Quarterfinals: Connor Thompson vs. Alex Mitchell
Connor's Jund list is very vulnerable to a Geist with evasion.
Connor wasn’t the only Jund pilot to crack the Top 8, but his take on the archetype was a little different, sporting Strangleroot+Geist for some aggression with Sire+of+Insanity up top. The lack of Liliana+of+the+Veil and Connor’s choice to run Mizzium+Mortars over Bonfire+of+the+Damned made Alex’s Bant Hexproof build the favorite.
Alex announced a keep, but Connor threw back his starting seven in search of a stronger defense. He knew he’d need one after perusing Alex’s Bant Hexproof decklist, which would overrun his weaker hands in short order. No turn 1 for Alex after Breeding+Pool, while Connor led Blood+Crypt. Hallowed+Fountain and pass for Alex let Connor get the jump with a turn 2 Farseek.
Cavern+of+Souls for Cleric made Geist+of+Saint+Traft on turn 3, giving Alex one of his best threats. Connor had a fourth land, but no play meant he was falling very far behind. Spectral+Flight and Ethereal+Armor gave Geist some serious legs, and Alex attacked for 10 damage. Huntmaster+of+the+Fells gave Alex the life he needed to avoid being dead on the board, but Unflinching+Courage sealed the deal on the next turn.
Alex put together a potent start in both games.
Alex 1, Connor 0
Another mulligan kicked off the second game for Connor, while Alex quickly kept his seven. Those six became five, and with a heavy sigh that five became four. He started Rootbound+Crag, while Alex began with a shockland and Avacyn’s Pilgrim. Strangleroot+Geist off a shockland hit Alex down to 16, but he took the lead in the race on the next turn by casting Geist+of+Saint+Traft.
Connor decided not to attack, playing a land and hoping he’d get a chance to block, but Spectral+Flight and Rancor sent the Geist to the skies, leaving Connor on 8 life after taking 10 damage. Strangleroot+Geist went back on offense, but Huntmaster+of+the+Fells could not keep Connor alive.
Alex 2, Connor 0