Quarterfinals: Eric English vs. Nick Stogsdill
Both players have been the beatdown on the way to this quarterfinal—Eric with the latest aggro craze, Rabble Red, and Nick with the old standby, G/W Aggro.
Eric kicked things off with a Firedrinker Satyr, and Nick matched him with a Soldier of the Pantheon. Ash Zealot was Eric’s follow up, and he crashed in. Nick was happy to trade one drop for one drop, and both players fell to 18. Nick played a Fleecemane Lion, but Eric was able to push through his Ash Zealot on the following turn with a Hall of Triumph naming red, and dropped Nick to 15. After some deliberation, Nick cracked right back with his Fleecemane Lion, then played another after combat.
The Ash Zealot continued to bring the beats, dropping Nick to 12, and Eric filled out his board after combat with a Firefist Striker and an Unleashed Rakdos Cackler. Nick simply attacked Eric down to 9 with his Fleecemane Lions and passed back. Eric cranked up the aggression with Burning-Tree Emissary into Goblin Rabblemaster, and attacked with his army for 11. Nick crunched some numbers and determined his best chance of winning was to take the damage, then drop Boon Satyr into play at Eric’s end step. He would need a pair of combat tricks on his own turn in order to push through enough damage to steal the win.
Nick untapped, checked his top card, and failing to find what he needed, conceded the first game.
Eric English 1, Nick Stogsdill 0
Sunblade Elf off of Temple Garden started the party for Nick, while Eric again had a turn 1 Firedrinker Satyr. Nick attacked for 2 and had Fleecemane Lion on turn 2, but Eric cleared it away with a Lightning Strike and got in a hit with his Satyr. Nick’s next play was Loxodon Smiter, falling to 15 from a Mana Confluence. Eric, with no profitable attack, simply cast a Firefist Striker and passed back.
Nick attacked with his two creatures to drop Eric to 10, then unloaded, playing his fourth land and casting Voice of Resurgence and Fleecemane Lion. Eric had Lightning Strike for the Lion, but still couldn’t attack into the Voice of Resurgence, passing with two blockers. Nick dropped his fifth land to threaten a Sunblade Elf activation, then sent in the team. Eric was forced to block, and threw his Firefist Striker in front of the hammer-swinging elephant, but fell to 6. A post-combat Banishing Light was enough for Eric, who scooped up his cards for the decider.
Eric English 1, Nick Stogsdill 1
Rakdos Cackler was the turn 1 play of choice for Eric, while Nick had simply a tapped Temple Garden. Eric’s turn 2 Ash Zealot turned up the heat a bit, and Nick fell to 16 before untapping and casting Fleecemane Lion. Eric fired off a second Ash Zealot and attacked with his team, telegraphing a trick. Nick decided he had no choice but to block an Ash zealot, and lost his Lion to Rubblebelt Maaka, falling to 12.
Nick had a replacement Fleecemane Lion, but Eric had a big play to keep pushing through damage, casting Hall of Triumph and attacking Nick down to 3. Nick simply played his fourth land and passed. When Eric attacked with three lethal attackers, Nick had some tricks up his sleeve, casting Skylasher, blocking two of the creatures, then attempting Setessan Tactics to kill off the third attacker. Eric had a second Rubblebelt Maaka, to break up that plan, forcing through enough damage to win the match.
Eric English 2, Nick Stogsdill 1