Quarterfinals: Dustin Biggers vs. Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones has marched through the swiss with his Deathblade deck, but he was in for a grind against Dustin Biggers and his UW Miracles.
Dustin sets up the hard lock.
Dustin kept his seven, but Kevin took two mulligans to start things off.
Both players spent the early turns jockeying over mana. Dustin led with Tundra, Kevin Wastelanded it, and Dustin played a Scalding Tarn and fetched Island. Dustin used a Brainstorm at Kevin’s end step to ensure he hit his land drop, played a Plains, and Kevin attempted the same. He didn’t find one on the first try, but on his main phase he went for Brainstorm number two, and this one located an Underground Sea, which allowed him to cast Deathrite Shaman. It didn’t last long, though, as Dustin killed it off at Kevin’s end step with Swords to Plowshares.
Dustin found his third land and, content that his manabase was sufficiently developed, attempted a Counterbalance. Kevin responded with a Snapcaster Mage, but had no more mana to flash anything back, and Counterbalance resolved. He then untapped and cast Umezawa’s Jitte, which resolved through the Counterbalance. Dustin passed without a play, but showed Swords to Plowshares when Kevin attempted to equip.
On the next turn cycle, Dustin cast a Vendilion Clique in Kevin’s upkeep. Kevin killed it off with a Diabolic edict in response to the trigger, but then revealed Lilliana of the Veil, Swords to Plowshares, Brainstorm, and two copies of True-Name Nemesis. The Liliana was sent to the bottom. Kevin had no further play, and Dustin attempted a Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Kevin cast Brainstorm in response, but Dustin flipped Sensei’s Divining Top with his Counterbalance, and the Jace came down, netting a free Brainstorm for Dustin.
Kevin found his third land and attempted a True-Name Nemesis, but Dustin revealed that the card he had left on top was Entreat the Angels. On his own turn, he developed his mana, activated Jace, The Mind Sculptor’s Brainstorm effect, and played his Sensei’s Divining Top. Kevin cast his other True-Name Nemesis, and Counterbalance revealed the same Entreat the Angels. Dustin simply drew a card, Brainstormed with Jace, and passed, and Kevin attempted a Liliana of the Veil. Dustin decided he didn’t care about that one, allowing it to resolve through his Counterbalance, but activated the Sensei’s Divining Top at Kevin’s end step to reveal Entreat the Angels, making a pile of 4/4s. That was enough for Kevin, who conceded the first game.
Dustin Biggers 1, Kevin Jones 0
Kevin is all business.
Kevin led off with a Tundra, and Dustin matched him, casting a turn 1 Sensei’s Divining Top. Kevin had Island and Stoneforge Mystic on his second turn. It resolved, and he retrieved a Batterskull. Dustin used the Top on his upkeep to set up his draw, but missed his third land drop. He passed the turn, and Kevin thought for a moment before casting Brainstorm at the end step. It resolved, and he activated Stoneforge Mystic, putting his Batterskull into play.
The Germ came swinging, and Dustin fell to 16. Kevin considered casting a True-Name Nemesis, but decided instead to hold it, as it was his only blue card to go with Force of Will. Dustin found his third land, cast another Sensei’s Divining Top, and passed it back. The Germ attacked again, knocking Dustin to 12, and Kevin cast a Thoughtseize after combat, and Dustin responded by activating his top to reveal a Terminus sitting on top of his deck. It resolved, clearing away Kevin’s threats, and then the Thoughtseize resolved.
Counterspell, Force of Will, Counterbalance, Snapcaster Mage, Terminus, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor was the hand that Dustin revealed. Kevin though for a moment before getting rid of the Force, then cast True-Name Nemesis from his hand. Dustin activated his second top, drew Force of Will, and countered the True-Name Nemesis with it, pitching Snapcaster Mage. Kevin passed the turn, and Dustin plopped his Sensei’s Divining Top back into play and passed it right back.
Kevin’s next attempt to advance his board was a Liliana of the Veil. It resolved and ticked up, and Dustin binning Terminus and Kevin tossing a Polluted Delta. Dustin drew and passed, and Kevin plused his Liliana again, getting rid of Dustin’s Counterspell and his own Flooded Strand. He passed it to Dustin, who simply spun the top and passed it back again, a waiting game that appeared to favor the player with the Planeswalker.
