Quarterfinals: Ali Aintrazi vs. Charles Johnson
Ali's Heartless+Summoning deck earned its name today.
Heartless+Summoning rocketing to the top of the standings was an unexpected treat today, but seeing Ali at the top was not. Always a strong pick on the Open Series, our National Champion tends to make a good showing at events closer to his home, but if he wants to see the semifinals then he'll need to best Charles Johnson, piloting the Delver-Blade list Seachrome+Coast, Charles left the top three in place and passed to Ali. Ali played Darkslick Shores and shipped the turn, but Charles had nothing on turn 2 except a land.
Mana+Leak snagged Ali's Heartless+Summoning, and Charles Pondered prior to shuffling on turn 3. Playing Island, he passed to Ali, who just dropped his third land and passed right back. Charles cast Tragic+Slip to kill the 1/1. When Ali passed on turn 4, Charles seized his opportunity.
Creating a Spirit with Moorland+Haunt during Ali's end step, Charles untapped and tapped out for Sword+of+War+and+Peace, putting Ali to 14. It wasn't enough of a blow, howeverâ€”Ali played Heartless+Summoning and Doom Blade on the next turn.
Another Delver for Charles picked up Sword+of+War+and+Peace, becoming a real threat. When Ali tapped out for Wurmcoil+Engine, Vapor+Snag cleared the way for Charles to attack Ali down to 7 life. Another Heartless Summoning and the recast Wurmcoil+Engine put Ali very close to deadâ€”when Delver of Secrets flipped on Mana+Leak, that was enough damage to make it a lock.
Charles Johnson is playing the Darkslick+Shores, while Charles had Delver of Secrets. On turn 2, Ali cast Heartless+Summoning, but Charles had Porcelain legionnaire to increase the heat, swinging at Ali for 1 damage. Lacking a third land, Ali used Doom+Blade to kill the Legionnaire, and was punished by a Ponder, dropping him to 16.
Charles followed that with Oblivion+Ring on Heartless Summoning, and ended the turn. Ali took 2 for Phyrexian+Metamorph, but Steel Sabotage cleared the way for Insectile Abeerrationâ€”Mana Leak countered that Metamorph on the way back down, Ali still far behind and on just 5 life.
Pressing the advantage, Charles swung for 3 damage but lost his man to Doom+Blade. He slammed Geist+of+Saint+Traft, giving Ali just a turn to find an answer. Drawing at the top of the deck, Ali sighed and extended the hand. It had been a fast and furious match.
Charles 2, Ali 0