Quarterfinals: Cody Napier vs. Reuben Bresler
Cody was one of the many Elves players in the room, and had cracked the Top 8 as a high seed. Reuben, on a break from his duties coordinating content for SCGLive, might have an uphill battle with Baltimore’s deck of the week: Imperial Painter.
Reuben makes the most of being on the other side of the camera for a change.
A mulligan for Reuben while Cody quickly kept. Fetching on turn 1, Cody grabbed a basic Forest and cast Deathrite Shaman. Lightning Bolt following a fetch for Mountain slew the 1/2, and Reuben sent the turn back to Cody. Fetching once more, he cast Elvish Visionary and ended the turn. Reuben cast Painter’s Servant on turn 2 via City of Traitors, naming blue and leaving up a Mountain. That threatened Pyroblast...
Which Reuben did cast on Cody’s Glimpse of Nature. Nettle Sentinel followed, but no other plays from Cody left him vulnerable. Reuben floated two, played another City of Traitors, and dropped Grindstone. Cody conceded to the mill!
“That was a very good mulligan to six.”
Reuben 1, Cody 0
On the play once more, Cody kept his seven while Reuben did the same. Fetching Forest, Cody cast turn 1 Green Sun’s Zenith for Dryad Arbor. Playing Mountain, Reuben played Sensei’s Divining Top and ended the turn. Another Zenith came from Cody, this one grabbing Quirion Ranger to effectively make the Zenith free. With the two mana regained, he cast Elvish Visionary.
Reuben drew and then Topped after playing his Mountain, debating a few different plays from the look of things. He decided to end the turn, and Cody retaliated with Gaea’s Cradle before casting Heritage Druid via Forest. Reuben popped the Top and cast Lightning Bolt targeting the Quirion Ranger. Cody binned it, and then made four mana in order to Natural Order his Heritage Druid into Craterhoof Behemoth.
The trigger gave Cody an attack for 12 and put Reuben to 8 life with only 7 damage threatening him on Cody’s next turn—not the worst place to be for a combo deck. His third land was an Arid Mesa, complicating things significantly. He replayed his Top and cast Grindstone, passing and hoping to survive the turn. Cody attacked him to 1 life and sent Reuben to the top of the deck—he came up dry.
Cody's down a game, but not out!
Reuben 1, Cody 1
Mutual keeps, with Reuben starting on Ancient Tomb and Painter’s Servant, naming blue. Did he have the everyday casual turn 2 kill?
Fetching Forest, Cody played Quirion Ranger and no doubt mentally crossed his fingers. Reuben fetched up Mountain on the next turn and exiled Simian Spirit Guide to get four mana—but he used it to play Chandra, Pyromaster! That zapped the Quirion Ranger, and Reuben attacked for 1 damage. Cody played Deathrite Shaman on the next turn and a fetchland, significantly stymied for now.
A second Painter’s Servant for Reuben named blue before Pyroblast executed the Deathrite Shaman, and another attack for 1 damage followed. Running low on options, Cody played Dryad Arbor and passed to Reuben. Chandra slew the Arbor before Reuben attacked, and Imperial Recruiter after combat left Reuben at 11 due to his Ancient Tomb and searched for Phyrexian Revoker.
Casting it and going to 9, Reuben named Heritage Druid. In the end step, Cody fetched Bayou and played Abrupt Decay on one Painter’s Servant. Drawing Wirewood Symbiote, Cody sighed. “That Chandra is ridiculous against me!” He played Gaea’s Cradle and then Wirewood Symbiote before Green Sun’s Zenith for one grabbed Deathrite Shaman once more.
Using Chandra’s zero, Reuben found Grindstone and activated it, aiming at Cody. He binned his deck except for one Progenitus, but he didn’t have the necessary combination of cards to kill Reuben in his one final turn.
Chandra in Legacy... Who'd have thought?
Reuben 2, Cody 1