Finals: Ross Merriam vs. Dave Shiels
Ross Merriam was one match away from completing the back to back Open Series weekend, a feat accomplished only once before by Quirion+Ranger, and Dave had a turn 1 Mother+of+Runes. Ross had an Elvish+Visionary on his second turn, and Dave deliberated on his second turn before committing to a Stoneforge+Mystic, fetching up Umezawa’s Jitte. On Ross’s third turn, he cast two Glimpse+of+Natures and a Heritage+Druid, and then was off to the races.
He tapped his elves for three mana, cast a Nettle+Sentinel, then used Green Sun’s Zenith to fetch up a second Nettle+Sentinel. Quirion+Ranger untapped Elvish Visonary, allowing Ross to make three more green mana, which he used to cast a third Glimpse+of+Nature and an Elvish+Visionary. Each green creature he cast then generated mana and drew him three cards. He played Elves and built up his mana pool for a little while before flashing a hand of Craterhoof+Behemoth and more elves, asking “Do I need to keep going?”
Dave had seen enough.
Ross Merriam 1, Dave Shiels 0
Dave fetches up a key Umezawa%27s+Jitte.
Aether+Vial was the turn 1 play for Dave, and a Qurion Ranger the one drop of choice for Ross. Stoneforge+Mystic again showed up on Turn 2 for Dave, retrieving Umezawa’s Jitte, and Ross’s second turn consisted of Heritage+Druid, Elvish+Mystic off of Gaea’s Cradle, and another Quirion+Ranger and a Green Sun’s Zenith for 1 off of the Heritage+Druid, searching out a Wirewood+Symbiote.
Dave offed the Wirewood+Symbiote with a Swords+to+Plowshares, although Ross picked up his Elvish+Visionary in response. Dave Vialed in Phyrexian+Revoker, turning off Heritage+Druid, before passing the turn back with mana up to sneak his Jitte into play. Ross recast the Elvish+Visionary on his own turn, finding a Qasali+Pridemage, which he put into play with one mana open. Dave opted to use his Rishadan+Port on his end step rather than putting the Jitte into play, cutting Ross off from using the Pridemage for one turn.
Dave needed to draw a land in order to cast and equip Jitte, and he missed. He DID find a Mirran+Crusader, however, but after some deliberation decided to leave mana up for Stoneforge+Mystic activations rather than cast it, passing the turn back to Ross. Ross added a Deathrite+Shaman and a Dryad+Arbor to his board, but passed back, and Dave used Aether+Vial to put a second Phyrexian+Revoker into play, shutting off Qasali+Pridemage, before putting the Umezawa’s Jitte into play.
He untapped, moved the Jitte onto Stoneforge+Mystic, and came swinging, giving it protection from Green with Mother+of+Runes. He used the two charge counters to kill off Ross’s two Quirion+Rangers, and shipped the turn back. Ross found only a Nettle+Sentinel on his own turn, and Dave Vialed in a Mirran+Crusader, untapped, and equipped it with the Jitte. The following swing gave Dave enough charge counters to clear away nearly all of Ross’s board, and Ross conceded the game.
Ross Merriam 1, Dave Shiels 1
Ross began the deciding game by Green Sun’s Zenithing up a Dryad+Arbor, and Dave again opened up with Aether+Vial. Ross had an Elvish+Visionary on his second turn, attacking for one with his Dryad+Arbor. Dave played a significant hate bear on his turn 2, showing Spirit+of+the+Labyrinth to shut down any Glimpse+of+Nature shenanigans. Ross could only play a second Elvish+Visionary (with no drawn card!) and a Deathrite+Shaman before passing back. Dave snuck a Mother+of+Runes into play with Aether+Vial before untapping.
The Spirit attacked, dropping Ross to 16, and Dave added Ethersworn+Canonist to the board after combat, Wastelanding a Bayou before passing the turn. Ross had only a Wirewood+Symbiote, and Dave snuck Stoneforge+Mystic into play at Ross’s end step, grabbing an Umezawa’s Jitte. He untapped, Wastelanded Ross’s Dryad+Arbor, and passed the turn with mana up for mischief.
Ross had no play, simply dropping a Misty+Rainforest and shipping the turn back, and Dave put Serra+Avenger and Umezawa’s Jitte into play before untapping. The 3/3 angel picked up the Jitte, came across to smack Ross for 3, and the Jitte went to work, mowing down the Wirewood+Symbiote and an Elvish+Visionary. A Vialed in Phyrexian+Revoker shut off Ross’s Deathrite+Shaman, and Dave passed the turn in commanding position.
Ross drew his card and sighed. “One turn too late,” he said, revealing the Natural+Order he had drawn. Unable to punch through Dave’s defenses, Ross extended the hand in defeat.
Dave Shiels 2, Ross Merriam 1