Quarterfinals: Casey Pordes vs. Michael Cortez
Casey chooses to play first in this Quartefinal matchup. Michael chooses to keep his opening seven, while Casey mulligans to six, keeping his scry on top.
Both players play two fetchlands for their opening turns, but Michael is the first player with a play, casting Transgress the Mind, taking Casey's Nantuko Husk. The rest of Casey's hand is Sidisi's Faithful, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, and two Elvish Visionaries. Casey cracks his fetchlands in response, fetching a Canopy Vista and Sunken Hollow, untaps and plays another fetchland and casts his Jace and passes the turn.
Michael fetches another basic and casts Stasis Snare, exiling Casey's Jace, and ends his turn. After another two fetches are cracked by Casey, he plays both of his Elvish Visionaries to make a board presence, drawing two cards in the process. A pass back to Michael leads to a Wasteland Strangler, but since Casey has Rally the Ancestors in his deck, Michael chooses not to process anything, and passes the turn back.
Casey starts his turn with a Collected Company, finding a second Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and a Grim Haruspex with it. He then plays a Sidisi's Faithful, sacrificing itself to return an Elvish Visionary to his hand, all the while drawing a card, thanks to Grim Haruspex. After such an eventful turn, Casey passes the turn to Michael.
Michael draws his card for the turn, fetches out a Prairie Stream, and then thinks for a bit. He starts his turn by casting Stasis Snare on Jace, Vryn's Prodigy and then Murderous Cut, killing the Grim Haruspex. An attack for two by the Wasteland Strangler and a pass. Casey casts two Elvish Visionaries, drawing another two cards, and then attacks Michael for one.
An attack for two starts off Michael's turn, putting his opponent a single digit life total. Another Wasteland Strangler is cast by Michal, once again without Processing, and he ends his turn. Michael plays a Zulaport Cutthroat, followed by casting a Sidisi's Faithful to bounce an Elvish Visionary by sacrificing an Elvish Visionary. A drain for one life by the Zulaport Cutthroat and a pass of the turn.
Michael starts his turn much like the last, with an all-out attack with both Wasteland Stranglers. A double block on one by two Elvish Visionaries leads to a trade, as the other one is blocked by the 0/4 Sidisi's Faithful. A land and a pass is all Michael has for the rest of the turn. Casey attacks for one with his Zulaport Cutthroat, and plays a land and passes.
Silkwrap, targeting Zulaport Cutthroat begins Michael's turn, but then the turn starts to get messy. In response to the Silkwrap targeting the Cutthroat, Casey plays a Collected Company, getting a Sidisi's Faithful and a Grim Haruspex. As the Sidisi's Faithful trigger is on the stack, Michael responds by flashing in a Stasis Snare, targeting the newly played Grim Haruspex. With the Grim Haruspex exiled, the Sidisi's Faithful bounces the Zulaport Cutthroat back to Casey's hand. At the end of all this madness, Casey is left with a Sidisi's Faithful in play, a Zulaport Cutthroat in hand, and a Grim Haruspex exiled. After all that, Casey passes the turn.
Draw-go happens for a few turns as both players have essentially run out of gas. Michael plays an Archangel of Tithes and attacks with it the following turn, and that is when Casey strikes. He casts Rally the Ancestors for three, getting back three Elvish Visionaries, a Nantuko Husk, and a Grim Haruspex. After all the triggers resolve, Casey has drawn five cards on that turn, followed by two extra cards on his upkeep, thanks to Elvish Visionaries and Grim Haruspex. For his turn, he plays a Catacomb Sifter, and passes, discarding Zulaport Cuthroat and Sidisi's Faithful and passes.
Michael recasts the Archangel of Tithes for his turn, which Casey responds with by casting another Rally the Ancestors with X=3. Seeing the writing on the wall, Michael scoops up his cards and grabs his sideboard.
Casey wins Game 1, and leads the Quarterfinals match, 1-0!
Casey Pordes rallies his way to a victory!