Kevin ticked Liliana up to seven loyalty, leaving him with just a single card in hand. Dustin attempted an end-step Vendilion Clique, but the last card in Kevin’s hand was a Force of Will, which he hard-cast. Dustin untapped and cast Jace, the Mind Sculptor, used it’s Brainstorm ability, and passed.
Kevin untapped and quickly removed six counters from his Liliana of the Veil. When it was finished resolving, Dustin was left with Plains, Tundra, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor. Kevin followed up with a Wasteland on the Tundra, bounced the Batterskull back to his hand, and passed.
Dustin played an Island and a Sensei’s Divining Top, and passed back to Kevin. He got tricky on his next turn, paying 2 life to cast Surgical Extraction on Dustin’s Force of Wills. In the process, he saw that the two cards in Dustin’s Hand were Swords to Plowshares and Counterbalance. Knowing the coast was clear, he re-cast Batterskull. Dustin Plowed the Germ, and Kevin upticked Liliana to get rid of Counterbalance from Dustin’s Hand.
Both players were nearly out of gas, as the two opposing planeswalkers kept each other in check. Kevin Brainstormed, cast Stoneforge Mystic simply to shuffle his deck, and ticked Liliana up again. Dustin found Counterbalance on top of his deck and cast it, then Brainstormed with Jace.
Kevin’s draw step was a good one, as he found his own 1-of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. It resolved, and he began gassing up his own hand. Stoneforge Mystic also began slowly whittling down Dustin’s Jace, the Mind Sculptor, which was forced to use its +0 ability each turn in order to keep up with Kevin’s Liliana of the Veil. When Kevin attempted to finish off the Jace, Dustin tapped his Sensei’s Divining Top to flip up Terminus, but Kevin had a Vendilion Clique in response to the Miracle trigger. The Terminus went away, but Dustin still had Swords to Plowshares to get rid of the Stoneforge Mystic and keep his Jace for one more turn.
Dustin revealed Entreat the Angels, but only had enough mana to make two 4/4 Angels. Dustin’s Jace was sacrificed to bounce the Vendilion Clique, and Dustin passed. Kevin used each of his planeswalkers to deal with one of the 4/4 tokens, then passed and attempted to re-cast the Vendilion Clique in Dustin’s draw step. Dustin responded with Brainstorm, and Kevin responded to that by using Snapcaster Mage to Surgical Extraction Dustin’s Terminuses. Dustin used his last card, Swords to Plowshares, to dispose of Vendilion Clique.
Dustin Biggers 1, Kevin Jones 1
In the decider, Dustin kept his seven but Kevin went first to six, and then to five.
Dustin’s first two lands were basic Islands, and Kevin’s first two lands were Wastelands. Dustin cast Counterbalance, which resolved, and played a Flooded Strand, and Kevin found a colored mana source on top of his deck in the form of Tropical Island, which enabled him to cast Deathrite Shaman. It resolved, but was shipped to the bottom on Dustin’s draw step when he miracled a Terminus.
Neither player had a play for the next few turns. Dustin broke the silence with a Snapcaster Mage at Kevin’s end step, flashing back Brainstorm with two fetchlands untapped. Kevin Wastelanded a Flooded Strand, Dustin cracked it in response, and Kevin used Spell Pierce to counter the Brainstorm with the fetch activation still on the stack. The Snapcaster Mage stuck, though, and started beating down Kevin two points at a time.
At 14 life, Kevin found another colored source, using Polluted Delta to fetch up a Tundra. He attempted to Disenchant the Counterbalance, and Dustin responded with Brainstorm, and Kevin Swan Songed it. Dustin let the Swan Song resolve, gaining another attacker, then cast another Brainstorm. This one resolved, but he failed to find a two-drop to put on top, and the Disenchant resolved. What he DID put on top was Entreat the Angels, which was revealed on his next draw step to make four 4/4 Angels.
Kevin took one last peek at the top of his deck. It didn’t reveal an out to the angelic army, and he extended the hand in defeat.
Dustin Biggers 2, Kevin Jones 1