Quarterfinals: Adam Cai vs. Josh Burgoa
Two aggressive decks without a Brainstorm in sight met in this quarterfinal. Josh Burgoa’s mono-white list had creatures aplenty, including Flickerwisp and Serra Avenger for aggro in the sky. Adam’s list was more varied, featuring three colors and the Green Sun’s Zenith package alongside Geist of Saint Traft.
Each player fell to six cards, with Adam starting the game on Windswept Heath for Plains and Mother of Runes before passing the turn. Josh had Karakas and passed on the first turn, lacking an answer to Mom. Wasteland for Adam was a nice card, but he declined to use it on Josh’s Karakas. Josh added another nonbasic land to the board in Rishadan Port, and cast Stoneforge Mystic for Umezawa’s Jitte. During Josh’s end step, Adam considered pointing Swords at the Mystic but declined.
Josh shuffles up for the quarterfinals.
Tapping out on turn 3, Adam cast Knight of the Reliquary after playing Savannah. That gave Josh a window, which he used to put down Phyrexian Revoker on Mother of Runes. Adam had no response—he knew Josh was hoping to draw Swords, otherwise the Mother would have already died.
Adam pointed a Swords of his own at that Revoker and activated Knight, sacrificing Savannah to get Misty Rainforest for Tropical Island and casting Geist of Saint Traft. Two very powerful three-drops on Adam’s side of the board, and each protected by Mother of Runes. Josh played Plains and stared at the board. His Jitte was ineffective against the Mother, and he was about to take a whooping to the face. He cast Stoneforge Mystic to search for Sword of Fire and Ice, and ended the turn.
Drawing, Adam considered his options. He cast Noble Hierarch and then attacked with his Geist. Chumping with the active Mystic, Josh put his Sword into play before damage, taking a point from Horizon Canopy. Josh untapped and cast Flickerwisp, using it to untap his Plains. During the end step, Adam activated Knight to turn Tropical Island into Misty Rainforest, finding another Tropical Island. He followed by casting Aven Mindcensor, and passing the turn.
Drawing another Rainforest, Adam fetched Tundra. Leaving his Wasteland untapped, Adam cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor, bouncing Flickerwisp out of Geist’s way. Geist and the Knight attacked, Stoneforge chumping and putting Sword of Feast and Famine into play.
Josh had one last draw step, but it offered him no help.
Adam 1, Josh 0
Adam Cai's Bant list went undefeated after a Round 1 loss!
With Josh on the play, he decided to mulligan for game 2 while Adam made an easy keep. Karakas and Mother of Runes started the game for Josh, while Adam had Plains and Swords to Plowshares for the little lady. Josh passed turn 2 with just Plains, while Adam tried his own Mother of Runes after playing Savannah—she made it to Josh’s turn intact. Could Adam dodge another draw step?
When Josh tapped out for Sword of Feast and Famine, he clearly lacked a removal spell. Adam stuck Knight of the Reliquary and passed, off to a solid start but hardly out of the woods against that Sword. Josh demonstrated exactly how problematic it might be with Serra Avenger, which he equipped. Unfortunately for Josh, Adam had all the answers—Swords to Plowshares for the Avenger and a Knight activation to resolve Geist of Saint Traft.
“I really need you not to have that,” Josh admitted as he looked at his exiled Avenger. He cast a Flickerwisp on Karakas, and then moved to his own end step after a Wasteland on Adam’s Horizon Canopy. Untapping, Adam cast Swords on the Flickerwisp, earning a grimace from Josh, and attacked for 11 damage. He passed after that.
Josh played another Wasteland and ended the turn. Adam attacked for 11 once again, putting Josh to 7 life, and played his second Mother of Runes. Josh grabbed one more card, shrugged, and extended the hand.
Adam 2, Josh 0