Michael will be on the play for the first sideboarded game, and chooses to be on the play. Just like in Game 1, Michael keeps his seven card hand, while Casey chooses to mulligan to five, pushing his scry to the bottom of his library.
Both players play "land-go" for the first three turns of the game, with Michael being the first player to make a play on Turn 4, casting Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and making a 2/2 Knight Ally token. Casey draws his card for his turn, but has no play, having to pass back to Michael.
Michael starts his fifth turn with an attack by both the Gideon and the token, followed by casting a Wingmate Roc and making a 3/4 Bird token, thanks to the Raid ability. He passes his turn to Casey, who once again has no plays for his turn and simply passes back to Michael.
Michael animates his Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, and attacks Casey with all of his creatures, killing him on the sixth turn of the game!
Michael wins Game 2, and ties up the match, 1-1!
Casey chooses to play this game, and finally keeps his opening seven. However, Michael is not so fortunate, as he mulligans to five this time, pushing his scry to the bottom of his library.
Casey plays an Evolving Wilds, fetching an Island and passes the turn. Michael just has a Plains and pass. Casey has a Turn 2 play in Jace, Vryn's Prodigy while Michael only has a Shambling Vent. Casey plays his land and a Zulaport Cutthroat for his third turn and ships the turn back to Michael.
Michael has a Silkwrap targeting Jace for three, so Casey loots with the Jace, discarding a Flooded Strand. Casey tries for a Collected Company on his main phase, but misses, getting zero creatures off of the four mana instant. A non-processed Wasteland Strangler from Michael gets a clock on the board for him, followed by him passing the turn.
Catacomb Sifter brings a Eldrazi Scion token with it, as Casey starts to build his board up. For his turn, Michael attacks with his Wasteland Strangler, and then casts another Wasteland Strangler, this time, processing the Jace, Vryn's Prodigy under the Silkwrap to kill Casey's Catacomb Sifter. With that, Michael passes the turn.
"Land-go" from Casey has Michael start his turn by attacking with both Wasteland Stranglers. A block with the Eldrazi Scion drains Michael for one, thanks to the Zulaport Cutthroat, and then Michael casts a Knight of the White Orchid to fetch a Prairie Stream. In response, Casey casts Rally the Ancestors for 2, getting back a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, but that Jace pays the Ultimate Price. Michael then passes the turn back to Casey.
Casey starts his turn by casting a Nantuko Husk, followed by playing a Sidisi's Faithful, which he sacrifices to its own Exploit trigger to bounce Michael's Knight of the White Orchid. He then passes back to Michael, who attacks with all of creatures and then plays a Raided Wingmate Roc. The Bird token is not long for this world though, as Casey has another Sidisi's Faithful that sacrifices itself to bounce it to its doom. A pass back to Michael leads to another alpha strike with the team. Casey attempts to block and sacrifice with his Nantuko Husk, but a Stasis Snare stops that plan. Another draw-go from Casey is followed by an attack from all of Michael's creatures, which prompts a concession from Casey.
Michael wins Game 3, and is ahead in the match score, 2-1!
Michael Cortez ponders his plays!
Casey will choose to play in Game 4, trying to move this match to a Game 5. He keeps his opening seven, while Michael mulligans to six, putting his scry card to the bottom of his library.
Casey leads with Evolving Wilds for Plains and a Swamp, casting a Turn 2 Zulaport Cutthroat. Michael, on the other hand, only has two lands and a pass. An attack with the Cutthroat, followed by a Nantuko Husk on Turn 3 has Casey looking to put the pressure on Michael.
Michael plays a Turn 3 Knight of the White Orchid, grabbing a Prairie Stream and playing a Sunken Hollow, getting the lead on mana. He passes back to Casey, who plays a Sidisi's Faithful, sacrificing itself to bounce the Knight, and attacks for three damage.
After thinking for a bit, Michael decides to play a Stasis Snare, targeting the Nantuko Husk for his turn. In response, Casey has the Zombie Insect sacrifice itself, placing it in the graveyard for future use. Micahel passes to Casey, who attacks for one with the Zulaport Cuthroat and passes. Michael plays a Knight of the White Orchid and Wasteland Strangler with no process and is done with his turn.
