Finals: Robb Minkus vs. Joe Lossett
Each player started with a Guildgate, and Joe had Hallowed Fountain with no other play to follow. Frostburn Weird from Robb gave him a creature to begin the beatdown, and he poked in for 1 following a third land drop from Joe. Casting a second Weird, Robb added Temple of Triumph to the board and then ended the turn.
On turn 4, Joe cast Divination—and ended the turn, bricking the fourth land he’d been desperately hoping to find. Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx from Robb gave him an attack that left Joe on 12, two turns from death if not less. Last Breath exiled one Weird, limiting the power of the Shrine, but Robb followed with Ash Zealot and another pump of the remaining weird, putting Joe dead to the board.
“That was... convincing,” Joe admitted.
Robb 1, Joe 0
Playing Temple of Deceit, Joe kept a scry and ended the turn while Robb played only Sacred Foundry. Ash Zealot began the assault on Joe’s life total, going unanswered during Joe’s next turn. Robb’s second Zealot threatened to get out of control, but Joe took a two-for-one with Detention Sphere on the following turn.
With Joe tapped out, Robb dropped Chandra, Pyromaster onto the battlefield and got in a point of damage, but Joe’s second Sphere cleaned her just as quickly. Robb was running low on threats, with Joe at all as he cast Frostburn Weird. Lacking a sixth land, Joe passed in the face of the 1/4. When it attacked, Joe’s Celestial Flare took it down, and Robb cast an awkward Fanatic of Mogis post-combat, hoping to clear a counter and enable Stormbreath Dragon.
It worked, with Dissolve into Elspeth leaving Joe ahead of the empty board but allowing the Dragon to resolve. Elspeth fell to one loyalty, and Joe added Jace, using the -2 before boosting up Elspeth and clocking Joe with his tokens. On the next turn, Robb goes to great lengths to ensure he keeps open Boros mana, representing his Boros Charm, before casting Fanatic of Mogis—it resolve, and Robb seems surprised. With Joe on 11, he elects to deal the damage to Joe and then pass the turn, with Boros Charm and a second Stormbreath available.
This line keeps Robb protected from another Celestial Flare while still enabling him to threaten lethal against Supreme Verdict, Sphinx’s Revelation, and Joe’s Jace. Joe -2s Jace in search of help, finding Essence Scatter—potentially a piece of the puzzle solved. Casting another Jace, he pumps it to five and makes tokens with Elspeth, ending the turn.
Robb declines to pull the trigger on Boros Charm, still biding his time and waiting for the perfect window. He attacks both creatures into Joe, no doubt hoping to dodge the Flare after damage so that he can peel a land and threaten lethal that way. Joe falls to 5 and has no Flare—but he does use Last Breath on one of his tokens in order to go back to 9. Playing Temple of Deceit, he does a real number on Robb mentally by leaving it on top. Does that mean Robb has to try and kill him this turn?
If he Charms in the end step and peels a land, he’ll be able to kill Joe through anything but Flare, Revelation, with two cards seemingly stranded in his hand—and it’s pretty unlikely Joe has the former. Animating Mutavault, Joe attacks—that means no Supreme Verdict, and during his end step Robb goes for the Boros Charm.
Peeling land, Robb attacks and declares he’s going monstrous—Joe once more Last Breaths a token in order to keep afloat, going to 2 life when all is said and done. Only able to attack back for 9, Joe can put Robb to 1 life—inconvenient, but with Elspeth online to answer the Dragon and Essence Scatter in his hand for the next one, Joe’s in a good spot against most non-Boros Charm cards.
Robb's been blasting opponents out of the tournament all weekend with Fanatic of Mogis.
Yet another Stormbreath Dragon doesn’t do the trick, and Robb scoops them up.
Robb 1, Joe 1
Temple of Deceit is no match for Ash Zealot, and Robb’s unanswered second attack implies a distinct lack of Last Breath. Casting Hammer of Purphoros into two open mana, Robb’s disappointed to see Syncopate catch one of his trump cards in the matchup.
Joe’s got a few too many Temples this draw, however, and once more plays one on turn 3. Robb attacks before adding his own and Frostburn Weird to the battlefield, topping his card. Untapping, Joe’s in a decent spot to Verdict but wary of the potential Stormbreath Dragon that could follow—he does Verdict, however.
The Dragon drops him to 10 life, and a second Verdict eliminates it immediately after. Tapping out again for Assemble the Legion, Robb hopes to avoid Detention Sphere or Jace—Joe has the former. A second Assemble threatens to make up for the lost ground and earns a sigh from Joe—does he lack the Jace?
Elspeth isn’t quite the same, with her token production rapidly outpaced over a handful of turns. Still, it’s a defense for now. Robb casts Fanatic of Mogis to zap Joe for 2 damage, leaving him on 8 life. Now casting Jace, Joe boosts both planeswalkers and appears to be relatively safe from harm on the battlefield...
Robb untaps, slams a shockland untapped, and sends 4 damage right at Joe’s nugget. “That’s ominous,” he declares, debating a response before deciding to Dissolve the Boros Charm. Robb’s sitting on a second copy, but as long as Joe makes no missteps, it won’t be difficult to ride Elspeth’s ultimate to victory while Jace makes attacking impossible for the Legion.
Putting Elspeth to seven, Joe casts a pair of Divinations and then plays Island, just two mana up to defend himself from a potential Boros Charm. Robb casts the Boros Charm, redirecting to Elspeth once it resolves in order to prevent himself from dying. Joe burns a Detention Sphere in order to turn off the Legion, leaving Robb with six tokens and the Fanatic in play, before attacking. Robb blocks with everyone, taking 2 damage before Jace -2s and Elspeth boosts, safely behind a wall of Soldiers.
Robb casts Frostburn Weird and ends the turn, Joe’s Jace continuing to churn through his library. He can no longer attack his tokens into the board with abandon, but Elspeth is once more on the way up and Robb’s time is limited. Drawing one more card, he concedes the game.
Robb 1, Joe 2