Quarterfinals: Carl Dillahay vs. Bill Nielsen
Quarterfinals: Delver+of+Secrets. Bill attempted to do the same on his first turn, but Carl had the Mental+Misstep for Bill’s Human Wizard. It didn’t become an insect on turn 2, and he beat in for one and played a second shiny scientist before passing the turn, leaving a Seachrome+Coast untapped. Bill cast Ponder, elected to shuffle, and played his second Delver+of+Secrets of the game as well before passing.
Carl untapped, failed to flip, and attacked for two and, after playing a land, passed. Bill too failed to flip his Delver and played Gitaxian+Probe and Carl revealed Talrand%2C+Sky+Summoner, Island, Glacial+Fortress. After attacks, life totals became 17 all. Once again, Carl did not flip and so continued the Wandering+Ones aggro strategy. He attempted to cast the Sky Summoner but it was quickly Mana Leaked. Bill was the first one to reveal an instant or sorcery, another Gitaxian+Probe, to a Delver to create the game’s lone Insectile+Aberration. He then cast another Delver of secrets and passed. He once more Probed Carl, who showed a Snapcaster+Mage, and attacked Carl to 14. Once again, Carl did not flip his pair of Delvers and the beats continued. A pair of 1/1s traded before passing back to Bill.
Snapcaster came in at the end of Bill’s turn, Thought Scouring himself. Bill cast Gut+Shot on one of Carl’s unflipped Delver after Thought+Scour resolved. Another Thought+Scour from Carl’s hand showed no answers. Bill Snapcaster Maged the Gut+Shot, taking out the second Delver, before ending the flurry of spells. Carl found Sword of Feast and Famine and tried to equip to his one remaining creature, a Snapcaster+Mage, but Vapor+Snag from Bill put Carl to five with Bill at a relatively comfortable 10. He drew for his turn and thought for a moment before laying a Cavern+of+Souls (naming Angel) and passing with four mana up. Not telegraphing at all.
Carl, with few options now and not but 5 lands and a Sword, Gitaxian Probed Bill for the blue mana it actually costs (and Bill did indeed have an Angel in hand, a Restoration+Angel in fact), and passed back to Bill but Carl had a Snapcaster+Mage to bounce the 3/4 flash flier before it could rumble in for damage, but Carl’s well laid plans were for naught. On Carl’s turn, Bill proceeded to cast Snapcaster+Mage, which targeted Vapor+Snag, which targeted Carl’s Snapcaster+Mage and that was that.
Bill 1, Carl 0.
Carl Dillahay is ready for battle.
Carl rubbed his hands together like The Karate Kid about to chop ice blocks before drawing his opener, and both players kept. Carl led with a tapped Glacial+Fortress, and Bill led with a Delver that got Mental Misstepped. Carl cast Ponder, rearranged the top 3 cards of his library, played an Island and passed. On Bill’s turn, he cast Gitaxian+Probe showing Carl’s hand of Thought+Scour, Mana+Leak, Snapcaster+Mage, Vapor+Snag, and Dismember. He played an Island and passed the turn, and Carl Thought Scoured himself. Carl failed to draw a third land and passed, when Bill did his carl impression by casting Thought+Scour at end of turn. Bill untapped and cast Ponder, to which Carl attempted to Snapcaster+Mage (presumably the Mental+Misstep in his bin) but Bill was ready with Mana+Leak off of his two remaining lands. Carl found his third land on his turn, and used the opportunity to Snapcaster Ponder. He scoffed, and then quickly shuffled.
“I don’t get it. All day I ran smooth as butter.”
Ain’t that always the way.
Carl drew for Ponder and passed back to Bill. On his turn, he cast Snapcaster+Mage of his own, continuing his Carl impression, and Pondered. He kept them on top, and followed up the play with Island, pass. Carl attempted Augur+of+Bolas, which plucked Ponder. He immediately cast the freshly drawn cantrip, rearranged, and drew an Island. He attacked in with Snapcaster+Mage, but it got a Gut+Shot. Not so fast, says Carl, who Vapor Snagged his Mage to avoid losing the 2/1. Bill cast Phantasmal+Image, choosing his own Snapcaster+Mage, which in turn cast Ponder from Bill’s graveyard. He found a land on top, played it, and passed.
Carl dropped a Moorland+Haunt on his turn, threatening an army of fliers over the next few turns of the game. Bill played his sixth land and passed, and Carl made the first 1/1 Spirit from the Haunt. Now with an Augur+of+Bolas and a Spirit token to Bill’s pair of Snapcaster+Mages, he attacked with the 1/1 flier and took Bill to 17. At end of turn, Bill flashed in Restoration+Angel and targeted Snapcaster+Mage, which Carl responded to by Dismembering the Angel. Snapcaster targets Thought+Scour and drew Bill a card.
