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 Gerry Thompson. GP Champion Dave Shiels, however, was looking to play spoiler.
Ross asks, "Do I need to keep going?"
Ross led off with a 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's 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