Quarterfinals: Andrew Siebert vs. Zach Tyree
Andrew's Zoo deck has a tough pairing here.
It was an uphill battle for Andrew in this Top 8—while he’d posted a great finish with Zoo, Zach’s Dredge deck made its living by preying on fair, combat-oriented decks like Andrew’s. Game 1 was very weak; it would come down to the strength of his sideboard.
Windswept Heath for Taiga began the game on Andrew’s side, and he cast Wild Nacatl to start the beats. Zach’s Gemstone Mine enabled Faithless Looting, putting Golgari Grave-Troll into the discard alongside a second Gemstone Mine. Andrew attacked Zach to 17 via Plateau, playing Grim Lavamancer and another copy of the Cat.
Dredge hit two Narcomoebas on the first go with Grave-Troll, alongside a Bridge from Below and Cabal Therapy. He played Undiscovered Paradise and cast another Faithless Looting, discarding two Grave-Trolls. Putrid Imp and Lion’s Eye Diamond followed, breaking the Diamond to discard another Bridge and another Cabal Therapy.
Flashback on Looting binned Dread Return, another Therapy, and a third Bridge from Below. He flashbacked Cabal Therapy for three Zombie tokens, naming Tarmogoyf. Once he saw two Kird Apes, he aimed his second copy at those, leaving him with six Zombies and Putrid Imp. He passed after that, declining to Dread Return Grave-Troll, which would have been a smidge on the small side (although the Dread Return was basically free thanks to the Bridges and remaining Putrid Imp).
Grim Lavamancer then committed suicide to get rid of those Bridges, Andrew following with another Wild Nacatl. He couldn’t attack, so he passed the turn. Two Ichorids leaped from the graveyard before Grave-Troll dredged some more, followed by an attack with the Ichorids and the Imp for 8. Andrew didn’t block any of them, and after combat Zach flashbacked Dread Return, sacrificing the Ichorids and a Zombie for the big Troll. That’s a 9/9, folks.
Andrew drew, and conceded.
Zach 1, Andrew 0
Zach's careful dredging was rewarded.
Wooded Foothills fetched on turn 1 for Andrew, putting down Taiga once again before deploying Goblin Guide, revealing Stinkweed Imp. Zach drew and cast Faithless Looting before playing Lion’s Eye Diamond, discarding Stinkweed Imp and Narcomoeba but declining to grow any more explosive, content to sandbag Firestorm in his hand.
Goblin Guide’s attack whiffed again, Andrew passing with just Plains on the second turn. Zach dredged up Stinkweed Imp, and then cast two Lion’s Eye Diamonds. He played Faithless Looting from his hand once again, dredging back an Imp and then a Grave-Troll. He hit a few goodies, but no Narcomoebas—he passed the turn, content to wait.
Dread Return revealed itself to Goblin Guide, Andrew casting Grim Lavamancer afterward. Ichorid returned to play for Zach, then he hit Narcomoeba, Bridge, and another Therapy. He cast Breakthrough for zero, getting rid of most of his deck in the process, hitting more Bridges and an Elesh Norn, never revealing his second Narcomoeba.
Breaking one Diamond, Zach dredged with Faithless Looting for four with Thug, trying to avoid decking—he hit two Narcomoebas and the Flame-kin Zealot this time, going down to one card in his deck as he naturally drew the last card. When he tried to Dread Return, Andrew had no reply to the twelve Zombies entering play before Flame-kin Zealot.
Zach 2, Andrew 0