Quarterfinals: Alex Bastecki vs. Matt Long
It's a pseudo-Delver mirror for high stakes in the Quarterfinals of the Invitational! Which color scheme has what it takes to make it to the Semis: Alex Bastecki and Grixis or Matt Long and straight Blue-Red?
Matt Long plays a Delver of Secrets!
Alex, as our higher seed, has the choice to play or draw, and given how Delver mirrors play out, he choose to play. Alex keeps his opening seven, but Matt has to mulligan to six. After mulligans are resolved, we have begun our Invitational Top 8!
Alex leads with a Turn 1 Underground Sea into Delver of Secrets. Matt fetches for a Volcanic Island to start his first turn, followed by casting a Delver of Secrets of his own. Alex's Delver does not transform on his turn, so he starts his turn by casting Gitaxian Probe, paying the blue mana cost. Matt reveals a hand of True-Name Nemesis, Force of Will, Flooded Strand, Dismember, and Forked Bolt, signaling that Alex's Delver is not long for this world. An attack by Alex, followed by fetching for his own Volcanic Island and casting a Forked Bolt, killing Matt's Delver and doing one damage to Matt in the process. Finally, Alex passes the turn back to Alex after a very bush second turn.
Matt tries to start the resource race by Forked Bolting Alex's Delver of Secrets and using a Wasteland to destroy Alex's Volcanic Island. Alex starts his turn with a Ponder, leaving all three cards on top, followed by having a Wasteland of his own to destroy Matt's Volcanic Island.
Both players simply out fetchlands and pass the turn for their next turns. On his fifth turn, Alex plays a Delver of Secrets, leaving two fetchlands up in the face of Matt's two uncracked fetchlands. Matt thinks for a moment before drawing his card, playing another fetchland, and starts the turn by cracking a Flooded Strand, finding a basic Island. Matt thinks for a bit before passing the turn without playing anything else, leaving all his mana up.
Alex's freshly played Delver refuses to flip, so all he can do for his turn is attack for one and play a Wasteland, followed by a quick pass. Matt simply draws his card for the turn, thinks for a minute and then passes the turn back to Alex. This time, Alex's Delver flips, revealing a Brainstorm, but it is quickly Dismembered by Matt. In an attempt to get more information, Alex casts Gitaxian Probe to see what is going on with his opponent's hand. Matt reveals a Dig Through Time, Daze, True-Name Nemesis, and Force of Will to his opponent's Gitaxian Probe. With this newly revealed information, Alex simply passes the turn back to Matt.
Matt draws and plays a Delver of Secrets off the top of his library. At the end of turn, Alex tries to cast Brainstorm, but Matt casts Daze. After some thought, Alex pays for the Daze, and his Brainstorm resolves. Once his turn begins, he casts a Deathrite Shaman and passes the turn. Matt's Delver refuses to transform (nobody's Delvers are flipping!) and so he casts a second Delver, and passes back to Matt, who simply draws and says go for his turn.
This time, both of Matt's Delvers flip, due to revealing a Lightning Bolt. There is an attack with both flying Insectile Aberrations that puts Alex to ten, and then Matt attempts to Lightning Bolt Alex's Deathrite Shaman. In response, Alex attempts to Dig Through Time, but Matt has the Force of Will for it. Alex uses his Wasteland on Matt's Volcanic Island, and then untaps and casts another Deathrite Shaman.
Matt starts off his turn with an attack by both his flipped Delvers, putting Alex to six. Matt tries to pass his turn back, but Alex makes his move. He Bolts Matt, putting him from seven to four, and attempts to Bolt him again. Matt is forced to use his Force of Will to stay alive (since being at one life against an active Deathrite Shaman is not where anyone wants to be), but Alex has a Force of Will of his own, dealing exactly lethal damage!
Alex wins Game 1! To the sideboarded games we go!
After sideboarding, Matt will be on the play for Game 2. Both players keep their opening seven, and Matt leads with a Flooded Strand, fetching for a Volcanic Island, in order to cast a Delver of Secrets. Alex leads with a Turn 1 Underground Sea into Deathrite Shaman, and passes the turn back to Alex.
Matt reveals a Gitaxian Probe to his Delver of Secrets, and then casts it. Alex reveals his hand of Flooded Strand, Brainstorm, Ponder, Young Pyromancer, Wasteland, and Lightning Bolt. After drawing his card from Gitaxian Probe, Matt casts a Brainstorm and then kills the Deathrite Shaman with a Forked Bolt, followed by passing the turn to his opponent.
