Finals: William Wright vs. Rayne Gould
Zombies is in the finals for the second week in a row, but it has been a while since we saw Humans posting a strong finish. Contending for the trophy, it would be Ghouls vs. Geists in a game likely to be decided on the power of each deck's three-drops.
Rayne checks a rule with the head judge during the final match.
William earned the play, and each player would start the first game with five cards after mulliganing two subpar hands. Darkslick Shores and Diregraf Ghoul overmatched Gideon's Lawkeeper, knocking Rayne to 18 on turn 2. William had a second land and Skirsdag High Priest—not a bad five, clearly. Rayne laid down the law on turn 2 with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, however.
Diregraf Captain supersized the Ghoul, and William attacked for 3 damage with the Ghoul, throwing his High Priest into Thalia's first strike. Rayne cast Mirran Crusader on turn 2, spinning the game in the other direction before attacking with Thalia for 2 damage. William drew a Slip, but spent his turn playing a second High Priest before passing.
Rayne had momentum on his side as he untapped on turn 4, playing a fourth land and casting Champion of the Parish, followed by Gideon's Lawkeeper to pump it up. Mirran Crusader attacked, and Rayne ended the turn. William drew and cast Fume Spitter before passing, sitting on two mana for Slip. On no cards, Rayne drew before attacking with just the Crusader, putting William to 10 life.
During the end step, William sacrificed Fume Spitter targeting Lawkeeper, following (unnecessarily) with Tragic Slip when Rayne tried to Gideon's Lawkeeper the High Priest, but William didn't realize his morbid was already on thanks to Spitter; he allowed the second Lawkeeper to tap down his High Priest. He then attacked for 3 damage with the Diregraf Ghoul and passed the turn back to Rayne, whose Mirran Crusader was not quite fast enough to win the race, even with the time William had given him.
William is chipper, even in defeat.
Rayne 1, William 0
William's missteps had cost him in that game, with Rayne's Mirran Crusader punishing his stunted clock. Would he turn it around over the next two games? A mulligan to six against Rayne's keep wasn't an awesome start, but he did have turn 1 Gravecrawler off his second hand, while Rayne missed his one-drop.
Swinging 2 damage, William played Drowned Catacomb and passed the turn. Thalia entered play on turn 2 again, William handling her quickly this time with Phantasmal Image. He then ended the turn without a land, sitting on plentiful three-drops. Rayne sought to punish him for that stumble by untapping into Geist of Saint Traft, and it looked like it might work!
No land on top for William, just another Gravecrawler, and he had little recourse other than to attack and cast another copy of the 2/1 Zombie. William played Moorland Haunt and sent just the Geist—no Destiny—to get in 6 damage. Tapping out afterward, he plopped down Hero of Bladehold. William needed an answer and lands, but no cards could give him both…
He drew another Captain and attacked, trying to bluff his Gravecrawlers past Hero but Rayne declined to give Tragic Slip any thought. He blocked one, falling to 12, and did not respond to Mortarpod. Fiend Hunter removed the blocker, and Rayne attacked for lethal damage.
Rayne 2, William 0