Quarterfinals: David Gearhart vs. Alex Hon
David's psyched for the Top 8, and the afterparty.
Playing a deck of his own design (and considerable obsession), David Gearhart cracked the Top 8 in Charlotte with a brew he likes to call “Shot in the Dark!” His opponent this round was Alex Hon, who had cruised into the elimination rounds with considerable ease playing Bant.
Alex mulled to six, David keeping seven, and Alex began with Misty Rainforest. Flooded Strand for David, while Alex had a natural Tropical island on the following turn, but no plays. David followed suit with just Marsh Flats and the end of the turn.
Blinking first, Alex fetched Tundra, played Plains, and cast Knight of the Reliquary. David responded with Brainstorm, digging for an answer to the powerful three-drop. Resolving the draw spell, he fetched for Plains with Marsh Flats and then untapped on 18 life. Playing Tundra, he used Swords to Plowshares to kill the Knight, safely dodging Daze, before casting Thopter Foundry and passing the turn.
Alex replaced his Knight after playing Forest, and David tried to sneak down Sword of the Meek—Spell Snare countered it, earning a shrug. Bringing the beatdown, Alex played Noble Hierarch then Maze of Ith and cracked in with Knight, untapping it after damage to search up Wasteland and stunt David’s mana. During Alex’s end step, David Tutored for Seat of the Synod, untapping and playing a fourth land before using all of them to cast Humility!
Reduced to 1/1s, Alex battled for 2 damage and passed. David had full control, playing Seat of the Synod to recur his Sword and start making guys. He blocked Alex’s next assault, killing the Hierarch but not the Knight, who was saved by Maze of Ith. More tokens appeared, and David now began to attack. Five tokens, then another five—Alex found himself knocking on death’s door in just a handful of turns.
“Herp derf!” Yes David, quite the combo.
David 1, Alex 0
Leading fetchland on turn 1, Alex grabbed Tundra after David played Ancient Den and Mox Opal. Stoneforge Mystic for Alex grabbed Batterskull, presenting a quick threat, but David was content to drop Thopter Foundry via Tundra, gaining metalcraft. Interesting early turns as each of these players set up shop.
Spell Pierce countered an Enlightened Tutor during Alex’s end step, but David untapped into Flooded Strand before casting Brainstorm. Fetching Underground Sea after he replaced two cards, David cast Sensei’s Divining Top and ended the turn, ready to take his lumps from the 4/4 Germ.
Alex bashed for 5 with both dudes before using Stoneforge Mystic numero dos to search for Sword of Light and Shadow. He played Maze of Ith and passed the turn, David taking the opportunity to resolve an Enlightened Tutor into Sword of the Meek. He Topped, and then cast it on the following turn, beginning the crazy token production he was capable of. Spell Snare wouldn’t even slow him down this time—he immediately made one guy, and ended the turn with two mana up.
While he wasn’t in any danger, Alex wasn’t really getting anywhere at the moment, either. David would eventually Top his way into a Bridge and/or Humility, locking out the majority of what Alex was doing… unless he could solve this board state first. Sure enough, David had Humility on the following turn, and Alex failed to find an answer with Brainstorm—he just dropped Sword of Light and Shadow into play.
Alex shuffles up for the tense match ahead.
On 15 life, David sent turn back to Alex, who took the time to verify Batterskull’s interaction against Humility. Because Humility entered play later, the Germ lacked the effects of the equipment, beyond its size enhancement. He needed the mana to move it around, with a fetchland and Noble Hierarch supplying exactly that.
Of course, David had it all covered—Oblivion Ring and Ensnaring Bridge shut down Alex’s ability to race the Thopters, and he now needed artifact destruction, and fast. David tried another Foundry, earning a Spell Snare, and made four Thopters. Now, he could begin attacking and once Alex passed the turn, he did so.
Swinging for 3 damage due to Maze of Ith, David played a land and made seven more Thopters. Jace, the Mind Sculptor on Alex’s side of the board provided some potential, but the top of the deck just had more irrelevant spells. He had a fetchland to shuffle, and would certainly want to use it.
David jammed all his tokens at Jace, and played a very deadly win condition after combat: Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas! Boosting the planeswalker, he didn’t nab an artifact and now threatened 34 damage via its ultimate… and that’s without making more before he popped the big guy! Alex played a new Jace, but when nothing else revealed itself, he conceded the game.
David 2, Alex 0