Quarterfinals: Drew Levin (RUG Delver) vs. Javier Arevalo (BUG Delver)
Javier Arevalo in the Quarterfinals of the Invitational
Drew Levin was up and on site early, his excitement about the opportunity to play for the Invitational trophy barely contained. But as he and his opponent, the laid-back Javier Arevalo, sat down for their quarterfinal match, Drew’s expression grew very serious, morphing into something like a game face.
Javier and his BUG Delver deck had earned the right to play first by landing one spot ahead of Drew’s RUG Tempo deck in the standings, and he started things off with a Tarmogoyf after Drew set up with a Ponder. Daze shot out of Drew’s hand, his Tropical Island jumping back up equally quickly, and Drew’s confidence seemed to grow with every turn. Nimble Mongoose crept in as he replayed the Tropical Island and Javier was back at it.
Tarmogoyf fell to Force of Will, leaving Javier to take a hit from the 1/1 mongoose, but Drew was quick to jump on Javier with a Tarmogoyf. Jace, the Mind Sculptor sent the ‘goyf back to Drew’s hand, but Thought Scour pumped the Nimble Mongoose up from nowhere, letting the little guy eat Jace and punishing Javier even further. Another Tarmogoyf, this one foil, solidified Drew’s position after combat, and the Umezawa’s Jitte and Dark Confidant Javier battled back with were nowhere near good enough as Lightning Bolt cleared a path to Javier’s face.
Drew 1, Javier 0
Javier jumped out front with Hymn to Tourach on turn two, but Drew went for Brainstorm to hide his goodies. He found Daze and tried to stick it to the powerful discard spell, but Javier had his own free Force Spike and Drew lost Tropical Island and Volcanic Island. Drew sent more lands to the yard with a Wasteland, resetting the game at no permanents,
That was okay with Javier as he got to get his Tarmogoyf into play first and he punished Drew again with a second Daze on a matching Tarmogoyf. Inquisition of Kozilek stole a Chain Lightning from Drew and revealed twin copies of Submerge that would be devastating if Drew ever got the chance to catch them. Fortunately for Javier, he had bounced his only Forest—Tropical Island—with the previous Daze and worked hard to finish the game without replaying it and turning on the brutal free spells.
Tarmogoyf, Nimble Mongoose and Delver of Secrets all worked their way off the top of Drew’s deck and onto his board, but Javier had Ghastly Demise to clear out the opposing Tarmogoyf, letting his keep getting in for four points at a time. Drew was quickly down to four and had to throw his guys in the way, losing each of his guys one-by-one. He ran out of defenses, however, grimacing at the four copies of Submerge he ended the game with.
Drew 1, Javier 1
Drew quickly shipped his first hand back while Javier had to think about his. Drew dared him to keep it, and eventually Javier did.
Nimble Mongoose quickly put Javier in a tough spot, which got even tougher when his double Wasteland draw failed to turn up any colored sources. The Nimble Mongoose pecked away while Javier scrambled for ways to play his spells, but the Wastelands meant Drew was also stuck without lands.
Javier recovered first, finding a basic Island with Polluted Delta and landing a Delver of Secrets that forced Nimble Mongoose to stay home. A second fetchland dug up a Swamp for Javier, letting him pluck Sulfuric Vortex from Drew’s loaded hand. This time the Nimble Mongoose traded with the Delver of Secrets, but Javier replaced it quickly with his remaining untapped land, and his hand of double Daze, Brainstorm, Snapcaster Mage, and Tarmogoyf looked like it was ready to take over in a hurry if Drew couldn’t find lands to fight back with.
He couldn’t, and he was forced to discard a couple of turns later as the Delver of Secrets flipped and started getting him. Javier looked to close it out, firing off a pair of Brainstorms to dig for a land, and he found just what he was looking for in Verdant Catacombs. Tropical Island enabled Tarmogoyf to put Drew on just a two turn clock, and Drew, unable to find a single land to go with his first two, could only shake his head as he shook Javier’s hand in concession.
Javier wins the match 2-1