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