Bill untapped and played an Island and simply passed back to Carl. A second Spirit joined in for Carl, and the pair attacked for two. A second Augur joined Carl’s cause as well, which took Mental+Misstep. On Bill’s turn, he played a Moorland+Haunt of his own and passed, but not before Carl cast Snapcaster+Mage and the Thought+Scour in his graveyard.
Carl came in with an Augur+of+Bolas and two Spirits. Bill made a Spirit of his own, but Carl had a Vapor+Snag for the token. Bill double blocked Augur with both Snapcasters (one of which was actually an Image), and Bill cast Snapcaster+Mage. The Mage cast Gut+Shot on Bill’s fake Mage and allowed Carl to set up the 2-for-1. Bill had Vapor+Snag for his own Snapcaster+Mage, for which Carl had the Mental+Misstep. Scores stood at Bill 12, Carl 9.
Bill 1, Carl 1.
Bill Nielsen is happy with U/W Delver today.
“At least I get to play a game finally.”
“Clearly, it’s overrated.”
Indeed, Bill had the play for the first time in the match and kept, but Carl was not so lucky and elected to mulligan, but kept his 6. Bill led with a Delver+of+Secrets off of a Seachrome+Coast. Carl played an Island and a Delver of his own, as well as a Gut+Shot. Ponder on Bill’s second turn dug him deeper into his deck and found a second Seachrome+Coast.
“One time, please!”
The Magic gods responded kindly, revealing Carl a Dissipate and turning his lowly 1/1 into the much-heralded 3/2 flier Insectile+Aberration an attacked for 3. But on Bill’s turn he played Phantasmal+Image and made a 3/2 of his own, but Carl had Snapcaster+Mage Gut+Shot for the Illusion. Now with five power of blue dudes, Carl attacked into Bill’s four untapped mana. Snapcaster+Mage flashed in for Bill and the 2/1s traded, still dealing Insect damage in the air. Bill had another Snapcaster+Mage on his turn, which targeted and cast Ponder. He thought for a moment before electing to keep them on top. He played Moorland+Haunt and passed to Carl, and at the end of his turn Carl cast Thought+Scour, targeting Bill this time so as to clear away the set up Pondered cards.
Bill once more entered the red zone with his flipped Delver+of+Secrets, and at end of turn Bill attempted to Vapor+Snag Carl’s Insectile+Aberration, which Carl elected not to Dissipate. Bill’s Snapcaster+Mage attacked and dropped Carl to 13 with Bill at a paultry 6. Bill drew and passed, but not before Snapcaster on Carl’s side cast a Thought+Scour. He untapped and Gitaxian Probed, revealing all of Bill’s secrets: Sword of war and Peace, Day+of+Judgment and Blade+Splicer. Carl played a fourth Island (no white mana or Moorland+Haunt). Carl thought on his decision before casting Augur+of+Bolas, choosing Mental+Misstep, and also casting Delver+of+Secrets. At end of turn, Bill made a Spirit off of Moorland+Haunt. He then untapped, cast, and equipped a Sword+of+War+and+Peace, dropping carl to 3 and bringing Bill to 9. Carl flipped his Delver on his upkeep with Gitaxian+Probe, and now with a full grip pondered his options for a while. He decided to attack all out with Insectile+Aberration, Augur+of+Bolas and Snapcaster+Mage. Mages traded, and Carl followed it up with Talrand%2C+Sky+Summoner and Gitaxian+Probe, earning a 2/2 Drake in the process. He played a fresh Glacial+Fortress and passed.
Bill cast Gitaxian+Probe, which Carl responded with Mental+Misstep and making another Drake. Bill had no choice but to cast Day+of+Judgment, clearing the board of all clutter except a Sword on Bill’s side. Tapped out, Bill passed. Carl cast Augur+of+Bolas and picked up another Mental+Misstep before passing. Bill played Cavern+of+Souls, naming Human, and played Blade+Splicer, which got him 4 uncounterable power for 3 mana. Bill, now not nearly as in trouble as a few turns ago, looked to be in a decent position and Carl now looked in trouble. Carl played Snapcaster+Mage, flashback Ponder, and Delver of secrets. Bill made a Spirit at the end of the turn. He cast Ponder on his turn, and found the top of his library satisfactory. He then equipped the Sword+of+War+and+Peace to the flying Spirit and swung in, but it got Vapor Snagged soon after it tapped to attack. Bill cast Gut+Shot on Delver+of+Secrets, which resolved, and Bill ended his turn.
Carl had a full grip but was facing down some troublesome permanents. He cast Talrand and then Vapor+Snag on Bill’s Golem token before attacking. Surveying the options and coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t salvageable, Bill extended his hand in congratulations to Carl for a match well played.
Carl 2, Bill 1.