Quarterfinals: Charlie Rinehart vs. Ivan Torres
Ivan Torres had fought his way through a tough round 10 win-and-in to make it into the top 8, where his G/R Monsters deck now faced stiff competition in the form of Charlie Rhinehart’s B/W Midrange.
Ivan kicked things off with Forest into Elvish Mystic. Charlie had a turn 1 play of his own, firing off Thoughtseize to snatch away Stormbreath Dragon, leaving Ivan with only a Mizzium Mortars and lands in his hand. The intrepid Elvish Mystic swung across for one damage, and Ivan passed back. Charlie completed the dreaded Black midrange one-two punch with a turn 2 Pack Rat, but Ivan quickly dispatched it with Mizzium Mortars, dropping Charlie to 16 with his Mystic before ending his turn.
Charlie considered his options for a bit before using Banishing Light to get rid of Ivan’s Elvish Mystic. When Ivan again had no play, Charlie applied pressure with a Desecration Demon. Ivan showed him two more copies of Mizzium Mortars, swatting the giant Demon from the skies. Charlie had no follow-up play from hand, but did take the opportunity to crash in with his Mutavault, dropping Ivan to 18.
Ivan next found Domri Rade, which ticked up but saw only a land, and quickly met a Hero’s Downfall. Charlie upped the ante with a Blood Baron of Vizopa off the top, and Ivan topdecked right back with a Stormbreath Dragon, which knocked Charlie down to 12. Charlie untapped and killed off the dragon with Ultimate Price, then activated his two Mutavaults and attacked with his team, dropping Ivan to 10 and climbing back up to 16.
Ivan found no further action, and two turns later Charlie’s Blood Baron and Mutavaults closed out the first game.
Charlie Rinehart 1, Ivan Torres 0
Ivan again started the game off with an Elvish Mystic, and Charlie again opened up with a Thoughtseize, seeing a hand of Courser of Kruphic, Domri Rade, Plummet, and two Sylvan Caraytids. After some deliberations, he sniped the Domri Rade. Ivan didn’t find his land, but added Sylvan Caryatid to the board. Charlie had only a tapped Godless Shrine, and Ivan cast the Domri Rade he had drawn on his next turn, ticking up but missing. Charlie was quick to exile it with a Banishing Light.
Courser of Kruphix arrived next turn for Ivan, who plucked a land from the top of his deck and cast his second Sylvan Caryatid. Charlie cast an Underworld Connections and activated it, passing back to Ivan tapped out, and was met with Stormblood Dragon, who came across swinging, dropping Charlie to 8. Charlie cast a Desecration Demon to block, but picked up his cards after Ivan destroyed it with Plummet.
Charlie Rinehart 1, Ivan Torres 1
Charlie didn’t have a play on his first two turns, and Ivan established his mana base early with Elvish Mystic into Sylvan Caryatid. When Charlie again played a land and passed on turn 3, Ivan looked to get the beats started with a Xenagos the Reveler. Charlie killed it off with a Hero’s Downfall, but still fell to 18 from the Satyr token. He untapped and slammed Desecration Demon.
Ivan found a big follow up in the form of Polukranos, World Eater. He fell to 14 from the Desecration Demon on Charlie’s turn, and then lost his Polukranos to a Banishing Light. He deliberated for a while before casting Domri Rade, ticking it up to find an Elvish Mystic, which he cast. He attacked Charlie for 3, dropping him to 13.
That Elvish Mystic was promptly fed to the Desecration Demon on Charlie’s next attack step, but Charlie pressed the issue by casting a second copy of the 6/6 flier post-combat. Ivan played a Temple of Abandon and liked the card that he saw. He ticked his Domri Rade up and didn’t even bother checking the top, revealing that the card he kept on top was not a creature. He then passed the turn back with mana open.
When Charlie declared his attack step, Ivan took a moment in the tank before deciding to Destructive Revelry Charlie’s Banishing Light, unlocking his Polukranos, World Eater and knocking Charlie down to 11. He fed Sylvan Caryatid to the 7/7 Demon, growing it to 8/8, but allowed the other to attack, and Charlie quickly sent it across to get rid of Domri Rade. Post-Combat, he killed off Polukranos for good with a Hero’s Downfall and cast a Pack Rat.
Ivan revealed that the mystery spell on top of his deck was Plummet, which got rid of the 8/8 Demon. He then cast the last card in his hand, a second Domri Rade, and had his Elvish Mystic fight the Pack Rat. He fed his last creature, a Sylvan Caryatid, to the Desecration Demon, but Charlie tightened the screws with a freshly drawn Blood Baron of Vizkopa.
Ivan ticked Domri up to find a Courser of Kruphix, then found a land to go to 15, but he would need more help than that to overcome the giant monsters on Charlie’s side of the board. Blood Baron attacked Ivan, the Desecration Demon dispatched Domri Rade, and Charlie cast Elspeth, Sun’s Champion post-combat.
Ivan found a second Courser of Kruphix, which wouldn’t do the trick. A turn later he extended the hand.
Charlie Rinehart 2, Ivan Torres 1