Quarterfinals: Chris Vanmeter vs. Jason Ellis
Island on his main phase to play around Stifle, but had no further play. Neither player actually had a play on the first two turns, although when Chris passed the turn on turn 3 after playing his third land, Jason attempted an end step Brainstorm, which met a Spell+Pierce from Chris.
Delver+of+Secrets came down on turn 3 from Jason, and Chris again simply played a land and passed the turn back. Jason attempted another Brainstorm on Chris’s end step, and this time it resolved. This allowed him to set up a Ponder on the top of his deck to flip up Insectile+Aberration, which came swinging at CVM and dropped him to 15. Nimble+Mongoose was the follow up, a single card away from hitting threshold.
Chris knew his window was closing, and he attempted a Sneak+Attack. Jason countered it with a Force+of+Will, pitching Daze, and Chris passed the turn. Jason’s beaters dropped Chris down to 9 on his attack step, and a post-combat Brainstorm found a Wasteland, which destroyed Chris’s Ancient+Tomb.
CVM held just an Emrakul%2C+the+Aeons+Torn and lands, but found a Ponder on his draw step. He cast it to find a pair of Brainstorms and a Force+of+Will sitting on top of his deck. With the Flooded+Strand in his hand, he could potentially get a fresh look with the Brainstorm, but to do so would require taking 1 from the fetchland and 2 from an Ancient+Tomb, falling to 6—exactly dead to Jason’s creatures. He took a moment in the tank before concluding that the risk was worth it. He kept a Brainstorm, shuffled his deck with Flooded+Strand, and cast the Brainstorm, finding Polluted Delta… Force of Will… and Show+and+Tell!
Jason: “Keep or Sneep?”
Chris: “Probably better than a random four.”
CVM followed up with a Volcanic+Island and a Brainstorm. Jason didn’t find a land, and passed back. Chris quickly slammed the door shut with a City+of+Traitors and a Show+and+Tell, putting Griselbrand into play.
It was over three turns later, Jason still without a permanent in play.
Chris Vanmeter 1, Jason Ellis 1
Jason led off with a Ponder in the decider, and Chris fired off a Gitaxian+Probe, seeing Tarmogoyf, Brainstorm, Daze, Red+Elemental+Blast, Tropical+Island, and Wasteland in Jason’s hand. Chris then went for a Ponder of his own, and Jason contemplated a Daze before letting it resolve. Jason plopped a Tarmogoyf into play on his turn 2, looking to apply some pressure.
After Chris simply played his second land and passed back, Jason attempted a Pithing+Needle. Chris countered it with a Spell+Pierce, and fell to 15 from Jason’s Tarmogoyf. Chris drew, played a land, and passed back, his hand full of countermagic but without any combo action.
Jason fired off a Brainstorm, swung for three with his Tarmogoyf, and shipped back, sitting on three untapped lands. Chris drew a Ponder and attempted to cast it, but Jason responded with a Red+Elemental+Blast. Chris let it resolve, played his land, and passed back to Jason, who simply attacked for 3 again and passed.
Chris continued to draw nothing but air, and the Tarmogoyf kept on swinging. He fell to 9, and then to 5, after a Wasteland activation grew the Tarmogoyf to 4/5. Chris drew Gitaxian+Probe and cast it, seeing Nimble+Mongoose, Daze, Pyroblast, and a pair of Stifles. The Probe drew CVM into a Brainstorm, but the Brainstorm didn’t find him the miracle win that he needed, and CVM extended the hand in defeat.
Jason Ellis 2, Chris+Vanmeter 1