Quarterfinals: Ben Friedman vs. Chris Bergeson
Two of the most popular decks of the weekend faced off in the quarterfinals: U/W/R Delver and Sneak and Show. Ponder on turn 1 via Island and shuffling the deck, while Ben lacked a Delver and simply opened with Volcanic+Island. Chris played Misty+Rainforest and then Brainstorm on turn 2, resolving it once Ben allowed him to after a significant pause. Ben played his own Brainstorm on the next turn, with Flooded+Strand untapped and available to shuffle.
Breaking the Strand, Ben searched for Tundra and passed the turn. Chris had only another land drop, while Ben played Ponder prior to fetching and casting Gitaxian+Probe for 2 life. It revealed Force+of+Will, Brainstorm, Vendilion+Clique, two Show+and+Tell, and Ancient+Tomb—Chris had just one fetchland left, but that would let him dig pretty deep in search of a creature. Ben added Stoneforge+Mystic to the battlefield, and searched for Batterskull.
Chris tried Clique in the end step, and Ben Dazed the 3/1. Chris added Ancient+Tomb to the board and passed his turn back to Ben, whose Mystic now had free reign. He wasn’t out of the woods, but this would go a long way toward putting Chris on the clock. Deciding against Batterskull, Ben upped the ante by tapping out for Geist+of+Saint+Traft. After all, if Chris used Batterskull, Ben could just plop the equipment into play!
On the next turn, Chris cast Show+and+Tell. It resolved, and he put in Sneak+Attack while Ben put in Batterskull. Chris had no follow-up, however, and it seemed he was just taking 11 damage this turn... he fell to 6 life, and needed to make something happen this turn. He passed, and when Ben attacked with everyone he put Griselbrand into play. Ben allowed him to go to blockers, then bounced Batterskull after the Germ got blocked in order to ensure lethal damage.
Ben 1, Chris 0
Chris began with Ponder once more, and Ben started by Probing to see Blood+Moon, City+of+Traitors, Force+of+Will, Sneak+Attack, and Misty+Rainforest—but Chris couldn’t threaten turn 2 Blood+Moon without a Petal on top. Ben played Tundra and passed, nodding as Chris added the Misty+Rainforest and did the same.
Pondering on his own turn, Ben kept his top three and played Tundra number two. Chris fetched Volcanic+Island, and then played City to cast Blood+Moon with a mana available for Daze. A trade of Forces ended when Ben cast Flusterstorm, and the Blood+Moon hit the bin. Wasteland from Ben got rid of the only red source, and he passed.
Chris used the City to play Defense+Grid, prompting Ben to hardcast Daze and follow with Daze again to counter it. Brainstorming, Ben found a fetchland for Volcanic+Island and landed Delver+of+Secrets on the battlefield. Chris drew a Mountain and attempted to tap out for Sneak+Attack, losing the enchantment to a third Daze and losing his City+of+Traitors.
Ben’s Delver revealed a nice one—Spell+Pierce—and Stoneforge+Mystic dug him into Sword+of+Feast+and+Famine. He passed tapped out, and Chris couldn’t take advantage—he simply resolved a Lotus+Petal. Taking 3 from Delver, he knew it would pick up a mighty blade very soon... Once Ben got the Sword onto the Delver, it was lights out in a handful of turns.
Ben 2, Chris 0