Quarterfinals: Daryl Ayers vs. Bob Huang
RUG Delver versus BUG Delver, a pair of tempo decks that have managed to survive the recent tide of Junk Depths decks, Reanimator, and the printing of True-Name Nemesis. Which tempo menace featuring Delver of Secrets would come out on top?
Daryl, as the top overall seed, led with Ponder while his opponent, who snuck into the top 8 on tiebreakers, began with Wasteland on the dual land. This proved to be quite the play, as Daryl’s follow-up Brainstorm locked his library for a few turns! Bob was able to use those turns to make land drops, while Daryl had to use a Ponder to shuffle away the chaff on top in search of real estate. He failed to find the mana he needed though, while Bob continued to function normally. He even found Wasteland to take out Daryl’s last land.
Daryl moved to his discard step (not a good sign) as Bob finally committed to the board with Tombstalker. Daryl attempted Force of Will, but Bob’s Daze let the 5/5 Demon resolve. Daryl, finding yet another nonland on top, scooped and got ready for game two.
Bob 1, Daryl 0.
Daryl and Bob both led with fetchlands and no turn one plays, which spelled out yet another grindy match that may be dependent on Wastelands. Indeed, Daryl used Wasteland on turn two to deprive Bob of mana and then cast Mongoose… while Bob also Wastelanded! Both players had another land to pass that test though, and in the meantime the shroud Mongoose got in for a few damage.
Daryl used Stifle to go for a fetchland activation, which resolved, and Bob stayed right there on only Underground Sea. Now with six cards in the graveyard, Daryl added the magical seventh card to turn the cute fluffy green dude into a ferocious 3/3 with Wooded Foothills. Bob fell to 14 on attacks before he untapped, and when he did he used a fetchland.
“That one is going to resolve.”
That fetch helped also resolve Deathrite Shaman, and then Ponder as well. After a bit of deliberation, he kept his Ponder and passed. Daryl used Bob’s end step to resolve a Brainstorm before untapping and dropping Bob to 10. Delver of Secrets, the first of the match strangely, joined Daryl’s side of things as well. Bob dropped another Deathrite Shaman on his turn, but that wouldn’t stop a 3/2 flyer (thanks to a flip on his upkeep)… unless Abrupt Decay came out of Bob’s hand. The Nimble Mongoose got in there though, and Bob fell to 7 with Daryl at 17.
Bob went for Liliana of the Veil, which was met by Force of Will, as Daryl removed Daze to help counter the Innistrad bad girl. As one of the few ways for Bob to deal with Nimble Mongoose, Bob needed to get to stepping on answering the 3/3! Bob grew to 8 with a Deathrite activation, but fell right back to 5 thanks to the toothy Odyssey mammal. Forked Bolt took care of the Deathrite Shaman number one, and with a four card cushion on threshold (eleven total in Daryls’ bin) the wiggle room was shrinking. Tarmogoyf after combat further added to the clock, as Deathrite gaining two was no match for the now big green army.
Abrupt Decay took care of the Tarmogoyf precombat, but Nimble Mongoose could still rumble with the best of them! Bob found Ponder to dig, and noticed that he’d removed all of the creatures from graveyards already.
“No more life gain for me…”
“Time to die!”
“That’s not good…”
Bob fell to 2 and then had to chump block the Mongoose, and after a Tarmogoyf joined the party Bob fell to the shrouded animal.
“That guy is far too nimble.”
Bob 1, Daryl 1.
“Back to playing fair Magic.”
With no Wasteland tricks so far this game, elimination spells on creatures reigned, just like Richard Garfield drew it up. Tarmogoyf got Dazed as well. Daryl used a Ponder on his next turn, and decided he didn’t like what he found on top of his library. Bob continued his land drops, and also added Tarmogoyf. Daryl added both Nimble Mongoose and Delver of Secrets on his turn, preparing for a race. ‘Goyf got in there for four, dropping Daryl to 15, and then Bob added a Delver of his own before passing.
Another Forked Bolt knocked out Bob’s Delver before Daryl swung in for four (thanks to getting to achieving threshold off a Wasteland activation on Underground Sea) to knock Bob to 12. Daryl fell to 11 from the 4/5, and the race was on! Abrupt Decay put a bit of a wrench in things by removing Daryl’s Delver, but Bob still fell to 9. Daryl added his own Tarmogoyf… which immediately ate another Abrupt Decay. Bob fell to 6, and another Mongoose came down for Daryl. Bob’s ‘Goyf stayed on defense now, as the race was going to be over sooner rather than later.
Daryl had two 3/3 shroud Mongooses, and Bob had a 1/1 Delver of Secrets and a 4/5 Tarmogoyf while at 3 life. He also had one card in hand, so Daryl had to figure out how to best approach this combat step. He elected to swing with both Mongooses, and Bob elected to block with ‘Goyf on one, and then chump block the other with the Delver. Bob was still cautious, keeping his Tarmogoyf back on defense. He even Dazed a Vendilion Clique to survive another turn, and then Bob resolved Liliana of the Veil. But Daryl had both Lightning Bolt at end of turn as well as a second on his turn to finish off the game without using the combat step.
Daryl 2, Bob 1.