Quarterfinals: Donovan Schulz vs. Derek Thill
Derek Thill is looking to make his mark with G/R Monsters, while Donovan Schulz brings Mardu Midrange to this quarterfinal.
Elvish Mystic on turn 1 looked to accelerate proceedings for Derek, while Donovan opened up the game with a turn 2 Seeker of the Way. Sylvan Caryatid came right behind the Mystic, setting Derek up to get his proper threats into play on turn 3. Donovan continued to apply pressure, however, casting Hordeling Outburst on turn 3 and attacking in for 3 with his Seeker. Derek solidified the ground no his next turn, casting Xenagos, the Reveler and making a 2/2 Satyr, as well as adding a second Elvish Mystic to his board.
The offensive officially began on Donovan’s turn 4 as he cast Sorin, Solemn Visitor and ticked it up, then crashed in with a 4/3 Seeker of the Way and a trio of 2/1 Goblins. The Seeker dealt it’s damage to Derek, while all 3 Goblins were headed for his Xenagos, which Derek declined to defend. Donovan passed with 32 life, an active planeswalker, and a sizeable army. Derek, deciding he could go for some tokens of his own, drew and played his fourth land and tapped out for Hornet Queen, shipping back.
Donovan came crashing in again with his tokens and Seeker, and Derek traded off all but one of his Insect Tokens. Donovan followed up with another Hordeling Outburst to re-establish his board, then passed back. Stormbreath Dragon came next from Derek, and it sailed over Donovan’s tokens to knock out the Sorin, Solemn Visitor. Donovan didn’t like his attacks on the next turn and passed back without play. He took four damage from the Stormbreath Dragon, but had Crackling Doom at the ready when Derek tried to make it Monstrous at Donovan’s next end step.
With the board more or less at a stalemate, both players simply took their draw steps and passed over the next few turns. Derek began making some headway first with a replacement Xenagos, the Reveler, and then with an Ashcloud Phoenix on the following turn. Donovan found another Sorin, Solemn Visitor and used it’s +1 ability, then came attacking with his four 2/1 tokens. A Satyr Token and two Elvish Mystics traded off with three of them, and Sylvan Caryatid blocked the other. Derek felt it was now safe to attack, so he sent his Satyr token and his Ashcloud Phoenix at the Sorin. The Phoenix met a Crackling Doom, and the Sorin lived for one more turn.
Donovan used Sorin’s ability to make a 2/2 flying Vampire, and added a big Stormbreath Dragon to his board. Derek had been sandbagging a Crater’s Claws, and used it to shoot the Dragon out of the skies. His Satyrs were able to finish off the Sorin, and Hornet Queen traded off with the Vampire, leaving Donovan without a board. He quickly drew and cast Goblin Rabblemaster to begin rebuilding.
Derek found Courser of Kruphix to hold the ground, and began whittling away at Donovan’s life total with his Satyr Tokens. Donovan fell swiftly from 42 to 34, then to 24, then to 12. Finding no help from the top of his deck, Donovan scooped up his cards.
Derek Thill 1, Donovan Schulz 0
Donovan had a pair of scrylands to start the game, while Derek’s acceleration this time took the form of a turn 2 Rattleclaw Mystic. A Goblin Rabblemaster on turn 3 was the first proper threat, sending in one 1/1 Goblin immediately. Derek simply played a Temple of Abandon and passed right back. Donovan had the option of adding a second Rabblemaster to his board to amp up the assault, but held it back, simply attacking with his two tokens and passing.
Derek decide he’d had enough of the Rabblemaster, and killed it off with a Crater’s Claws. A Stormbreath Dragon joined the fray for Donovan and he attacked Derek down to 11. Derek had the trump in the form of Sarkhan, Dragonspeaker, which shot down the Stormbreath Dragon, but it was left at a precarious 1 loyalty, and the second Goblin Rabblemaster provided enough pressure to get the planeswalker off the board.
Anger of the Gods from Derek cleared the board of all Goblins, but Donovan simply replaced the Rabbleamaster with another from his hand. Derek found two Sylvan Caryatids and a Courser of Kruphix to stabilize the ground, but Chained to the Rocks dispatched with the 2/4 and Sorin, Solemn Visitor came down to create some additional pressure. Derek found his seventh mana source and slammed Hornet Queen into play. He was able to trade off his Insect Tokens for Donovan’s Goblin army. He had Stormbreath Dragon next to provide enough damage to finish off the Sorin, but Donovan pulled the trigger on an End Hostilities to reset the board.
Another Stormbreath Dragon from Derek came down and came swinging, dropping Donovan back down to 20. Donovan did some rebuilding of his own a Seeker of the Way and the fourth Goblin Rabblemaster. Derek played a 2/2 Morph and a Xenagos, the Reveler, adding a Satyr to his board. A Lightning Strike from Donovan disposed of the Planeswalker, and another End Hostilities cleared away everything else. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion was the follow-up for Donovan, and Derek was playing off the top looking for a way to contain it.
He found Courser of Kruphix, followed by Arbor Colossus, but the 1/1 Tokens kept on swinging. Donovan drew and cast a Crackling Doom, dropping Derek to 5 and leaving him with just a single blocker, then sent in his six Soldier tokens to finish the job.
Donovan Schulz 1, Derek Thill 1
Elvish Mystic got things started for Derek in the decider, and a Thoughtseize from Donovan sniffed out the rest of his hand: Arbor Colossus, Crater’s Claws, Lightning Strike, and a pair of Xenagos, the Revelers. Donovan sniped one Xenagos with the discard spell, but Derek quickly got the other into play, made a 2/2 Satyr, and started attacking. It drew a Lightning Strike from Donovan, but the 2/2 Token and the Elvish Mystic continued to apply the beatdowns, dropping Donovan to 13.
Donovan used a second Lightning Strike to kill off Derek’s Elvish Mystic, hoping to strand him on only four mana. It worked, as Derek drew and played Courser of Kruphix, but had no fifth land. Donovan had Goblin Rabblemaster next, which drew Lightning Strike, then Stormbreath Dragon, which got in a hit for 4 damage. Derek found the fifth mana source he needed and cast Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker and shoot the Dragon out of the sky.
Crackling Doom did double duty for Donovan, killing off and the 2/2 Satyr Token that had been plaguing him and dealing 2 damage to the Sarkhan, Dragonspeaker, finishing it off. An Arbor Colossus off the top from Derek put Donovan right back in the hole, though, as he’d fallen to 9 from Satyr Token beats. He drew a Goblin Rabblemaster to chump block for one turn, then found a land, and had no recourse but to take 9 from the Colossus, and extended the hand.
Derek Thill 2, Donovan Schulz 1