Quarterfinals: Hayden Passarelli vs. Cody Johnson
Hayden mulliganed to six. Cody gave his first seven a lot of thought before sending them back for six.
Hayden led off with a Volcanic Island and Ponder, followed by a Gitaxian Probe paid Phyrexian-style to see Crop Rotation, Grove of the Burnwillows, Glacial Chasm, Punishing Fire, Life from the Loam, and Tranquil Thicket. On his turn, Cody laid the Tranquil Thicket tapped.
Hayden played Scalding Tarn and fetched up a Tropical Island to cast Tarmogoyf, a 2/3. Cody untapped, played Wasteland, and used it on the Tropical Island. Hayden untapped, attacked for two, and cracked Wooded Foothills for a Volcanic Island. Though Hayden was the only one who had attacked, he was still down on life, 16-18.
Hayden played Volcanic Island and attacked with a now 3/4 Tarmogoyf, putting the life totals in his favor at last at 16-15. Cody’s dredging of Life from the Loam put a Thespian’s Stage in his graveyard. He already had one in-hand, which he played. Life from the Loam returned Wasteland, Tranquil Thicket, and the second Thespian’s Stage to hand. Hayden played Wasteland and attacked Cody to 12.
Cody drew regularly and tried Wasteland on Hayden’s Wasteland, which brought a flurry of activity: Hayden’s Wasteland tried to take out Thespian’s Stage, which met a Crop Rotation sacrificing Thespian’s Stage in response, which itself met Force of Will exiling Daze.
Cody used Grove of the Burnwillows for green mana to cast Exploration, shrugging off the point of life he gave his opponent. He was looking for Dark Depths to assemble a quick 20/20 flying indestructible creature of one-attack doom. He played Thespian’s Stage, the other half of the combo, and passed. Hayden had only an attack to put Cody to 9 life.
Cody cast Life from the Loam and brought two copies of Wasteland and a Thespian’s Stage to hand. Another Grove of the Burnwillows and a bonus Wasteland joined the battlefield, the Wasteland taking out Hayden’s Volcanic Island.
Hayden had a Tropical Island and an attack for 6, but there his luck ran out. Cody dredged up Glacial Chasm, and though Hayden put Spell Pierce in the way, Cody had the mana to pay off the counterspell. Rishadan Port came down, only to be sacrificed to Glacial Chasm. Hayden did not find a Wasteland for the Glacial Chasm and passed.
Cody untapped. After thought, he had a Thespian’s Stage copy the Glacial Chasm, which he let expire on the upkeep. Dredging Life from the Loam on the draw step found Dark Depths. The first casting of Life from the Loam met Force of Will, but the second time saw no countermagic and Cody had half the combination in-hand. He let Glacial Chasm go to the graveyard as a sacrifice and calmly assembled Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths on the battlefield, paying for a Daze along the way. He played both cards, passed, and made his Marit Lage token on Hayden’s upkeep, inducing a concession.
Hayden 0, Cody 1.
Hayden Passarelli readies up for Game 3 after taking Game 2 of the quarterfinals.
Hayden played first with both players keeping their opening seven.
Hayden led with Tropical Island and a pass. Cody countered with Taiga, Mox Diamond discarding Maze of Ith, and Gamble, which resolved…only to see Crop Rotation discarded! He tried to Gamble again, this time meeting a Brainstorm that found Daze.
Hayden played another Tropical Island and passed. Gamble #3 resolved with a safer Wasteland discarded. Cody played Rishadan Port and passed. Hayden cast Brainstorm during Cody’s end step, while Cody returned the favor by tapping down Hayden’s Tropical Island on the next upkeep. Volcanic Island and another pass set Cody to untapping. He cast Life from the Loam and recovered Maze of Ith and Wasteland. The Wasteland was played and then used on Tropical Island, though a Stifle saved the dual land.
Hayden played and cracked a Wooded Foothills cracked for Volcanic Island. It was the first life total change of the game, but Hayden’s next play, True-Name Nemesis, threatened more changes, and not for Cody’s better. Cody dredged Life from the Loam, getting Rishadan Port, The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, and Wasteland in the graveyard. Life from the Loam as a spell met Force of Will pitching Force of Will.
Hayden attacked for three, putting the life totals 19-17 in his favor, and followed with Scalding Tarn and a second True-Name Nemesis. Cody, facing a three-turn clock, cast Life from the Loam, recovering two Wastelands and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. He played a Wasteland and passed.
Hayden shrugged, attacked for 6, and cast a 3/4 Tarmogoyf. Cody dredged for an answer, putting two copies of Maze of Ith in his graveyard, but Maze of Ith could not touch either True-Name Nemesis. A Lightning Bolt and a double True-Name Nemesis attack later, Cody conceded and went to Game 3.
Hayden 1, Cody 1.
Cody had the play. Both duelists kept their seven-card hands.
Cody led off with a Wooded Foothills, paying a life to get Taiga. Hayden started his game with Tropical Island and Delver of Secrets. The Delver was not long for the battlefield, though, as Grove of the Burnwillows teamed up with the Taiga to cast Punishing Fire and burn the 1/1 creature.
Hayden played a Wooded Foothills of his own and added a creature much harder to target, Nimble Mongoose. Cody played another Grove of the Burnwillows and gave his opponent a life, spending the green mana and the Grove itself for Crop Rotation, which resolved after much thought on Hayden’s end. Cody put Wasteland on the battlefield and in the graveyard just as quickly to dispose of the Tropical Island. Life from the Loam met a chillier reception, a sacrifice of Wooded Foothills for a Volcanic Island and then a Spell Pierce. Hayden attacked Cody for one point, putting him on 18 life, and passed.
Cody’s turn seemed to repeat itself with Life from the Loam meeting Spell Pierce, but a Crop Rotation for Wasteland took out Volcanic Island, leaving Hayden with only a Nimble Mongoose on the battlefield.
That Mongoose was about to get a lot bigger, though, as a surprise Wasteland on Grove of the Burnwillows was the seventh card in Hayden’s graveyard. He attacked with the now 3/3 Nimble Mongoose, putting Cody at 15 life.
Hayden’s Nimble Mongoose kept up its attack, sending Cody to 8 life. Cody’s dredge of Life from the Loam turned up no lands but the third card was a Punishing Fire. Life from the Loam brought Tranquil Thicket, Wasteland, and Grove of the Burnwillows back to the hand, the last being played.
Hayden attacked Cody to 5, played a Scalding Tarn, and passed. Cody tapped the Grove of the Burnwillows to cycle Tranquil Thicket, giving Hayden another life. The dredge that replaced the Tranquil Thicket draw finally turned up Glacial Chasm, but when Cody tried to Life from the Loam on his turn, a “Can I see your graveyard?” ended in Force of Will exiling True-Name Nemesis. Cody played a land and went for Life from the Loam again, recovering Thespian’s Stage, Dark Depths, and Tranquil Thicket.
Cody Johnson looks forward to being on the play in Game 3 of the quarterfinals.
Cody had his combo, but not enough time. Hayden flashed a Lightning Bolt, threatening a lethal attack on the next turn, and Cody extended the hand.
Hayden 2, Cody 1.
-- written by John Dale Beety