the breaks on his acceleration with a Swords+to+Plowshares. Riley’s turn 2 play, Sylvan+Library, was a bit more resilient, but Joe looked to kill it off as well, missing his third land drop but tapping out for an Engineered+Explosives for 2.
Riley kept his two free cards from the Sylvan+Library, falling to 12, then cast Glimpse+of+Nature, Quirion+Ranger, and Wirewood+Symbiote, drawing two more cards. He passed the turn, and Joe fired off a Thoughtseize to see what he was working with. He saw Elvish+Visionary, Green Sun’s Zenith, Glimpse+of+Nature, and three fetchlands, and deprived him of his Glimpse. Riley untapped, drew one extra from his Sylvan+Library, and looked to get another card drawing engine going by casting his Visionary, but Joe responded by exiling Wirewood+Symbiote with Swords+to+Plowshares. Unfazed, Riley simply Green Sun’s Zenithed for another one and passed the turn.
Joe found his third land, and cast a second Engineered+Explosives, this time for just 1. He blew it immediately, and Riley used his Symbiote in response to pick up his Elvish+Visionary. Riley untapped, recast the Visionary, then unloaded with another Wirewood+Symbiote and another Quirion+Ranger.
Engineered+Explosives #3 arrived for Joe, again set to 1, and he swept away the two one-drops again. Riley drew and cast Cabal+Therapy, successfully sniping a Force+of+Will from Joe and seeing a hand of Lingering+Souls and Engineered+Plague. He then played Gaea’s Cradle and unloaded once more, casting Elvish+Visionary, Nettle+Sentinel, and Green Sun’s Zenith for 3, grabbing a Viridian+Shaman to destroy the Engineered+Explosives on two while Joe was tapped out. He sacrificed the Nettle+Sentinel to flashback Therapy, clearing out the Engineered+Plague before ending his turn.
Joe simply drew his card, cast Lingering+Souls, and passed right back.
Riley Zenithed up another Symbiote on his turn, looped the Elvish+Visionary, then cast Scavenging+Ooze, eating the Lingering+Souls from Joe’s graveyard and a Nettle+Sentinel from his own. Joe simply drew his card and passed again, and Riley grew the Ooze to a 6/6 at Joe’s end step before bouncing his Elvish+Visionary. He untapped, chained Gaea’s Cradles to ramp up to nine green mana, and then cast Green Sun’s Zenith for Craterhoof+Behemoth, and Joe extended the hand in defeat.
Riley Curran 2, Joe Bernal 1