Quarterfinals: Jack Wang vs. Rudy Briksza
These two friends squared off in the Top 8, with Jack having an advantage thanks to his higher seed and the natural power of Maverick against Stoneforge Mystic strategies. Could Rudy reverse the disparity?
Jack played Bayou and Deathrite Shaman on turn 1 while Rudy dropped Underground Sea for Thoughtseize. Spotting Stoneforge Mystic, Sylvan Library, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Swords to Plowshares, and Verdant Catacombs, Rudy was in for an uphill battle as he pitched Jack’s Thalia.
“We’re playing a fair game today,” Jack said, leading with Catacombs on the next turn and fetching Savannah to play Sylvan Library before he attacked for 1 damage. Wasteland nuked Savannah, and Rudy played Deathrite Shaman prior to passing back to Jack. The Library failed to find Jack a land, just a bunch of white creatures, and he took one of them. His Deathrite cast Swords on Rudy’s before Green Sun’s Zenith found Dryad Arbor, shuffling the top of the deck and making him mana.
Rudy's in a tough spot against Maverick.
Rudy Thoughtseized to see Mother of Runes and Stoneforge Mystic, sniping the Mother before using Wasteland on Bayou. That put Jack down to just Deathrite, Dryad Arbor... and Sylvan Library. Jack paid 4 life for an extra card and cast Mother of Runes before attacking for 1 and Wastelanding Rudy’s Underground Sea.
Thalia followed for Jack on the next turn, and Rudy cast Stoneforge Mystic... failing to find. Jack laughed, using Library for another card and firing Swords to Plowshares at the Stoneforge Mystic before attacking for 3 damage. With Rudy peeling on two lands against Thalia, Deathrite, Mother, and Library... it looked grim.
Jack fetched after seeing a tough top of the library, his Stoneforge Mystic finding Sword of Feast and Famine. Rudy cast Deathrite Shaman and equipped it, Jack going back to the Library before putting in Sword of Feast and Famine, hitting Rudy, and following with Swords to Plowshares on the Deathrite Shaman. Rudy drew, and conceded.
Jack 1, Rudy 0
This game began with Rudy fetching for an Underground Sea and casting Relic of Progenitus on turn 1, while Jack played a much less impressive Deathrite Shaman to “match” it. Rudy exiled his land, then used Wasteland to destroy Jack’s following a Brainstorm. “This is... interesting,” Jack admitted.
He fetched for Savannah, putting a second card in his graveyard to turn his mana back on with Deathrite Shaman, enabling him to cast Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Rudy fetched Scrubland on his turn and then cast Brainstorm, passing right back to Jack tapped out with Relic at the ready. Wasteland took out Rudy’s Scrubland, and Jack swung for 3 damage.
Rudy fetched again, this time for Tundra, and passed the turn. Swords to Plowshares cleared out Thalia as Jack played Qasali Pridemage, and Rudy untapped into Thoughtseize. It revealed two Knights, Umezawa’s Jitte, and Garruk Relentless. Playing a fetchland, Rudy ended the turn. He took 3 more damage from Jack, then broke the Relic after Jack tapped out for Jitte.
He passed turn on three mana after considerable thought—Jack had to wonder what Rudy had. He sent just the Pridemage this time, and Rudy fetched Tropical Island in order to Abrupt Decay. That gave Jack a land for his Deathrite Shaman, and thus the capacity to cast Knight of the Reliquary. Detention Sphere exiled the Shaman, and Rudy passed turn.
Jack 2, Rudy 0