To start his turn, Alex casts a Ponder, leaves all three cards on top of his library and draws. He then casts a Gitaxian Probe, targeting Matt, who reveals a Dig Through Time, Blood Moon, Delver of Secrets, and Daze. Alex plays a new Deathrite Shaman and passes the turn.
Matt draws a Wasteland and uses it on Alex's Tropical Island, followed by casting a Dig Through Time, taking two cards. He then attacks Matt with his flipped Delver, and passes the turn. Alex uses his Deathrite Shaman to cast Lightning Bolt, killing Matt's Delver. He then fetches for an Volcanic Island and casts Young Pyromancer, looking to add a clock to the board. Matt casts a Gitaxian Probe, revealing Alex's hand of double Wasteland, Brainstorm, plays a Monastery Swifspear and then plays Rough // Tumble, killing all of Alex's creatures (but not Matt's Swiftspear, due to Prowess), and getting an attack for two in.
For his turn, Alex casts a freshly drawn Delver of Secrets, and uses his Wasteland on one of Matt's Volcanic Islands. He then passes to Matt, who attacks with Monastery Swiftspear and plays a Delver of his own. Alex's Delver flips due to a revealed Ponder, and after casting the Ponder, tries to Lightning Bolt Matt's unflipped Delver. However, Matt has a Daze for that Lightning Bolt, and his Delver lives to see another turn.
And on that next turn, Matt's Delver of Secrets transforms into a Insectile Aberration, thanks to a revealed Ponder. Matt casts the Ponder, draws his card, and attacks with both his flipped Delver and pumped up Monastery Swiftspear. Alex decides to trade Delvers, and Matt passes the turn. Alex has another Wasteland for Matt's Volcanic Island, followed by a pass of the turn.
Matt attacks with the Swiftspear, fetches for a Volcanic Island, and passes the turn. Alex has another Wasteland, taking out the Volcanic Island, and a pass of the turn. Matt attacks down to one, and passes the turn back. Alex taps the top of his deck, and draws a Ponder. He has to shuffle his deck to try to not die, and he hits a Gurmag Angler just in time! He plays the 5/5 Zombie Fish, and passes the turn back.
Matt draws the lethal Monastery Swiftspear, but cannot fetch for red mana, because all of his Volcanic Islands have been destroyed by Alex's Wastelands! He simply has to pass turn. Both players start to draw-go for the next turn, and then Matt draws and plays a Delver of Secrets. But Alex draws the Red Elemental Blast to kill it! The next turn, Matt has a Preordain, puts one card on top and one card on bottom, and passes the turn back.
Alex draws his card and says go, and Matt draws another Delver of Secrets and plays it. But at the end of Matt's turn, Alex casts a Dig Through Time, grabbing a much-needed two cards. Alex then casts a Pyroblast on Matt's Delver of Secrets and casts a second Gurmag Angler. He then starts attacking with one of them, putting Matt to four life. Matt draws his card for the turn and then scoops up his permanents!
Alex wins Game 2 at one life, and is leading the match, 2-0!
Alex Bastecki marks down some life totals!
Needing a win to stay alive, Matt starts Game 3 on the play. While Matt keeps his opening seven, Alex mulligans to six.
Matt starts the game off with a Flooded Strand fetching a Volcanic Island, followed by casting a Monastery Swiftspear and a Gitaxian Probe, attacking for two right away. Alex has a fetch for a Underground Sea, followed by a Gitaxian Probe and Cabal Therapy, taking two Lighting Bolts out of Matt's hand.
Matt tries to Brainstorm on his turn, but Alex has the Daze for it. Matt attacks for two and passes the turn. For his turn, Alex casts both a Delver of Secrets and a Gurmag Angler, and then passes the turn.
Matt simply plays a land and passes the turn. Alex attacks with his Gurmag Angler, which gets blocked by the Monastery Swiftspear, and there is an attempt to Bolt the Angler. However, Alex has the Bolt to kill the Monastery Swiftspear while the Prowess trigger is still on the stack. A pass by Alex, and Matt draws another Bolt to kill Alex's Delver, but has to say go and face a Gurmag Angler without a board.
Alex bashes his opponent with his 5/5 Zombie Fish, and then passes the turn back, having lethal next turn. But Matt topdecks a True-Name Nemesis to stay alive! He casts it and says go. Alex, however, has ways around the True-Name Nemesis, with a Deathrite Shaman and Lightning Bolts. One more Bolt to Matt's face, and it's all over!
Alex Bastecki wins Game 3, and the match, 3-0! Alex Bastecki is on his way to the Semifinals!