Finals: Ross Meriam vs. Brad Fallen
It all comes down to this! Will first time StarCityGames.com Open Series competitor Brad Fallen complete the dream and take down the whole tournament? Or will Temple+of+Abandon and keeps his scry on top. Ross follows with a Plains, and a passing of the turn. Brad leads with a two drop, in the form of Sylvan+Caryatid. Ross, after fetching an Island with his Flooded+Strand, also plays a two drop, in the powerful Hero+of+Iroas.
For his turn, Brad plays his first of (hopefully for him) many Dragons, casting a Thunderbreak+Regent. But Ross has several plays for his turn, starting with a Defiant+Strike on his Hero to trigger Heroic and draw a card, followed by enchanting Hero+of+Iroas with Ordeal+of+Thassa, again triggering Heroic. An attack with the mighty Hero now lets Ross draw two cards and attack for five damage. A pass of the turn with one mana still up, and the fireworks have already begun for Ross.
Brad, not to be outdone, swings in with his Thunderbreak+Regent and, after fetching for a Mountain, casts a second copy of the powerful Dragon. A pass of the turn to Ross is what follows after Brad finishes building his air force. But it seems that Ross has more ways to get his Hero even bigger, casting a second copy of Ordeal+of+Thassa on the Hero+of+Iroas, and attacking, drawing two cards in the process. A Favored+Hoplite and a pass the turn is Ross’ plays after making a mighty Hero+of+Iroas.
Brad attacks with his Double Dragons (both of the Thunderbreak+Regent) and plays a Courser+of+Kruphix, putting a Haven+of+the+Spirit+Dragon into play off the top of his deck and gaining one life. He tries to pass the turn back to Ross, but Ross fetches a Forest with his Windswept+Heath and casts Dromoka’s Command, having Brad sacrifice an enchantment (his new Courser+of+Kruphix) and add a +1/+1 counter to the Hero+of+Iroas (also triggering the Heroic ability).
Confirming his opponent’s life total, Ross starts by casting Ajani’s Presence on his Favored+Hoplite, triggering the Heroic ability. He then does it again. And with an attack, he does exactly fourteen damage, killing Brad a turn before he could swing for lethal with his Dragons!
Ross wins Game 1, and leads the finals, 1-0!
After sideboarding, Brad decides to play first again. And both players keep their opening seven, with Brad hoping to have better results this time. However, things are not looking good, as Brad has to mulligan to six. Ross keeps his opening grip.
Brad plays a scryland, Temple+of+Abandon, and keeps his card on top. Ross tries to start the aggression early with a Plains and a Favored+Hoplite. However, Brad has a Draconic+Roar, revealing a Stormbreath+Dragon, to kill off the Heroic 1/2. Brad misses his land drop and passes back to Ross.
Ross follows up with a two drop, the MVP of his deck, Hero+of+Iroas. But he does not have a third land drop and is forced to pass back. Brad finds a scryland on top of his deck, keeps his scry, and passes the turn back to Ross. Ross attacks with the Hero+of+Iroas, but does not attempt to make it any bigger, instead casting a Seeker+of+the+Way and passing back.
Another land for Brad leads to an Ashcloud+Phoenix to hold back Ross’ forces, which it does as Ross simply cycles his Defiant+Strike to try to draw land number three, but to no avail. Ross has to pass back to Brad.
And Brad brings the beats through the air this turn, casting a Stormbreath+Dragon and hitting Ross in the for eight damage! But Ross almost seemed too ready for all of this, as he casts an Ordeal of Heloid on his Hero+of+Iroas and swings to gain ten life from the Ordeal, and gaining from the lifelink on Seeker+of+the+Way, going up to 21 life!
Brad swings with his Phoenix for the turn, leaving the Stormbreath+Dragon back to block, thanks to its Protection from White. Brad also plays a Courser+of+Kruphix, gaining a life. He passes back to Ross, who gets right back to work, casting a Dromoka’s Command, making Brad sacrifice his Courser+of+Kruphix and adding a +1/+1 counter to his Seeker+of+the+Way. Another Defiant+Strike, and Ross is capable of attacking into the Stormbreath+Dragon with both his creatures without either one dying. Brad takes a massive amount of damage and is on the back foot.
For his turn, Brad plays a Xenagos and a Morph creature, hoping to keep the pressure off his life total as Ross keeps making his creatures bigger and bigger. However, Ross would have none of it, playing a second Dromoka’s Command, fighting and killing the Morph creature and allowing him to swing in again with his white creatures without them dying to Stormbreath+Dragon.
Brad drew for the turn, made a Satyr token and played a Thunderbreak+Regent. After some internal debate, he swung with his 2/2 Satyr token and his Ashcloud+Phoenix, hoping to get another turn. But Ross wouldn’t allow that either.
Ross plays the Encase+in+Ice that has been sitting his hand since the opening to tap down Brad’s Stormbreath+Dragon. Without the additional blocker, Ross is capable of swinging for lethal and taking down the championship!
Ross wins Game 2 and the match, 2-0! Ross Merriam is your Cleveland Standard Open Champion!