Quarterfinals: Elijah Herr vs. Warren Connell
Two very different Stoenforge Mystic strategies faced off in the quarterfinals, with Warren playing the Grand Prix-winning U/W/R Delver deck and Elijah on Death and Taxes.
Karakas and Aether Vial began the game for Elijah, while Warren’s opening was just Misty Rainforest. Moving the Vial up a counter, Elijah debated casting Thalia but elected to just play an untapped Wasteland instead. Warren played another Misty, sending turn back, and Elijah moved his Vial up before adding Eiganjo Castle to the board and casting Umezawa’s Jitte, keeping Karakas untapped.
Warren made no moves in the end step, simply drawing for turn and playing Volcanic Island. He fetched with Misty Rainforest, which Elijah allowed, and then fetched again—this fetch met a Thalia in response via the Vial, with the fetchland finding Tundra to go with his pair of Volcanic Islands.
Using those Islands, Warren cast True-Name Nemesis and ended the turn. Elijah had to begin building a clock, but he was well-equipped to do so thanks to a hand filled with fliers. Casting Serra Avenger with Wasteland untapped, he followed by Wasting Tundra and ending his turn, with Flickerwisp ready to Vial in during Warren’s end step or in response to a removal spell.
Playing Tundra, Warren aimed Swords at Thalia—Flickerwisp saved the legend, but also took her tax off the field for a turn. Warren took full advantage, using Lightning Bolt on Serra Avenger before attacking Elijah to 17. Elijah equipped his Flickerwisp and attacked for 5 damage, putting counters onto the Jitte and ending the turn with only Vial and Jitte available for shenanigans.
Warren played Wasteland and Brainstormed for help, needing a way to kill Flickerwisp or a piece of equipment of his own to make this a race. Finding Stoneforge Mystic, he cast it to locate Umezawa’s Jitte and attacked for 3 once more. Elijah once more attacked with everyone, and Warren fell to 4 as the Jitte pumped the Wisp.
Phyrexian Revoker followed, naming Umezawa’s Jitte, and Warren went into the deck for help. He wasn’t dead on board due to the Revoker preventing Flickerwisp from growing, but he was walking on the razor’s edge right now. He Brainstormed into Swords for the Flickerwisp, stabilizing the board in a neutral state if he kept his Nemesis untapped.
Stoneforge Mystic dug up Sword of Fire and Ice for Elijah, and he ended the turn afterward. Fetching to shuffle his Brainstorm away, Warren went to 3 life and untapped into Ponder. Passing afterward, he used Lightning Bolt to fade a Sword cast and equip to Thalia. Warren had nothing else though, and could only pass once more on the following turn.
Equipping Stoneforge Mystic, Elijah attempted to clear the way for lethal with Swords to Plowshares—but a hardcast Force of Will bought him another turn of reprieve. Warren chumped with the Mystic, Elijah cast Thalia, and Warren failed to find an answer on top of the deck.
Elijah 1, Warren 0
Turn 1 Delver of Secrets from Warren gave him a clock, but Elijah had Mother of Runes to force Elijah’s hand on a removal spell. Missing the flip on Delver, Warren attacked and Elijah traded—now Warren was content to cast his second Delver and miss a land drop.
Ratchet Bomb from Elijah resolved, no Daze in sight it seemed, and Warren went to his upkeep before attacking for a point of damage. Following with Ponder, Warren decided to shuffle up and play Wasteland. Elijah’s Bomb took down the Delver on his turn, and Wasteland eliminated Tundra prior to Elijah casting Stoneforge Mystic for Batterskull.
This was getting ugly fast on Warren’s side.
Elijah 2, Warren 0