Casey attempts a main phase Collected Company, which Michael attempts to Dispel. However, Casey has the Dispel for Michale's Dispel, and the Collected Company resolves, netting Casey a Catacomb Sifter and a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. He passes back to Michael, who attacks with his Wasteland Strangler and passes.
A Jace loot transforms Jace, Vryn's Prodigy into Jace, Telepath Unbound on Casey's turn. He flashes back Collected Company with the Jace's -2 ability, and nets a Nantuko Husk and Grim Haruspex for his trouble. He then casts a Sidisi's Faithful that sacrfices itself to bounce the Knight of the White Orchid. As the Faithful dies, it gets a drain, scry, and draw trigger, indicative of the power of the Rally deck. One more draw step from Michael, and he scoops up his permanents. We're going to a Game 5 to decide it all!
Casey wins Game 4, and ties the match 2-2! One game to decide the Quarterfinals!
Michael will be on the play in the deciding game and keeps his opening seven. Casey mulligans to six, and puts his scry on the bottom. One game to decide who moves on the semifinals!
Once again, both players start with "land-go" until Casey casts a Jace, Vryn's Prodigy for his second turn. Michael fetches a Swamp, followed by casting a Stasis Snare on the powerful creature. Casey plays a Evolving Wilds for his turn and passes, with Michael casting a Turn 4 Archangel of Tithes.
Casey starts the value plays by casting a Grim Haruspex and a Sidisi's Faithful, which sacrifices itself to bounce the archangel and draw a card as it dies, thanks to Grim Haruspex. Deciding to get in on the card drawing action, Michael casts Painful Truths for three on his turn, and then plays a land and passes.
An attack with Grim Haruspex starts the turn for Casey, followed by a casting of Catacomb Sifter. Casey then passes the turn back to Michael with one blue mana open. Michael starts his turn by casting Transgress the Mind, taking a Collected Company. He then casts Wasteland Strangler, processing the Collected Company, to kill the Grim Haruspex. Casey's Rally deck isn't the only deck that can get value!
Casey casts another Sidisi's Faithful to bounce the Wasteland Strangler, followed by casting a second Catacomb Sifter. Casey attacks and passes the turn to Michael. A Silkwrap takes care of one Catacomb Sifter, which is immediately processed by the Wasteland Strangler to kill the other Catacomb Sifter.
Murderous Cut by Casey kills the Wasteland Strangler, and an attack by the two Eldrazi Scion tokens puts Michael to six life. On Michael's turn, he casts a Transgress the Mind that whiffs, as Casey has a Zulaport Cutthroat and a Rally the Ancestors in hand. After some thinking by Michael, he plays an Archangel of Tithes and passes.
Casey casts Rally the Ancestors for three on his turn by sacrificing one Eldrazi Scion token. It brings two Sidisi's Faithful, a Grim Haruspex, and a Catacomb Sifter with it. After some confusion about triggers, Casey ends up drawing two cards, along with scrying two cards to the bottom, and having a board of Catacomb Sifter and two Eldrazi Scion. An attack by one of the Eldrazi Scion puts Michael to five life, and after all that, Casey passes the turn.
Michael recasts his Archangel of Tithes, and passes back to Casey. A Collected Company nets Casey a Sidisi's Faithful and with its exploit trigger on the stack, Michael attempts to cast Ultimate Price on the Sidisi's Faithful, but Casey has a Dispel for it. Attacks with the two Eldrazi Scion put Michael to three life, and then Casey passes the turn to him.
For a third consecutive turn, Michael casts his Archangel of Tithes, and passes the turn to Casey. Zulaport Cutthroat comes down for Casey, followed by Nantuko Husk. Michael responds to the Nantuko Husk by casting Stasis Snare, but had to tap a Caves of Koilos to do so. After taking one damage from it, Casey sacrifices both his Eldrazi Scion, killing Michael for exact damage!
Casey wins Game 5, and wins the match 3-2! Casey moves on to the semifinals!