Joseph Loster vs. Chris Basco
Joseph Loster’s Naya Pod deck landed him in the comfortable third seed, giving him the advantage of going first in game one against his opponent Chris Basco who was armed with the powerful W/B Tokens deck a la Champion+of+the+Parish made sure Chris didn’t fall behind, and gave him a real threat with Gather+the+Townsfolk after Joe failed to take advantage of the early accelerator.
Blade+Splicer shored up Joe’s side of the board, holding off the human tokens and the 3/3 Champion+of+the+Parish, but Chris was content to wait, going up top with Lingering+Souls for a pair of flying tokens. Vorpede tilted the board back in Joe’s favor, but Chris went over the top with Intangible+Virtue and Honor of the Pure for six points in the air. He took the crackback from Vorapede on the chin and waited patiently as Joe went into the tank.
Garruk+Relentless traded with one of the 3/3 spirit tokens to complete Joe’s turn, and Chris just shrugged as he poked his spirit token back into the red zone. Joe called out “Midnight Haunting,” when Chris passed the turn with four lands up, and he indeed have the instant token maker after Joe tapped out for Acidic+Slime on Intangible+Virtue.
Eight life wasn’t enough for Joe to survive the three spirits after Sword+of+War+and+Peace showed up, and we were off to game two.
Chris 1, Joe 0
Joseph Loster's Naya Pod powered him to the Top 8 of the Standard Open.
Avacyn’s Pilgrim and Champion+of+the+Parish squared off early again, but things changed up from there as second copies of each creature joined the originals. Joe used the monks to power out a turn three Green Sun’s Zenith for four, nabbing Huntmaster+of+the+Fells from his deck to put him in control of the board.
Gather+the+Townsfolk switched the momentum yet again, allowing Chris to send his 4/4 and 3/3 Champions of the Parish at Joe’s head as he declined to block. Fiend+Hunter let Joe catch his breath as it hunted down the 4/4 Champion+of+the+Parish, but Joe wasn’t willing to send his guys in against the human tokens, and a second Gather+the+Townsfolk complicated matters. Chris’ remaining Champion+of+the+Parish grew to 5/5 and connected with Joe’s life total again, dropping him to 8.
Joe dug back in with a Gavony+Township that allowed him to double-block the 5/5 Champion+of+the+Parish with Avacyn’s Pilgrim and a wolf token, and he found a second Huntmaster+of+the+Fells to replace the first after Go+for+the+Throat took it out. Chris was forced to take a hit from the wolf token after Joe pumped his team with Gavony+Township, and he fell to 16 before an end step Midnight+Haunting threatened to do a number on Joe’s life total through the uncontested air.
The life totals were 12-4 Chris’ favor after another cycle of attacks, and Joe was forced to move all-in on an alpha strike with the hope that Chris would make a mistake on the cluttered board. He didn’t.
Chris 2, Joe 0