Quarterfinals: David McDarby vs. Justin McPherson
Justin's piloting the Delver Humans deck advocated by Ponder for David found zero land but it did find Delver+of+Secrets and a third Ponder, which he left on top. Casting the 1/1, David passed. Doomed+Traveler boosted Justin's Champion, and he added Glacial Fortress to the field before Vapor Snagging Delver+of+Secrets. Paying 2 life, Justin cast Gitaxian probe to spot Vapor+Snag, Snapcaster+Mage, Revoke Existence, Geist+of+Saint+Traft, Delver+of+Secrets, and Mana+Leak.
David Pondered and recast his Delver after playing Glacial Fortress, leaving a mana open for Vapor+Snag if need be. Justin immediately attacked for 3, and David decided to bounce the Champion and just take 1, going to 16. Ponder for Justin preceded a pass for Justin, keeping two mana open and representing Mana+Leak.
Flipping Delver on Midnight+Haunting, David passed the turn. Snapcaster and Haunting gave him plenty of ways to threaten Justin during the opponent's turn, destroying Leak's efficiency. Facing a superior clock, Justin considered his choices before attacking. He cast Ponder, then Seachrome+Coast, and Mana Leaked David's end step Midnight+Haunting.
Jamming Geist+of+Saint+Traft, David attacked and passed, building momentum. Justin's own Geist enabled a trade, and his Champion of the Parish rejoined the party as Doomed+Traveler attacked.
Swinging Justin down to 8 life with his Insectile Aberration, David tapped out to cast Sword of War and Peaceâ€”no doubt fearing the same from Justin, who might also have the mana to equip it. Justin couldn't make that playâ€”he attacked for 2 damage and then cast Gitaxian+Probe for 2 life, seeing another Sword, Revoke+Existence, Mana+Leak, and Snapcaster+Mage. Mortarpod and an equip to Doomed+Traveler let Justin slay the Aberration. This was what David should have fearedâ€”a way for Justin to shift momentum back in his favor, making Justin's own Mana+Leaks and Vapor+Snags much more powerful.
David drew and played Geist+of+Saint+Traft, hoping to close this out on his next combat stepâ€”but Justin's second Geist made the trade. He attacked David to 10 life, and sent the turn. He even had the Mana+Leak for David's Snapcaster+Mage during the main phaseâ€”Justin had all the answers over the last couple turns, and David was running out of steam fast.
Invisible+Stalker met Snapcaster+Mage on Mana+Leak, and now David faced a lethal attack! He Vapor Snagged the Champion to stay alive, and fell to 5 on Justin's next turn. Declining to equip Mortarpod, Justin passed with a ton of mana availableâ€”that could not be good for David.
Justin led Plains, but he found Island on turn 2 and Pondered while David did nothing. Doomed+Traveler resolved immediately after, and Justin passed the turn. Shrugging, David played Geist of Saint Traftâ€”would it live, for once? Nope. Phantasmal+Image copied the Geist, and Traveler reduced David to 17.
Sticking Sword+of+War+and+Peace, David passed the turn, out of creatures for the moment. Doomed+Traveler attacked him, and Justin faked casting Snapcaster+Mage before playing Plains and ending the turn.
Moorland+Haunt for David gave him some hope, and he passed. Gut+Shot took out the Haunt Spirit that Justing had generated, but Divine Offering eliminated David's Sword during Justin's turn. During the end step, David made another Spirit and moved to his own turn.
Replacing his Sword+of+War+and+Peace, David got in for some damage but was in bad shape due to that Snapcaster+Mage. It rebought Divine Offering and destroyed the Sword, leaving David once again without a threat. He passed after drawing for the turn, at Justin's mercy. Justin swung with everything, Vapor+Snag eliminating one token but the two Spirits not trading.
Adding misery to the situation, Justin played Geist of Saint Traft. David topdecked one to trade, staving off that beating, but he was still very far behindâ€”the Geist became a Spirit token during his end step. Drawing for turn, Justin found Sword+of+War+and+Peace waiting for him on top of the deck. Gut+Shot on Snapcaster+Mage couldn't save David from a hit, as Justin had enough mana to move the Sword again.
On 3 life, David peeled at the top for help. Snapcaster+Mage was a step in the right directionâ€”it flashbacked Vapor+Snag and let David stay alive at 2 life, killing a Spirit token. The next card didn't give David another dodge for the Spirit, and that was the match.
Justin 2, David 0