Quarterfinals: Devon Paynter vs. Justin Crandall
Two stalwart Midrange decks meet here in the quarterfinals; Devon Paynter with his G/W Midrange and Justin Crandall with a Naya version. Whose big green monsters will carry them to the tomorrow's semifinal?
Devon kicked things off with an Elvish Mystic, and Justin couldn’t match, having only a Temple of Abandon on his first turn. Devon amped up the aggression on his next turn with a Fleecemane Lion, and Justin got on the board himself with a Sylvan Caryatid. After taking 3 from the Lion, he shocked himself to 14 on his next turn to add two more mana guys to his board, and met a Boon Satyr from Devon at his end step.
Devon sent his animals into the red zone, and Justin fell to 7. Justin needed a big play to stabilize, and he found one in the form of Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, ticking up to make three blockers. A second Boon Satyr arrived at Justin’s end step, and Devon sent all of his creatures at Justin after he untapped. A Soldier jumped in front of each creature except for the Elvish Mystic, and Selesnya Charm allowed Boon Satyr to trample over, dropping Just in to just one life.
Justin faced another tough decision: tick up or tick down? He decided to use Elspeth’s -3 to kill off the Boon Satyrs, then cast a Stormbreath Dragon, leaving it back to block. When Devon simply played his land and passed the turn, Justin smelled an Advent of the Wurm. He still felt safe enough to attack with his Stormbreath Dragon, and added a Polukranos, World Eater to the board in addition to the three tokens from Elspeth. Devon’s 5/5 trampling Wurm token arrived on Justin’s end step, just as advertised.
Devon didn’t like his attacks, but did add a Polukranos, World Eater of his own to the board. He simply passed the turn without attacking afterwards. Justin took a moment in the tank on his own turn, trying to decide if he could afford any attacks. He tapped all of his mana sources to monstrous his Polukranos for 4, killing off Fleecemane Lion and Elvish Mystic, then attacking with his 9/9 Polukranos and Stormbreath Dragon. Devon fell to 10 from the attacks, and Justin used Elseth’s -3 ability post-combat to clear Devon’s board.
Devon again simply drew his card and passed the turn, signaling another Advent of the Wurm. Justin cast a Stormbreath Dragon, sent it across to drop Devon to 6, then refilled on blockers, making three tokens to go to 6 total, casting Courser of Kruphix, and finding a land to gain a life. That was enough defense for Devon, who conceded the first game in the face of the incoming Stormbreath Dragon.
Justin Crandall 1, Devon Paynter 0
Turn 1 Elvish Mystic was again the play from Devon, and this time it took him straight to Boon Satyr on turn 2, which Justin took the opportunity to fry with a Magma Spray. Loxodon Smiter was the follow up, and it fell to a Mizzium Mortars. Devon’s next threat was an Ajani, Caller of the Pride, which buffed up Elvish Mystic, and Devon sent him across for two damage.
Justin shocked himself down to 16 on his turn to cast Xenagos, the Reveler, and sent a 2/2 Satyr over to hit Ajani. The Ajani, pumped up Mystic to a 3/3, and it dispatched Xenagos. Devon passed the turn with four mana up, and Justin bemoaned the potential Advent of the wurm before opting to cast an Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, putting counters on the Satyr, and killing off the opposing Ajani.
Ajanis continued to kill off their dopplegangers, as Devon’s second copy of Ajani, Caller of the Pride came down to allow Elvish Mystic to kill off Justin’s Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. A Selesnya Charm also answered the giant Satyr Token, but Matt had Polukranos, World Eater to follow up as well as a Voyaging Satyr. When he went for an attack on his next turn, Justin flashed in a 5/5 Wurm to ambush it. The 5/5s traded, and Justin played his last card, a Courser of Kruphix that revealed a spooky Stormbreath Dragon on top of his deck.
The Elvish Mystic, now a 5/5 from repeated Ajani activations, attacked Justin down to 15, and Devon followed up with a Fleecemane Lion. Stormbreath quickly entered play and attacked away the Ajani, and Devon fired right back, monstrousing his Fleecemane Lion and attacking Justin down to 6. Justin drew a Mizzium Mortars, but had no good target, and simply passed the turn, monstrousing his Stormbreath Dragon in Devon’s draw step. Devon removed the Courser of Kruphix with Banishing Light and crashed in, dropping Justin to 2 after the dragon ate the 5/5 Elf, and plopping a Voice of Resurgence into play after combat to represent lethal damage on board.
Justin needed another blocker to stabilize, and he cast Ajani, Mentor of Heroes in desperate to dig for one. He found… Sylvan Caryatid! It held the ground safely for one turn, and Devon drew and added Elvish Mystic to his team. Justin overloaded Mizzium Mortars to clear away the elf and the Voice of Resurgence, ticking Ajani up as well to grow his Sylvan Caryatid.
Advent of the Wurm and Fleecemane Lion were Devon’s next two turns, but Justin’s Ajani, Caller of Heroes continued to help him fortify, as he found another Sylvan Caryatid and grew it to a 3/6 as well. Devon had one last draw step to punch him through before Ajani gained 100 life. He looked at his top card, found a useless Temple of Plenty, and extended the hand in defeat.
Justin Crandall 2, Devon Paynter 0