Quarterfinals: Alex Evans vs. Daniel Duterte
Alex entered the Top 8 as the number one seed with R/G Aggro, but Daniel's Junk Reanimator deck was packed with enough removal to slow the matchup down. Could he lead a return to glory for Angel+of+Serenity?
Alex is on the beatdown plan with R/G Aggro.
Alex kept his seven but Daniel fell to four cards in search of a hand he was willing to play with. “I mulled to four in my win and in,” he noted, no doubt a bit miffed to find himself doing so two matches in a row.
Stomping+Ground and Stromkirk+Noble for Alex, while Daniel began with Sunpetal+Grove. He fell to 19, thankful to see Alex miss a two-drop, but had no turn 2 himself before seeing Boros+Reckoner join the Noble on Alex’s third turn. He sighed on turn 3, passing with Woodland+Cemetery and Grove untapped.
Hellrider from Alex warranted an Abrupt+Decay before combat, killing the Stromkirk+Noble before he took 8 damage, dropping to 9. Forest gave Daniel Voice+of+Resurgence and Arbor+Elf, but when he tried to double up on Hellrider Alex flashed Ghor-Clan+Rampager to take the game.
Alex 1, Daniel 0
Alex began the following game with a mulligan after Daniel’s keep, Daniel opening with Godless+Shrine. Alex lacked a one-drop and played Mountain, while Daniel made no play on turn 2 except for Sunpetal+Grove. Alex had an above average turn 2, Burning-Tree+Emissary into Burning-Tree+Emissary into Rakdos+Cackler, while Daniel cast Grisly+Salvage to bin nothing of note, taking Restoration+Angel.
Daniel played Voice+of+Resurgence and a tapped Overgrown+Tomb on turn 3, and Alex decided to attack with everything prior to casting Boros+Reckoner. Daniel fell to 16, and cast Fiend+Hunter to exile the Reckoner before playing a land and passing turn back to Alex. Alex used Madcap+Skills to suit up Rakdos+Cackler and sent it into combat, offering to trade the 4/2 for both of Daniel’s creatures—but that would also get back Boros+Reckoner.
Taking 4 damage, Daniel fell to 11—he wasn’t interested in that kind of trade. Untapping with four mana, he now had Restoration+Angel online to twist the tempo further in his direction, passing turn with that play likely at the forefront of Alex’s mind. He played a tapped Stomping+Ground and ended the turn, giving Daniel the space to Grisly+Salvage. It hit lands and small creatures, Daniel taking Fiend+Hunter and putting Voice+of+Resurgence and Restoration+Angel into the graveyard.
The second Fiend+Hunter struck down the Cackler, and Alex was far behind now. Avacyn’s Pilgrim turned the Elemental into a 4/4, and Daniel attacked with it. Flinthoof+Boar gave Alex a creature that could attack, but Daniel put both Fiend+Hunters and the Pilgrim in front of it, giving Alex a Boros+Reckoner while killing a Boar and losing a 1/3—perhaps just chumping with Pilgrim might have been better, unless he really needed seven mana...
Angel+of+Serenity did indeed land on Daniel’s turn, vindicating his block and clearing out Alex’s board. Daniel attacked him down to 11, and the Searing Spear Alex drew to go with his Mark+of+Mutiny left him two points short of a victory.
Daniel's Reanimator deck carried the match.
Alex 1, Daniel 1
Alex kept and Daniel followed suit—sevens it is! Stromkirk+Noble started things for Alex, while Daniel began with Godless+Shrine untapped. The expected Tragic+Slip slew Stromkirk+Noble, and Alex passed after making a land drop. Daniel played Arbor+Elf via Sunpetal+Grove, but Pillar+of+Flame cleared it even as Alex once more failed to make a creature.
Daniel Mulched into Temple+Garden, binning Thragtusk, and played the shockland tapped. Hellrider joined Alex’s board after a shockland, dealing 4 and leaving Daniel on 14. He took a deep breath as he drew, needing Fiend+Hunter—he had one, alongside a tapped shockland. Mizzium+Mortars moved Hellrider back into play, and it attacked Daniel down to 10 life.
Alex had two mana up and a Skullcrack just itching for Daniel’s dome. When Daniel played Thragtusk, it connected to leave him on 7 life facing the Hellrider. Mark+of+Mutiny, Hellrider, or Ghor-Clan+Rampager off the top would go with his Pillar+of+Flame for lethal—but Alex drew just a land. Daniel played Voice+of+Resurgence and attacked with Thragtusk, four open mana available to him. Alex knew that strongly implied Restoration+Angel after combat—he was very tempted to block and force the issue.
Instead, he fell to 13 before Daniel gained 5 life and made a 3/3 Beast. On 12 with his shields up, Daniel passed the turn. Another land for Alex left him floundering, and Pillar on Voice was hardly enough. He conceded just a turn later.
Alex 1, Daniel 2